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Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by teach2reach1, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. teach2reach1

    teach2reach1 Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2008

    Hello Ladies and Gents,

    I just found out that I will be teaching 8th grade U.S. History as oppose to 7th grade World History. All my materials are for World History does anyone have any good ideas on where I can find materials on U.S History(Calif 8th grade State Standards) to start getting a folder together.

    The book I will be using is United States History by Holt. I teach in Compton where 65 to 70 percent of the kids are below basic or far below basic. Should I only use the textbook or should I use other outside sources?

    This will be my actual first year teaching so any help you all may have will be great. Thanks!
     
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  3. jforegolf

    jforegolf Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2008

    A good web site to start at is besthistorysites.net. This site has a lot of links to great history sites around the web. I have no idea if the site meets california state standards but, I have found it useful over the summer to plan for the upcoming school year.

    Most of the kids I teach read way below 7th grade level( the grade I teach is 7th grade U.S.history) so I have a similar issue as you have. I would say that giving them reading straight from the textbook is probably not going to work well. You may want to use the text in the textbook as a guide and type up paragraphs for them to read. This way you can change the difficult sentences and words the textbook uses and make them easier to understand. I do this often and it allows the students to encounter the material in a much more engaging way and it makes the reading easier which lets them focus on the history more.

    I'm not sure if your school is equipped with the technology to use Powerpoints, but they usually work great with students who read below level. I try to keep lessons as visual as possible.
     
  4. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Aug 1, 2008

    I have this book for but I don't use it much. Mostly as a secondary source. My primary textbook is U.S. Through Industrialism from the History Alive Program by TCI. My own opinion about the Holt book, it is a nightmare for below-level or struggling readers. Definitely take the previous posters advice and make adaptations for your students with this text. Powerpoints are a great suggestion to simplify and organize the the information so that it's accessible for your students. You might want to check out the TCI approach and try incorprorating some of their strategies for teaching social studies. You don't have to have the History Alive program or their textbooks, materials to use their ideas and teaching strategies.
    You can check it out at www.teachtci.com

    Last year I was given the option of teaching U.S. History 2 months before school. I love the content so I took it. But, I did have the History Alive stuff so that helped me bunches.
     
  5. teach2reach1

    teach2reach1 Rookie

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    Thanks jforegolf and kyblue07 for your responses. I agree with you wholeheartedly about powerpoint presentations I think I will use it more this year.

    Kyblue I appreciate the History Alive website I think this will help tremendously. Thanks again!
     
  6. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

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    Aug 4, 2008

    Just my 2 cents

    I used History Alive as a textbook the last couple of years... I wanted to let you know that it is not aligned with CA standards.

    They have a couple of good ideas, but it is not a good primary text for CA standards.

    Again, just my :2cents:
     
  7. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2008

    sp.

    Just a thought- maybe it would be helpful to your students if you could create a BIG timeline of the events in our history and place it along the walls. I know it would have been beneficial for my daughter to see how all these events influenced each other.:2cents:
     
  8. jforegolf

    jforegolf Rookie

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    I am actually creating a giant timeline right now with the other Social Studies teacher at my school. It is a lot of work but he and I both feel it would really be an amazing thing for the students to see. We started at 1492 and went through the present. I did from 1492-1853 and had 50 plus big events. We are also looking at getting images to correspond with the events So if you are thinking about doing the timeline it is going to be an undertaking but hopefully worth it!
     
  9. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    That is so AWESOME!
    I'll bet you see great results !!!!
    P.S. I teach English and have a map with copies of the book covers corresponding to their settings.It helps put things in perspective for my students.
     
  10. jforegolf

    jforegolf Rookie

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    Thanks Beth561. After all this work, I hope you are right! Your book cover idea sounds cool. Might borrow it for my one period of Literacy next year.
     
  11. teach2reach1

    teach2reach1 Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Hello LoVe 2 TcH,

    You're right about History Alive not aligning with CA state standards. I was wandering what textbook is assisgned to your district.

    Do you guys think that powerpoint should be my main source of teaching because of the lack of reading comprehension and lack of motivation from most of the kids?

    Jforegolf good luck with your timeline please keep me informed with your progress.
     
  12. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    Anytime,I'm glad to help:)
    I was just thinking maybe you could incorporate some literature into your time line like when Huck Finn was published or when Mark Twain was born-it could further connect the two-wouldn't it be helpful for kids to see that Twain lived through the Civil War.


    P.S.It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling. Mark Twain ...:naughty:
    :rofl: :rofl:
     
  13. jforegolf

    jforegolf Rookie

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    P.S.It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling. Mark Twain ...:naughty:
    :rofl: :rofl:[/QUOTE]

    Wow a golf quote I never heard before. That is quite rare(haha) We are going for a history timeline as our focus. I think we may include famous books that are connected to history like, Uncle Tom's Cabin, but beside that I'm not sure we have space for too many literacy events. We have over 100 events just from 1492-the end of slavery.Good suggestion though and one given more space I whole heartily agree with!

    Powerpoints do help keep the students interested but they are not the answer to keeping them interested. What I think they do, is they make note taking and stuff like that easier. I use Powerpoints for more visuals like maps and Primary sources.
     
