Social studies education is changing rapidly. With new frameworks and state mandates paving the way for social studies as an essential discipline, reimagined with inquiry, inclusion, and civic-mindedness at its core, cutting down on social studies minutes and resources is not an option. Standards and legislation are demanding more. Districts leaders are expecting more. The onus is falling on teachers to do more. So why aren’t we asking more of our instructional materials?
* Source: U.S. Department of Education
"Reading is such an emotional experience for children. The shame associated with not being able to read is a serious epidemic in schools and can be so disengaging and demotivating. Overcoming that using differentiated instruction was a big win. The students who came in feeling they couldn’t read or contribute, now feeling like they can contribute in a meaningful way that they had not previously had access to, was incredibly gratifying."
Liz Crowley, Newsela Partnerships Manager
"I take a Coaching mentality to my teaching-- if work isn’t good enough, it doesn’t get graded, but does get feedback. Kids need and thrive on that direct feedback. My planning consists in providing a variety of response options and stimulation prompts. Rather than just reading about Ramses II, we also read the webcomic of Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” and when we get to Plato, we watch the Allegory of the Cave and compare it to the Matrix, or the Allegory of Godzilla."
Drew Sedrel, Humanities Teacher
"I think a common misconception is that differentiation is just about helping the students who struggle. Differentiation is all about meeting every child where they’re at and making sure that they’re appropriately supported and challenged. And that also applies to students who are at an advanced level—it was still my job as a teacher to challenge them. I associated differentiation with supporting students who struggle when I was a new teacher, and I realized how limited that perspective was. I felt like I really became a better teacher when I understood that it was all about planning for and responding to every student."
Christina Pirzada, Newsela Product Manager