Reading Like a Historian…

Hi all,

Here’s the Link: Stanford’s History Education Group – Reading Like an Historian.

Reading Like an Historian

Please check out this website – it is a great one for all social studies teachers, and it connects our content to Common Core and skill development in text analysis.  Brad Fiege from Arcadia presented this to the social studies department, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

The website is an excellent resource for social studies teachers for a number of reasons.  First, lesson plans are created with Common Core in mind.  The center of these lesson plans is textual documents, primary sources, maps, etc. that are historically relevant.  The push is to have student “Doing History” rather than simply learning about it – and that is at the heart of the Common Core standards within social studies.  Second, it is easy to access these plans, and they are free.  Simply register once, and you have access to these plans in PDF format.  All materials are printable, and you can save them as well.    As well, the lessons are created through the Stanford History Education Group, and the resources are grade level appropriate for our students.  Many documents are from the Library of Congress as well.

There are numerous lesson and documents available right now in US History, and just last month, Global lessons were added too.  That database will continue to grow.  There are currently 15 lessons in the Global History database.

Mankind: The Story of All of Us

Mankind: The Story of All of Us

The History Channel has followed up “America: The Story of Us”, with “Mankind: The Story of All of Us.”  The first episode of 12 aired on November 13th, 9-11pm.  Each episode will be aired on Tuesday, starting at 9pm.

The series chronicles mankind, from the beginnings in Eastern Africa, all the way to modern times.  The first episode was entitled “Inventors” and outlined how humans created new technologies in order to survive and advance civilizations.  Some of the “inventions” included fire, farming, bronze, iron, democracy, writing systems, trade and war.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This could be a great supplemental resource for 6th, 9th and 10th grade classrooms, and there are many different resources teachers could use from the History Channel website.  There are 2-3 minute video clips, and a Mankind classroom teacher guide.

Click here to explore more related to Mankind: The Story of All of Us




November Madness a Huge Success

THANK YOU to all that helped with November Madness.  It was a tremendous success and a great night for student engagement and learning.  Students from all four high schools in Greece interacted throughout the night with each other, with teachers, with building and district administrators, and side by side with school board members.  About 100 students engaged in authentic debates, predictions, and analysis of the election, the Electoral College, and politics in general.  Below are a few of the pictures that captured different parts of the evening.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Social Studies Teachers,

Election 2012 is only a few weeks away.  New this year in Greece, we are holding an event called “November Madness.”  Other districts have done similar things in the past with great success.  The basic idea is to have students engaged in the electoral process in many different ways – side by side with teachers, administrators, peers, media experts, and possibly local politicians.  This is primarily for 11th and 12th grade students interested in politics and the election process.

The event will take place on Election night – November 6th, from 7-10pm at the Arcadia Library.  In case of a close election (which it very may well be)…we may be brewing coffee and drinking Red Bull to stay a bit longer.  Attached is a flyer for the event that outlines the who, what, where, when and why questions.  This will be an exciting opportunity for students in Greece to connect the election of 2012 to Citizens in Action, US History and Government, and AP Government and US Politics.  Content connections include the US Constitution, Electoral College, Voting trends, United States Regional differences, Media influence on politics, Political Ideology, persuasive literacy applications, and analysis and polling strategies.  More to come through this blog and your emails!  Please view and print the flyer below for students in AP US History, Citizens in Action, and AP US Government and Politics.

Click here for the “November Madness” Informational Flyer:

“November Madness” Student Flyer

That’s all for now…


Vocabulary Words to Help You Pass the Global Studies Regents Examination!

Over the past several weeks several teachers and I poured over the Global Studies Regents Examinations that were given in the last 5 years.  Several vocabulary words that were not always specific to just social studies began to reappear as a pattern on these exams.  These “Tier II” vocabulary words were put into a program called Quizlet by Teresa Inclema-Currie (Thank Teresa!)  This program will allow students to learn these words through online virtual flash cards or through other activities on the Quizlet website.  Click here:

Quizlet also offers an App for Iphone and Ipad for practiving these on the go!



Also thank you to Diane Boni for suggesting the following steps by Marzano for:

Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement

The six steps to effective vocabulary instruction outlined in Marzano’s Building Background Knowledge for      Academic Achievement(2004)

  • Step       1: the teacher provides a description, explanation, or example of the new term

    Step       2: students restate the explanation of the new term in their own words

    Step       3: students create a nonlinguistic representation of the term

    Step       4: students periodically do activities that help them add to their knowledge of vocabulary terms

    Step       5: periodically students are asked to discuss the terms with one another

  • Step       6: periodically students are involved in games that allow them to play with the terms

Capzles: A New Presentation Tool!

Capzles is a fantastic web 2.0 tool for the classroom. Use it as an alternative to traditional presentations. Upload all sorts of content including documents, text and video. If you have a PowerPoint presentation…upload it as well! You can also write blog posts directly into the presentation. When your content is loaded, you will have a linear gallery similar to a slideshow or timeline.

In Capzles, every piece of content is called a “moment.” Let’s say you have several images that are closely related. You can “stack” them into one “moment.” When you are presenting, each moment will appear as a thumbnail image. Click it to enlarge.

Try Capzles to build lessons and presentations. Your students will love it!

Check it out here:

What do Social Studies and Social Media Have in Common? Everything…

Imagine this… You are on Jeopardy, you have just choosen the catagory, “Instruction.”

Alex Trebek reads the answer:

“Looking at primary sources documenting the history of thought, seeing how the world is interconnected, understanding interactions between people, analyzing cultural and intellectual diffusion…”

You buzz in… “What are the facets of a social studies curriculum?”

Alex says, “Correct!, we also would have accepted  What is social media’s entire reason for existence!”

If Social Media was ever taught as a class I think it should be Social Studies class!  🙂  Just Saying…

There are more similarities than just the word “social” in the title!

Click on the above video to see how one teacher shows how social media and social studies could work hand in hand in the modern classroom.