Class 14: Proofing Our DBQs

Exploring history-2
This is the final activity in our DBQ design project. It began with exploring historic thinking skills and ends with students designing their own DBQs for inclusion in a class published iBook.

During the last few classes we have had 45 min sessions in the Mac lab (only a few students have their own Macs with iBooks Author). Students have arrived with their prewritten text, source material, images and YouTube video links. They used a total of about 2 hours of lab time to complete rough drafts their chapters. They shared their chapter files with me and following class, I compiled their chapters into a single iBook. Link to a PDF version 27MB pdf.

I’ve arranged to have the iBooks draft file loaded on to iPads for the students to use. In Class 14 we will proof and peer review our chapters and take one last trip to the Mac lab to use iBooks Author to do a final version. After the final edits, I’ll upload to iTunes. Net result – a student publication in just a few hours of lab time (with all research and writing done in advance)

Update Exploring History: Vol II is now available free at iTunes

Exploring historyii

Class 11: Using Mock Trials in the Classroom

George CoulsonI’m a big fan of using mock trials – they embody critical thinking in the classroom. Over the years I wrote a number of cases which proved to be effective tools for improving student analytic skills and Common Core skills. Here’s a few posts from my blog on using them in the classroom and a link to two mock trials and an appeals case that I developed.

This week we will be visited by Ms. Barbara Rost, program director, Classroom Law Project. She’ll provide resources for law related education. (Be sure to follow that link – loads of lesson plans!)

As a demonstration activity, she will guide us through a mock trial –Vickers v Hearst (443kb PDF) Rules of evidence here.

Barbara graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Portland State University after using the 11-year plan to earn her degree, something she does not advocate for others. Three years later she earned her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School. She enjoys combining her interests in law and education in her work at Classroom Law Project. She is married, has two daughters in college and a really cute dog.

Classroom Law Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing civics, government and law to Oregon classrooms K-12. Teachers and students know CLP through programs such as mock trial, con team, Law Day conference (for students), Civics Conference for Teachers, court tours, weekly current events, professional development and more. CLP makes civic education fun. Its mission statement: Classroom Law Project is a non-profit organization of individuals, educators, lawyers, and civic leaders building strong communities by teaching students to become active citizens.

Image credit: George Coulson / Mug Shot / 1930s
This image is part of the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museum’s set “Newcastle upon Tyne criminals of the 1930’s.” Accession no. DX1190

This mug shot comes from a police identification book believed to be from the 1930s. It was originally found in a junk shop by a member of the public and subsequently donated to Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. No information is available to confirm which police force compiled it but evidence suggests it’s from the Newcastle upon Tyne area.

Class 4: Historical Thinking

Phrenology-signs of characterOur class begins with a review of the Sam Wineburg reading and TEDEd flipped lesson Who is the historian in your classroom? That will also provide a chance to discuss the efficacy of flipping content. We will also consider the social media case study inspired by this lesson.

Today we begin our study of historical thinking skills based on the work of Sam Wineburg and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). We will focus on three key skills – Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating. See historical thinking chart (pdf at SHEG).

You will work with a team to reverse engineer a few of the assessments found in SHEG’s Beyond the Bubble.

  • Spend a few minutes doing a scan of the lessons – and find a few that look interesting to you. (Be sure scan the “Same assessment types” for other ideas)
  • Find 3 questions that focus on any of these skills: Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating
  • With your team diagram how the assessments are designed:
    How many historic sources, what types.
    What additional information are students given?
    How many prompts?
    What are students asked to do?
    How is the assessment designed to support the skills
  • Be prepared to share your finding with the whole class.

We will also look at How to Read Documentary Films  a lesson that I recently developed for the Uprooted Museum Exhibit.

Assignment for Class 5

You will each design a historical thinking mini-lesson based on the Beyond the Bubble assessment model.

We will use this assignment as a chance to create a shared Google presentation. I’ve prepared some brief Google Presentation video tutorials. You can find them at this YouTube playlist / Working with Google Slides.

Note: each of you will be contributing to the same Google Slides presentation. I’ve listed your names in alphabetical order in the presentation. You will turn that name placeholder slide into your mini-lesson title slide. You will insert additional slides in your section of the presentation as needed.

All mini lessons should include

  1. Title slide for your mini-lesson. Make it catchy!
  2. Your name as author of the mini-lesson on your lesson title (your lesson will take multiple slides in the presentation – have your name in small font at bottom of each slide)
  3. Target students – by grade level
  4. Indication of one (or more) of the historic skills to be studied – Sourcing, Contextualization, Corroborating
  5. One or more historic documents. Text, image and videos can be inserted into the slide. Longer documents can be linked to via URL or saved in Google drive with link to it.
  6. Source URLs for all documents used
  7. Guiding questions for students to use with document(s)
  8. Brief description of how the document(s) and question(s) should reinforce the targeted historic skill(s)

My recommended sources for this assignment are the Primary Source Sets found at the US Library of Congress. These sets are organized by theme and include a wide variety of source types. Here’s a few examples of the sets:

Baseball: Across a Divided Society
Song sheets, video clips, images, trading cards, and photographs tell the story of how baseball emerged as the American national pastime. Featured primary source items show Americans from different backgrounds and social experiences embracing the sport.

Maps From The World Digital Library
Explore maps from different cultures and eras to discover diverse perspectives on the world’s geography. All the items in this set are from the World Digital Library, a project that makes available significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

Women’s Suffrage
Sound files, sheet music, photographs, letters and maps help students better understand women’s suffrage

You may also wish to take a look at Teacher’s Guides and Analysis Tool that offer questions for each type of source material.

Image from S. Wells,
New Physiognomy, or Signs of Character…, NY, 1871

Class 2: Designing Lessons / Social Media Audits

Three key elements of student engagement
This week we consider two very different themes – social media and instructional design. The class begins by addressing key elements of lesson design :

  1. Higher-order thinking
  2. Student choice and reflection
  3. Effective classroom strategies

This  portion of the class lesson includes three major elements:

  • Practical examples of Bloom’s taxonomy in the form of sample exercises and questions. They are used to anchor a conversation on Bloom in action.
  • How student choice can impact key lesson elements – content, process, product, evaluation.
  • Demonstrate a student-centered approach to a teacher presentation as a way to foster reflection (instead of listening to a straight lecture on the subject)

The lesson is driven by a Keynote presentation. Handout (42MB pdf)  We will use an audience response system to gather student input. The lesson includes multiple activities that illustrate the content. Student will be led through discussing their reactions to the activities to connect them to the content. This lesson will serve as a kick off to their first assignment to write and share a Lesson Study.

key lesson components

In the second half of the class we’ll meet in small groups to share our personal social media audits. We’ll be focusing on rolling out our new Google+ Community and learning how to use some it’s features. It’s a private group and will serve as an extension of classroom discussion through posts, comments, and Hangouts.

Assigned Readings for Class 3: None

Written assignment for Class 3:

Lesson Study I is due next week.

The goal of this assignment is two-fold. First to offer supportive feedback on your lesson development through a peer review process. Second to offer some “lenses to look through” that help you easily see the essentials of a lesson. It is not a substitute for the School of Education lesson plan format. Think of it as a pre-lesson plan planning guide. This is not some exercise for the benefit of your instructor. This should be a process that works for you. So feel free to modify to meet your particulars. Use a scale that works for you – focus on just a small segment of a larger unit, or look at the entire unit. Don’t like Bloom? Use another schema to discuss the kinds of thinking that your students will need to successfully complete the assignment. Assignment here. (383 KB pdf) Sample lesson study (378 KB pdf)

See results of this assignment in the first student posts