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Aug 25, 15

The interactive map associated with this site is ripe for a lesson plan that explores the use of geographic data to understand environmental threats.

  • Slowly I realized the problem wasn’t in how I taught them, but rather how I was thinking about the learning process.
  • Hearing something once or even learning something in a more hands on way one time, does not mean that mastery has been developed.
  • If students took 101 with a different teacher than their current courses and if the language the teachers used to describe the concepts were vastly different, students may be unable to transcode lessons learned from intro into the new teacher’s framework.

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Aug 23, 15

Showing this map to students may do much to change their understanding of the population in the United States. At the very least, it will help them understand population density.

Aug 21, 15

What's great about this? - it explicitly defines thinking skills and activities to teach critical thinking. What's bad about this - there are 35 of them. To develop any of of them well, the K-12 teacher would have to invest enough time to ensure their development is permanent. How do we take such a long list and make them part of student's thinking repertoire?

Aug 21, 15

"Critical thinking" is a term used by many and explicitly defined by few (it would be the same to say we all want students to "be better"). Although argumentation, logic, psychology and nature of science may not be the best framework for Social Studies teachers to consider, it at least makes an effort to be definitive

  • The problem is that critical thinking is the Cheshire Cat of educational curricula – it is hinted at in all disciplines but appears fully formed in none. As soon as you push to see it in focus, it slips away.
  • We are masses of cognitive biases as much as we are rational beings. This does not mean we are flawed, it just means we don’t think in the nice, linear way that educators often like to think we do.
Aug 21, 15

Inquiry is the vehicle through which critical thinking is taught. Metacognition, or thinking about thinking is the process through which thinking is improved.

  • After all, we do not expect the scientific, cultural and political leaders of tomorrow simply to know stuff. They must also know what to do with it.
  • Just as it’s impossible to learn how to surf without getting on a board, it’s impossible to master cognitive skills unless you experience the need to use them.
  • to effectively learn to inquire, students must be aware of the cognitive processes they are experiencing. That is, they must be aware of their thinking - they must be metacognitive.

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  • In such an environment, persuasion skills exert far greater influence over others’ behavior than formal power structures do.
  • The Principle of Liking:


    People like those who like them.

  • Uncover real similarities and offer genuine praise.

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Aug 19, 15

The trick to shaping students' study of the United States in a middle school Geography class is to approach it from a different angle. This is an "out of the box" idea - is this ranking legitimate? What other information can be combined with this? - ie. wealth, Life expectancy, health care?

Aug 19, 15

Teachers can find summaries of state legislation through this organization and use them to support civics lessons. Give students a two page summary of recent state laws regulating the use of drones or graduation requirements and ask for student reactions. This can show students the complexity and level of detail that laws must consider.

Aug 19, 15

The 100 civics (history and government) questions and answers for the naturalization test are listed below. The civics test is an oral test and the USCIS Officer will ask the applicant up to 10 of the 100 civics s questions. An applicant must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test.

Aug 18, 15

Links to artwork, eyewitness accounts and scientific arguments about the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. The event provides an excellent focal point to the enlightenment, showing students the struggle between scientific and religious explanations for natural phenomena.

Aug 16, 15

This is just one of those small tidbit facts that's good for teachers to know to share with students to flesh out the story if the interstate highway system.

Aug 02, 15

Before starting any exploration of globalization or World Studies, students must first confront their assumptions on the concept of race. This article is a great way to do that as a homework discussion or in-class guided reading

Jul 30, 15

Hundreds of examples - the entire Scholastic book is here

Jul 29, 15

Although the growing awareness of "mindfulness" has made it the latest buzzword craze, the spate of blogs, pamphlets and guides (an inevitable Pearson product) shouldn't overshadow the real value of the concept. This provides heavy clinical proof of the value of mindfulness as part of healthy living. Education means more than the development of human resources, it means the development of human beings

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