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Chronological List of HATs

Nope. Not a baseball cap. Not a visor. Not a bowler, beanie, beret, or bucket hat.

HATS.

As in History Assessments of Thinking.

I know you’ve been over to both of the Stanford History Education Group’s sites – Reading Like a Historian as well as their Beyond the Bubble page. Both are incredibly powerful examples of what instruction and assessment can look like when we focus on historical thinking processes rather than just foundational knowledge.

At Reading Like a Historian, you can find lessons in both US and World history that support the use of evidence and literacy skills. Beyond the Bubble has a whole series of short, easy to deliver, and easy to measure assessments of historical thinking.

History Assessments of Thinking.

HATS.

It’s okay if you’ve been using them without knowing what they were actually called. Cause they’re still awesome. But they’re arranged by the historical thinking skill they measure – Sourcing, Contextualization, Corroboration, Use of Evidence, and Background Knowledge, And so because they’re organized by skill rather than chronologically, it can be difficult to find just the right HAT that fits your instructional needs.

Until now. Read more

This Twitter hashtag is genius

On a scale of one to ten, with ten being a person whose phone never leaves their hand and one being someone who has absolutely no clue what social media is, I’m probably around a seven.

And while I do have Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube accounts, much of my social media time is spent messing with Twitter. I use Twitter quite a bit – mostly lurking on #sschat, #gafe, and #edtech – using Flipboard and Hootsuite as my access points. Like most of you, I’ve fallen into the habit of using one favorite social media tool. It’s comfortable. People can find me. I can find them. I get useful ideas and resources. Everybody’s happy.

And I get it. To be a true 21st century educator, I suppose I need to be using all of the different platforms. But seriously. Who has that kind of time?

So if your tool of choice isn’t Twitter, feel free to move along. Nothing to see here. Cause this awesome genius tip isn’t for you. It’s for Twitter users. Unless . . . you know, you’re just a little bit curious. Then, sure, definitely hang around. Read more

50+ interactive sites for social studies

Karen Ogen gets the credit for creating an easy to use, visually appealing list of interactive sites aligned by content area. Larry Felazzo gets the credit for sharing Karen’s work. You get the credit for using the list with your kids.

Pretty simple.

Head over to Larry’s site to get Karen’s link and be sure check out some of Larry’s other interactive site links.

Still not enough? Try some of these: Read more

Literature, geography, and epic road trips

We’re putting the finishing touches on this year’s Kansas state social studies conference. Titled A Capitol Idea: Integrating History and ELA, the conference will focus on ways to support both social studies and language arts folks. We know that this sort of integration is critical to developing the skills our kids need to be successful.

(So . . . shameless propaganda. If you’re anywhere near the Kansas capitol building on November 2, you need to plan on being part of the conversation. And by near, I’m talking five or six hour driving distance. Seriously. It’s gonna be awesome.)

But our planning and discussion about combining literacy skills and historical thinking jogged my memory. I knew Pocketed an article about a month or so ago that highlighted American road trips using some sort of map. A quick search of my Pocket later and yup, there it was.

The Obsessively Detailed Map of American Literature’s Most Epic Road TripsRead more

Tip of the Week: Back to school ideas for social studies teachers

We have two very simple unbendable, unbreakable rules in our house. No Christmas music allowed before Thanksgiving. No talking about school before August.

It’s August. So . . . we’re talking about school.

Spoiler alert.

If you’re not already at school, you’re heading there soon.

You probably already knew that. And you probably already have some idea of what you and your students will be doing during the first few days of school. But it’s always nice to have a few extra tips and tricks in your bookbag to start off the school year.

So today? The sixth annual Back to School Ideas in a Social Studies Classroom post. Use what you can. Adapt what you can’t. Add your own ideas in the comments.

What not to do

Before we get to the good stuff it’s probably a good idea to think about what doesn’t work. Read more

3 sweet Chrome browser extensions that will change your life

Okay. Life changing might be a bit extreme. It’s not like these things are gonna solve that problem we always seem to be having in the Mideast or help the Kansas City Chiefs find a better quarterback. But they are all very slick and can change how you and your students interact with content.

I’d been a hardcore Firefox user for years and slowly started shifting to Chrome a year or so ago. And unless Firefox gets some sort of awesomeness overall, I’m not going back. The reason? Chrome offers too many options for integrating Google tools and third-party apps / extensions into what I do everyday. I’m constantly making connections between my C4 Framework and how Chrome supports that idea of Collect, Collaborate, Create, and Communicate.

The three examples listed below are just a taste of how Chrome extensions can help you and students align teaching and learning to the four C’s. Read more

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