The Student as Historian: A Teaching American History Webinar

» 04 June 2012 » In Ed Tech, How To, PD, Presentations, Strategies, Teachers, Web 2.0 » No Comments

The life & age of woman. Stages of woman's life from the cradle to the grave  [1848]
I think that this was a great learning experience. It really got me to think about my own practices in teaching.

I just wrapped up two webinars with teachers participating in a Teaching American History (TAH) Grant workshop hosted at Davis School District, Utah. We held separate one-hour sessions for elementary and secondary teacher focusing on Common Core strategies for using documents to let your students be the historian in your classroom.

For information on my webinar services click here.

I was in Portland Oregon - they were in Salt Lake City, but through the wonders of technology (I used WebEx videoconferencing along with a web-based LearningCatalytics response system) we were able to interact. I don't think people learn much by telling them things, so I put participants "in their students' shoes" to experience the power of document-based instruction and four key components to making it work:

  1. The right documents.
  2. Knowing how to look at them.
  3. Letting students discover their own patterns, then ask students to describe, compare and defend what they found.
  4. Basing the task on enduring questions, the kind that students might actually want to answer.

Download my slide deck for strategies, resources, lessons and links to great websites.

The Student As Historian - DBQ Strategies and Resources for Teaching History
View more on Slideshare from Peter Pappas
Here's some of the participants' comments:
  • This webinar was very informative, and motivates me to want to change the way I teach students. I need to allow them to make discoveries and to stimulate their interest, rather than just teach the facts. Thank you so much!!!!!!
  • Thank you! This makes learning fun and relevant for students. Could spend all summer working on this.
  • I really enjoyed your webinar. I was introduced to DBQs this last year and was amazed at how much my students bought into it and loved it. They talked about it for weeks. I'm excited to try some of the ideas you gave and am looking forward to using these ideas to create my own DBQs
  • I think that this was a great learning experience. It really got me to think about my own practices in teaching. The thing that I will remember from this Webinar is the idea that we should let the students come up with their own interpretations of documents and issues, rather than always providing them with an interpretation. Thank you!
  • Thank you for your time. Everything you presented was valuable to me as a teacher. I am excited to research your website to assist me improve my teaching.
  • I appreciate the ideas to add some new instructional methods to my classroom. .... I heard great ideas to plug in to start lessons as anticipatory sets, which gave me another way to use primary sources. Thanks!
  • I this was better than I thought it was going to be. It was informative and interactive. I liked the back and forth that we had. I felt this very helpful. Thank you!
  • This was great! I can't wait to try some of these in my class! I think these ideas will really excite my students!
  • I liked the visuals. I liked that you gave us a picture we'd have a lot of schema on given that we're in Utah and then one that we had very little information on. Thanks for your website. I've used it before.
  • I loved the idea about the pictures, and making them infer from what they see... it made me engage in the ? much more
  • This webinar kept me awake with interaction between you, us, and the computer. I enjoyed the images and pictures you shared.

A special hat tip to Jon Hyatt, Teaching American History Grant Director at Davis School District.

Image credit Kelloggs & Comstock--The life & age of woman [between 1848 and 1850]
Library of Congress

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Learning Catalytics: BYOD Managed Student Centered Learning

» 09 April 2012 » In Ed Tech, PD, Presentations, Teachers, Web 2.0 » No Comments

LC panel featured

I’ve long held that staff development should model what you want to see in the classroom, and for that reason I wouldn’t do a workshop without using a student response system. (SRS). Learning Catalytics is a powerful “bring your own device” SRS system that has an array of powerful response monitoring and reporting tools. It’s a stand out at fostering peer discussion. Here’s my observations from my experience with Learning Catalytics. I encourage other educators to give it a try. Learning Catalytics is currently running a free trial subscription good for up to 100 students for 30 days.

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Free Webinar on Higher Order Thinking – the Student Perspective

» 26 January 2012 » In Ed Tech, Events, PD, Presentations, Web 2.0 » No Comments

webinar featured

One of this year’s resolutions was to begin offering webinars. (not that I don’t enjoy airports) I recently completed my first pilot (description below) and I’m looking for three school sites who would like to try a free pilot webinar and offer me some feedback.

