After years of sitting on the margins of instructional practice, social studies is getting a makeover. The Common Core is calling for the teaching of literacy through the integration of fiction and non-fiction into our instruction. In August 2013, the National Council for the Social Studies published the complementary College, Career, and Civic Life Framework for Social Studies State Standards.
Both the Common Core and College, Career, and Civic Life standards support a different approach to teaching and learning social studies than what we saw as part of No Child Left Behind. Instead of focusing on memorizing specific content measured by multiple choice tests, students are now being asked to do social studies – to think historically, to solve problems, to read, write, and communicate. As teachers, we are being asked to find a balance between foundational knowledge and the authentic use of that knowledge.
But it can be difficult. What does that balance look like in actual practice?
To help you, we came up with something that we’re calling
the C4 Framework.
The C4 Framework is designed around four elements – Collect, Collaborate, Create, and Communicate. Together the four elements give you a structure for planning and implementing a cohesive instructional arc that helps kids go beyond simply memorizing social studies content and supports the ability to solve problems and to think historically. You can learn more about each of the four elements by heading over to the C4 website.
But we want to go beyond theory. We want to provide specific teaching and learning strategies and tools that you can immediately put into practice. To do this, we’ve created multiple cards for each element in the Framework. Each 8.5 x 11 card has one specific strategy or resource aligned to both the Common Core Literacy standards and the College, Career, and Civic Life standards – perfect for classroom use.
But the cards are still in the Beta stage. And we’d love your help to ensure that the cards are truly useful for classroom teachers. Interested?
Download a sample Collect card, provide some feedback, and we’ll throw your name in the hat for a chance to win a set of 16 different cards. It couldn’t be easier!
Thanks for help! (And I hope you are the one who wins!)
And keep a lookout in the next few weeks. We’ll be rolling out the C4 cards nationally before the end of the year. Curious what the first 16 topics are gonna be?