I spent most of the day listening to Don Gifford, Social Studies Consultant from the Kansas Department of Education, and classroom teachers discussing this year’s state assessment and the Common Core. Part of the day was spent sharing online resources to help teachers prepare for the assessment. The guiding question was simple:

What are resources that we can use to help increase student learning?

It was interesting to hear the kinds of things that teachers shared – analyzing documents, comparing and contrasting, reading historical fiction, writing document-based questions, distinguishing bias, evaluating perspective. You know . . . stuff great teachers do all the time. So I tried to capture their conversation in list form. What I came up with is below. And while the conversation was focused on the Kansas state social studies assessment, there’s tons of useful stuff here that just about anyone can use.

(You can also download Don’s presentations, Kansas State Assessments and The Common Core and Social Studies if you’re interested.)

Southwest Plains Service Center
Standards & Assessment Resources including Flip Charts
Kan Ed Empowered Desktop

Test Builder (must have username / password)
Kansas State Historical Society

Select “Educate”

Select “State Standards Search”
World History For Us All

Library of Congress

Select “Find classroom materials that meet your state standards”
Stanford History Education Group

Select “Curriculum”

Select red “Find a Lesson” and “Find an Interactive Tool”
Social Studies Central

Be sure to sign up for the Tip of the Week
Mr. Donn’s Lesson Plans

Discovery Education
PBS The News Hour

Select “Making Sense with Paul Solman”
Social Studies for Kids

Grow Pub Publications

Social Studies
National Council for Economics

Play-do Economics
Kansas Memory

Primary sources from Kansas Historical Society
Common Core Standards

Children’s Literature with Social Studies

Great resources for K-6 teachers
Glossary of Instructional Strategies

Hundreds of effective strategies to try
The Historian’s Toolbox
Six units leading kids through good history practices
Literacy in Social Studies
Some useful links and tutorials
ReadingQuest: Making Sense in Social Studies
A website designed for social studies teachers who wish to more effectively engage their students with the content in their classes
Reading, Writing and Researching for History
Written for college kids but could be adapted for MS and HS use
Strategies in Action: Being a Strategic Teacher of Social Studies
Over 100 helpful ideas
Tools for Reading, Writing and Thinking
These tools should be used to help students engage in rigorous thinking, organize complex ideas, and scaffold their interactions with text

Have a great weekend!

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