7th-grade teacher connects protests, local history | Vt. educator teaches history off the books | Principal offers anti-racist strategies for teachers
June 17, 2020
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic LifeSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
Teaching & Learning
7th-grade teacher connects protests, local history
(Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Using the news to teach local history is nothing new to Joe Menting, a Wisconsin social studies teacher. With schools closed because of the pandemic, Menting says he needed to connect local history to something that students were genuinely interested in -- the protests that have followed the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis -- with one student putting together a passion project about police brutality.
Full Story: Wisconsin Public Radio (6/16) 
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Grammar instruction ideal for remote or classroom learning
Close the gap between your reading and writing workshop with Patterns of Power Plus—grammar instruction that uses authentic children's literature to teach students the conventions of language through the celebration of writer's craft—not worksheets.
Professional Development
Teachers can take several steps to be anti-racist, writes Pirette McKamey, the first black principal of Mission High School in San Francisco. In this commentary, McKamey shares how anti-racist educators support black students by creating a curriculum with them in mind and "view the success of black students as central to the success of their own teaching."
Full Story: The Atlantic (tiered subscription model) (6/17) 
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Report: Retreat for teachers being built by Netflix CEO
Hastings (Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images)
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, is reportedly funding the construction of a 2,100-acre retreat in Colorado for educators. Hastings has not commented on the project, described in plans as "serving the public education community's development of teachers and leadership," but he has made public investments in education reform, including a $120 million donation to historically black colleges and universities.
Full Story: Recode (6/16),  Recode (6/17) 
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Getting to September, Part II: The First Four Weeks
As students and teachers prepare to begin the 2020-2021 school year, questions linger. What will instruction look like this year? Will learning be fully online, in person or a mix of both? Tune in August 18th to hear a panel of educators discuss strategies for navigating the first few weeks successfully. Register Now
Technology in the Classroom
The rapid transition to remote instruction has offered some lessons that could be useful as educators consider possible instructional models for the fall. Among them are additional support for parent-assisted learning, programs targeted to keep teens on track and online systems to assess, remediate and individualize learning.
Full Story: National Public Radio (6/17) 
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Social Studies & Civic Life
Statues of Christopher Columbus have been toppled or damaged in cities including Boston, St. Paul, Minn., and Richmond, Va. While some -- including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo -- say Columbus is a symbol of Italian American heritage, others are critical of the explorer's legacy.
Full Story: Smithsonian (6/2020) 
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Seattle high-school junior Logan Spoonemore has launched a free remote tutoring service for elementary- and middle-schoolers as a way to reach younger students who are struggling with distance learning during the pandemic. About 70 students have signed up as volunteer tutors with Students Helping Students Seattle, which Spoonemore says she plans to extend into the next school year.
Full Story: The Seattle Times (tiered subscription model) (6/16) 
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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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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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Editor's Note
Webinar: Getting to September
It was a bumpy spring as schools closed en masse and transitioned to remote instruction. And now, all eyes are on September as schools work on plans to reopen. What will this take? How do we do this right?

Join us June 25 to hear Valerie Truesdale of The School Superintendents Association and Ronn Nozoe of ASCD address these questions in a fast-moving discussion with SmartBrief Education. These experts will discuss:

  • The logistical challenges of reopening schools.
  • What instruction may look like and how to make up for lost time.
  • Supporting students who are at risk or have unique needs.
  • Teacher skill gaps and what this means for professional development moving forward.

Register today
to reserve your seat. Got a question for our experts? Drop us a line.
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The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.
Juliette Gordon Low,
founder of Girl Scouts of the USA
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