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A Standard A Day Keeps The Admins Away: Standard 3

Welcome back to my series on Implementing the Common Core Standards in the Secondary Social Studies classroom!
A Series on Implementing the Common Core Standards in the Secondary Social Studies classroom! - Standard 3

Common Core Standard 3 for Social Studies:

A Series on Implementing the Common Core Standards in the Secondary Social Studies classroom! - Standard 3CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.3 Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

This is another easy one for the Social Studies classroom.  We just call it Timelining and Determining Cause & Effect.  With most Social Studies classes being taught in chronological order, helping students attain this skill is much easier to achieve than some of the other standards.  Still, there are a few strategies to use to help implement this standard for the greatest student benefit:
A Series on Implementing the Common Core Standards in the Secondary Social Studies classroom! - Standard 3

  1. Introduce students to timelining and the idea of identifying events in chronological order from the very first days of school.  Use Class Bookmarks with unit listings to help students see the order in which they will be introduced to the different themes or eras in history.  Utilize the bookmarks to assign tasks, to check off completed topics, or to implement research projects.
  2. Assign "Annotated & Illustrated Timelines" as a unit review.  The steps required in this assignment serve many purposes.  
    • It will help students navigate back through their class activity notes to gather information. 
    • They will re-read content they have studied in the unit.  
    • They will again process key information. 
    • Some skills will be revisited.  
    • They must order events chronologically. 
    • The annotations will re-address Standard 2
    • Illustrations will help students to visualize and remember the content for later recall.
  3. In studying topics like the Holocaust or 9/11 where a level of reverence and respect is required, implement a "Silent Timeline Activity."  This activity will deliver the content, require students to place events in order, but also help to make a significant impression on the students with its implemented level of decorum.  
  4. Use Visuals to help students grasp the causes and effects of historic events.  From images to charts and graphs, students can see the reality of the events through information that may be missed in text.  Walking Tours and Centers Activities, as mentioned with earlier Standards, can help achieve this goal.
A Series on Implementing the Common Core Standards in the Secondary Social Studies classroom! - Standard 3

A Series on Implementing the Common Core Standards in the Secondary Social Studies classroom! - Standard 3


For a variety of interactive lessons that can help you to implement this standard, please visit my TpT Store.  Be sure to check out my Timeline Activities and Cause and Effect products!

Continue on here with Standard 4!

Happy Teaching!





Back to School Common Core eBook on TpT!

Knowing that teachers are headed back to school, and stressing about the implementation of the Common Core Standards, a bunch of TpT sellers have teamed up to bring you the Common Core Back-to-School eBooks!

eBooks are divided by subject area and by grade level to help you find just what you need this school year as you start your planning.  Each teacher's page provides freebies, other product suggestions, and most importantly, TIPS for implementing CCSS.

Start with the eBook for Social Studies, filled with a great assortment of freebies and other products from recognized TpT Social Studies sellers, and then link over to the other subject areas and grade levels from the TpT product page for a great assortment of ideas and tips for this new school year.

Hopefully, with this great tool, your school year will start off wonderfully and end with great success!

Michele






Curriculum Mapping The Easy Way!

One of the most feared responsibilities for new teachers, or even teachers changing courses, is preparing the dreaded curriculum map.  In the ole days, we taught with lesson plans, knowing the big picture, but unsure about when we would get there.  Most teachers hoped to cover all of their curriculum, but there was no set date and no legal requirements for standard implementation.
Curriculum Mapping The Easy Way!

With CCSS and newly implemented state standards, as well as school and district requirements, creating a curriculum map is now a must for almost every teacher across the United States.  Some schools and districts are even die hard about their mapping, and require all teachers to stay with the map, snow, sleet or storm!

This makes this daunting task even more so.

But it should not be so feared.  It is more a challenge in your basic math skills than it is in your ability to lesson plan for your content!

