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Do you feel overwhelmed? Practicing Presence is the book you need to take care of yourself as a teacher. Veteran educator Lisa Lucas supports you with ideas, exercises, checklists, anecdotes, and simple practices you can use to establish a mindset that will enhance your focus and engagement in the classroom. Preview the entire book!
March 4, 2013
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Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic Life

  Teaching & Learning 
  • Ind. third-grade students get into character for project
    Third-grade students at an Indiana elementary school took on the persona of American icons of their choosing, culminating a six-week project in which students studied and prepared presentations about their chosen icons' lives. Students also used costumes to portray their icons, creating a type of "wax museum" in the school cafeteria. "Our standards that we teach with nowadays are a lot more rigorous and big projects such as these are a good way for me to kind of incorporate a variety of standards in one event," said third-grade teacher Lori Farmer. Evansville Courier & Press (Ind.) (free registration) (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Studying women's history through the news
    The writer of this New York Times blog post suggests that teachers address Women's History Month with a brief lesson that should take only one class period. The idea involves studying a week's worth of newspapers to find articles, photos and other material that focus on "women's lives and roles in the world." Then, ask students to identify patterns, study women's roles in our culture and make connections to their own lives. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Learning Network blog (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Standards & Assessments 
  • Teacher: How the common core has improved the classroom
    The Common Core State Standards are not perfect, but they have changed high-school English teacher Lyn Cannaday's classroom for the better. In this commentary, Cannaday describes a curriculum in which nonfiction and fiction works are studied simultaneously and nonfiction is used to help students understand fiction. The result, she writes, is that her students have a better understanding of what they are reading and are able to simulate real-world experiences by conducting their own research. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.Y. school officials expect test scores to drop under common core
    New York officials are preparing for the expected decline in test scores as it becomes one of the few states to align this year's tests with the Common Core State Standards. Officials in Florida, Georgia and Kentucky have reported lower scores since the implementation of the common core. The New York State United Teachers questions the decision to test students on the new standards so soon after their introduction in classrooms. The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • A TV-inspired outline for improving school curriculum
    The Food Network show "Restaurant Impossible" offers insights that could help educators upgrade their curriculum, suggests Mike Fisher, an educational consultant and instructional coach. He writes in this blog post that, like on the show that focuses on turning around struggling restaurants, teachers should focus on what's working and what's not, prioritize improvements, gather a team, budget resources and make a plan to sustain the improvements. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology in the Classroom 
  • Efforts ramp up to stop cyberbullying
    The cyberbullying epidemic increasingly is affecting students -- on social media and beyond -- with about one-quarter of teenagers reportedly having experienced cyberbullying at some point, according to one researcher. Experts and advocates recommend keeping a record of online bullying and showing evidence, such as an e-mail or Facebook communication, to a trusted adult. The organization also provides a place where victims of bullying can connect, find resources and share their stories. CNN (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.Y. district takes high-tech approach to school security
    A New York district is testing technology known as Project SAFEguard, which provides digital data to first responders in the event of a security-related incident at a school. The technology allows first responders to access architectural information, documents and other information related to the Bayport-Blue Point School District, and includes advanced features that, among other things, would allow for online communication., N.Y. (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Social Studies & Civic Life 
  • Md. students take on role of lobbyists
    More than 240 students in Maryland took an active role in state government recently during the Lobbying Day, held by the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils. Students visited Annapolis, where they lobbied lawmakers, participated in a mock election and expressed concerns about issues including graduation requirements and social media. "We understand principals might want access to social media accounts in certain situations, but there needs to be a level of privacy," said eighth-grade student Carolyn Williams. The Capital (Annapolis, Md.) (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Problem-solving for classmate leads to changes in Wash. state
    Three Washington state high-school students used a government assignment to write a piece of legislation to help their friend continue to play school sports. Their friend, Ike Ditzenberger, who has special needs, has been a student at Snohomish High School for more than four years -- making him ineligible to play school sports after this year. The students wrote the "Ike Act," which was greeted favorably by state lawmakers and prompted the school-sports governing board to re-evaluate its rules. KING-TV (Seattle) (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  NCSS Updates 
  • Powerful and Authentic Social Studies (PASS): Teacher Training Institute
    Powerful and Authentic Social Studies (PASS) is a professional development program that trains social studies teachers in curriculum design, assessment and instruction in a standards-based environment. This institute will provide participants with the materials and expertise necessary to lead their own PASS training workshops in their schools and school districts. The 2013 PASS Institute takes place July 22 to 26 in Monterey, Calif. Get more information and register. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Taylor Branch, Joy Hakim among confirmed speakers for the 2013 NCSS Annual Conference
    Get an early look at the first confirmed speakers for the 2013 NCSS Annual Conference. Historians Taylor Branch, author of the definitive, three-book biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Joy Hakim, author of the 10-volume "The History of Us," are among the notable list of conference speakers. See the most up-to-date of confirmed speakers. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret."
--Henri Frédéric Amiel,
Swiss philosopher, poet and critic

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