All posts by Glenn Wiebe

About Glenn Wiebe

I work as a social studies specialist at ESSDACK, an educational service center in Hutchinson, Kansas. Before coming to ESSDACK, I taught middle school US History and higher ed social science classes.

Gilder Lehrman provides the silver lining: A free webinar on American Race Relations. Free. As in . . . it’s free.

It can be tough finding the silver lining in all the disruption to student learning and teacher professional development caused by COVID-19.  But every once in a while, a little glint of silver appears. Professional earning opportunities that would not have been available face to face to us can be delivered virtually, opening up the chance to learn from all sorts of people sharing about all sorts of content.

Today, that sliver appeared to me.

Mark Nickel, Secondary Social Studies & World Languages director in the Wichita, Kansas school district, passed on some details about what sounds like an amazing learning experience. Together with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Wichita is sponsoring a virtual webinar entitled “The History of Race Relations in America: the African-American Experience.”

The webinar will include a live panel on Wednesday,  July 29th, from 1:00-2:30 PM (CST). Thanks to the generosity of the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, this learning opportunity is funded at no cost. The Webinar will feature a panel of three eminent historians who will examine the African American experience from 1492-1877, followed by a 30 minute live Q&A session. And you know it’s going to be good. What Gilder Lehrman stuff hasn’t been?

The webinar is designed for upper elementary and secondary school teachers in Kansas. There are even a limited number of $50 stipends that will be given to the first participants who register. (The announcement did make it clear that to be eligible for the stipend, you must attend the full session. Seems fair.)

You can register for the webinar online. (Seriously. Why are you still here? Go on. Click the link already.)

Upon registering for the session, you’ll receive an automatic email with the Zoom registration link and a link to a Google Form. Participants can submit questions for the Q&A session using this form up until the start of the session. The panel will also be taking questions live.

All participating teachers are eligible to join a Gilder Lehrman Study Group – an online workshop led by GLI Master Teachers in the week following the webinar. This extended learning session is designed for teachers to digest lecture content, ask questions, learn from other teachers, and put pedagogic strategies into practice. The date and time for the study group is still up in the air.

If you have any questions, feel free to email education@gilderlehrman.org or contact the Gilder Lerhman Education Program Coordinator, Martha Slomczewski.

You don’t get this sort of silver lining every day. Take advantage.

Old or new, maps are cool. Two new ones you need to explore

Can you ever have too many maps?

The obvious answer is no. You can never have too many maps.

So when I ran across some very cool old maps last Saturday at the Wichita Flea Market, there really wasn’t any question about whether or not I would buy them. The question was how many will I buy.

I settled on two. Which means my wife helped me decide that I should settle on two. There are quite a few maps already in my house and I was gently made aware of that fact. Which means semi-gently.

Both of the maps I walked away with are almost 100 years old. One is a 1924 map of tourist Rome published in Italian, the other a map highlighting the 1924 British Empire Exhibition with suggested mass transit options from around the London metro area. So cool.

Perfect for displaying, reading, primary source analysis, (the Empire Exhibition and its various colonial pavilions is just asking for some in-depth conversation) or just wafting in the 100 year old smell.

But while we all know how cool old maps are, new maps are nothing to sneeze at. I love the ability of digitized maps to allow access to all sorts of data in all sorts of very visual ways. Take a look at these two Continue reading Old or new, maps are cool. Two new ones you need to explore

Six Super Sweet Social Studies Strategies for Back to School

(Reposted from History Tech)

first-week-of-school-nailed-it-13993094-e1534537523675Many of you are ready to jump off the end of the pier – sometime in the next few weeks, kids are heading back to your classrooms.

To help energize your first awesome week with kids, here are six great ways to kick off the school year. Use what you can. Adapt what you can’t.

What not to do

But before we get too far along with what we know works, it’s probably a good idea to think about what doesn’t. I’ve mentioned Fourteen Things You Should Never Do on the First Day of School before but it’s still a great reminder of what it looks like when we’re doing it wrong. Mark Barnes suggest that your goal should be a very simple one during the first few days of school:

You have many days to assess students’ strengths and weaknesses. You have months to discuss high stakes testing and standards. You’ll spend weeks probing the textbook.

The first day of school should be dedicated to rapport-building and to joy.

Your goal should be that students go home that night and tell their parents: “I’m going to love history class because my teacher is awesome!”

So what should we be doing the first week?

Kids need to be in groups. They need to be solving problems. They need to get a taste of some social studies and play with some social studies tools. They need to know that it’s okay to fail. Find out more about them. They should practice a few critical thinking skills. Maybe a little tech here and there. Have fun.

Need some specifics? Start with these six: Continue reading Six Super Sweet Social Studies Strategies for Back to School

Notable Books, Notable Lessons: Finding ways to put social studies back into K-8

notable-books-lesson-coverFull confession.

Elementary kids freak me out. They’re sticky. They smell funny. And they throw up. All the time. Seriously. All the time. Every day.

My wife teaches elementary kids. She. Is. A. Saint.

And she tells me that her kids don’t throw up every day. I want to believe her but I’m not convinced.

The point? I could never teach elementary kids. So I feel a little weird saying this but . . . Continue reading Notable Books, Notable Lessons: Finding ways to put social studies back into K-8