Students at one Alabama junior high school have been studying various cultures, including those of Europe, Africa and Native Americans, to created songs, dances and other artistic expressions. As part of a North Alabama Arts Education Collaborative Program, students learned the social studies material and the arts at the same time.
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Teachers' qualifications are a key factor in students' academic achievement, according to a report by the Learning Policy Institute that focused on student data spanning three years in 435 California school districts. Researchers also note that inexperienced and undercredentialed teachers -- those working on emergency permits, waivers and intern credentials -- have "a significant negative effect on achievement for all students."
There are several approaches that educators can take to help keep students engaged in the classroom during the lead-up to summer break, according to Victoria Mendoza, a kindergarten teacher in Georgia. She writes that she uses videos, virtual field trips and other methods to maintain momentum at the end of the school year.
Junior-high-school culinary students at a California school participated in a contest to develop more vegetarian menu items for the school lunch service. The winning dish -- a bean dip with guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese and made-from-scratch chips -- meets school nutrition standards and will appear on the menu in the fall.
A group of 28 New Hampshire middle-school students, selected in a school-wide election, took over their town's city hall to serve for a day as members of the city council, school board, mayor and police and fire chief. Principal Dana Hilliard says the project was meant to show students how both elections and governments work.
NCSS Summer Leadership Collaborative July 15 to 18
Join us in Charlotte, N.C., to discuss the role social studies can play in safeguarding democracy, bridging partisan divides, encouraging critical inquiry, promoting civil discourse and inspiring civic action. Learn more and register now.
Upcoming state and regional social studies conferences
Regional, state and local social studies conferences organized by NCSS-affiliated councils provide great opportunities for teachers in their home areas. Visit our site to find a complete listing that includes meeting themes, proposal deadlines, council webpages and conference contacts.