Studies Weekly Blog

The place for How To’s, education trends, teaching tips, and new product announcements.
Debbie Bagley, Teacher Advocate, and Her Class

Studies Weekly’s Teacher Advocate Provides New Educational Support Service

School districts that adopt Studies Weekly district-wide can now schedule one-on-one or group consultations for their teachers with Studies Weekly’s new teacher advocate, Debbie Bagley. Teachers will receive additional personalized educational support. With Bagley’s 15 years of experience in education, she is a valuable asset. Teaching Career Debbie’s passion for education began when she’d go…

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prevent cyberbullying

How Can School Administrators Prevent Cyberbullying?

Today, technology surrounds children everywhere. However, with the incredible blessings of the digital era — such as instant access to countless learning resources — comes a big problem: cyberbullying. School administrators can help teachers, students and parents prevent cyberbullying and protect the well-being of the school community. What is Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying is the use of…

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Studies weekly game-based learning

How to Utilize Our Game-based Learning Activities

Educational games boost student engagement by making learning fun and giving kids an extra incentive to do well. The two main methods used in educational games are gamification and game-based learning. Gamification is using game design elements in the classroom to engage students. For example, a teacher gives students points after they complete in-class assignments. Game-based…

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Adverse Childhood Experiences

How Educators Can Reverse the Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences

Too often, children struggle to meet academic standards because traumatic events impair their ability to learn and excel in school. As an educator, you can help these children succeed by understanding how adverse childhood experiences shape behavioral and cognitive development, and by implementing a social-emotional learning program that teaches students and teachers effective coping strategies.…

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An American Indian mother and daughter.

American Indian vs Native American: Which Should You Use?

There is much debate and strong feelings within our nation that are connected to how to identify various groups. At Studies Weekly, we diligently work to create and nurture inclusive content using acceptable terms. When referring to indigenous people in the United States, some state standards use American Indians while others prefer Native Americans. This…

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Person holding a plant as part of environmental science study

Changing Science Education to Meet the Sustainable Development Goals

Science education can prepare students to not only face the world’s future challenges but also find solutions. Unfortunately, many science teachers fail to show students how to apply science to real-world problems, according to William C. Kyle Jr., professor of science education at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. In Kyle’s article, Expanding our…

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Child in Front of American Flag

American Values and Beliefs

Teacher Background The purpose of this week is to tie the celebrations and symbols of the United States to the underlying core values that they represent. Vocabulary Allegiance: being loyal Patriotism: a feeling of love for your country Pledge: a promise Pledge of Allegiance: a promise we make to be loyal to our country Think…

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A Teacher’s Guide to Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Diverse perspectives strengthen education, according to Heather Singmaster’s EdWeek article from November 2018. They broaden students’ view of history and teach them to respect people from different cultures. This month, you have the opportunity to foster students’ appreciation for Asian/Pacific Americans by celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. History of Asian American Pacific Islander…

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Students hugging

Building Empathy Through Inquiry

Teacher Background In this lesson, students will assess other perspectives and build their own idea of empathy toward others through inquiry. Vocabulary Empathy: The ability to understand the feelings of others Notes for Teacher The desire to help others usually involves empathy. It moves a student’s inquiry beyond communicating conclusions to taking action. Creating empathy often…

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Students Voting

Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities

Teacher Background Students should understand the differences between the rights and the responsibilities of citizens. Vocabulary Civil Rights: the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality. Economic Rights: financial choices and privileges individuals have without government prohibition. Economic rights include the right to own property, change employment, operate a business, and join…

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Berlin Candy Bomber with children

The Candy Bomber Of Berlin

Teacher Background: After the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945, the Allied Powers divided Germany into territories or zones. The German capital of Berlin was divided into military zones as well. These zones would be governed by the military of the assigned country. But there was conflict among the Russian leadership and the British,…

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Studies Weekly Lesson Plan

Collaborative Conversations Using the Jigsaw Strategy

Grade Levels: K-8 Social Studies Strands: Civics/Government, Geography, Economics, & History Why: (Purpose) Deep Learning Collaborative conversations foster effective communication and collaboration skills. Depending on the nature and topic of conversation, they have the potential to foster critical thinking, citizenship, and creativity as well. Higher Student Achievement This strategy has a significant and positive effect…

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Teacher helping student with class work.

