How to teach conflict resolution in high school ELA, social studies classes

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I agree with you, Mr. Arthur Miller, “the woods are burning” indeed.  America’s current political climate seems like a blazing forest fire of disagreement.  We are unable to see each other through the smoke of our confirmation biases, and unable to hear each other over the crackling whirling flames in our self-created echo chambers.  As educators, we should all work together to help lead our country through this self-destructive conflagration. Teaching various methods for conflict resolution to our students might be one prescription public schools could employ for this monumental challenge. 

Aside from the obvious classroom management benefits of teaching conflict resolution to students, children would also develop better interpersonal relationships outside of the classroom.  Perhaps, eventually, our democracy could improve too?…Read More

The secret to good teaching? Teamwork

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters.

Twelve years ago, when I left a career as a lawyer to become a history teacher, my vision of what a “good teacher” looked like was shaped in part by movies, such as “Stand and Deliver” and “To Sir, With Love,” which depict teachers who overcome institutional dysfunction to connect with students and inspire them to achieve their potential.

Watching “To Sir, With Love” was even a course requirement in my teacher residency program. It was with great trepidation — knowing that I could not live up to this model but wanting to do my best — that I took my job teaching social studies at a small public high school in the Bronx.…Read More

Certell’s Poptential™ Addresses 21st-Century Wars With Free Memorial Day Teaching Resources

INDIANAPOLIS (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Poptential™, a family of free social studies course packages from Certell, provides rich content to teach the importance of Memorial Day, including material on the U.S. involvement in 21st-century wars. Click to tweet.

“While today’s high school students weren’t yet born when the United States was attacked on 9/11, the War on Terror resulting from that day has been in the news for most of their lives,” said Julie Smitherman, a former social studies teacher and director of content at Certell, Inc. “More than 7,000 U.S. service men and women lost their lives during this protracted war, so it’s important to understand how it came about.”

The Memorial Day holiday honors American soldiers who have died in combat and has been observed annually since 1971 on the last Monday of May. Poptential’s American History curriculum features bell ringers, mini-lessons, and multimedia content to engage and teach students about the U.S. involvement in 21st-century wars, including the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, the resulting War on Terrorism, the occupation of Afghanistan and the Iraq war. Lessons include:…Read More

Poptential™ From Certell Offers Content on Tax Day for High School Teachers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As Tax Day approaches, Poptential™, a family of free social studies course packages, offers instructors media-rich content to teach key concepts about taxation in the United States. Click to tweet.

Poptential course packages boost student engagement by using a variety of pop culture media to illustrate concepts, including those taken from sitcoms, movies, animations, cartoons, late-night shows, and other sources.

Tax Day ordinarily falls on April 15 each year; however, this year the federal tax deadline for individuals to submit their tax returns and pay taxes owed on 2022 income has been moved to April 18.…Read More

Poptential™ Free U.S. Government Curriculum from Certell Teaches Students About U.S. Debt

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Poptential™, an award-winning family of free social studies course packages, offers instructors a variety of content to help students learn about the national debt using pop culture media to engage students. Click to tweet.

On January 19, 2023, the United States hit the national debt ceiling, the limit on how much national debt Congress allows the treasury to incur. Experts predict that Congress will have to raise the debt ceiling by summer in order to prevent the country from defaulting on its debts.

“Increasing the debt ceiling isn’t new, but this time there are serious debates taking place about the need to reign in spending at the same time,” said Julie Smitherman, a former social studies teacher and director of content at Certell, Inc., the nonprofit behind Poptential. “The debt ceiling will be in the news this spring. The topic could be dry for high school students, so Poptential helps explain it using pop culture references, including video clips from the animated sitcom The Simpsons.”…Read More

Poptential™ Expands Bell Ringer Content in Free Social Studies Curriculum

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Poptential™, an award-winning family of free social studies course packages, has expanded and enhanced its Bell Ringer content with the goal of providing a bell ringer for every day of the school year. Click to tweet.

Bell Ringers are brief conversation starters for use at the beginning of class to get students thinking. Some are tied to a specific date or holiday, and others are interesting topics that connect to a subject covered in class.

“Teachers like Bell Ringers because they add structure to the beginning of class as students are filing in, and warm up students so they are ready to learn,” said Julie Smitherman, a former social studies teacher and director of content at Certell, Inc., the nonprofit behind Poptential. “Students like Bell Ringers because they use media-rich content that sparks their curiosity and leads to thought-provoking discussions.”…Read More

3 key steps when using VR in education

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As new VR technologies emerge, educators at all levels are finding new applications to augment the classroom experience – and for good reason. VR allows educators to move past pages in a textbook to create totally immersive experiences that stimulate and inspire students.

