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.
Tagged: Shara Peters
Project-based learning in history class can be challenging as teachers juggle a content-laden curriculum and limited class time. Shara and Jody and their tech colleague Doug Hinko set out to find practical ways to make PBL work with a unit on medieval China.
When U.S. history teachers Jody Passanisi and Shara Peters celebrate Presidents’ Day, all 43 presidents are featured. Eighth graders research and assume the identity of an assigned president, then campaign in costume for reelection among 6th & 7th grade “voters.”
A struggling student’s recent exclamation that she UNDERSTOOD a history lesson confirmed to Shara Peters that her new school’s grading policy improves teaching and student achievement by shifting the emphasis from earning a higher grade to achieving mastery.
“I’m just like my country, I’m young scrappy and hungry, and I’m not throwing away my shot,” sings Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway show on his part in American history. Jody Passanisi & Shara Peters are enthusiastically sharing “Hamilton” with their 8th graders.
If you could design your ideal social studies curriculum for middle school, what would it look like? After surveying area high schools, Jody Passanisi and Shara Peters decide to focus on skills development. Here’s their draft scope & sequence for grades 6-8.
The new series Engaging With History in the Classroom can build historical thinking & help meet standards, say Jody & Shara. Lessons, primary sources & discussion groups bring the American Revolution, Civil War, Post Reconstruction & Civil Rights Era to life.
The Concept Attainment teaching strategy has students analyze an idea by comparing it to contrasting ideas and determining its special characteristics. When Jody and Shara used the strategy, their history students grasped and retained the content better.
When our social studies bloggers planned their U.S. History curriculum, they made sure to add contemporary music. The lyrics of rap and country decontextualize historical themes and let students make connections tying the past to the present.
New ideas can improve the curriculum and teaching strategies of history educators, but that doesn’t have to mean throwing out the old to experiment with the new. What to keep and what to add? Our history bloggers share some helpful criteria.