Use Formative Assessment to Measure Specific Learning Targets

Why: (Purpose) Cooperative Learning Encourages responsibility and self-management Ability to modify instruction to increase learning Deep Learning Self-directed learning Effective communication Empowering students to lead their own learning Developing academic mindsets Higher Student Achievement Promotes critical thinking, reasoning, and summarizing Increases retention for “expert” material Greater Engagement Students are directly connected with the material Responsibility…

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Teacher smiling while teaching students.

How to Keep Teachers Happy

Are your teachers happy? That is a tough question to answer lately. But part of an administrator’s job is looking after teacher well-being, and ensuring teachers are motivated and feel appreciated. These efforts don’t have to be big. Small efforts to improve teachers’ happiness and job satisfaction helps them be stronger where it counts —…

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Students reading books

Stop and Jot Strategy Lesson Plan

Grade Levels: 1-6 Social Studies Strands: All Why: (Purpose) Deep learning Students will be able to dive deeper into the text Student engagement This strategy will help students be actively engaged in reading What: (Description of the Strategy) The Stop and Jot Strategy helps students monitor their comprehension while reading. As students read a section…

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Vivien Thomas, Cardiac Surgeon.

Black Scientists Who Made History

Celebrating Black History Month is not just for Social Studies. Many Black scientists have contributed to our knowledge of biology, chemistry, and physics. Thanks to their legacy of hard work and perseverance, students today know they can overcome socio-economic challenges and accomplish their dreams. As your school celebrates African Americans who made history, encourage science…

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A student learning how to manage money by keeping a budget.

Economic Choices

Teacher Background To make economic choices, students need to understand the value of work, and how it provides income so people can purchase the things that they need and want. People get to make choices about earning, spending, saving money, and where to live and work. Vocabulary Budget: a plan on how to spend the…

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Studies Weekly Blog Header

Phenomena-based Science Instruction Creates Equitable Learning Environments

As a subject, Science can be one of the most equitable topics taught in the elementary classroom. Race, culture, and socio-economic status can affect how prepared a student is to gain literacy or math skills, but phenomena-based instruction that pulls directly from the observable world around students puts all students on equal footing. “Centering science…

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students working together on a project

Implementing Integrated Learning in Your School and District

“Life is integrated. Why isn’t learning?”   —Tom Vander Ark Charlie Perryman, Director of Professional Development with Studies Weekly, posed this question in a recent webinar with curriculum coaches and district personnel. “Can you think of a single job in the world today our students are going to enter, that doesn’t require integrated knowledge and thinking?”…

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Sandra Bradshaw's second grade class

Studies Weekly Spotlight: Texas Teacher Shares Passion for Nonfiction

Sandra Bradshaw, a second-grade teacher in Texas, is in the education field because she wants to positively impact students’ lives. “When students show a true understanding of the concepts being taught and topics being discussed, then I am thrilled for their discoveries and personal connections,” she said in a recent interview. As a child, Bradshaw…

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Student using Google books for research

Using Google Books for Research

Grade Levels: All Social Studies Strands: All Why: (Purpose) Deep Learning Research provides students the opportunity to explore subjects in-depth, and gives them skills in differentiating between reliable sources Higher Student Achievement These free resources are available at many levels for all students, and encourage self-guided discovery Student Engagement The variety of resources available inspires…

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Exit Ticket Post It Notes

Using Exit Tickets

Grades: All Strands: All Why: (Purpose of Exit Tickets) Deep Learning Exit tickets give students frequent opportunities to develop character, think like global citizens, collaborate with their peers, communicate effectively, ask the right questions, and think critically about what they are learning Higher Student Achievement Exit tickets provide students with frequent opportunities to receive feedback,…

