After a year of teaching to blank Zoom squares, Lauren Brown reflects on pre-pandemic days and the rich, face-to-face experiences she always had with kids. Will her profound sense of loss change in May, with all her students back in physical class? Will school feel like spring? September?
Category: Future of History
A History and Social Studies blog
As U.S. history teacher Lauren Brown prepared for her classes to resume following winter break, she considered what she would say to her students about the Capitol riots. “To say nothing says way too much.” See her full discussion of teaching ideas for now and later.
Overcoming the sense of intimidation she’d felt in the face of the US Constitution’s immensity and importance, Sarah Cooper has found fresh ways to draw her 8th graders into the power and complexity of our divided government during this year’s remote learning.
Here’s how Sarah Cooper taught her 8th grade social studies class today, as the nation went about determining a presidential winner. Unlike the day after the 2016 election, “I’m feeling not so much shock as the need to shore up my teaching and once again dig into difficult topics.”
It took the pandemic to convince Lauren Brown to finally check out Edpuzzle as a teaching tool. She’s quickly become a fan. Whether you are teaching live, online or in a hybrid model, Edpuzzle can be a helpful way to engage students in video content that you select or create.
After a spring of Zooming with established classes, Sarah Cooper finds new challenges using virtual breakout rooms this fall. Having to sort groups of unfamiliar students really makes a difference. She shares which breakout strategies still work and what needs extra care.
As Lauren Brown heads back to school for a year like no other, she considers how to combine academics and SEL support across the content areas. Along with activities for the first days of virtual or physical class, she offers three guidelines to engage kids all year.
Lauren Brown and Sarah Cooper conclude their 3-part exploration of what it means to teach U.S. History in 2020. With fall elections just ahead, they consider how to balance historical narrative and current events in classes that frequently reflect our divided nation.
How can social studies teachers sufficiently teach about systemic racism and oppression without making this lens the only way students see history and its connections to current events? Sarah Cooper and Lauren Brown continue their chat about teaching U.S. History in 2020.
Once Sarah Cooper’s 8th graders have finished their research papers on historical reformers, she has them to work in project groups to imagine which current cause their reformers might realistically support. Unexpected match-ups include Huey Newton and Sandra Day O’Connor!