Here are my recommendations for the simple, yet effective curriculum map:
  1. Start with a simple curriculum map template.  It does not need to be pages and pages long, just effective for your personal needs.  Try my FREE Curriculum Map Template to get your started.
  2. Calculate the number of teaching days you will have in the school year.  Take your time on this step!  Believe it or not, it will be the most challenging.  You can start with the number of student days, but you must adjust for testing, final exams, assemblies, field trips, and any other special events that may pull your students from your instruction.  Subtracting out these days in your planning will keep you from ending the school year three centuries behind your goal!
  3. Identify the units you plan to teach.  If you are a new teacher, use resources to help you with this task.  A textbook Table of Contents can be a valuable tool, or you can utilize my World History or U.S. History Course Bookmarks.  At the end of this step, you want a simple number - How many units do I want to teach?
  4. Divide the number of available days by the number of units.  This is your base number of days per unit.  Simple, but this doesn't work for me.  Some of my units (my favorites) require far more time than others.  And some skills that will be taught require much more attention than others within special units.  This must be addressed.
  5. Begin looking at individual units. 
    • How much content is involved in the unit?
    • What activities do you want to implement?
    • Are there special skills you plan to teach?
    • Will students need additional time for deeper understanding?
    • Are there special topics on which you want to focus?
    • Will your assessment/unit project require more time?
  6. Add days to your larger units, pull from your smaller.  Do not worry if some of your units will take 5 weeks, while others may be completed in 1.  If you are teaching any subject that is cumulative, you know it will all come back around, and hopefully, come back together in the end.
  7. Pull out the calendar and begin (with pencil) plotting your units.  Again, your math skills will come in handy as you have to maneuver around holidays, special events, etc.  I always preferred giving my unit tests or assessments on Fridays, and DEFINITELY before breaks.  This will lead to added days in some units and losses in others.
  8. Begin completing your Curriculum Map Template.  Add as much information as you can to this, saving your time later as you will begin unit planning. 
    • Transfer the start and stop dates from your map.
    • Add in test or assessment dates for each unit.
    • Write a Unit Title or Brief Description of the unit.
    • Identify your essential or BIG question for the unit as a whole.
    • Identify the core content, CCSS, and state or district standards you will address by number.  Do not add every detail unless required by your district.  You can always refer to a standards checklist or the online list for more detail.
    • List resources, activities, or projects you plan to utilize.  Use this space as a reminder of fun activities you don't want to forget.  Include links to valuable online resources.
    • Identify the type of assessment you will use for the unit.
  9. Work with other teachers, if possible to check that you have everything you need in your map.  If you teach the same subjects/courses, see what can be aligned, but do not force this.  You are an individual, and your course SHOULD be different from others' courses.  It's what will help you reach the students in your class that others can't!
  10. Save your Curriculum Map EVERYWHERE you may need it for later use in unit and lesson planning.  Print a paper copy to hang on your wall or keep in a binder if you prefer to have a visual for highlighting and checklisting.
Final step:  Celebrate!  The hard part of planning for the year is done!  Now you just need to add in all the fun and exciting activities and lessons that will take you from day to day and unit to unit!

Visit my TpT Store for many other teacher tools to help start your school year off on the right foot!

Happy Teaching!

A Standard A Day Keeps the Admins Away: Standard 2

Welcome to my Series on Addressing Common Core in the Secondary Social Studies Classroom
How to teach Common Core Standard 2 in the Social Studies classroom
Common Core Standard 2 for Social Studies:

How to teach Common Core Standard 2 in the Social Studies classroom
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

Rejoice!  We have been doing this one for ages!  Reading for meaning and summarizing have been staples in the Social Studies classroom since Plato and Socrates were professing on the hillsides!

Now the challenge comes in implementing this standard without being dependent on the textbook.  Just keep in mind that "primary and secondary" sources can help you meet this standard.  That opens up so many doors for you:
  1. Turn your classroom into a "Walking Tour" and allow students to gather information from placards as they circulate from tour stop to tour stop.  Students will then complete an exit activity, or even a more comprehensive assignment which asks for the summation of ideas and content learned.
  2. Build an archeology site in your classroom.  I detailed this activity in one of my earlier blog posts, and it is a favorite among students, teachers, and administrators!  One of my principals even joined in with my students, digging through my shredded paper dig site for clue cards!  Purchase already created "Archeological Dig" activities or create your own.  Follow up with a summary assignment to assess student learning.
  3. Set up Centers or Stations around your classroom to allow students to perform different tasks related to the topic on hand.  Social Studies is NOT just about reading the content.  Allow students to dress like the Romans, play Skittles like the Ancient Egyptians, or draw while lying on their backs like Michelangelo. 
  4. Engage students in Response Group Activities where they are posed questions on specific topics of study or are posed a problem to solve that will help them to better understand an event in time.
  5. Assign Investigation or Research Projects where students can learn about a subject while having some choice and freedom in the process.  These lessons can lead to a number of writing assignments, addressing many of the ELA standards.  If your school allows teachers to work cross-curricularly, you can work with the Language Arts teachers to create and implement amazing student research projects.
With each of these instructional strategies, you must remember the assessment portion of the lesson.  Students MUST summarize what they have learned in the lesson.  Be creative, and allow students to express this knowledge in a variety of ways from lesson to lesson or unit to unit.

