Ohio 8th-graders Skype with US Capitol official | Neighborhood tours can transform school culture | Neb. teachers, librarians work to unmask "fake news"
March 27, 2017
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic Life
Teaching & Learning
Ohio 8th-graders Skype with US Capitol official
Ohio 8th-graders Skype with US Capitol official
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Eighth-graders at an Ohio school recently attended a Skype chat with US Capitol representative Erik Frere to learn more about federal government. The students asked questions about the legislative branch, the role of the vice president in Congress and other topics.
Richland Source (Mansfield, Ohio) (3/26) 
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Neighborhood tours can transform school culture
Some Oakland, Calif., students lead walks designed to show their communities to their teachers, author Shane Safir writes in this blog post. These community walks can help teachers understand their students' social context and create powerful cultural exchanges that transform schools, Safir asserts.
Edutopia.org (3/23) 
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Other News
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Standards & Assessments
N.Y. district closes racial graduation gap
N.Y. district closed racial graduation gap
(David McNew/Getty Images)
The racial achievement gap in graduation rates among white and black students closed last year in Syracuse, N.Y., where 64% of each student group graduated. Officials cite efforts including a tracking system that alerts educators when students start to falter, an expansion in career-technical programs and an overhaul in student discipline strategies that halved suspensions.
The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) (3/23) 
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Some classes in Md. district remain segregated
A Maryland district with integrated schools is struggling to overcome racial disparities in its advanced courses and gifted education, according to a data analysis. Despite having twice as many black students as white, the latter outnumber African-Americans 2 to 1 in honors courses, 3 to 1 in gifted-education classes and 4 to 1 in high-school Advanced Placement courses.
The Baltimore Sun (3/25) 
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Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had shows teachers how to make math class more like the playful, creative, and captivating experience mathematicians describe. Author Tracy Zager tackles big ideas and instructional decisions, drawing on years of work with amazing teachers from across the country. Click here to preview the entire book!
Technology in the Classroom
Schools embrace Snapchat as teaching tool
Some schools are using social media app Snapchat to encourage students to experiment with new forms of storytelling in journalism and marketing classes. Educators suggest creating a written policy that would include a social media user guide and tips for best practices.
District Administration magazine online (3/27) 
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Other News
Social Studies & Civic Life
High-school tech squad to apply hands-on skills
Indiana high-school students will have the opportunity to explore IT careers by managing a technology help desk. The help desk staff will troubleshoot their fellow students' tech problems and maintain a team website, Twitter account and blog.
The Times of Northwest Indiana (Munster) (3/26) 
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N.H. students tap maple trees, grow crops
A New Hampshire farm-to-table program gets students involved in planting, growing and selling fresh ingredients that become a part of school lunches. Students learned to tap raw maple sap from school trees and transform it into syrup, an activity that also taught them about science and math.
The Daily News (Newburyport, Mass.) (3/24) 
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NCSS Updates
Women's History Month resources from NCSS
Looking for Women's History Month teaching ideas? Check out these resources from Social Education, Middle Level Learning, and Social Studies and the Young Learner articles.
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Social studies conferences around the nation
Spring is a busy time for regional, state and local social studies conferences. Check out our complete listing.
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