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Improve Comprehension of Informational Text

Identifying Informational Text Features and Structures

Grade Levels: AllSocial Studies Strands: All Why: (Purpose) Greater Engagement Labeling guides students to dig further into text features Encourages students to explore more than pictures in texts Cooperative Learning Promotes peer-to-peer discussion and reflection Encourages the application of the strategy in small groups Deep Learning Develops academic mindsets and assessment skills Develops strategies for…

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Four Corners Teaching Strategy

Four Corners Teaching Strategy

Grade Levels: AllSocial Studies Strands:  All Why: (Purpose) Cooperative Learning Promotes peer-to-peer discussion Encourages decision-making, self-management, and listening Deep Learning Collaborative learning Effective communication Developing academic mindsets and assessment skills Higher Student Achievement Promotes critical thinking and reasoning Allows students to align their learning Increases and reinforces communication skills Greater Engagement Movement while learning, leading…

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Most Important Book Strategy

Most Important Book Strategy

Grades: K-5 Social Studies Strands: Government and Civics, Geography, Economics, History, Culture Using this strategy in Kindergarten and building on it throughout the elementary years will be especially helpful for students’ writing ability. Why: (Purpose) Deep learning Students will read articles with greater purpose while looking for the main idea and supporting details. Higher student…

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Students Reading Books

Active Reading Strategies

Grades: 1-5Social Studies Strands: Civics and Government, Geography, Economics, History Why: (Purpose) Deep learning Self-directed learning Effective communication Collaboration Higher student achievement Students are able to construct meaning from the text Develop critical thinking skills Reading accountability Greater engagement Students become involved with the text; construct meaning Solidify comprehension and learning that isn’t just sitting…

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Possible Sentences Vocab Strategy

Possible Sentences Vocab Strategy

Grades: 3-5Strands: Civics/Government, Geography, Economics, History Why: (Purpose) Deep Learning Effective communication Self-directed learning Develops a connection to text Higher Student Achievement Opportunity for feedback Vocabulary instruction that supports comprehension Student Engagement Allows for an exchange of predictions Consensus established for the structure of informational texts Strategic Planning Pre-teaching vocabulary allows students to establish the…

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Studies Weekly Presidential Election Lesson Plan

Lesson 11: Election

Objective for the Lesson: This is it! The presidential election of 2020. The student mock election is over, and the results are known. Now, it is time to compare what the students thought with what the voters actually did when they cast votes on Election Day. Student Expectations: Fill in an electoral map that reflects…

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Political Candidates Lesson Plan Studies Weekly

Lesson 8: Know Your Candidates

Objective for the Lesson: In this lesson, students will discuss the importance of learning about candidates so they can be educated voters and know as much as possible about the person they are voting for. Weekly Summary: Students will understand that it is important for voters to know what the different candidates in an election…

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Political Candidates Lesson Plan for Grades K-3

Lesson 9: Know Your Candidates

Student Expectations: Students will explain why voters need to learn about the candidates in an election. Students will practice researching facts about candidates in a simulated election. Vocabulary and Definitions: nutrition: the act or process of nourishing or being nourished vitamin: an organic substance that is essential in small quantities to normal metabolism mineral: a…

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Political Campaigns

Lesson 10: Political Campaigns

Student Expectations: Students will name different strategies candidates use to campaign. Students will be introduced to the current presidential candidates. Students will create their own campaign posters based on things that they would want to do as president. Vocabulary and Definitions: campaign: to organize a series of public events and advertisements to achieve something candidate:…

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National Election

Lesson 11: Our National Election

Background Knowledge for Teachers: Political parties are not unique to America. Wherever there are governments, there are oppositional groups. Political parties are groups of voters who have different views on public issues. In elections, these parties support candidates who agree with their political goals and philosophies. In the United States, we have several political parties.…

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Right to Vote Elementary Social Studies Lesson Plan