Here are a few of my favorites:
  • Journal or diary entries from historic figures
  • Annotated and illustrated timelines
  • Protest posters with thorough evaluation of the event
  • Face-off perspective statements (can be done as an exit slip!)
  • Political cartoons or other artistic creation
Keep in mind that a summary can be done with thorough development WITHOUT words!  While I used writing assignments regularly, and some quite extensively, in my Social Studies classes, I occasionally allowed my students to express their knowledge in the format with which they were most comfortable.  Some of those artistic summaries were the BEST and I can remember them vividly still.  Two of my favorites:  A pencil and pen sketch of the Civil Rights Movement.  The images leaped off the page and told an understanding that was indescribable with words.  And an illustrated summary of the Middle Passage from the perspective of a rat aboard the slave ship.  You can just imagine the imagery and content in both!

Again, implementing the standards in the classroom is not about requiring students to read a textbook and repeat its contents verbatim.  It is all about teaching them the skills they need to read, review, process, analyze, interpret, evaluate, and apply the information from any source they see on any topic they encounter.

For a variety of interactive lessons that can help you to implement this standard, please visit my TpT Store.  For Walking Tours, Archeology Digs, Centers and more to get your kids out of their seats and into your content, follow THIS LINK!

And be sure to continue the Common Core series with Standard 3.

Happy Teaching!



A Quick Planning Tip: Course Bookmarks!

Planning to teach World History or U.S. History this fall?  

Need an easy tool to organize yourself and your students?

Want to set your students up with a quick reference for understanding the chronology of the course?

Consider creating (or buying) Course Bookmarks!  

List out the units you will cover through the semester or through the school year.  Print them out on colorful card stock and present them to your new students on the first day of class. 

Use them as a lesson starter, a cause and effect tool, a timeline prompt, or as a research choice option.  Have your students check off units as they are completed, write "what you think will happen in..." for each unit based on the unit title, or use the outline as a study guide for the semester or year review.

Instruct your students to carry the bookmarks throughout the school year.  Offer them bonus points for the end of the semester if they keep and utilize the easy tool!

Oh, and for new teachers that aren't exactly sure what or what not to include... here's your outline for the course.  Keep it in your plan book and use it to help you with curriculum mapping or just remembering where you are in the year!

Don't have time to create this valuable tool?  Find them in my TpT Store with variations for different states and grades!  Each set comes with a number of implementation ideas, in color, and in black and white.

 

Visit my TpT Store for other great Teacher Tools and Classroom Resources to start off the new year right!  And don't forget to plan with super Social Studies lessons and activities throughout the year.
 
Michele

A Standard A Day Keeps the Admins Away: Standard 1

Welcome to my Blog Series on Implementing the Common Core!
How to teach Common Core Standard 1 in the secondary Social Studies classroom
Common Core Standard 1 for Social Studies:

How to teach Common Core Standard 1 in the secondary Social Studies classroom
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

First and foremost, I want to revisit my thoughts and ideas on implementing CCSS from THIS earlier post.  The point to stress is that "textual evidence" is not that which is ONLY found in a textbook.  Textual evidence is written support of an idea or concept on a particular topic.

Considering that definition, to cite specific textual evidence simply means that students must analyze primary and secondary sources to find the significant meaning in that source.  They must be able to tie that information into the overall theme of your study, and should be able to apply the information to other, similar pieces of textual evidence.

Use the following strategies to help students with this standard:
  1. Spiral Questioning - Ask students questions about the text, image, document section, etc. that increase in the level of complexity.  Begin with simple, direct questions.  This can be done during lecture, with text reading, while viewing images, or in any class situation where new information is being introduced.
    • What do you see?
    • What does it say?
    • What would be the literal meaning?
    • What could be the symbolic meaning?
    • Why would the author/artist/creator include this information?
    • What is significant about this journal entry/poem/image/poster/cartoon...?
    • How does this tie into our topic of study?
    • What is the bigger picture?
    • What is its overall significance in time/history/the world...?
  2. Analysis Activities - Provide students opportunities to view content (textual evident) on their own for analysis.  Assign activities for individual completion first, then pair & share or allow group discussion.  Remind students, that with analysis, answers may vary, and all ideas should be considered and appreciated.
    • Analysis Assignments, Worksheets, Homework - simple handouts with text, quotes, images, lyrics, charts, data, etc where students are to answer pertinent (spiraling) questions to evaluate the evidence in the piece.
    • Individual Analysis Activities - Use "Walking Tours" or "Internet Image Searches" to allow students the opportunity to investigate evidence on their own for further evaluation.  Encourage students to really look at the evidence and consider it for their own meaning as well as the desired meaning for content understanding.
    • Group Analysis Activities - Use Centers Activities or Response Groups to encourage students to work in small groups to understand evidence presented to them.  Use share outs to review pertinent information and to stress the key points you desire for your topic. 
    • Whole Class Analysis Activities - Turn your lectures into Interactive Lectures where students can take part in the lesson.  Allow them to analyze images or quotes before you introduce each new topic or piece of information in your lesson.  Allow class discussion, and value the teachable moments that arise in the analysis process.
  3. Application Phase - Allow students to replicate or create new products based on the textual evidence they have reviewed and analyzed.  This step is vital, and while not written out in the standards, it is the crux for Social Studies development.  Students must learn to apply their knowledge to reach the final stages of CCSS in any grade level, and in any content area.
    • Protest Posters
    • Political Campaign Posters
    • Journal Entries
    • Artwork
    • Political Cartoons
    • Character Quotes
    • Perspective Pieces
    • Anything that allows your students to show their understanding and ability to apply the information from the textual evidence analyzed in the lesson.
One last note on this standard.  It addresses the use of both primary and secondary sources in the Social Studies classroom.  Using BOTH of these as staples in your lessons is vital.  Students must see, hear, and experience the REAL history to understand its significance in our world.  Primary sources take what is in a secondary text and bring it to life for the student.  And, allowing them to step into the lives of those we study through history does make it more interesting and no longer a class about "all those dead people."

