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Posts tagged ‘literacy standards’

Tip of the Week: Zoom In! The future of historical thinking

I always enjoy the annual social studies nerd fest that is the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference. I learn a ton and I love the sessions. But it’s the chance to meet all kinds of people that I enjoy the most.

It seems like I’m always bumping into someone I know or someone who knows someone I know. Or . . . well, if you’ve had the chance to attend you understand. The people make the conference.

And it was in St. Louis in 2013 that I got the chance to meet some folks from the Center for Children and Technology, a division of the Education Development Center. The CCT people were there talking about a new online tool called Zoom In! and I happened past their booth in the vendor area.

My first impression?

Two words. Game changer.

Seriously. If you’re a middle or high school US history teacher, this is something that you need to try. I’m not kidding. Read more

Writing Navigator: Supports literacy standards, makes your life easier, free

With the coming of the Common Core Literacy Standards for History / Government, the NCSS national standards, and the adoption of new social studies standards in Kansas, I’ve seen a ton of classroom teachers get stressed out about the whole reading and writing thing.

I get it.

For a long time, classroom teachers were told that simple memorization of content was good enough. And now? Expectations have changed. It’s can just be lecture, quiz, worksheet, test anymore. We’re being asked to train kids to read, write, and communicate solutions.

And classroom teachers are freaking just a bit:

  • My kids won’t ever be able to do this.
  • I’m a government teacher, not a reading teacher.
  • How are we supposed to grade this?

I get it. It’s new. It can be a bit intimidating.

We all can use a little help now and again. And if we could find some sort of free, online tool that scaffolds the writing process for our students, even better.

If only there were such a tool available, what a Merry Christmas this would be. If only. Read more

History Nerd Fest 2013 – Notable tradebooks that engage and teach

The National Council for the Social Studies has been creating a yearly list of new tradebooks since . . . I don’t know, forever? I think it’s actually been 2000 but it seems like I’ve been using their lists forever.

Because for K-8 teachers especially, using fiction and non-fiction as part of social studies instruction is key. But it can be difficult trying to figure out what books are out there and how to best use them. So I always look forward to this session because the tradebook people share not just the books but lesson plans that are aligned to standards.

This morning they talked about seven different books: Read more

The Library of Congress, Places in the News, and Common Core standards alignment

Social studies teachers, like all other teachers, have a limited amount of time. So you need to pick and choose where you spend your time. Some places and tools are non-negotiable: Google Earth, Teaching History, Beyond the Bubble, ThinkFinity, EDSITEment.

And, of course, the Library of Congress. The LOC is an incredible resource with so much to offer – lesson plans, primary sources, and professional development.

But no matter how well I think I know them, I keep finding new things that they offer. My latest discoveries?

That’s right. Today here at History Tech, it’s a two for one. Read more