Lesson 6: It’s a Right to Vote

Objective for the Lesson: This lesson will look at the historic voting patterns and the methods that have been used successfully to address voting rights. Weekly Summary: When examining recent elections, the percentage of eligible voters who did not vote is significant. The historical struggles for equality by minorities and women can explain why some…

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Jigsaw Strategy Lesson Plan

Jigsaw Strategy

Grade Levels: 3-5 Strands: Civics and Government, Geography, Economics, History Why: (Purpose) Cooperative Learning Collaborative team-based tasks Encourages responsibility and self-management Deep Learning Collaborative learning Self-directed learning Effective communication Developing academic mindsets Higher Student Achievement Promotes critical thinking, reasoning, and summarizing Increases retention for “expert” material Greater Engagement Students are directly connected with the material…

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Voting and Elections

Lesson 4: Voting and Elections

Weekly Summary: The constitution sets out very few absolute qualifications to run for national office, yet the unofficial qualities of candidates often play a much larger role in who actually gets elected. These activities will examine the constitutional requirements to run for office and some of the unofficial qualities that can impact an election. Learning…

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Voting and Elections

Lesson 6: How Do We Choose Leaders?

Student Expectations: Students will recognize the positive qualities of good leaders.Students will understand the election process in the United States. Vocabulary and Definitions: election: the selection of a person or persons for office by voteprimary election: a preliminary election in which voters of multiple parties nominate candidates for officecampaign: the process through which rival political…

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who can run for office lesson plan

Lesson 5: Who Can Run For Office

Learning Objectives: Students will learn the qualifications for people running for office. The U.S. Constitution details specific qualifications for people who want to run for national political office. State and local government units set their own qualifications for those running for office. Students will identify where the qualifications for political candidates can be found. Vocabulary…

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capitol

Lesson 4: How Does Our Government Work?

Learning Objectives: Students will identify the three branches of the federal government. Students will identify the officials who lead the three branches. Students will describe how the Constitution was written. Students will understand the purpose of the Constitution. Vocabulary and Definitions: constitution: the document that sets up a system of fundamental principles according to which…

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Girl using Studies Weekly

See, Think, Wonder Teaching Strategy

Grades: K-5 Strands: All Why: (Purpose) Higher Student Achievement Engages students in a classroom or small group discussion, and students learn by listening to classmates and discussing what they See, Think, and Wonder about Student Engagement Students will determine the discussion topics by the questions they ask, allowing for increased engagement in the classroom Inquiry…

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Bullying interference

Lesson 1: Why Do We Make Decisions?

Learning Objectives: Students will understand what a decision is. Students will recognize decisions that they make. Students will understand the importance of making good decisions using information that is available to them. Students will understand that when making decisions as a group, not everyone will get what they want. Students will practice making a group…

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Studies Weekly Publications

Graphic Organizers

Grade Levels: K-8 Social Studies Strands: Government and Civics, Geography, Economics, History, Culture Why: (Purpose) Graphic organizers align with deep learning by helping students develop critical thinking skills to make connections, identify patterns, and construct meaningful knowledge. Graphic organizers increase student achievement by combining words and phrases with symbols and arrows representing relationships to help students build knowledge and become…

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New Professional Development Training Program

New Studies Weekly Professional Development Training Offerings

Teaching is hard. Fun. Joyful. Stressful. Exciting. All of the above. That’s why Studies Weekly’s goal is to make curriculum that is enjoyable to use and helps teachers successfully realize learning outcomes. To help you do this, we’ve launched completely new 2020-2021 Professional Development training offerings. These PD programs can be done digitally or face-to-face.…

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Studies Weekly Print publication on a desk

New Social Studies Curriculum for the 2020-2021 School Year

Education is evolving, and Studies Weekly is matching that change step for step. Educators need a curriculum that strengthens and supports them as they use multiple diverse learning strategies with today’s students. Thus, we are very, very excited to announce our NEW Studies Weekly Social Studies product line. Currently in limited states, it will soon…

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Student highlighting Studies Weekly

