Updated once unit was complete. I know I need to do more work in my classes incorporating skills like "sourcing" and "corroboration," but this project helped me begin to connect me to my student ability and understanding in these areas.
During this past summer I was excited to do some research and develop inquiries for both Mystic Seaport Museum and the State Department of Education. In addition, this fall I partnered with Krystal Rose of Mystic Seaport to present at the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies annual conference. Following is our presentation and links to the inquiries.
The Mystic Seaport materials will be housed at their Education website.
The Bridgeport and Manchester materials can be found here.
I've always worried about whether or not to "adapt" a source for my students' reading level. I just learned about this resource: which explains the value of making sources accessible to students.
Along with the webinars, Common Core training, and work with colleagues I have been learning more and more about inquiry. Following is an IDM for a unit I'll be teaching in May. I know it will change. I'm especially concerned that I needed to make so many adjustments to he primary source (especially George Kennan's X article) that I wonder if the students are really reading a primary source any longer.
There is a great example of a lesson found at the National Humanities Center that utilizes George Marshall's speech outlining the Marshall Plan. It is clearly at a higher reading level than my middle school students.
This winter we have had a successful series of webinars about the Connecticut Social Studies standards. The series can be located here:
Three years ago I began re-learning education. As I struggled to grow in the new Common Core model, I became curious about education, social studies education, and literacy. To learn, I read books and websites, listed on other pages here. I participated in some professional development about the Connecticut Core Standards and the Connecticut Social Studies standards. One of the most helpful resources for social studies teachers is C3 Teachers which includes a template for applying the Social Studies frameworks and examples of units that use the new frameworks.
Here are units I've used the IDM template with:
Reconstruction: this unit I have input into the C3Teachers IDM generator. I recently found out that the IDM is intended to respect each teacher's needs to apply the inquiry to their students. Therefore, instead of lesson plans, formative assessments are described.
Following is a unit created with fellow 8th grade teacher G. Cumpstone:
I am still thinking about a question--when should teachers give the students the compelling question (as in reconstruction and immigration--using questions from the Connecticut frameworks) and when should students develop their own inquiry (as in research--utilizing Dan Rothstein's Make Just One Change)?
Another question is the role of rigorous reading to develop learning (as in reconstruction and immigration). This does not seem as strongly called for in the Social Studies frameworks but is still strong teaching, according to the Common Core Standards. The three key shifts of the Common Core are
*Learning content from rigorous texts (with teacher support as needed, group discussion, leading to independence.
*Using text evidence to prove learning.
*Regularly reading rigorous texts and academic language
What does the Common Core look like in a history classroom? This question sparked my own inquiry beginning in 2013. I've read some materials, and I have more to read. I have met some outstanding educators through my work at the Connecticut Systems of Professional Learning and the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies. Now, I’m so excited to share my lesson, that has been published by www.achieve.org at the Equip Rubric website. Mine is the last lesson listed for 8th graders titled "Yearning to Breathe Free." Go to http://www.achieve.org/EQuIP and click on the “Exemplars” tab.
Below is the PowerPoint shared at the 10/27/15 Connecticut Council for the Social Studies Conference about this unit.
Presentation Materials 10/27/15
Here is a link to the article I read about evaluating essential questions. Perhaps this advice could be used to create a rubric for student-generated questions. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept15/vol73/num01/How-to-Make-Your-Questions-Essential.aspx
A member of the audience suggested using a website called Online Utility" to analyze text quantitatively. I think this is the website: http://www.online-utility.org/text/analyzer.jsp
The stapled packet I handed out was actually taken from the whole achieve.org lesson. It included Appendix A, C, D, J and K.
Mine is the last lesson listed for 8th graders titled "Yearning to Breathe Free." Go to http://www.achieve.org/EQuIP and click on the “Exemplars” tab.
I am a Bank Street graduate, and a constructivist at heart. I have been a History Museum Educator, as well as a High School Economics and History teacher. I now teach Middle School Social Studies.
None of my work has been in isolation. I am grateful to my colleagues who have challenged me to think deeply and supported my explorations into how and why children learn.
Thank you for encouraging me to explore the shifts in education and helping me take this journey: M Wagner, N English, J Olsen, G Cumpstone, J Tencza, E Schaedler, B Kerachsky, H Hageman and S Armstrong.
Thank you for your advice and insights C Wendt, M Steinhilper, L Portley, E Cleveland, G Schwanfelder, S Papale, R Davey, L Landry, S Ward, D O'Rourke, C Harris, M Hall, A Glorioso, P Muzzulin, L Ricks, L Monroe and C Baklik.
A special thanks to J Merola, who helped me to learn about teaching reading and meta-cognition..