September 15, 2021
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic LifeSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Teaching & Learning
Students learn to garden in urban agriculture pilot
Collaboration, patience and hard work are some of the things about 40 students are learning in an urban agriculture class at Cuyahoga Falls High School in Ohio, says Steve McIntosh, an intervention specialist who teaches the class with Steve Newlan, a government and social studies teacher. The class, a pilot this year, is centered around a garden that is growing produce, including tomatoes and green beans, most of which is donated to nonprofits, such as the Akron Food Bank.
Full Story: Spectrum News/Cleveland (9/14) 
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Several states, including Connecticut, North Dakota and Oregon, have adopted requirements for schools to teach Native American history and culture. The National Congress of American Indians says a 2019 report found that 90% of states with federally recognized tribes said there was movement toward improving their Native American curriculum.
Full Story: The Associated Press (9/14) 
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New Video: Origins of Bill of Rights
Why did the Founders see the need to create a Bill of Rights? What historical documents and events influenced them as they drafted it? This new Homework Help video explores these important constitutional questions.
Professional Development
Educator shares lessons from remote learning
(Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Iowa fourth-grade teacher Bridget Castelluccio says she spent last year teaching remotely and now works to provide training to teachers on integrating tech into instruction. Besides techniques such as adding video to lessons or using speech-to-text programs, Castelluccio explains how she used technology last year to help forge and maintain class bonds.
Full Story: The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Marion, Iowa) (9/14) 
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Integrate LGBTQ+ History into Your Curriculum
LGBTQ leaders and events have influenced the social, political, cultural and economic landscape of the U.S. Bring LGBTQ+ history into your classroom with free standards-aligned video-based resources from PBS LearningMedia's Understanding LGBTQ+ Identity Educator Toolkit.
Technology in the Classroom
Social media can have a positive or negative effect on students' well-being, depending on how it's used, Michael Gaskell, principal at Hammarskjold Middle School in East Brunswick, N.J., writes. In this blog post, Gaskell shares three common issues with social media and what educators can do to counter them.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Education (9/14) 
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Students' smartwatches become classroom distraction
Some students are using smartwatches to cheat, text and arrange hangouts with friends during class time, educators say. New Jersey reading specialist and education-technology coach Jeanne McVerry, who asks students to keep smartwatches in their backpacks, says sometimes parents also will text their children during class.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (9/11) 
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Maximize learning impact in your classroom
The How The Learning Brain Works Institute will provide you with an easily accessible look at the process for translating the research about how learning works into classroom practice that enhances and accelerates learning. Save $50 on registration when you register a team of 3 or more!
Social Studies & Civic Life
Livonia, Mich., officials and library commission members are introducing the One City, One Book initiative with Kevin Boyle's "Arc of Justice," a historical nonfiction story of a Black family's move into a white Detroit neighborhood. Complementary events designed to get residents talking about prejudice, discrimination and belonging include activities for students, movie screenings, a concert, history talks and a discussion of housing discrimination.
Full Story: Hometown Life (Novi, Mich.) (9/15) 
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White House initiative supports Hispanic students
Cardona (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
President Joe Biden on Monday established the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics. The program, led by US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, is focused on several targets, including eliminating funding inequities and improving access to high-quality teachers for students who are Hispanic.
Full Story: Education Week (9/13) 
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Creating Proficient Readers with Multisensory Literacy
Multisensory approaches to literacy have gained popularity in recent years as educators explore new ways to keep their students engaged. When combined with systematic and explicit instruction, multisensory literacy begins to move learners towards being proficient readers.
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NCSS Updates
Volunteer opportunities
NCSS has opportunities for member volunteers to get more involved with their professional organization. Read on for more information and to apply.
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NCSS offers resources for educators
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (abbreviated as COVID-19) as a pandemic. National Council for the Social Studies is providing this landing page as a resource for social studies educators, administrators, and professionals to stay informed on the latest updates from the U.S. Department of Education, the current containment status of the pandemic, prevention tips, school closures, and teaching resources for classroom or virtual usage. Please bookmark and check this resource page daily for updates and share it with your network. Read on.
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Action is the antidote to despair.
Joan Baez,
singer-songwriter, musician
National Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15
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