Grading never goes away. But what if we approach it as a form of personal PD? Teacher Lauren Brown traces how a history assignment evolved over four years as she paid close attention to what stymied her 8th graders and adapted her instruction to support their learning.
Category: Future of History
At its best, annotation starts a dialogue between our English and History students and thoughtful writers past and present. But that doesn’t mean adolescents are eager to do it. Sarah Cooper shares ideas and online resources to make the process a true learning experience.
Assigning The Hate U Give as a summer read for history and English eighth graders seemed like a slam dunk to Sarah Cooper and her colleague. Looking back, she weighs the experience to better understand how she can prepare to teach, and then lean into, difficult topics.
Limiting feedback to final drafts means lots of teacher work and little student learning. What if, Sarah Cooper wondered, she could give students enough scaffolding – using an outline organizer and peer response – that their rough drafts included everything she wanted?
American Indian or Native American? Latina or Latino or Latinx? African American or Black? History teacher Lauren Brown shares activities and resources she uses to help students understand the background and history of such naming choices and why it’s important to teach.
History is not just the causes of the Civil War, reasons for industrial growth, or dates associated with “big events” and major characters. Lauren Brown works to help her middle schoolers understand it’s about ordinary, often archetypal lives of human beings much like us.
How can history students use resource books more effectively in their research papers? Taking a cue from a staff meeting, Sarah Cooper devised a handout to help 8th graders quickly scope out a nonfiction book and find stories and quotes to enliven their papers. It worked!
Returning from the 2018 NCSS conference, Sarah Cooper reignites her US history unit on reformers to deepen student understanding about historical, current and future activism. Learn more about the 10 Changemaker Questions she used to create a sense of action in her classes.
That day you left your notes at home. Or taught a stupendous lesson that left kids bored. Or found a student’s super essay was all plagiarized. Or arranged a special speaker only to learn about a conflicting event. Middle school teacher Lauren Brown offers solace and a mood lifting idea.
It’s at the precise moment when students are bombarded by facts, whether historical or current, that we need to be especially vigilant, writes American history and current events teacher Sarah Cooper, paraphrasing historian Sam Wineburg. Sifting through sources has become a life skill.