Category Archives: strategies

3 things you need to to do before the end of the school year

Seriously? It’s the middle of May already?

There was snow just a few weeks ago and today kids all over are in final countdown mode. But before you close the door on 2017-2018, there are three things you need to do.

1. You need to reflect

As professionals we have an obligation to reflect on a personal level about our own best practice. Constant improvement is a good thing.

I would always try to spend time reflecting at the end of the year: Continue reading 3 things you need to to do before the end of the school year

And Rotate! Blended Learning in the Social Studies Classroom

gonzalez-inclassflip-stations
Image from Jennifer Gonzalez of Cult of Pedagogy

When I mention stations in the classroom, does your mind automatically jump to the organized chaos of a Kindergarten classroom? Could I convince you to jump to a social studies classroom instead?  Station Rotation is another Blended Learning model that promotes technology integration and differentiation, while enhancing learning in the classroom.

 

Stations are a great way to provide students with content through a variety of learning activities. Students can be working individually, with partners or small groups, with the teacher, and with or without technology all in the same class at the same time. Sound like organized chaos that could work in your classroom? Continue reading And Rotate! Blended Learning in the Social Studies Classroom

Blackout Poetry: Worth Waiting For

Jill Weber teaches US History at Cheney Middle School and high schoolers in the Teaching Career Pathway. Today she shares how she incorporates the Blackout Poetry literacy and writing activity into her instruction.


Sometimes great ideas come to us, and we’re so excited to try them, BUT the pace of the year come crashing in on us and we have to put those ideas on hold. I’ve had this idea on hold the the last three years, and we are FINALLY getting to it. Blackout Poetry.

Blackout Poetry is using text that has been printed (books, newspapers, magazines, etc…) and manipulating the text to convey a new poetic meaning. By selecting words from the text and then blacking out the remaining words.

Take a minute to Google it and check out the images. So cool!

I first ran across using this in the social studies classroom when Continue reading Blackout Poetry: Worth Waiting For

SHEG HATs for the win

Hat fail.

I’m not talking about an actual hat. Not a baseball cap. Or a visor. Or a bowler, beanie, beret, or bucket hat.

I’m talking about SHEG HATS.

As in Stanford History Education Group and History Assessments of Thinking.

I’m sure that you’ve been over to the very useful  Stanford History Education Group’s site with its three different tools, right? (If you haven’t, mmm . . . go there now and be amazed at how your life will be changed.)

All of us at the KCSS have been pushing Sam Wineburg’s work for years so I’m hoping you’re already familiar with the work his SHEG group has been doing around the idea of reading like a historian. They’ve packaged their work into three chunks – instructional lessons that focus on training kids analyze evidence to solve problems, onlive civic literacy lessons, and wait for it . . . Continue reading SHEG HATs for the win

Structure strips. Seriously . . . where have you been hiding?

(Glenn posted the original version of Structure Strips on his History Tech site several months ago. He loves the idea of Structure Strips so much, he’s sharing it with us here at Doing Social Studies. Enjoy!)


Over the last few months, I’ve had the chance to be part of several teacher conversations focused on the integration of social studies and literacy. And for the last few years, I’ve had the chance to work with the Kansas Department of Education and Kansas teachers as we rolled out our revised state standards and assessments – both of which concentrate on finding ways for kids to read, write, and communicate in the discipline.

So while I am not some super duper ELA expert, I did think that I knew a little something about literacy tools. But I recently got a great wake-up call that let me know that there is always something new to learn.

I was doing some internet browsing for literacy activities and ran across references to something I had never heard of before. And it looks like an awesome tool to slip into your bag of tricks.

Structure strips. Continue reading Structure strips. Seriously . . . where have you been hiding?