January 11, 2023
NCSS SmartBrief
Social Studies – Preparing Students for College, Career and Civic LifeSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
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Teaching & Learning
Conn. students learn Black, Latino history with local lens
A replica of the schooner Amistad is seen sailing in March 2010. (Adalberto Roque/AFP via Getty Images)
Slavery was the first unit taught in the new African American/Black and Puerto Rican/Latino History course at Newtown High School in Newtown, Conn., says Rachel Torres, a social studies teacher at the school. The course, a mandate from the state, is being taught with the aid of local resources, Torres says, such as help from the Newtown Historical Society and a field trip to Mystic to visit a replica of the Amistad slave ship.
Full Story: The Newtown Bee (Conn.) (1/10) 
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Social studies instructor Tan Huynh found that his students weren't focusing on the right details in their note-taking, so he came up with the SPEND mnemonic -- which stands for statistics, places, events, names and dates -- to help them pay attention to meaningful detail. With more thorough notes, Huynh's students were able to use these notes in their writing to create more connected and thoughtful paragraphs.
Full Story: MiddleWeb (1/9) 
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Excellence in Equity Award: Best Inclusion Solution
You can select sets of social studies texts and related fiction from the award-winning Authentic Voices series. Sets in English or Spanish can be customized to meet diversity goals and represent people, experiences, and perspectives that engage diverse K-6 students in reading and learning more. FREE Sampler
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Professional Development
School principals and other school leaders can benefit from periodically riding the school bus, writes Paul Young, past president of the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators and National Association of Elementary School Principals. In this article, Young shares several benefits, including better understanding of school bus operations and opportunities to form better relationships with students.
Full Story: Edutopia (1/10) 
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Educator offers advice for self, novice teachers
(Pixabay)
There are several words of wisdom that Marci Harvey says she would tell herself as a first-year teacher. In response to a question on a blog post, Harvey, who is a ninth-grade science teacher at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, advises her previous self and novice teachers to get involved with and grow their network of peers.
Full Story: Education Week (1/9) 
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Technology in the Classroom
Why school-posted student photos are a privacy concern
(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Educators like to promote their activities on social media, but including photos of students raises privacy issues, even with parental permission, experts say. Findings published in the journal Educational Researcher reveal that students were identifiable in nearly 5 million of 18 million photos analyzed, raising concerns about companies accessing personal information and images being collected for facial recognition purposes and other "uses not intended."
Full Story: EdSurge (1/9) 
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Social Studies & Civic Life
The first successful slave rebellion took place in 16th century Panama, eclipsing one two centuries later in Haiti as previously believed, according to Robert Schwaller, a historian at University of Kansas. Letters, court documents and royal edicts, Schwaller contends, show captured Africans who had been brought to Panama began rebelling a decade after the first of them arrived in 1513, and achieved their freedom in 1579.
Full Story: Smithsonian (1/10) 
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Declining populations of pollinators worldwide have caused 4.7% drops in fruit and nut yields and a 3.2% decline in vegetable yields, and the resulting loss of access to healthful foods results in around 500,000 early human deaths each year, according to a computer modeling study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Solutions such as planting more flowers on farms, reducing the use of neonicotinoids and other pesticides and preserving or restoring natural habitats would increase food production, says senior author Samuel Myers.
Full Story: The Guardian (London) (1/9) 
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NCSS Updates
NCSS Annual Conference Call for Proposals is open
National Council for the Social Studies invites you to submit a proposal to present at the 103rd NCSS Annual Conference to be held Dec. 1 to 3 in Nashville, Tenn. This year's deadline is Feb. 27. Download the proposal call and submit a proposal.
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$2,500 essay content for students: The 1787 Prize
Your high-school student can compete for the 1787 Prize essay contest celebrating the US Constitution. Two awards will be given for $2,500 each. Distribute these guidelines to your students now. Deadline: March 31. Teachers can sign-up to be a reviewer.
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It was never the right time or it was always the right time, depending on how you looked at it.
Ann Patchett,
writer
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