Every era has heroes. Every society has villains. Every community must learn that sometimes heroes and villains can in fact be one and the same. Come to the 2019 FCSS Conference here in Orlando and explore this theme! And please consider submitting a proposal that aligns with our theme. Villains make a difference. But so do heroes. So can you, in our field!
The Florida Council for the Social Studies is accepting session proposals for the 2019 FCSS Conference at Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Orlando, Florida on October 18 – 20, 2019.
Submit your session proposal prior to June 1, 2019 –
· Presenters will be notified by July 15, 2019
· Presenters of accepted sessions must register by August 15, 2019 to confirm participation in the conference
Information about the FCSS conference can be found at: http://fcss.org/meetinginfo.php
Online registration is available at http://bit.ly/fcss19registration
The FCSS Conference hotel rate is $131 per night . The Florida Hotel and Conference Center $18.00 per day for amenities is waived. Reservations must be made prior to September 26, 2019.
We look forward to receiving your proposal,
The 2019 FCSS Conference Committee
Recently, our friends at the Civics Renewal Network announced the finalists and winner of a 200,000 dollar Annenberg Institute for Civics grant. While we here at FJCC/LFI did not make the cut (but were honored being able to apply!), we are excited to see such success for the wonderful folks at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate. They do such excellent work, and we hope to have the opportunity to work with them again in the future. Check out the winner and the finalists below!
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is the winner of the 2019 Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics Award. Its project, Civil Conversations, will create a community of practice of teachers leading conversations about current, and sometimes contentious, civic issues with their students as well as build a nationally scalable curriculum for broad dissemination. The project will be implemented in collaboration with Essential Partners, global leaders in dialogue and deliberation; the Multiplying Good Students in Action project, a national program that develops high school students into community leaders; and Dr. Karen Ross of the University of Massachusetts, who will design and conduct project evaluation.
The three finalists were:
Center on Representative Government: An extension of its successful Engaging Congress app with modules on the executive branch and judicial branch.
National Constitution Center: The Classroom Exchange project in which students engage with their peers across the country in a healthy, civil dialogue about current, relevant constitutional questions.
Youth Leadership Initiative: A relaunch of its popular A More Perfect Union campaign simulation.
And of course, be sure to check out the great resources (including ours!) curated and shared through the Civics Renewal Network! You won’t find a better and more diverse collection of civics education resources anywhere!
Friends, this is always an enjoyable and educational conference that occurs just before the start to the new school year. Check it out! And if you aren’t in Bay District Schools or part of the Panhandle Area Educational Consortium, I am sure you would still be welcome!
A Science and Social Studies Mini Conference for Grades 6-12 Educators at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City
Save the Date: Tuesday, July 30th
BDS Employees Register in AIMS Section #: 45917
PAEC District Employees Register in ePDC: Content Collaboration Conference
- Standards Based Resources & Pedagogy: MS/HS science & social studies content
- STEM Academy: 6-12 teachers
- Instructional Technology: Canvas for beginners to advanced
- Digging into Social and Emotional Learning
- ELL in the content classroom
- Sessions by FLDOE and College Board
8:00am – 8:15am: Registration & Sign-In
8:30am – 9:45am: Session 1
9:45am – 10:00am: Break (Sponsored)
10:00am – 11:15am: Session 2
11:15am – 12:30pm: Lunch on Your Own
12:30pm – 1:45pm: Session 3
1:45pm – 2:00pm: Break (Sponsored)
2:00pm – 3:15pm: Session 4
3:15pm – 3:30pm: Closing &Evaluations
In last week’s post, we re-introduced ourselves and discussed the sorts of resources that we have developed and offer (for free) for civic education here in Florida and beyond. Today, let’s take a look beyond the ‘knowledge’ component of the ‘Civics Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions‘ triad and discuss the ways in which we here at the Lou Frey Institute/Florida Joint Center for Citizenship are working to bring the skills and dispositions of component of effective civic education to classrooms.