For a variety of Analysis Activities and Interactive Lectures, visit the Analysis Section or Interactive Lecture Notes Section of my TpT Store.

Find out how to implement Standard 2 in my next blog post!

Happy Teaching!



A Standard A Day Keeps the Admins Away: The Implementing CCSS in the Social Studies Classroom Series

Over the next 10 posts, I will address each of the Common Core Standards for the Social Studies in one of my blog posts each week.  I am hoping this will help new teachers, and even those with experience, to implement the CCSS without panic and pressure as the new year begins.  One key thing to remember is that we are doing what we've always done in the Social Studies classroom - We are teaching using primary sources, critical thinking skills, and a focus on reading for content knowledge, understanding, and application.

A series on how to teach the Common Core Standards in the Secondary Social Studies classroom starting with how to read common core.

To get started, let me set up the basis for this series.

While the image below uses the standards for grades 9-10, they are the same strands for 6-8 and 11-12, just adding focus on grade level reading in the classroom lessons to support the Language Arts curriculum.  Each grade level grouping also adds depth and detail to each strand, with emphasis on critical thinking and further development.


A series on how to teach the Common Core Standards in the Secondary Social Studies classroom starting with how to read common core.


I will refer to these throughout the postings simply by the Standard or Strand Number.  Example:  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

For a complete listing of the Common Core Standards, visit the Common Core State Standards Initiative. 

For Social Studies, here are the direct links for each grade level grouping:

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-10

Grades 11-12

Here we go!  Stop back Monday for Standard 1.

Happy Teaching!

 

Supporting CCSS with the Interactive Notebook

In my university Education program my professor stressed the idea of using an Interactive Notebook for teaching Social Studies.  She loved this idea so much that our entire Masters level course was implemented through the creation of an Interactive Notebook!  I still have that notebook, and I refer to it often as my guide for teaching with the best practices in the Social Studies classroom.

As we begin to address and implement the CCSS, it is important to continue utilizing some of those old, but tried and true, methods.  The Interactive Notebook should be a staple in the SS classroom, using it to introduce ideas or topics, to record the key content, and to wrap-up assignments, allowing students the opportunity to process and express the lesson ideas in their own words or in their own individual way for best understanding!

One of my favorite uses for the IN is in vocabulary development.  This works well to implement the following CCSS:
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
There are so many ways to have students learn and develop their vocabulary, but one of my favorites (and a great one for the beginning of the school year) is the illustration of terms.  While they are also required to define the terms in their own words, the illustration (even stick figures) helps them to remember and retain the term's meaning.  It also gives them a visual symbol that will help them on testing with recall tasks.

The implementation of this can be simply assigned as a bellringer/starter activity in the Interactive Notebook.  Allow students sufficient time to complete the tasks, and allow students to compare their work with others.  Be sure to reinforce the terms and their meaning in the class lesson, and then require students to utilize the terms correctly in their wrap-up assignment at the end of class.

Here are samples from my Reconstruction Unit:


 A "save the world" tip:  Encourage students to use the back of the previous day's notes page.  This not only saves paper, but keep's each full day lesson in one open notebook visual image.  It's better for organization, student processing, and retention!

Hope this idea will work well for you in your classroom!

Read my entire series on Implementing CCSS in the Social Studies Classroom starting here!

