Friday, August 17, 2012

6-12 Social Studies Department Goals 2012-13

1.  Authentic Literacy (Reading , Discussion & Writing)

·         Strategic (Close) Reading strategies
·         Interactive reading strategies
·         Argumentative discussion strategies
·         Different approaches to increase student oral proficiencies in classes through discussion, deliberation, Socratic dialog and others.
·         Writing in social studies classroom
·         A coordinated approach to expository writing
Each PLC grades 6-12 will identify one or more historical fiction or non-fiction book to be read and discussed in class.
Each PLC will identify one common writing piece per quarter. This will include a minimum of two or more DBQ’s per year depending upon the grade level.
Each PLC will experiment with different formats to challenge student thinking through academic conversation (discussion).
Teachers may earn up to 4 hours of in-service through book study using Academic Conversations, by Jeff Zweirs

2.  Authentic Instruction in the Social Studies Classroom

Authentic Instruction is defined by Dr. Fred Neuman (UW- Madison) as contain one or more of the following components:
·         Higher Order Thinking ( activity stimulates critical thinking)
·         Has significant depth of knowledge (encourages comprehensive learning)
·         Has real world connections ( teaches application of concepts)
·         Has Substantive Conversation( engages students in discussion)
·         Includes Social Support ( provides support and inclusion)
Authentic Learning may include:

·         Oral history projects
·         History Day Program
·         Roman/Greek Day Program
·         We the People Mock Congressional Hearings
·         Crime Lab simulations, interactive autopsy, etc.
·         Psychology Case Studies/Experiments
·         Civil War Day
·         Simulated Mock Trials
·         Independent study class (as discussed by James Percocco) which might involve the Marathon County Historical Museum, Marathon County Civil War Round Table, Marathon County Genealogical Society, Portage County Historical Society, Pomeranian German Society, VFWs. Other possibilities include independent study in Sociology or Psychology.
·         Archeological digs
·         Virtual Field Trips via CILC (using distance learning lab)
·         Other PBL (Project Based Learning) Programs
3.  Technology Innovations in the Social Studies Classroom
·         Advanced level use of the smartboard technology. E.g.  Creation of smartboard lessons, use of clicker response systems and the document camera.
·         Use of web-based interactive simulations
·         Using MOODLE as both a repository for videos, handouts, quizlets, podcasts, powerpoints, etc., but also as an interactive tool for forums, chats, journaling, blogging, etc.
·         Using Web 2.0 tools for student creation of products to exhibit learning.  E.g. socrative, Qwiki, Edmodo, Animoto, Prezi, etc.
·         Use of the distance learning lab for virtual field trips and for collaborating with authors and experts in distance locations.
·         Consider flipping lessons in your classroom. Implementing some of aspects of the Flipped Classroom.
·         Remember, technology is just a tool to deliver learning and can used effectively for formative assessment.
4.    Assessment in the Social Studies Classroom
·         Emphasis this year will be on improving and increasing the use of formative assessment in the classroom.
·         Increase the use of formative assessment through the use of technology (smartboard clicker system, Moodle testing, etc.
·         Improvement in grading system used in the social studies classroom.  Some teachers will continue to experiment with standards based grading, while others will move to a 4 point grading scare.  Toxic practices like using zero’s, over grading of homework, too much extra credit, etc. will be eliminated.
·         PLC conversations should focus more on student learning whether it is about informal observations of student learning or more specific test data.

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