Jessica Hayes

Teaching Remotely: What I've Learned So Far

May 10, 2020 By Jessica Hayes

The times in which we are living are truly odd and unprecedented. Actually, there are a lot of words that people use to describe this time. I’ve heard scary, crazy, stressful, and boring, just to name a few. Some people have used this time to improve themselves by working out or trying new hobbies. Others are worried or stressed about their job security and family's wellbeing. But, one thing I think we can agree upon is that this is a time to come together and revel in comfort and support. 

How to Transition to a Blended Social Studies Curriculum

March 13, 2020 By Jessica Hayes

A few years ago, I “splashed” into the blended learning scene only to abandon it several months in. There were a few reasons why, and you can read about them in my blog post here. But I don't say this to scare you off! If I knew then what I know now, I would have definitely made some changes to my approach. I’ve learned many things that I can now share from my experience.

5 Ways Teachers Can Address Socioeconomic Gaps in the Classroom

September 18, 2019 By Jessica Hayes

For my first permanent teaching position, I was lucky enough to fill a history position at a small K-8 school in a rural community. I say lucky for several reasons.

10 Tips for New or Transitioning Teachers This School Year

August 22, 2019 By Jessica Hayes

This past school year, I transitioned from a K–8 school to a high school. I went from teaching sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to ninth and twelfth graders. In short, it was a big jump going from a middle school setting to the high school.

3 Activities to Celebrate International Women's Day with Your Classroom

February 27, 2019 By Jessica Hayes

International Women’s Day is March 8, 2019, and presents an opportunity to celebrate women from throughout history. Humanities curricula and history books are often dominated by United States presidents, world explorers, and cultural elites, who are mostly male. This year, teach your students about the women activists, suffragettes, and trailblazers who paved the way for equality across the world. Here are some activities to use in the classroom.

5 Active Classroom Activities to Help Your Students Build Critical Thinking Skills

February 14, 2019 By Jessica Hayes

Thinking is hard. At least, that is what our students tend to believe. They sigh when we ask them to complete a research assignment, or to write an analytical essay. Even the most basic questions asked of them, can be responded with a grunt.

3 Books to Support Geography and/or Civics in the Classroom

January 16, 2019 By Jessica Hayes

 My last post was about quality novels to teach in the American history classroom. I would like to follow it up with some books teachers can include in their geography and civics class. In Alabama, we devote a semester each to geography and civics during the seventh grade. Often, it can seem that there is not enough time to fit in everything that we need to cover during that time frame. However, the following books are short enough to read in these classes, but “pack a punch” of information.

Reading Strategies for Middle School Novels in Social Studies

January 9, 2019 By Jessica Hayes

When I implement a novel study in social studies, there are a few activities that really work for me in terms of aiding student comprehension. I'll go into what these strategies are, how to use them, and how they help. But first, a note about reading aloud.

3 Novels to Read with Middle School Students in Social Studies

May 30, 2018 By Jessica Hayes

When I first started teaching history, it was difficult for me to incorporate reading passages in a productive and interesting way. I remember looking at a section in my textbook and thinking “how can I keep my students on task when I can barely concentrate on this stuff?”

Three Easy Immersive Activities to Teach Ancient History

March 23, 2018 By Jessica Hayes

Let’s face it, ancient history isn’t the easiest subject to get middle and high school students excited about.