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Posts tagged ‘tip of the week’

Tip of the Week: Google Collections equals GAFE Pinterest

A couple of days ago I had the chance to watch Kori Green and Adam Topliff in action. As board members of the Kansas Council for the Social Studies, certified state standards trainers, and experienced middle school teachers, they know a thing or two thousand about what quality history instruction looks like.

They spent the day here at ESSDACK, tag teaming with a group of secondary folks in a discussion about best practices and the upcoming state assessment. In those sorts of conversations, I always walk out smarter. I get to see what Kori and Adam are doing. I get to sit down with classroom teachers and chat about what they’re doing. It’s basically a smash and grab of all of their best stuff.

And Wednesday was no different. I was able to leave with a couple of new ideas including my new favorite, Google+ Collections.  Read more

Tip of the Week: Google adds Templates, Voice, and Explore

I’ve always been a fan of the goodness that is Google. And I like when all of a sudden my GAFE tools have extra features.

For some of you, this all may not seem like a big deal. But recent small changes by Google in their online tools have made my life just a little bit easier. For those of you in GAFE schools or whose students use Google, these changes can also impact how you both interact with content and data.

The first change is  Read more

Tip of the Week: Google Keep comes to iOS

I know that many of you already ask students to organize evidence and information for a variety of reasons – lecture capture, short-term and long-term research, group work, basic data collection, primary / secondary source analysis. We want kids to analyze evidence, validate resources, search effectively, and appropriately cite their data. And for, well . . . forever,  paper and pencil was basically the only option for this sort of thing.

Nothing terribly wrong with paper and pencil but that medium is tough to edit, update, and share. So a lot of us and our students are taking our stuff to a variety of online tools. In the last year or so, a new option has become available. Read more

Social media is a hook. And a tool.

In an essay titled From Connected Educator to Connected ClassroomBrianna Crowley describes her journey using social media tools at a personal level to using them in her classroom. It’s a good read with practical suggestions and links to a variety of social media tools and strategies. Brianna also makes a statement that I like: Read more

Tip of the Week: 5 glorious government goodies

I’m a history guy. My shelves are full of history related titles. (Current reads? The Wright Brothers and the Oregon Trail.) I taught US history to 8th graders and World History to college kids. Did my graduate research on the Kansas Mennonite reaction to World War One.

But my first love was political science. I earned my high school government credit by campaigning for Kansas governor John Carlin and registering voters in Garden City. Graduated with a BA in political science and thought briefly about taking the civil service exam so I could apply to the State Department.

Several weeks ago, I was called to task by a secondary government teacher because there’s not enough civics and government stuff on History Tech. And I realized, yeah . . . maybe I could spend a few more minutes here and there focusing on some government resources. So today? Five of my favorite go to government goodies. Read more

Tip of the Week: 5 graphic organizers you’re probably not using but should be

Most of you are already familiar with the idea of document analysis worksheets. These sorts of tools are perfect for scaffolding historical thinking skills for your kids. Some of the best, created by the Library of Congress and the National Archives, have been around for years. I also really like the stuff created by the Stanford History Education group, especially their Historical Thinking Chart.

We should be using all of those evidence analysis tools with our kids. They can be especially helpful for training elementary and middle school students to gather and organize evidence while solving authentic problems. And for high school kids without a strong background in historical thinking skills, the tools provided by the LOC, NARA, and SHEG are incredibly useful to guide thinking.

But what about other types of graphic organizers? Are there some organizers you should be using but aren’t? Spoiler alert. Yes.
Read more


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