“Imperative means the same thing as important, so why can’t we just say important?” asked Adele, a student in Lauren Brown’s US history class. How do we help kids learn the academic vocabulary they need to enrich writing and deepen understanding? Brown means to find out.
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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.
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.
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.
Giving students examples of how to fight against hate and injustice and for their rights and the rights of their fellow human beings is critical to a healthy democracy. Rita Platt shines a light on Jewish, black, and native American freedom fighters and protestors.
Linking one event or person to later developments opens history students up to seeing how pieces of the massive puzzle of the past fit together and how the issues we face today developed. Lauren Brown shares several engaging strategies to help make those connections.
Lesson plan improvement notes written a year ago may not be as useful as you now wish they were. That’s what Lauren Brown discovered when she tried to decipher scribbled comments on materials from last fall. Learn some of her ideas to lessen the need for total recall.
As schools reopen, Lauren Brown revisits the essentials of history teaching in a time when authoritarianism is in the air. Central are not only caring about individuals in the next generation but also being ‘keepers of the meaning’ when established values are challenged.
When Lauren Brown left her history classroom and became a teacher educator, she always shared a page of advice when pre-service teachers finished her course. Three years after returning to middle school, Brown updates her tips with fresh insights from the front lines.