September 11, 2021

Teaching Now: QFT with a Primary Source

First draft vs final drafts This is a guest post from Alyssa Park, a fourth-grade teacher at Scarselli Elementary School in Nevada. My main goals as a teacher are to make sure students leave my classroom bursting with curiosity and with greater self-confidence as learners. I also want them to know how to ask the right questions, how to decide on an action plan to get the information they need, and how to reflect on the work they’ve done. In my second year as a teacher, I learned about the … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Innovative Ideas to Teach Social Studies Skills

The April 5, 2021 #sschat—a moderated Twitter chat using the #sschat hashtag—was chock full of innovative ideas to teach social studies skills from educators across the country. Here is how the group defines itself on the #sschat website. #sschat is more than a hashtag, it’s an open group of dedicated network of educators and enthusiasts who aim to improve their personal, and our collective, teaching of social studies subject matter. We aim to help social studies teachers by helping to … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Using Question Cubes

If your students need help with asking questions when analyzing primary sources, bring out the question cubes. You can make them from paper or cleaned-out school milk cartons. Each student or student group should get two cubes (see image directly above and below) and roll both to help get those questions flowing. You can also create your own cubes with various phrases or sentence stems. Download the question cube templates and let us know what works for you and your … [Read more...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Image Questions & Responses

Questioning & the Common Core State Standards The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Reading emphasize teaching students to become active questioners beginning in kindergarten. RL/RI.K.1. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text. RL/RI.1.1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text. RL/RI.2.1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. RL/RI.3.1. … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Close Observation & Purposeful Questions

The Teaching with the Library of Congress blog provides several ideas for inspiring close observation and engaging students with primary sources, including having students make personal connections to an item, look for clues to time period and authorship, look for details that provide evidence of their thinking, and ask purposeful questions. Close observation of images is great practice for close reading of text, a strategy emphasized in the Common Core State Standards, in particular CCSS … [Read more...]