Viewing posts in:

Curriculum Instruction

Building Background Knowledge: Helping ELL Students Access Social Studies Curriculum

January 10, 2020 By Susan McDonald, M.S., CCC-SLP

According to recent surveys, at least 55% of classroom teachers have one or more English Language Learners (ELLs) in their classroom. ELLs arrive in our classrooms with varying levels of the four domains of English (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) for conversational and academic purposes. As a social studies teacher, how can you help an ELL student make sense of the advanced vocabulary and sentence structures that come along with academic instruction? One proven strategy is to build or activate background knowledge BEFORE starting the unit.

3 Easy Ways to Make Real-World Connections in Your History Lessons

December 10, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

History is rarely at the top of polls of “favorite subjects in school.” While a magical cure for history aversion has yet to be discovered, the following three tips for connecting the past to the present can make history lessons more relevant to students’ lives.

Opening the Window to the Past: Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence in Social Studies Classrooms

December 5, 2019 By Karla Wienhold

As teachers, we all want a way to make history a fun and engaging subject for our students.  We want them to grasp the historical events that we teach about with the same passion that we have when we are planning the lessons.  As educators, we want them to hear all the amazing stories from the past that will help them understand their role in the world they live in today. 

Compelling Essential Questions:  Connecting the Dots for Our Students

October 9, 2019 By Karla Wienhold

Think back to when you were a young child, trying to connect the numbered or letter dots to figure out what the mystery image would be.  You would carefully plot where the next line would go so the picture would come out just right.  Using essential questions is very much like that dot puzzle, trying to figure out what the major piece of the mystery concept is.  As teachers, our job is to help develop questioning skills in our students so they can successfully uncover the hidden picture, to help them develop the skills of inquiry to fit all the pieces of the lesson together. 

An Easy Guide for Teachers to Start Connecting With Their Students

September 30, 2019 By Dennis Fowler

How often do you step away from your social studies curriculum to get to know your students? Once a week? Once a month? Do you ever make specific plans or set aside specific time in your lessons to build meaningful, appropriate relationships with your kids?

Using Etiquette Lessons to Discuss Culture and Analyze Primary Sources

September 27, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

Etiquette comprises rules to follow and manners expected of a person in social or professional situations. Today, the components of etiquette have been rebranded as “soft skills,” the behaviors that help people work well with others.

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.

The Power of Guided Play through a Narrative in the Pre-K Classroom

September 13, 2019 By Margit E. McGuire, PhD

Young children understand stories and love to have books read to them often to the point that they memorize and can recite a favorite story from memory. Narratives establish supportive conditions in the brain for learning and remembering (McTighe and Willis, 2019). As young learners brains develop, their imaginations also run wild, and they love to pretend. Combining these two elements, the role-play with the narrative, is the basis for the Storypath learning method.

Help Your Students Think about Labor Day in a New Way

September 2, 2019 By Cynthia Resor

Labor Day commemorates the American worker on the first Monday in September. This upcoming Labor Day, remember to highlight the history of workers who are often overlooked or forgotten: slaves, domestic laborers, military-camp followers, and children.

Classroom Blogs: Your Easy Guide to Incorporating them into Lesson Plans

August 27, 2019 By Dennis Fowler

Do you purposely plan your lessons with your students’ “interests” in mind? If not, you should start doing so immediately.