Citizen Apprentices in Middle School
Chris Spinale, our Action Civics Coordinator, has referred to the work that we do with civic engagement as helping students in their roles as ‘citizen apprentices’ (and we will discuss more about the ‘citizen apprentice’ idea in a later post!). In doing so, we have begun a great deal of work and support around the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Civic Action Project.
The Civic Action Project is an excellent tool to begin the work of citizen apprenticeships. Students have the opportunity to explore policy and develop solutions at all levels of community. It engages students in the deep and important task of thinking about civics from an engagement lens. How do I improve my community? How do I take what I have learned in civics and make a difference. It’s important to note, as well, that this is not inherently a conservative or liberal approach. Rather, it reflects what students themselves have identified as pressing issues in their community (and community may be a classroom, school, neighborhood, town, or more!). As an example, a couple of years ago, Citrus Ridge Civics Academy in Polk County did a CAP project to pursue policy change around domestic violence shelters. According to student research (a big part of CAP!), there was only one domestic violence shelter within the a certain radius of their community, and the students developed a presentation to try and convince policymakers to change that. Another simply powerful public service announcement dealt with an epidemic of suicide in the community (provided below; please be warned that it could be painful to watch for some folks).
Last spring, the Lou Frey Institute, in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida, hosted the Civic Action Project Showcase. It gave groups of middle school students the opportunity to share their policy research, proposals, and recommendations to district superintendents, local leaders, and decision makers in their communities. You can read all about it here!
We are currently working, in some form or other, with schools in Brevard County, Polk County, Orange County, and even a school in Texas to implement some version of CAP in middle school.
Citizen Apprentices in High School
While we have launched the Middle School CAP effort already, we are currently working on and piloting something called Politics in Action (or PIA). This is based on the ‘Knowledge in Action’ work of Walter Parker and Jane Lo (and was developed for Florida in collaboration with Dr. Lo). This is essentially a simulation of American government that gives students the opportunity to really gain a deep (and necessary!) understanding of how American government is supposed to work. Take a look at the infographic below to see the 4 modules for this approach.
In the video below, Dr. Parker discusses this approach (though again, please note that we have adapted it for Florida!)
So that is just a couple of areas where we are moving beyond the ‘traditional curriculum’ of civic education and trying to bring civics in Florida to that next level of practicing skills and developing dispositions. If you are interested in either the Civics Action Project or Politics in Action, you can contact Dr. Steve Masyada or Chris Spinale of LFI/FJCC!
Friends, the great folks over at the Civics101 podcast need your input! Contact information is in their communication below!
Civics 101 is looking for additional high school educators (i.e. History, Civics, Social Studies, or Journalism) in grades 8-12 who would like to participate in a 75-minute online focus group that will inform the development of a publicly available podcast about Civics.
Participants will join a 75 minute video call with 5-6 colleagues and an education researcher from EDC and:
– Share their goals, challenges and successes in teaching with podcasts
– React and respond to proposed civics podcast content and format
– Receive a $100 gift card as a thank you
The focus groups will take place on Tuesday April 2, at 3:30, Thursday April 4, at 3:30 and Friday April 5 at 3:30. If you are interested, please respond with the time slot that works best for you.
Education Development Center, Inc
Good afternoon, dear friends in civics. Today’s post is response to this positive and supportive piece published in recently in Florida Politics. As you are most likely aware, the Lou Frey Institute/FJCC has faced a continual budget issue for the past few years. The linked Florida Politics post argues for ensuring that the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship is fully funded:
According to the Lou Frey Institute, when teachers use their resources, students score 20-25 percent higher on Florida’s end-of-course civics assessment.
Civics education is at the core of everything we are as a society. It’s about the law and the Constitution. It’s about voting and free speech. It’s about free expression of religion and speaking up freely to the government itself. In other words, it’s about America.
