Mont. social studies, science students work together on water project | Why teachers should consider research on learning styles | Ill. task force wants input on social studies standards
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October 17, 2014
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic Life

Teaching & Learning
Mont. social studies, science students work together on water project
Science teacher Steve Paulson of Lewistown Junior High School in Montana and his class have teamed with social studies teacher Noah Vallincourt and his students to work on experiments and monitor local water quality. The social studies students studied erosion and stream velocity at a creek while the science students checked the water quality and examined macroinvertebrates. Lewistown News-Argus (Mont.) (10/15)
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Why teachers should consider research on learning styles
Educators need the training and resources to utilize years of research into students' learning differences and strengths, especially for those with or awaiting testing for learning disabilities or differences, former principal and author Carol Hunter writes in this blog post. She shares some of the neuroscience research on learning styles and steps to incorporate the information into the classroom. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (10/15)
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Policy Watch
Ill. task force wants input on social studies standards
A new task force, established by the Illinois State Board of Education, is seeking public input on new social studies standards. The task force, made up of legislators and other representatives, will analyze the current standards and make recommendations to the legislature on best practices. Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.) (10/13)
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NYC school embraces system of teacher-leaders
Leadership puzzle
A New York City school is one of about 70 teacher-led schools in the U.S. that operate under the philosophy that the best ideas come from educators. Teachers in the school help make decisions on field trips, hiring and school structure. The principal facilitates the decision-making process. WNYC-AM/FM (New York Public Radio)/SchoolBook blog (10/15)
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Technology in the Classroom
Duncan takes part in Twitter chat for Connected Educator Month
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan co-hosted a recent Twitter chat with educators as part of Connected Educator Month. This article includes a roundup of some of the questions and responses from educators, among them a teacher who said connected learning means opening up to the opportunities to learn from -- and with -- others. The Hechinger Report (10/15)
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Other News
Social Studies & Civic Life
4th-grade class project prompts N.Y. to name yogurt its official snack
A fourth-grade class project in a New York school has prompted lawmakers to adopt yogurt as the state's official snack. The project started last year as part of a lesson on how government works, and the principal said after the bill's passing that it was an experience the students will remember forever. Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, N.Y.) (tiered subscription model) (10/15)
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N.J. students donate backpacks filled with supplies to peers in need
Students attending a New Jersey high school plan to distribute backpacks collected for students in another community. The students participated in Operation Backpack, which gives backpacks filled with school supplies, toothbrushes and other items to students in need. (Hackensack, N.J.) (free registration) (10/16)
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NCSS Updates
Volunteers needed for NCSS Committees
NCSS is seeking applicants to serve on NCSS Operations Committees. Operations committees carry out board-mandated operations, duties and policies, as well as many of the necessary business and organizational functions of NCSS. The deadline to apply is Oct. 18, and appointments will be made by the NCSS House of Delegates at the annual conference in November 2015. Committee terms will begin in July 2015. Learn more and volunteer.
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People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
-- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross,
American psychiatrist
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