You probably saw the news headline, but if not, here is the horrible news: Ben Brazeau, leader of the #SSTLAP crew, has been kidnapped! The ransom note mentioned a series of digital locks that must be opened in order to free Ben from his captors - and we only have an hour to solve the clues. It’s imperative to open the locks, or Ben will not be able to fulfill his summer plans - celebrate the 4th of July, go on a family vacation, attend his beloved Packers’ training camp, read some of his favorite PD books, or see an upcoming summer blockbuster. Plus, #sstlap will cease to exist, crushing the collective soul of the greatest crew of social studies teachers on the planet. Braz got the ball rolling years ago by resuming the chat, and we need to keep it going. Free @Braz74!
20% Time Questions
June 22, 2017
#sstlap 6 PT
Guest Host @scottmpetri
Overview: Genius Hour is an inquiry-driven, passion-based classroom strategy designed to excite and engage students through the unrestrained joy of learning. Many teachers accomplish this by setting aside time in their weekly classroom schedules when students are able to learn about and create whatever they want, unencumbered by teacher control (Krebs & Zvi, 2016). Join High School teachers Scott Petri (History) and Holly Avdul (English) as they chat about implementing Genius Hour.
:07 Q1 How well will your department/school leadership buy into the concept of 20% time?
:14 Q2 How do you think parents will buy-into the concept of Genius Hour?
:21 Q3 Where can you scale back on content delivery so that your students can participate in 20% time?
:28 Q4 How are you planning to help your students develop inquiry questions for their Genius Hour project?
:35 Q5 How do you help students realize their intellectual gifts so that they can become high performers?
:42 Q6 What challenges do you anticipate as you shift to supporting students along an independent course of inquiry?
:48 Q7 What was the biggest “A-Ha” moment you had in devoting Genius Hour to your students this past year?
:54 Q8 What advice would you give to a teacher pursuing Genius Hour aka 20% time for the first time?
Social Science Genius Hour
Thursday, June 15 #sstlap Twitter Chat - 6 PT 8 CST
Guest Host: @historytechie
Teachers want support in developing innovative classroom practices. Approximately, $18 billion is spent annually in the US on PK-12 professional development. The average teacher spends 89 hours per year on professional learning activities mostly directed by districts. Yet the majority of teachers report that too many professional development offerings are not relevant, not effective, and not connected to their core work of helping students learn. A variety of teacher practice networks have sprung up in response to this. Join, Liz Ramos, one of 20 teacher leaders supporting a community of 300 Social Studies teachers nation-wide in the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Teacher 2 Teacher Collaborative. Liz and other teachers in CRF’s TPN will chat about how teachers can expand their practice networks, connect with like-minded colleagues, and energize their innovative practices.
Q1 What networks do you use to find instructional resources and digital tools to support your growth as a teacher?
Q2 Which do you personally prefer F2F (in person) learning or Online (asynchronous) Learning? Why?
Q3 How well has your school/district prepared you to implement college and career-readiness standards?
Q4 How often does your school/district utilize mini-lesson studies, video-peer coaching, lesson plan critiques, analysis of student work, and online discussion of related research and articles in PD?
Q5 How often have you worked with teachers from other schools and districts learning new pedagogical practices?
Q6 What organizations do you use for Online Learning (OL) to support your growth as a Social Studies teacher?
Q7 How can teacher practice networks strengthen ties with local/state/federal organizations to sustain teacher leadership?
Q8 How do teacher leaders know when they can effectively lead other teachers in collaborative, professional learning?
Introductions: Tells us who you are, what you do and what’s your summer deep dive (i.e. book, travel, prepping for a new teaching assignment, etc)
1) Looking back at the teachers and professors you have had, which ones reeled you in their lectures and why?
2) The tools! From chalkboard to PowerPoint, there a lot out there to pick from. Which is your go to and why?
3) One key element in lectures / direct instruction is being an engaging storyteller. How you have you helped make your lectures more engaging?
4) Besides the classic “calling on raised hands”, what are some ideas or strategies for asking questions?
5) Visual literacy; Photos, paintings, cartoons, maps and more; social studies is a field where images abound. What are ways you incorporate images and visual literacy in your instruction?
