Reading Between the Lines – Building Inference Skills in the Social Studies Classroom


Click this link to access the electronic version of the handout. 

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5 Things I Learned at the Texas Council for the Social Studies Conference

Texas Council for the Social Studies holds a conference every November for teachers throughout the state. It’s a great chance to share best practices, learn about social studies policies statewide, and meet new people. This year we met in Corpus Christi. Here are my takeaways.

1. Texans are friendly and generous.

Conferences bring people from all over the state together for a workshop-filled weekend. There’s nothing like listening to and learning from social studies professionals from all over the state and realizing that, while we all have common problems and struggles, we’re also united in a common love of history and a desire to see our students succeed.

Read more at my blog

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How to integrate writing in the SS classroom?

Social studies educators want students to develop good writing skills. Writing is one of the best ways to assess what students understand, increase engagement, and teach students to think more deeply. But one of the biggest challenges is time. When we have so many content-based TEKS, where do we find time to work in skills?

Writing does not have to be a burdensome, onerous task for students and teachers. In fact, I’d argue if it feels that way, you’re doing it wrong. Writing should be as much a part of the history classroom as eating breakfast is for your morning routine.

So, how can we integrate more writing? Click here to read my suggestions


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Reasons 2016–17 will be my best school year yet

A new school year brings new possibilities. While our students get excited about their new fall wardrobe, seeing old friends and making new ones, and engaging in fun, stimulating learning experiences, teachers also have many reasons to anticipate that first day of school. I polled a few teachers around the district, asking them, “Why will the 2016–17 school year be your best year yet?” Here are some of their responses:

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What works in writing instruction?

According to this article, there are several proven practices that work, but most schools don’t implement these in a sustained, consistent way. These practices include:

  • peer collaboration
  • regular feedback through formative writing
  • daily writing practice
  • instruction in writing strategies
  • meta-cognitivie reflection

How many of these strategies do you use, and how often?

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Dealing with stress

We don’t often think about how student stress can translate to teacher stress. We want the best for our students, and we tend to take their failures, frustrations and stresses to heart. We want to help them, but don’t always have the capacity and ability to do so. What impact does that have on our lives? What do we have trouble leaving at school when we come home at night to care for ourselves and our families? The following article has suggestions for helping teachers deal with stress.

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World Data Atlas

So much fun! Look at all the ways you can play with data and maps!

pop growth

Population growth rate – top 5 and bottom 5

homicide rates

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