I think professional development should model what we want to see in the classroom. So I’d like to start with an 45-minute experiential webinar called: “Higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) – What’s that look like in the classroom?” We’ll watch a few short video clips, do a few activities to model instruction at different levels of Blooms and then reflect on the experience.

Find out more and submit a request for free webinar. I will select from requests that demonstrate you’ll be easy to work with!

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9 Questions for Reflective School Reform Leaders

» 22 November 2010 » In Commentary, Ed Policy, Leadership, Reflection » 8 Comments

national blog featured

Schools will need to become places that create engaging and relevant learning experiences, provoke student reflection, and help students apply the learning to life. Here’s nine reflective questions for school leaders to consider. They’re organized around three themes and a concluding recommendation.

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Five Ways to Engage Students and Other Audiences – Tips for Teachers and Presenters

» 30 August 2010 » In How To, PD, Presentations, Strategies, Students, Teachers, Visualizations » 16 Comments

Here’s five themes to keep in mind if you want to engage your students or any audience. Including – backchannel, modeling, choice, responsibility and reflection. Tips and links for presenters and teachers.

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Still Thinking About Innovative Teaching and Sustainable Farming

» 15 June 2010 » In Presentations » No Comments

Project Foundry

The testing regime is turning our kids into a high-yield, uniform commodity. Rows and rows of competent, standardized students, that can be delivered according to employers’ specifications for a “skilled workforce.” Children “force fed” in test prep programs in efforts to quickly “fatten” the scores to meet AYP. Like the cornfields and feedlots that are disconnected from local ecosystems, the movement toward national educational standards erodes at local control and innovation.

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Teacher-Led Professional Development: Eleven Reasons Why You Should be Using Classroom Walk Throughs

» 30 October 2009 » In Commentary, How To, Leadership, PD, Strategies, Teachers » 14 Comments

cwt featured

Over the last 3 years I have developed a classroom walk through (CWT) approach that works. When I return to a school my goal is to serve as a catalyst for dialogue that can be self-sustaining (read – no consultant required).

During my return visit I typically lead groups of teachers on brief CWTs in an effort to try to identify the instructional elements that we addressed in our large-group session. For example, if my large group session was on fostering higher-level thinking skills, then our CWT focuses on trying to see if the CWT visitors can answer the question, “What kinds of thinking did student need to use in the lesson segment we just saw?” If the large group session addressed fostering student engagement, then my walk-through reflection might be “What choice did students (appear to) have in making decisions about the product, process or evaluation of the learning?”

Here’s my model for effective PD. If the large group is “the lecture,” the CWT is the “lab.” A how to protocol for staff developers.

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Innovative Teaching is to Sustainable Farming as Test Prep is to _____?

» 04 August 2009 » In Commentary, Ed Policy, Strategies, Students » 12 Comments

The testing regime is turning our kids into a high-yield, uniform commodity. Rows and rows of competent, standardized students, that can be delivered according to employers’ specifications for a “skilled workforce.” Children “force fed” in test prep programs in efforts to quickly “fatten” the scores to meet AYP.

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What Questions Should School Boards Be Asking about 21st Century Learning?

» 08 July 2009 » In Commentary, Ed Policy, Ed Tech, Leadership, Presentations » 16 Comments

Nine essential questions based on these three themes. Theme 1. Learning must engage student in rigorous thinking at higher levels of Bloom – analyzing, evaluating and creating. Theme 2. Learning is relevant when the student understands how the information or skill has some application to their life, has an opportunity to figure out their own process rather than just learn “the facts,” and is given opportunities to reflect on their work and their progress as learners. Theme 3. The digital age has redefined literacy. Literacy now means the ability to: find information, decode it, critically evaluate it, organize it into digital libraries, and be able to share it with others.

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Why Don’t We Teach Sequencing Skills? It’s an Essential Higher-Order Thinking Strategy

» 28 April 2009 » In Commentary, Strategies » 7 Comments

We spend a lot of time in school getting students to learn sequential information – timelines, progressions, life cycle of a moth, steps for how to. Typically the teacher teaches the student the sequence and the student correctly identifies the sequence for teacher on the test. Thus we treat a sequence as a ordered collection […]

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