6) The traditional “set and get” style has seen many changes. What are some alternatives to lectures you have used?
7) What are some other ideas you’ve seen or heard which you would like to dive in and try next year?
This week I wanted to at least take a moment to honor those who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice protecting our Freedoms through their military service. I didn’t know how to do a whole chat about that, but still need to acknowledge this. So I came up with tonight’s multiple section chat of the things that I have been pondering lately. Honoring History, Celebrating and preparing for the end of the year with reflections on where we have come from, and of course celebrating those who provide us support to do what we love to do.
Q1 Please take a moment to acknowledge those who have served and lost their lives in the military. Feel free to name individuals who you have a connection to, or simply share your thoughts about those who have served as we extend Memorial Day by a couple of days to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Q2 What does Memorial Day mean to you, and how do you teach about it in your class? Has it turned into many of the other American Holidays that have become so commercialized people don’t realize what the day is truly supposed to be about? How do you preserve the meaning of Memorial Day in your classroom?
End of the Year - I want to honor Memorial Day, but also want to give you opportunity to reflect on your year in review.
Q3 As you look back over this year, What are some of your favorite moments from this past school year?
Q4 Who are some of the individuals who helped create lasting memories or lasting impressions on you this year? Hopefully these are positive experiences!
Q5 If you had to create a 6 word memoir of this year, what would it be?
Q6 I just read Justin Birckbichler @Mr_B_Teacher wrote about his journey with cancer and his latest post http://www.aballsysenseoftumor.com/ make me think more about relationships. Who has allowed you to do what you do professionally? Who has provided you opportunity to take risks and shine?
Q7 Similar question to 7 but who has provided you with opportunities to pursue your dreams and ambitions? Who has been your supporting cast as you work through the challenges of achieving your goals? Who has helped keep you sane, made you dinner, been your rock through the journey?
Q8 Who do you support to take risks, FAIL and then succeed, be more than they thought they could be? Who are you there for without question? How do you support them?
This last section really hit home as I continue to struggle with that work/home life balance. I have taken a step back from being on Twitter and engaging in as many chats as I have previously while working on Graduate Classes. I am learning from the classes, but struggling to learn new things that got me excited about technology and new innovations. At the same time I have tried to devote more time to family, but as always I feel like I could do more and need to do more. In every aspect of life there are forces pulling at us, and we need to figure out priorities and then live up to being present when in those situations. I have a colleague who says BVOS - Best Version OF Self. I am still working on that, and know that my time with the #sstlap crew helps me with that. With that being said, I am hoping others will sign up to host this summer. I plan on participating in the chats, but the planning each and every week does take time and I like most everyone else find summer to be a busy time of year. I am hoping to share the load of hosting this summer as well as provide others the opportunity to steer the ship and see what they want to discuss and am excited that some have already volunteered to host.
Sign up here if interested.
Before we get into the topic- I have created a Summer Hosting Sign up - I know summer is a crazy time of year for everyone and this year for me is no exception. I have 4 nights of Soccer, taking 2 graduate classes and teaching 1. I have always done the full summer of SSTLAP chats with the exception of maybe 4th of July.
I am proposing a summer hosting schedule for two reasons, 1. I am busier this summer than others. 2. and this is actually more important and something that I have wanted to do for awhile is allow others to host in order to drive the conversation and create PD that is meaningful to you and your needs. Please sign up on the document and take a week or two. I am always available to assist you with questions, creating graphics, etc. I just want to provide everyone a voice in the conversation.
Summer Hosting Sign Up https://goo.gl/3aE2A2
Creating and experience students will remember and making content relevant can be two different things. I have had students participate in debates, skits, mock trials and simulations. I have students create dynamic products of learning that I continue to share with others about how cool of an experience it was, and how impressed with students I am. I have seen teachers transform their classrooms, recreate events like the trenches in WWI. All of those things are amazing learning experiences. The question is, do students see the relevance or connection to their lives? Do we end the activity satisfied that the students have participated in the Immigration simulation through Ellis Island, or they understand why the North defeated the South during the Civil War? Do we take that next step in our activities and connect the learning to student’s lives? Or do we need to reinvent our lessons to focus on connecting to students and the content is secondary?
