The idea of asking students to create eye-catching, source-rich websites is appealing, writes history teacher Sarah Cooper. But are the two weeks spent learning the tech and developing content a good investment of class time? She reflects on both sides of the issue.
Some schools are putting all subjects under a big STEM tent. Can they stay true to STEM’s engineering focus? Anne Jolly talks to schoolwide-STEM expert Judy Duke, who points to History class. Teachers writing lessons should always ask: “What problems needed to be solved?”
On each page of History Class Revisited, teacher Jody Passanisi reveals a deep knowledge of middle school minds and hearts and offers many engaging strategies to help students on the way from literal to critical thinking about history, says reviewer Sarah Cooper.
How do we overcome the perception that history is boring? Connecting the past directly to students’ life experiences is a flawed strategy, history educator Lauren Brown believes. Teachers should focus less on “relevant” and more on “meaningful” and “interesting.”
This year, with an historic Presidential election in the making, civics studies take on a bit more relevance for Mary Tarashuk’s 4th graders. As she worked on her lesson plans this summer, she uncovered fresh resources to help her met five key teaching goals.
With its comprehensive collection of CCSS-ELA graphic organizers, The Visual Edge provides a very visible way for students in grades 6-12 to approach Common Core-related standards. Teacher-reviewer Joyce Depenbusch has numerous suggestions for the next edition.
After many years teaching high school & college students, Lauren Brown re-entered a middle school classroom last fall as a full-time social studies teacher. She describes her delight with young adolescents who greeted history with enthusiasm and deep discussions.
In “Text Structures From the Masters,” educators Gretchen Bernabei and Jennifer Koppe did the hard work for English and social studies teachers of grades 6–10 when they collected 50 quality, nonfiction mentor texts and created an easy-to-follow lesson structure for each one.
Today’s history students need to include evaluation, analysis, and synthesis in writing assignments, going well beyond the traditional reporting of facts. Shara Peters and Jody Passanisi share their methods for helping students improve their writing skills.
How to fit it all in? For Mary Tarashuk, switching classes with a 4th grade team teacher is helpful. He takes science; she takes history. One downside: her homeroom kids get extra history instruction through their ELA studies. Might “platooning” be better?