Learning Progressions

Learning Progressions Today, the Social Studies research and design team met after school. After a 10 minute introduction and demo slam (check out Google Earth for geography, history, current events exploration), we split up into our respective divisions and choose our own adventures. The middle school team collaborated on writing a learning progression for 5th Graders using primary sources. It was a fun activity for me. I felt stretched, creative, frustrated, and accomplished at different points throughout the process. My colleagues felt the same, but we all stuck with it and the result is a very solid, first attempt at […]

R & D Stations

R & D Stations Today, the Social Studies Research & Design Team met (as did R & D teams from several other disciplines). Teachers were given 3 choices: Pick something that interests you from last session’s brainstorm (related to the 4 guiding priorities) Work on the 9th Grade Humanities pilot (learning outcomes, ideas, etc.) Teach social studies through interactive tech (drone w/camera) and badges Team members collaborated in small groups and as individuals, sharing out at the end of the session… Humanities: who will teach it? will it just be a combo of lit and history or will it include […]

Measuring R & D Priorities

Measuring R & D Priorities This afternoon, the Social Studies R & D team convened for its 3rd meeting of the year. Our agenda was as follows: 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Gallery walk: Small groups of 3-4 rotate among 4 posters. Each poster contains 1 of the 4 priority goals that every R & D team has been charged with accomplishing. On post it notes, team members write what each one means a) in his/her own classroom and b) for our R & D team at large. The purpose was to a) expose and remind team members to these […]

A Brief History of Social Science R & D

A Brief History of Social Science R & D at MVPS For five years, I have had the privilege of co-chairing the Social Science Research & Design Team at Mount Vernon with Head of Lower School Shelley Clifford. We have worked alongside the incredible teachers from Preschool through Upper School to create, iterate, and reimagine learning outcomes, as well as innovative instructional and assessment strategies. Here is a succinct outline of the highlights of our team’s efforts… 2011-2012 – Audit of current learning outcome practices – Compare/contrast MVPS learning outcomes to Georgia Performance Standards – Compare/contrast MVPS learning outcomes to […]

3 Tools for Teaching with Primary Sources

Earlier this week, our Social Studies R & D (Research and Design) Team met to discuss our philosophy. We had a rich discussion and there were several threads that I hope to follow up on with colleagues. I love hearing their thoughts and learning more about their approaches to teaching, especially social studies. One great discussion was centered around the use of primary sources. Days after the meeting, I’ve been reflecting back to my own teaching practice and what I would hope the teachers on our team would know and use as it relates to showing students how to analyze […]

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