Where Do I Go? What Do I Do?: The Time Wasting Problems of Cooperative Groups

Another chance for time to be wasted and confusion to reign supreme is when you make, seat and assign roles or tasks to the members of cooperative groups. With so many opportunities for cooperative group activities, I make my groups of 2, 3, 4 or 5 in advance. I actually keep a notebook of my different groups so I don’t …

My Summer Treasure Hunt

By Kristi Grubaugh, Featured Teacher –   Summer means the opportunity to read for leisure. There is a basket of cozy mystery paperback waiting for me right now. Many very admirable teachers create book lists for themselves to complete between Memorial and Labor Days. My goal each summer is to find a couple new treasures to add to my class …

2

DBQs for Students and You

By Kristi Grubaugh, Contributing Teacher – I still remember the first time I showed a class a copy of the Declaration of Independence. The wonder and awe of my fifth graders was genuine because they believed I had in my possession the actual, original Declaration of Independence. The excitement spread so fast that when second period arrived, they all wanted …

End of the Year Activities for Secondary Social Studies

“Now What? It’s the end of the year, they have taken away my textbooks, the testing season is over, now what do I do with my kids until the end of the year?”  This question is repeated over and over in secondary Social Studies teacher’s classrooms. How do I keep my student’s engaged the last few weeks or days of …

Standardized Testing: 3 Easy Strategies to Raise your Students’ Spirits

Testing season got you down? Betsy Potash has some great ideas to keep you and your students motivated!   As the testing season approaches, teachers face an uphill battle against the monotony and judgmental nature of standardized testing. What student feels inspired to try her best when faced with a pile of photocopied test papers? Testing provides no real audience for …

QR Codes in Social Studies

Technology in the classroom can be both a blessing and a curse! When technology is used correctly, it can enhance a lesson and provide multiple opportunities for engagement.  One of my favorite ways to incorporate technology is through the use of QR Codes.  These quick little links allow teachers to differentiate learning for students through the use of additional readings, …

The Power of Music in Social Studies

      Music. It’s a component in most of our daily lives. On the way to work, in the gym, with friends, on the football field, in the band room, or even in our own rooms as we bellow out those tunes that bring movement to our feet. But, when one thinks of Social Studies, music doesn’t generally come …

The Importance of Teaching the Holocaust

    The Holocaust can bring about many emotions in an individual. When teaching this topic, it is important to remember that this lesson should have an impact on the class.  What about the Holocaust is significant to today’s generation? Why should it impact them? These are questions students will wonder and, perhaps, even ask.  The Holocaust was a time …

2

Activities for Teaching Hidden Figures

If you are anything like me, you saw “Hidden Figures” and FELL IN LOVE! I was so excited to see the way Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson revolutionized their field and paved the way for women in science. My daughter’s school is taking a field trip to see the movie for Black History Month. I shared these ideas …

How to Motivate Middle School Students in the Social Studies Classroom

I am so glad to have Pamela Zupo from ZoopDog Creations sharing her wisdom about teaching middle school students.  “What do you do for work?” the stranger asks. We’re at a charitable dinner and he’s making polite chit-chat.  So I answer back with a warm smile and a gleam in my eye for the job that I love.  “I’m a …