Category Archives: library of congress

Classroom Based Assessments – Where to start

As we reboot Doing Social Studies, we’d love to introduce you to this month’s author, Nathan McAlister.

Nathan McAlister is the Humanities Program Manager – History, Government, and Social Studies with the Kansas State Department of Education. Prior to taking his current position Nathan taught middle and high school social studies for 24 years. Nathan’s past students have created and led several civic and historical preservation projects. These include three pieces of Kansas Legislation, a Civil War mural, a Civil War Veterans Kansas preservation project, many National History Day projects, and four award-winning Lowell Milken for Unsung Heroes projects.

In 2010, Nathan was named Kansas and National History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History. Nathan has also been named a Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Master Teacher Fellow, Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, Fellow, and a George Washington Library, Lifeguard Teacher Fellow.  

So, you need to design a CBA? You have an idea, check. You have an outcome the students need to meet, check. You even have the work days mapped and planned, check. But where do I find the necessary materials to either curate the sources myself or send the students to curate sources themselves? Additionally, if I am curating the sources can I use excerpts? Still further, if I use excerpts, how much is too much to cut? My goal, for this blog post is twofold. One, offer examples of websites to use in your classroom, and two, provide a few rules to guide your excerpting of documents.

Let’s get started.

Continue reading Classroom Based Assessments – Where to start

State of the Social Studies

TomClairAbeThis week’s post comes from Thomas Fulbright, current KCSS president and history teacher at Hope Street Academy, a public charter school in Topeka since 2008. Thomas intends “to spend my entire life convincing them how exciting and important history is.”  His bio picture is daughter Claire and Thomas  meeting President Lincoln.

This past July, I attended a Library of Congress Primary Source SummitTF NameTag hosted by the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies.  We covered a number of topics beyond just social studies pedagogy with a focus on the use of primary sources. By the end of the summit I was feeling good about the State of the Social Studies in Kansas, and in addition, reinvigorated in my personal purpose for teaching social studies.  Let me tell you why & hopefully you will feel the same way (sorry you couldn’t come with me to Minnesota).

First – the State of the Social Studies. Continue reading State of the Social Studies