October 1, 2021
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic LifeSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Teaching & Learning
School leader embraces cultural authenticity
In this commentary, Aisha Douglas, academic dean at Achievement First Brooklyn High School in New York, shares how a new leader at the school established an environment of cultural authenticity. Douglas describes how this approach helped her to be herself and can move schools toward more equitable and responsive education.
Full Story: EdSurge (9/29) 
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Teaching critical thinking is tough amid disinformation
A nurse draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine before injecting a patient at a school in Kampala, Uganda. (Luke Dray/Getty Images)
Some teachers are using lessons in conducting online research to help students discern fact from fiction. While Adrian Reyna, an eighth-grade US history teacher, says reading and thinking critically are important life skills, Anton Schulzki, president of the National Council for the Social Studies and high-school teacher, says the task is made more difficult when students hear conspiracy theories outside of school.
Full Story: NBC News (9/29) 
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This list of free resources for teachers to use for Indigenous Peoples Day covers a host of topics, including languages, maps, culture and professional development. Indigenous Peoples Day is Oct. 11 this year, while November is Native American Heritage Month.
Full Story: Tech & Learning (9/28) 
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The Identity Iceberg Mini-lesson
Recognize and understand the multiple dimensions and complexity of identity. Use this mini-lesson to challenge and avoid stereotypes and identity-based bias. Access mini-lesson
Policy Watch
Schools eligible to apply for FCC emergency funds
Rosenworcel (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The second filing window for the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Connectivity Fund is now open and will close Oct. 13. "This is a second opportunity to help schools and libraries to meet the connectivity needs of students and library patrons for this school year," Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC's acting chairwoman, said.
Full Story: MeriTalk (9/29) 
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SmartBrief Education STEM Pathways Summit
Join us on October 28 for our annual SmartBrief Education STEM Pathways Summit when we explore the intersection of STEM and social-emotional learning. Don't miss this opportunity to get fresh ideas, hear about new programs and talk with your peers in STEM education. Register today.
Technology in the Classroom
Report: Districts' remote learning plans vary
Remote learning plans filed by school districts last year in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming varied by connectivity, geography and poverty levels, according to a report from the Regional Educational Laboratory Central. For example, 73% of districts with high connectivity included plans for social and emotional learning and support -- compared with 50% among districts that had less connectivity.
Full Story: K-12 Dive (9/29) 
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6 Strategies for Content Area Comprehension
Readers 'read to learn' in the content areas. How do they understand and think critically about what they read? This blog shares six research-based strategies that help students strengthen their comprehension and construct meaning across the curriculum.
Read more about these strategies.
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Social Studies & Civic Life
Charred and melted relics -- such as dolls, dishes and wooden pipes -- from the Great Chicago Fire are part of the "City on Fire: Chicago 1871" exhibit at the Chicago History Museum. Set to open on Oct. 8 -- the 150th anniversary of the start of the blaze -- the exhibit documents the destruction of the fire that burned through the more than 3 square miles and destroyed the homes of 100,000 people in a city built mostly of wood.
Full Story: Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (9/29) 
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A ceremony Thursday marked the completion of a two-year project to install signs in DeKalb County, Ga., to remember the lynchings of four Black men -- Reuben Hudson and two unidentified men in the late 1800s and Porter Turner, who was killed in 1945. The DeKalb County NAACP's Remembrance Project, aided by local organizations, residents and students, is to honor the men and to "affirm their humanity, their dignity, their significance," Rev. Steven Dial Sr. said at the ceremony.
Full Story: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (10/1) 
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Strategies and Practices for Online Learning
As the new school year began, the COVID-19 Delta variant made plans for in-person learning incredibly uncertain, and made the potential shift to online learning higher. Join a discussion that will provide valuable strategies and key elements for implementing online learning, from emergency preparedness to designing an integrated long-term program. Watch Now!
NCSS Updates
Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society
Enhance the school year by applying for a Rho Kappa charter. Rho Kappa is the only national organization for high school juniors and seniors that recognizes excellence in the field of Social Studies. Any accredited public or private high school can apply for a local chapter, through which individuals will be inducted into Rho Kappa Honor Society. Rho Kappa provides national recognition and opportunities for exploration in the social studies. Learn more or apply for a charter.
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The creative word is key to joining in and affecting the ways of the universe.
Juan Felipe Herrera,
poet, writer, performer, activist, first Latino poet laureate of the US
National Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15
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