The Importance of Consumables During Classroom and Distance Learning

Studies Weekly is uniquely suited to be your students’ passport to lifelong success because we’re unlike any other standards-based curriculum out there today. In addition to Studies Weekly Online — a robust interactive platform that works within the classroom and for distance learning — our print publications are fully consumable. What does consumable mean? When…

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Studies Weekly Google Classroom Integration

Studies Weekly Integrates with Google Classroom

https://cdn.studiesweekly.com/marketing/Wordpress/Tutorials/Google+Classroom+Article+Level.mp4 Studies Weekly Online is integrated with Google Classroom! With just a few clicks, you can assign articles, images or videos to the entire classroom. The Google Classroom integration works with our entire platform, making your job smoother. David Bagley, Studies Weekly vice president of sales, explained that many teachers across the nation use Google…

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Flag of the Iroquois Confederacy created circa 1980. The pattern on the flag represents the peace created between five warring tribes when they buried their weapons of war under the Great Tree of Peace.

Thinking on Education: Approaching Thanksgiving Lessons Differently

November is famously the month for football, turkey, and the kick-off to holiday shopping. But November is also Native American Heritage Month. And many educators today are becoming more culturally responsive in their teaching and changing the way they address Native American, or American Indian, history. They also are changing the way they teach about…

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Studies Weekly Graphic Organizers

Thinking on Education: Using an Integrated Learning Approach

One of the most exciting ways to teach is through an integrated learning approach. Integrated learning pedagogy has been around for decades, but it is especially appropriate for today’s students, who need essential skills to analyze and apply learning from diverse perspectives to real-world problems. And social studies and science are excellent subjects to act…

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Studies weekly teacher using tablets in classroom

How to Leverage Technology in the Classroom

According to a 2017 study, about 63% of K-12 teachers use technology in their classrooms daily. Other studies suggest that number is rising each year. As more and more elementary classrooms access educational technology, they can tap into the many available programs that really bring social studies alive. Integrating Studies Weekly Online’s primary source videos,…

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American Indian Beadwork

Thinking on Education: Teaching Columbus Day in the 21st Century

As Columbus Day approaches, many educators are preparing lessons about this federal holiday. In the diverse classrooms of today, Columbus Day can be a sensitive topic. Many indigenous people protest against the colonialism symbolized by Columbus Day — while Columbus’ explorations opened the door for European settlements, often these settlements pushed indigenous groups from their…

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Studies Weekly Students raising hands

Thinking on Education: Reaching and Empowering Students with Learning Disabilities

1 in 5 children in the United States have learning and attention issues, and only 17% of teachers say they “feel very well prepared to teach” these students. This disparity was highlighted earlier this year in a joint report, “Forward Together,” by the National Center for Learning Disabilities and Understood.org. The report further explained that…

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Boy Using Studies Weekly Social Studies Curriculum

Hispanic Heritage Month: Educating Beyond the Curriculum

September is Hispanic Heritage Month, and we applaud all those educators who celebrate the historic and current contributions of Hispanic people. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of Hispanic students in elementary and secondary schools across the nation is increasing. In a recent study, between 2000 and 2015, their number increased…

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Studies Weekly blue box

Getting Started with Studies Weekly

So you’ve received your Studies Weekly blue box and you’re thinking, “Now what?” Starting a whole new curriculum can be intimidating at first, but there’s no need to fear! Getting started with Studies Weekly is easy. So first things first, let’s open the box. Though this video shows an instructions page, we no longer include…

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Confused schoolgirl with braids sitting in front of grey laptop isolated on grey background.

