Jessica Hayes

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. 

5 Things to Consider Before Flipping Your Classroom

March 2, 2018 By Jessica Hayes

The flipped classroom allows students to build background knowledge outside school, freeing up time for more hands-on learning in the classroom. 

Engage Students in Map Analysis: The Map Gallery Walk [Activity]

February 1, 2018 By Jessica Hayes

This geography activity makes maps applicable to student lives bygetting students out of their chairs and interacting with the material.