The Legislature requires civics education for millions of Florida children. In light of that, cutting funding for a resource that’s shown long-term significant ability to improve civics education seems to be an unwise and uncivil course of action….
Legislators should not be punishing an outstanding institution that is working hard to right the ship. FJCC conducts civics education under the names of two of Florida’s most civic-minded leaders of the past 40 years. Bob Graham and Lou Frey, a Democrat and a Republican, understood how government can be an instrument for good when used properly and in a limited way to find creative, workable solutions to problems.
They certainly understood the importance of the saying long popular around the Capitol: ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.’ The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship did nothing wrong — but rather does so much right.
It would be a shame to see it, and the children who benefit from its programs, penalized for mistakes and misdeeds unrelated to its fine work and mission.
We greatly appreciate this support. But it’s time, perhaps, for a refresher on the work we do here at LFI/FJCC, a proud partner of the Civics Renewal Network (and be sure to check out their materials!) So, just what do we do? What does this funding support?
K-12 Civic Education Resources
You may be most familiar with us from our resources, provided to teachers of all grade levels. Every resources or tool we develop is created in response to a request to meet a need and in collaboration with teachers, teacher educators, and social studies/civics professionals. These curricular resources, available on our main website, are 100% free (though registration is required) and include, but are not limited to:
- Civics in a Snap (CIAS): 15 to 20 minutes ‘mini-lessons’ that address the civic benchmarks and are aligned with Florida’s ELA Standards (and easily adaptable to Common Core and the social studies standards of other states)
- Students Investigating Primary Sources (SIPS): This series of lessons, which range from 2nd through 12th grade, introduce students to primary sources around a variety of topics. They are intended to be somewhat short and simple to use while still providing some level of rigor. They are aligned with Florida’s ELA and social studies benchmarks (for civics, government, and/or US history)
- Civics Correlation Guide to Current K-5 Reading Series: This resource is connected to all current K-5 reading series being used in Florida, and illustrates will you will find some level of alignment with civics benchmarks.
- K-5 Civics Modules: These extended lessons are aligned with civics and ELA benchmarks.
- 7th Grade Applied Civics Resources: Here, you will find 35 lessons that have been developed to teach, with fidelity, the assessed civics benchmarks. On the page link provided, you will find lesson plans, power points, teacher-oriented content videos, and assessment items, among other things.
- Civics Connection: Developed in partnership with College Board and the United States Association of Former Members of Congress, the Civics Connection provides video-based, internet-delivered set of lessons that engages former members of Congress to help high school students understand Congress and the issues it faces. Videos and resources are aligned to the AP U.S. Government and Politics curriculum and may be used in other government classes as well.
Perhaps our most popular resource is Civics360. So what tools do you find on Civics360?
- Multiple Student Friendly Readings for each assessed benchmark, available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole
- English language reading guides for each Student Friendly Reading, developed with all levels of readers in mind
- Vocabulary Practice Worksheets that use Concept Circles to assist students with understanding key words from the benchmark
- A Quizlet tool for vocabulary practice and remediation
- Narrated student-oriented videos for every benchmark, with scripts to allow for reading along with the video
- Video Viewing Guides for each new video to facilitate engagement
- Online quiz practice within each module that reflect best practice in learning and assessment tools that facilitate engagement and retention. We have added clearer explanations and suggestions for reflection for every distractor in each question.
- Stand-alone ‘Showing What You Know’ activities for the following benchmarks: 1.3 (Road to Independence), 1.5 (Articles), 1.6 (Preamble), 1.7(Limits on Gov Power), 2.4 (The Bill of Rights), 3.1(Forms of Gov), 3.2 (Systems of Gov), and 3.4 (Federalism). Look for the ‘Showing What You Know’ section on each module page!
- Additional civic resources to facilitate learning and review
- Organized into 9 Civics Focus Areas that reflect district pacing guides
The site also includes a 60 question practice assessment that reflects the actual EOC in structure and format.
Be sure to check out the overview video!
