Year 3 History Teacher - Questions About Planning

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Daniel Sanchez, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Daniel Sanchez

    Daniel Sanchez New Member

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    Dec 7, 2016

    I teach World History (10th) in California. I have a mix of advice from various people about how I should plan my class. Some say, "I should lecture", some say "I should only let students write essays".
    I need some help from history teachers in how they organize their classes.
    Is there a routine you follow? Also, I do not have a textbook for the class.
    Do you lecture?
    Do you have tests?
    Do you focus on essays?
    Do you use the book?

    I guess I am looking for some support on how to plan a unit and how to base my unit if I do not have a text book.
     
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  3. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Dec 7, 2016

    *disclaimer: my certification is music, but I have enough SS credits for a SS endorsement*

    Not having a textbook is a mixed blessing. It's more work, but you have the freedom to choose your own sources. As far as finding material, start places like PBS and History Channel as well as museum websites.

    I'm a believer in lecture-style classes in high school, in part because my classmates in college who didn't have lecture experience struggled to take adequate notes and engage with the ideas presented. They had a much harder time adjusting to college than I did.

    You should periodically have tests or evaluative assignments (projects, papers, presentations). The way I write my evaluations, I look for three things: 1. Do you know the material? 2. Do you understand the material? 3. Can you engage with the material? With the first level of mastery alone, a student is at about a 50-65%, 65-80% at the second level, 80% + at the third. "Do you know?" questions are things like names, dates, and places. "Do you understand?" questions are things like cause/effect or questions that require putting several facts together. "Can you engage?" questions are bigger-picture why's and how's and usually short-answer or essay questions. "What would you do and why?" questions are also good for engaging with the material.

    Essays are fine from time to time, but the point of history class is to learn history, not how to write an essay efficiently. If your kids can handle it, DBQs are great.

    Without a book, you have the freedom to pick your approach. With world history, you have the choice of organizing around geography, major world events, cultures, or civic development. Check your state standards for guidelines. Whatever approach you choose, I would make sure to have material for broad information, at least one original/primary source document (online newspaper databases are fabulous for that sort of thing), and some sort of visual (video or pics) for every unit. You may find it appropriate to create a course packet with the collected text materials instead of constantly printing, collating, and stapling.
     
  4. Daniel Sanchez

    Daniel Sanchez New Member

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    Dec 8, 2016

    This is very helpful!
     
  5. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Dec 8, 2016

    I am not a SS teacher either but I recently took an online SS class and my professor shared these two images as part of her teaching philosophy. I wish I knew the name of the book these are from. Perhaps someone else does. I think this would be helpful if I were planning a class.
     

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  6. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Dec 8, 2016

    Glad to be of use. I enjoy curriculum design.

    There's so many cool people you could cover who usually don't make it into textbooks. The books ignore people like Murasaki Shikibu, who wrote the world's first novel, or Nzinga of Matamba, who fought Portuguese colonialism in Angola. If you wanted to venture into ethnomusicology, there's some interesting stuff there as well.
     
  7. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Dec 9, 2016

    I am also a year 3 history teacher. I am in a Catholic school so the emphasis is definitely on book learning. My classes are mostly lecture/discussion, but I show a lot of videos and corny historical parodies on YouTube. Since I teach middle school I don't often assign essays. I have for my 8th grade students in the past with mixed results.

    If you are interested in spicing up your activities, I suggest you check out Mr. Roughton's website (www.mrroughton.com). He is a member on here and a California history teacher with a very unique approach. I have used a few of his modules in my classes with great success.
     

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