What Would You Do?

I love watching "What Would You Do?" with John Quinones every Friday night.  The show often attacks topics of interest, and watches from behind the scenes to see how everyday Americans react to outrageous situations.  I always hope that I would react appropriately, but when you are actually in the situation, your mind just spins and shock seems to take hold more than action... but then, the adrenaline sets in.

As we travel the United States, we encounter many people.  We are talkers, so we start conversations with strangers in restaurants, in hotel lobbies, and at the campgrounds where we stay.  We love to talk to others, and to learn about the people that live where we visit.  We are curious, and we love to get in the know!  Most of the time, the people we meet are wonderful.  They tell us about local sites, they share their stories about the area, and they are usually willing to share their insights for our best possible visit.  We love this!

And then comes the dreaded...
Out travel plans were halted this week by needed repairs on our 5th wheel.  It being only a year old, it is frustrating to learn that your day must be spent in a repair shop waiting area instead of on the road.  So, to make me feel better, my hubby decided to take me out for a fancy, relaxing breakfast.  We went to the local McDonald's! 

With the free internet access, I decided to get some work done as I enjoyed my breakfast.  Then came the noise!  Two children, cute little red-heads, one about 3 and the other just a baby, were running around the restaurant.  The parents and a grandparent were ordering their food, and then chose a table just two over from us.  As they settled in, I resumed my focus on my email.

Then I heard it.  But did I really?  I looked up, looked at my husband, and looked around the rest of the McDonald's to check my reality.  Did I really hear what I thought I heard?  And then it continued, but this time I saw it with my own eyes.  I was in shock and complete disbelief.

The father (term used loosely) was screaming and cursing (language my former Navy husband does not use) right in the face of the baby.  His tone was sharp and cutting and his volume was resonating.  Sadly, the child shrieked, but appeared to be used to this behavior.  I turned to be facing the table, and looked directly at the grandmother.

Rather than sharing an understanding eye contact with empathy as I expected, she yelled across at me, asking what I was looking at.  Oh, no!  Is it my business?  What about the kids?  This is crazy.  What do I say?  It was that moment when your head starts spinning and you want to shrink under the table, but then, at the same time, you want to jump out of your seat and raise your battle shield in protest!

I simply stated, in the most balanced tone I could find, "I just hate to see children hearing such language.  When they begin attending school, they will get into such trouble if they repeat those words."  Trying my best to be an educator, and not judgmental, I really wanted to scream, "How can you treat your children that way? and how can you, the maternal figure sit there and approve?!"

Maybe I should have prefaced this entire entry with some of my personal history.  I was raised by wonderful grandparents for much of my childhood.  I was spoiled with love and attention, and I learned early that hugs and kisses were "what family is."  But then there were the years when my mother took custody.  Those were not good years.  I was subjected to verbal and mental abuse on a daily basis, and while infrequent, some physical abuse also plagued our relationship.  It was not "family."  It was punishment.  And, at 44 years old, I am still haunted by those experiences today.

Now, I have taught my lesson for the day with my simple statement.  I am finished and hoping that it may make some impression on the parents to make change in their lives.  Unfortunately, they are not. 
The father begins an all out verbal attack, screaming and yelling with threats and vulgarities.  His words are now attacking me as well as his children.  He, with the support of his wife and mother, is asking me to "take it outside."  Really?  People actually say that?  And they mean it?  WOW!

Still seated, I simply reply by phoning the local police and asking to file a report with the CPS.  As they hear my request, they continue their behavior, further disrupting the entire restaurant.

Long story short, the police arrive.  The young man continues his behavior in front of the police, inappropriate language and threats included, and the police ask him to step outside.  Another officer comes up to us, informing us we can go ahead and leave now, and adding, "Unfortunately there are many people around here that should not have children."  And that was it. 

We left the restaurant, joined by an elderly couple who shared their approval of our actions, and then watched as the police returned to their cars, leaving the abusive father to his breakfast.  And, leaving him to continue a cycle of abuse that will leave those children scarred for life.

What Would You Do? I did what I thought would start a process of reaction.  A process that would help those children.  I thought..., but I was wrong.

But now, the greater question is:  Will it make a difference?
I am saddened to think the answer to that last one is NO!

As teachers, we are required by law to report child abuse that we see in our classrooms.  Unfortunately, that does not mean that our responsiveness will result in saving these children from their devastating daily lives.  But, maybe... Just maybe, our saying something gives those children hope.  Maybe it tells them that someone does care.  That there are people in the world that are different from what they know.  That they can have lives filled with hugs and kisses instead of sharp words and angry attacks.  That there are people out there who do What You Should Do!

Michele