Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Welcome back DCE social studies teachers! Our department goals for 20010-11 will focus again on instruction and assessment of student learning as well as literacy. Two new initiatives added to literacy are an emphasis on direct instruction of vocabulary and the use of DBQ (Document Based Question) writing.

Social Studies Department Goals


  1. Literacy (Reading, Writing, & Oral Speaking skills, e.g. discussion, oral presentation, etc.)
    • Pre, During, and Post Reading Strategies (Buehl’s Interactive Reading Strategies)
    • Argumentative Discussion (Socratic Dialog, Socratic circles, Debate formats, rotating 2X2’s, etc.)
    • Writing – Expository essay format (Thesis, Org. Parts, Specific Details-elaboration) Reflective Writing – journals. - Improve writing experiences for students through the use of model papers, common assessment rubrics, APPARTS, GSPRITE, and other strategies that will enhance expository writing.
    • - Implement the Thinking Like a Historian framework at all grade levels (Cause and Effect, Change and Continuity, Turning Points, Using the Past and Through Their Eyes)

    • *Vocabulary direct instruction – each grade level 6-12 will identify key vocabulary that they take responsibility for teaching. (300-400 terms)
    • *DBQ writing project – teachers will attend a workshop on the DBQ project and implement document based essays to improve student thinking and writing in the social studies classroom.
  1. Assessment in the social studies classroom

· Common assessment (unit tests, semester exams – summative testing)

· Formative assessment (Assessment for Learning – checking daily for understanding)

· Social Studies teachers will use assessment to monitor student

· Create power sheets for units to help focus on the key understandings in each unit, rather than the mini

The effect of assessment for learning (formative assessment) on student achievement is from 4-5 times greater than the effect of reduced class-size (Ehrenberg, Brewer, Gamoran, and Willams, 2001) While all students show achievement gains with formative assessment, the largest gains accrue to the lowest achievers. (Stiggens, 2006)

  1. Authentic Instruction in the Social Studies Classroom

· Promote hands on authentic tasks in all social studies classrooms

· Promote Rome Days, History Day, Oral History, Archeological Digs, Psychology experiments, 2008 election, Service-Learning, etc.

  1. Technology in the social studies classroom.

· Use technology to make social studies more interactive and engaging for students.

· Teachers may use the following: Smart boards, LCD projectors, ELMOS, laptops, Computer-assisted Instruction (remote clickers), etc.

· Strategies utilizing technology include: blogging, pod-casting, wikis, interactive gaming, United Video Streaming, webquests, etc.

· Use of technology for formative assessment, e.g., moddle, clicker system, department powerpoint, etc.

· * Level Three Technology learning means that students become communicators, collaborators and creators using technology as a means to complete a product that is shared with a wider audience.

* New department initiatives for 2010-11

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