Tag Archives: Social Studies

Apps with Friends: Social Studies

I have my own 1st Generation iPad and I take it to work and I use it daily for personal use, but I definitely have iPad envy.

I’m envious of the teachers and classrooms that have iPads. Before anyone tells me that I could have them if I wrote grants….I do plan on writing a grant in the spring in order to get my hands on a few for my Resource Room for the 2013-14 school year.

I have three friends who are currently using iPads on a regular basis in the their classrooms.

I am intrigued by the apps out there, and the possibilities, so I decided to start compiling lists so when I do get my iPads next year (power of positive thinking) I will be prepared. Plus I like to share these things with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Ian. Many times, I put the new apps on the home screen and they discover them and then teach me how to use them!

Today I am going to share the best Social Studies apps according to a very techie friend who is also a leader in BYOT in our district and an intervention specialist.

Here they are (in the order she gave them to me) with a few of my own personal thoughts:

1. Google Earth
2. American Revolution Review Timeline App Includes objects, artifacts, and manuscripts from the period of the American Revolution.
3. Stack the States This is a favorite of Tweedle Ian’s. He learned his 50 states and capitals with this app last year. He still plays it for fun. It includes practice with location, flags, capitals, abbreviations, nicknames, landmarks, and cities.
4. Flow of History .99
5. Video Time Machine I wrote about this cool video app here.
6. World History Maps
7. Today in History Daily lists of events, births, deaths, and holidays going as far back as 300 A.D. Tapping on many events and people will lead you to external links.
8. MyCongress Connects you with websites, emails, and updates (including Facebook and Twitter) of political leaders.

View the actual documents, signatures (includes biographical information), notes, and read the text of these U.S. documents:

9. Constitution
10. Declaration

11. The Congressional Record
12. World War 2 Timeline (This one is $13.99, she got it on sale for $5.99).
14. Historypin (Pretty cool for the Washington, D.C. trip)
15. Google Googles (Also cool for the Washington, D.C. trip)
16.Timeline Eons This is probably my favorite on the list (after Stack the States!) One of the coolest peeks at history. Interactive multi-leveled timeline with pictures.
17. Heritage

Research:

18.WolframAlpha
19. Getty Images

What are some other must have apps for Social Studies? Leave a comment!

A Day in History

Last year was the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.  At that time I was writing for a blog for the Ohio Education Association and I was asked to come up with some ideas for teachers to use in their classroom.

Here is my original post with a wide variety of activities and resources: More Than Just a History Lesson

I think today with BYOT students should have the opportunity to view footage, video tributes, and images. This can lead to great reflection and discussion. Having students compare media and text about this day will also fit nicely into the new Common Core as well.

While this year is not a “milestone” anniversary, I hope you will take at least a few minutes, if not devote an entire class period, to honor those who were lost on that tragic day.

Using Graphic Organizers in History: 5 W’s

I never had an interest in history as a student and never had much experience teaching it until I did OGT (Ohio Graduation Test) tutoring. I think that year was the year I learned everything I always should have learned about history but didn’t.

It was easy for me to sympathize with my students who hated history and failed the 10th grade state test one (or more) times. I will admit that I have said more than once, “History is so in the past. Who needs it?” But, it was my job and these students needed me to teach it so they could graduate. I figured out ways to do so and now, after 3 years of 8th Grade Inclusion History, I feel like I finally almost enjoy learning about history. (I love teaching anything!)

This did not happen until I started viewing history as a story of time. Who doesn’t love a good story? Every event in history can be told as a story with characters, setting, conflict, and resolution.

I spend a lot of time making graphic organizers, study guides, and modified assessments for our history class. I get feedback from a reading specialist who uses my materials with her small group reading and writing class. Students complete the study guides, verbally talk about the events in the chapter, and then write about the events in paragraph form as well. (See how this works for a reading teacher? Students are skimming, scanning, comprehending, and synthesizing throughout this process.) It is our thinking that if they can visualize the information in the graphic organizer, talk about it, and then put it into written words, they will surely remember at least some of it.

I plan on regularly posting samples of the graphic organizers, strategies, and study materials I use with my 8th graders. Hopefully they will give you ideas to use in your classroom (in any content area). Below is my first example:

Students read the section and locate the details to tell the story.

*Here is a PDF file of an original 5W’s +1 (a blank box for additional info.) for you to download: 5ws+1

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