I don't think I caught everybody in these pictures, but here are some shots of Friday's Halloween festivities.
I caught a glimpse of a couple of the fifth grade costumes and was impressed to see their interest in history has continued.
"Kites rise against the wind,
not with it."
Our appreciation is extended to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, for providing lunch for our students who toured their facility, last week.
Not transporting baskets of lunches and coolers with drinks is a huge burden from students and teachers. It is a relief to the typical field trip where the teacher has to think about the logistics of finding buses, getting lunches to a lunch area at the appropriate time, and cleaning up afterward.
The bus ride on our field trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, was enjoyable. Students stayed at an acceptable voice level and interacted with their peers. A couple even greeted the bus driver with a handshake. The hour-long journey was the first field trip we've been able to take since Coronavirus locked everyone down in 2020.
Most of this year's honorees as state History Teachers of the Year met virtually, last week for a session with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Joe Welch, previous recipient of the national award presented this graphic during the meeting. I thought it was interesting, and I was honored, once again, to have been included. For an animated version, check Joe Welch's video on Twitter.
Wager also picked up a grade book (above) at Target and realized that it mentioned everything about school, but disregarded Social Studies and History altogether. It was nice to see that other people share my concern that History, Civics, Social and so-called "Soft" Skills are largely disregarded in our nation's classrooms these days, but while the camaraderie of like-minded people is nice, the concern is real. The graphic below highlights this issue, especially at the elementary level.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (GLI), the non-profit responsible for the History Teacher of the Year Award, manager of a collection of over 60,000 Gilder Lehrman documents and artifacts, advocates for more Social Studies engagement in K-5 classrooms. As one of the newest Master Teachers on the GLI team, I hope to be a part of helping that happen.
Originally posted October 2018
In classrooms across the U.S., teachers are neglecting - teachers are often encouraged to neglect - certain portions of the curriculum. What used to be important - teaching science and social studies - has again been reduced to The Three Rs - Readin', 'wRitin;, and aRithmetic (or math). When a teacher recognizes the exclusion of history, the response might be, Teach history during your reading block; in other words, locate age-appropriate writings to read (and respond to) to demonstrate comprehension and fluency.
Ouch. You just succeeded in sucking the life out of one of the coolest part of the day...and you may have just sucked the fun out of reading, as well.
The same is done with science. While we may recognize that science is part of the acronym for STEM or STEAM, once again, it has been relegated to some kind of secondary status. Then again, just like social studies, science must never be put in the corner only to be pulled onto the dance floor in conjunction with reading. What a way to kill the desire for reading.
Both history and science are about stories, and yes, both can be used to teach reading comprehension, but neither should be the secondary objective. These are the subjects of substance. They are robust. And they are compelling to students. When a teacher relates of an interesting account in history, he hooks students and makes them want to learn more. When that motivation is removed, what remains?
School becomes boring.
Friends, may we strive to never let that happen: do not neglect the good stuff.
Click for more Professional Pet Peeves.
Last week's History Arts Group took some time away from the Hamilton Education Program to visit the Be Washington! feature from George Washington's Mount Vernon.
Students consulted with "expert" advisors to make a decision for themselves, whether to stand their ground, retreat, or move forward to take the battle to the British in Princeton. They didn't all match the choices George Washington made, but there were no wrong answers.
Students enjoyed the video and presentation style of the Be Washington! activity. We will repeat this in our regular classroom, later in the year, and even do another episode or two.
Here's a short and quick read. If the font had been regular-sized, this book would have been 50 fewer pages in length. And the thing is, this one was a decent book, but it just ended. It was as if the authors stopped writing for the day and forgot to wrap things up in the end.
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