Imagine a social studies teacher leading a discussion about the Taj Mahal, for example. While educators and students used to be bound to traditional experiences like books, handouts, or PowerPoint presentations–now they can use the power of VR to take virtual tours of the monument, walking from space to space and seeing every detail of the carved stone.…Read More

Kids Discover Partners with Rhino Records to Release Free Units Celebrating Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Curtis Mayfield for Black History Month

Kids Discover, a leading provider of high-interest nonfiction for social studies and science, has partnered with Rhino Records, the catalog division of Warner Music Group, to celebrate Black History Month by releasing three free units honoring classic Atlantic Records artists Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin as well as Curtom Records’ Curtis Mayfield. Each of these units, featuring music, original album art, and more, will be freely available on the Kids Discover website for the entire month of February.

Designed to shine a light on the lives and impact of these music industry legends, the free units engage students in grades 3–8 through music and raise awareness of Black contributions to the arts and society. Educators can choose from three different Lexile levels for use in grades 3–4, 5–6, or 7–8. To make the materials available to as many students as possible, the free units do not require a registered account or login.

“In the past, we’ve always made a number of units in our library free to celebrate Black History Month,” said Ted Levine, the President and CEO of Kids Discover. “Given what has transpired in our country over the past few years, we took time to reflect on what else we could do to share the stories and impact of Black history and culture. In July, we released a five-part pledge, two tenets of which were to increase the number of stories we tell about Black figures in American history and to collaborate with organizations that share this vision. We’re excited to partner with Rhino to offer engaging, multimedia content that will educate and inspire students while highlighting the impact these three figures have had on our history and culture.”…Read More

Schell Games’ Virtual Reality Educational Tool HistoryMaker VR Now Available For Free

With a majority of schools participating in distance learning this year, Schell Games announced its virtual reality education tool HistoryMaker VR is now available for free on Steam for all to use.

HistoryMaker VR is an immersive content creation tool that helps students learn history in an entertaining and engaging way. This innovative application allows learners to display their knowledge of history, civics, and social studies, while offering educators and parents a new way to improve student engagement, increase lesson retention, and introduce an exciting alternative to textbooks and Zoom lectures. HistoryMaker VR seamlessly integrates into curriculums and includes classroom guides and recommended activities for teachers and parents to use.

Using an Oculus Rift/Rift S headset and a PC, learners and/or educators can upload a script, prep the stage with a variety of props and set pieces, and record themselves giving a speech as one of eight diverse characters in U.S. history, including Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and more. At the end of the recording, speeches can be exported as a video and shared with others, without the need for a VR headset. The videos can even be edited with any video editing tool, giving learners another opportunity to demonstrate their creativity and skill.…Read More

Actively Learn Digital Platform Offers Content Area Products

Actively Learn, Achieve3000’s research-based, standards-aligned curriculum platform, announces the release of new sequenced curricular units: Actively Learn ELA, Actively Learn Social Studies, and Actively Learn Science. Educators can now purchase these singular units instead of having to pay for access content they may not need. These subject area products make it possible to make tight budgets go further while addressing the specific needs of core content area teachers and facilitating an enhanced search experience.

“This new focus enables Actively Learn to better address the distinct needs of ELA, social studies, and science teachers. They can create interactive, multi-media assignments in each content area providing engagement and focus where needed.” said Jay Goyal, President at Actively Learn.

For each core content area, Actively Learn provides a full year of sequenced curricular units that leverage the breadth and depth of its catalog and allow for deeper knowledge in each subject.…Read More

Free Access to Social Studies and Science Curriculum

Educational publisher TCI is offering free digital access to its platform for learning social studies and science to qualified schools and teachers until the end of the school year. TCI’s  science and social studies curriculums and services for educators are based on proven teaching strategies and practices that bring education to life in order to achieve consistent and positive classroom results. Available on a digital platform, TCI’s programs allow teachers to deliver interactive lessons from any device – their laptop or tablet. TCI has also developed a resource page to help support teachers – many of whom are teaching remotely for the first time – with free videos, guides and FAQs.

https://www.teachtci.com/online-teaching-during-coronavirus-outbreak/

…Read More

10 of the best websites for bringing history & social studies to life

History and social studies bad reputations for being boring. To many students, these subjects mean reading long-winded textbooks and memorizing incessant facts. They don’t necessarily see the importance of studying something that happened hundreds or thousands of years ago.

Getting students to really care about what they’re learning involves bringing the subject to life for them. Thanks to the internet, there are so many ways for students to experience the past. History and social studies feel more real as students participate in these interactive and immersive activities. The resources are endless, but here are our online charter school’s 10 favorite websites.

1. Google Earth
Much of history involves understanding the geography and settings for key events, and with Google Earth, students can explore those places. The free software lets them view the globe from a high altitude or zoom in on countries, towns, and even street corners. The overlay feature allows students to drop a map over a historical site, which gives more context to its significance. With Google Earth, students can also view 3D models of various sites and create “flyovers,” where they can use placemarks to “fly” from one point to another over a specific route.…Read More