  14. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    Aug 7, 2008

    It sounds wonderful-your students are lucky to have you-
    P.S. what courses do you play-we belonged to Southward Ho
     
  15. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 7, 2008

    Go to www.congressforkids.net

    Independence: The Articles of Confederation

    The Articles of Confederation
    http://home.att.net/~betsynewmark/TrivConfedConst.htm
    Choose the correct answer for each multiple-choice question on the Articles of Confederation or the Constitution.

    Articles of Confederation and the Constitutional Convention
    http://www.quia.com/tq/211114.html
    Multiple-choice questions on America from 1781-1789.

    Articles of Confederation and the Writing of the Constitution
    http://www.quia.com/tq/211118.html
    Another Multiple Choice quiz

    Building a Republic
    http://home.att.net/~betsynewmark/TrivRepublic.htm
    Multiple Choice quiz. Choose the correct answer for each question.

    Concentration America Becomes a United Nation http://www.quia.com/cc/68023.html
    Important events surrounding the establishment of an experiment called the United States of America. Try to uncover matching pairs of cards

    The Constitution Test #1 and #2 http://www.constitutionfacts.com/exam.shtml
    Multiple-choice test with specific questions related to the Articles of Confederation and other related topics.

    Flashcards - America Becomes a United Nation http://www.quia.com/jfc/68023.html
    Important events surrounding the establishment of an experiment called the United States of America. Click on the flashcard to flip it over. Press Other Side on Top to start showing the reverse sides of the flashcards first. Press Remove Card to remove the current card from the deck. Press Try Again Later to keep the current card in the deck and try it again later. Press Restart to put all the cards back in the deck.

    Matching - Amercia Becomes a United Nation http://www.quia.com/mc/68023.html
    Important events surrounding the establishment of an experiment called the United States of America. Find the matching squares.


    Word Search - America Becomes a United Nation http://www.quia.com/ws/68023.html
    Important events surrounding the establishment of an experiment called the United States of America. Find the terms listed. Words can appear horizontally, vertically, or diagonally; forwards or backwards. Press Answers to see where all the terms are hidden.
     
  16. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 7, 2008

  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Aug 7, 2008

    http://studiesweekly.com/

    This company makes newspapers for elementary curriculums. The 5th grade one is American History and it is excellent. You get weekly editions, delivered by the quarter, blackline masters, tests, activities, a timeline of important people. If your students are hard to motivate, this might not be a bad option to augment your curriculum. Reading one article is a lot easier than reading 10 pages on the Boston Massacre, say. I've found the publications to be comprehensive, too.
     
  18. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Aug 7, 2008

    Powerpoint should be your main source because the Holt book is terrible (it is our adopted text sadly.) I use the Holt book at most once per unit for my Chapter Walks. Otherwise is it powerpoint and History Alive.
     
  19. jforegolf

    jforegolf Rookie

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    Thanks for the kind words Beth561. I do my best. I play the Public courses here on Long Island. I played Southward Ho once. It is a nice course.
     
  20. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    Bethpage's Black Monster?
     
  21. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

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    :2up:We just switched to Glencoe/McGraw Hill for next year. I have looked through it and absolutely LOVE it... It has soo many wonderful resources to help the high and low, and supplementary materials for teachers. There are so many resources that it is impossible to mention all of them.:2up:

    I think powerpoint is a great resource for teachers, but should not be the main source of teaching. I would use is as a supplementary lesson. I like ot use powerpoint for reviewing, especially doing review games. I have done jeopardy, and who wants to be a millionaire.
     
  22. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

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    Aug 8, 2008

    Thanks for sharing Upsadaisy!!! Those links are a great resource.
     
  23. Beth561

    Beth561 Comrade

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    Aug 8, 2008

    forgot to mention snoopy

    Upsadaisy-so glad to see you're back!

    and snoopy,too!
     
  24. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Funny, I started by using it for Jeopardy and Millionaire and found both to be ultimately a waste of time.

    Why do you say it shouldn't be the main source?
     
  25. jforegolf

    jforegolf Rookie

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    I played there a couple of times. I played Golf for my College and me and my buddies would practice there every once and a while. It is a tough test of golf and one of the toughest walking courses ever. I like the sign on the first tee that warns you not to play the course if you are not good. It is very teacher like...letting you know the expectations up front!

    I use powerpoint for those review games also. They are an o.k way to review. The kids really seem to get into them though.
     
  26. LoVe 2 TcH

    LoVe 2 TcH Companion

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    :down: I had a teacher use power point when I was in school, and it did all the thinking for me... I think it was a great disadvantage for me... It gave all of the answers and all we had to do was copy off the bored.

    I suppose if it were done write and the students could be actively involve I would use it more often.

    When I did Jeopardy with my students for their final review, I think it really worked... Most of their grades were a lot higher than from their midterms (where I djust did a regular review.) My students found it such a challenge and I believe they enjoyed it.
     
  27. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Thanks Beth and Love2Tch. :hugs: I found a great book at the thrift store last week - The Children's Atlas of Exploration. I made up written notes with some questions for the students. I didn't want to spend way too much time on the early U.S. history section this year because I really want to be able to cover other periods in more depth this year.

    If you want a copy of the document, just PM me. :rolleyes:
     

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