Q1 How do you make Social Studies, History, Sociology, Geography, Economics, Government relevant to students? Why is studying this stuff important?
Q2 Geography - Why should students care where things are located in the world? How can we make the study of Geography relevant? How can we teach it so it isn’t memorizing locations or coloring maps? Kids can Google where places are located, how do you teach Geography in a meaningful way that connects to student’s lives?
Q3 World History - That stuff happened thousands of years ago, what does it matter to me today? How can you connect events of the distant past to modern society? How can you show students that building of civilizations, empires, past discoveries, exploration matter to us today when they already happened? How do you teach WH so that it is relevant to their lives?
Q4 Economics - We studied the stock market, supply and demand and charts and graphs. Much of this was void of a personal connection to how I would use this. In a time when state and federal budgets are being debated, how could we connect those events to our study of economics and the impact that would have on students’ and their family’s lives? What about Government subsidies for corporations and businesses or other aspects of real world economics that aren’t discussed in text books. How do we hook students into studying economics by making it valuable and relevant to their experiences?
Q5 Government - I read an article recently about the news coverage of President Trump. First it stated that he has been the feature of news more frequently than other presidents. Now there could be reasons for that. No other president has been so actively engaged in Social Media as Trump. It could be the result of the shake ups within the administration that continue to cause headlines. It could be a lot of reasons. We currently have a president making headlines daily, but that isn’t always the case. How do we help students see the relevancy of the decisions that our federal and state government officials are making and the impact on their lives? How do we help students learn to be well informed and not victims of Fake News or Alternative Facts?
Q6 What are ways you bring relevancy to what you teach? Share some examples of lessons you connect with student’s lives. If you don’t have a list, share ideas of what you could do with existing lessons/content to make those connections.
Q7 Bonus - Collaboration time - What are some topics or content areas that you are struggling to find relevancy to your students? What are some areas you are looking for help or would like to beg, borrow, steal, or collaborate with others to find relevant lesson ideas?
I attended WCSS Wisconsin Council for Social Studies board meeting this weekend and while our agenda didn't cover lesson plans, content, or other ways to bring content alive in the classroom at this meeting, it did inspire me to bring this conversation to #sstlap.
In the classroom were shower curtains everywhere. What was on them was pretty cool. Students demonstrated their understanding of Government and History content by creating visuals on these curtains.
Then a teacher next to me was discussing Wisconsin Media Labs and some of the great resources there. As part of the conversation I thought he was talking about characters so I shared with him Quinn Rollin's Play Like a Pirate and the activity of creating action figures. I also shard Michael Milton's Bill of Right's Super Heroes lesson idea. Yes I love sharing what my PLN has created. On the ride home I was talking with a colleague who shared her Shark Tank lesson where students researched a charity and then presented to community members to secure donations of real money for their chosen charity. They had to work together to create their presentation by researching and sharing the work load so anyone could present, and in some cases that happened as team members were absent the day of the presentation. We discussed how we have and could create authentic audiences and make better lessons. Did I mention that we didn't have lesson plans on our agenda, but I can't help discussing the great lessons that I have learned about as it creates opportunities for others to share their great ideas that I can then steal and share with others.
Lesson ideas/Question ideas
Q1 When you create your lessons, what is the driving force behind the lesson? Where do you start?
Do you start with the content as the driving force?
Do you start with the assessment, or measurement in mind?
Do you start with the activity as the focus?
Do you start with skill development as your primary mission?
Q2 How can you incorporate current modern events into your study of history? Example - you are teaching students about slavery, Roman, American, etc. and connecting it to modern times to help students understand the realities of slavery - What modern current events can help students understand the concept of slavery - Human Trafficking or other news events.
Q3 Creating PIRATE lessons everyday is tough. How can you move towards ticket lessons everyday? Start with how you present information to students? What are ways you can enhance your presentation of information to students that makes it engaging?
Q4 What creative things have you done in your classroom to make the activity, lesson, unit more engaging, relevant and valuable for your students? If you haven't read Quinn Rollins' Play Like A Pirate, consider this summer reading as you will learn how to use legos, action figures, Barbies, and other toys to create opportunities for critical thinking.