How to Purchase or Order Studies Weekly

Studies Weekly is dedicated to educating today’s youth through rigorous, relevant and insightful curriculum materials. To reach the nation’s students, though, we connect with educators in a variety of ways and places. Because schools and districts have a variety of purchasing processes, our sales methods follow suit. Principals and School or District Curriculum Directors You…

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Student filling our graphic organizer for student portfolio

Thinking on Education: Using Portfolios in the Elementary Classroom

For many schools throughout the United States, the elementary classroom connects students, teachers and parents hand-in-hand for student learning. Teachers often use portfolios as an effective way to forge and strengthen that connection. It also is a potent tool to celebrate student learning and achievement. In general, a portfolio is “a body of student work…

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Student using Studies Weekly social studies

Thinking on Education: The Importance of Project-Based Learning

We all want students to experience authentic, meaningful learning within the classroom. To that end, project-based learning (PBL) is an effective teaching method. PBL focuses on what students learn more than what teachers teach, as Diana B. Turk and Stacie Brensilver Berman explained in their January/February 2018 Social Education article, “Learning through Doing: A Project-Based Learning…

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German history

Thinking on Education: The Importance of Emotion in Learning

As your students analyze and ponder history, are they tapping into the feelings of people in the past? We do students a disservice when we distance them from historical experiences through detached instruction. At Studies Weekly, we live by the motto: “Standards Inform, Stories Inspire.” We wholeheartedly believe that sentiment. While all our curriculum is…

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Studies Weekly online print

Thinking on Education: Using Screens and Print Effectively in the Classroom

Studies show we all read more today than in previous generations. While printed books and magazines are still a part of our lives, much of our reading consumption is digital. While technology innovation allows education to reach many students more efficiently, some educators worry that it is also limiting some students’ skills. At the forefront of…

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Teaching Shakespeare

Tackling the Bard: Teaching Shakespeare to Elementary Students

William Shakespeare’s works may be more than 400 years old, but their messages still resonate today. Even after all this time, Shakespeare’s characters and themes still live within each of us, as Maggie Trapp, a UC Berkeley Extension instructor pointed out in a January 2018 Berkeley “Voices” blog. And his wordplay and characterization both entertain,…

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Studies Weekly Voting

Thinking on Education: Teaching the History of Voting Rights

Students sitting at the desks of today’s classrooms are America’s next voters. They literally will be the deciders of our nation’s future. To that end, they must understand the importance and power of voting. We educators, in partnership with their parents, are in an important position to help them appreciate this responsibility. Teaching the younger…

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racial equality

Thinking on Education: Why are Discussions about Equality Flashpoints in the Classroom?

Gender Equality.Feminism. Civil Rights.Racial Equality. Human Rights Issues These are some of the topics considered “controversial” in society, on social media, and in the classroom. But why? In today’s society — more than 150 years since the end of America’s Civil War, almost 100 years since women gained voting rights in America, and 55 years…

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Students raising hands

On Education: Creating a better Multicultural Curriculum

How do you teach today’s culturally and socio-economically diverse students when often their history and literature curricula are predominantly Eurocentric? That is a question we’ve been grappling with at Studies Weekly. In the past, some of our own publications included this unconscious bias. Recognizing that, we’ve been working diligently to completely revamp and reframe them.…

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The power of yet

On Education: The “Power of Yet” in the Classroom

Most successful entrepreneurs say they overcame many mistakes, challenges, and setbacks to get where they are. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance,” the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, is quoted as saying. Students — from elementary to secondary — can and should learn…

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Political polarization

On Education: Confronting Political Polarization in the Social Studies Classroom

Politics today are highly polarized, and are in danger of becoming more so. “Politicians used to recognize that their opponents had the same goal: Make the world a better place for their constituents. Now debate’s greatest accomplishment has been to diminish the integrity of office,” said Lawrence Lhulier in his March 2017 Education Week article,…

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studies weekly social studies

On Education: The Case for Social Studies in Elementary Classrooms

Technology and globalization connect the world more today than in any era of history, but our children may not be prepared to be responsible citizens within it. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, elementary teachers increased English and mathematics instruction time over the past two decades in response to assessment pressures. Conversely, social…

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Tennessee Studies Weekly

Tennessee adopts Studies Weekly K-5 Social Studies

We’ve been adopted! The dedicated team at Studies Weekly is excited to continue sharing our interactive and rigorously standards-based Social Studies programs with more states. Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Education, recently adopted our Social Studies K-5 program statewide for a five-year term. “As a publisher, we look forward to providing our state-adopted K-5…

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