The use of these resources in the middle school civics classroom does, we believe, have something of an impact, especially in conjunction with professional development.
In Monday’s post, we’ll explore some new directions for LFI/FJCC in the action civics arena and discuss the types of professional development that we can provide!
From our friends at the Civic Mission of Schools comes this wonderful notice about a Library of Congress opportunity!
Calling All Civics Teachers!! The Library of Congress is seeking applications from current civics teachers for a Teacher-in-Residence position within its Learning and Innovation Office during the 2019-20 school year. The program description and application details for the position can be found at loc.gov/teachers/newsevents/teacher-in-residence/index.html. Applications are due on Monday, April 8, 2019.
This is a great opportunity to further your professional career AND make a difference on a national scale!!! We encourage you to check it out. You can find the call for applications here.
Recently, on the Florida Civics Teachers Facebook page, a colleague asked a simple but important question: how far out do you start reviewing for the EOC? There is, of course, no one right answer to this question. Personally, I would suggest that reviewing begins as soon as instruction begins. Integrate previously learned materials into warm-ups throughout the year, to continue to reinforce what is supposed to have been learned. This can also give you a sense of what kids have retained! That being said, participants in the conversation on the Facebook page provided some interesting and potentially beneficial review approaches! This post is a means for us to share them with other folks, and if you have an approach you think folks might appreciate, please drop a comment, join the Facebook group linked above, or shoot me an email! So what did teachers suggest? Let’s take a look!
Rachel suggested that data should guide the review approach. What do student test scores suggest about what they have and have not retained, or what might need a bit more reinforcement? And if you are looking for an assessment that might help you get some data, you can use the online assessment at Civics360, or email me for a hard copy!
Joel has already started his review, and uses a spiral review as bell work, a similiar approach to what was described above. He checks what students know, and can use it as a data collection method to see what he might need to come back to!
Sharon starts her review in mid-April, but she has the great pleasure of having her kids multiple times a day, thanks to a critical thinking class, so she actually began having them play with practice questions! That’s definitely one way to approach things. One thing with practice questions that I have seen done in successful classrooms is having students actually identify the three wrong answers rather than the correct one, and explaining WHY they are wrong. If they can do that, identifying the correct answer should be cake!
Denise and Robert both give themselves about 3 weeks to review the content and course with their students. Denise described it as a boot camp approach, and that is definitely something that can work well as a means to reinforce content!
Jaclyn uses the reporting categories to review with her kids, spending a week on each category, and offering students after school tutoring around each of the 35 assessed benchmarks. She uses a study guide/ vocabulary check for each category, has the kids take the test on Civics 360 for each category, and has her kids tally strong standards with tough standards. She also pairs students up for peer coaching!
Megan does a 2 week review, with week one focused on, as she describes it, “a crash course of notes and vocabulary”, and week two serving as a one giant review game.
Friends in civics and social studies, this came across my desk and looks to be a potentially wonderful opportunity to contribute to the development of a new resource! Take a look at the details below. It’s only two hours of your time and includes compensation!
WNET and CUNY’s American Social History Project are creating a new Mission US game (Mission US [mission-us.org]) to help middle and high school teachers and students learn about the Civil Rights movement.
We’re hoping that at Teaching with Primary Sources Midwest Region you may know committed teachers in grades 7-10— particularly people of color and people in different parts of the country — who might be willing to share their ideas and experiences in teaching this history, in order to inform the development of the game and curriculum, in return for a small honorarium.
- Read a treatment document describing the proposed game ahead of time (30 min)
- Join a 90-minute video call with 5-6 colleagues and an educational researcher from EDC and:
- Share their goals, challenges and successes in teaching students about Civil Rights
- React and respond to the proposed game design
- Receive a $100 gift card as a thank you
Interested? Let us know when you’re available by answering this survey: https://go.edc.org/Mission7TeacherPanel
If you have any questions, please email me, Jamie Kynn at email@example.com.