Q5 Assessment - how do you assess your students? Are you looking for factoid Googleable information that is plotted on multiple choice questions, or are you asking for deeper meaning? Assessing deeper meaning can be more challenging. So what are some ways that you have or could provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning in creative, meaningful ways. PBL, Authentic Audiences might come into play here. Share some examples you have created.
Q6 Do the work of the content you are studying. If you student history, shouldn't students chronicle history, analyze primary sources, study and create documents of events. Economics students might look at the impact of an increase of a sales tax, or a gas tax might have on the local economy. Political Science/Government students might find a local issue they can relate to and create a plan of action. How do you connect students to the work of historians, economists, sociologists, psychologists, geologists, politicians or government officials?
Q7 This is really Q6b- to assist students with delving into real world activities, they will likely need mentors or people to support them because as teachers we don't know everything. So how can you bring in experts into your classroom, even if you live miles from an urban center? I just heard of nepris.org which connects industry experts to schools. Not promoting but this could be an avenue to assist students in learning more about a topic they choose to study.
This week's chat is focusing on collaboration, use of Google My Maps and most importantly FIELD TRIPS! Yes that educational adventure that often includes bag lunches, bus rides, the endless monitoring of the weather, permission slips, medical forms, bus buddies, and the hope we didn't leave anyone behind. Oh but they are also awesome learning experiences!
My daughter is going to venture to our state capital in the next couple of weeks and my wife bless her soul has volunteered to be one of the chaperones. Today I met with our curriculum personnel to discuss virtual field trips and talk about how these experiences can connect to curriculum. That was a really good conversation and one that I hope continues as it can provide students opportunities they wouldn't otherwise be able to be part of.
I scrolled through past chats and have seen our Google Hangout Adventure, our music and lyrics, the multiple times I tried to create questions using technology, the recent game night, and wanted to try something different tonight. I am also hoping to get Chuck Taft to bring his digital breakoutedu chat to sstlap soon.
The premise tonight is to use Google My Maps and work collaboratively to create potential field trip opportunities for our students. We will discuss local destinations that we may go ourselves, or places we think are good for students. We will look at places that we would like to go that may or may not be out of reach. Destinations and why they are worth visiting will be at the heart of this conversation. Finally we will explore ideas to make those far off places more reachable for our students.
Questions will actually be included in the layers of the map. I have a different task for each layer and you will be able edit the map. To add a pin/destination you need to click on the appropriate layer and then add the pin to that layer.
We will try to color code them to help us with differentiating the pins and topics.
here is the link to the map
This week's chat is designed to stir some controversy I mean conversation about best practices, or current practices to help us shape them into best practices. The questions are basically topics and you declare if you think it is better for teachers or for students and support your answer.
This past week I participated in some training. As part of it we were asked to design our own board game. I have been thinking about the topic of games for awhile and came up with tonight's topic which is a little different than simply asking you how you would use Monopoly, Risk or other games. Tonight we are going to play a little as we discuss the topic of games. I have created 3 spinners thanks to Russel Tarr's excellent work. If you look at the rounds, each one has a different task you need to complete and provide your responses in the chat.
I created the game board that I used for the questions and was thinking how that could be turned into a game itself like if you land on the pirate ship you would draw a card that would have an assigned activity on it. If you landed on the children's space you would draw a card that would give you a content topic that you would use to apply the other spaces like the swords would maybe be debate. So if you picked up a Great Depression student card you could play that with the debate topic to create a lesson where students debate the cause of the Great Depression or Hoover or FDR's role in the Great Depression.
I created round 8 as an opportunity for you to look at the board and see if you can create your own game based on the board.
Maybe for you the lego man represents famous people in history. And if you picked a storytelling Hook you might create a lesson where students portray that person creating a skit, or newscast sharing "first hand" accounts of that person's life. Or maybe the lego pirate is an expert or guest speaker?
You might see the map as a call to move to a new location, create a scavenger hunt, or redecorate your room to create a new learning environment.
What do the two treasure chests represent for you? Could they be reminders that we need to celebrate the awesome things that our students do? Or maybe a reminder that each and every student is awesome and we need to take a moment to let them know we treasure them, even when they aren't on their best behavior.
I had some ideas, but not a finalized idea of what this could be. I hope you will take a look and think about what the board could be used for.
Round 1 -
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.