My name is Melissa and I am a 12th grade Social Studies teacher in Cold Spring, New York. I currently teach 12th grade Government & Economics, Sociology, and AP Government and Politics. I have been teaching for 14 years in both New York and Pennsylvania. I grew up in Boonton, New Jersey, and earned a Bachelors Degree in Social Studies Education at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. While teaching full-time in both Geneva, NY, and Trumansburg, NY I earned my Master's Degree in Inclusive … read more about About Me
Teaching through a normal school year is exhausting. Teaching through a school year impacted by COVID-19 is exhausting on a whole different level. Between lesson planning, grading, lesson delivery, paperwork, and data collection, the to-do list of a teacher is never-ending. Now, add in COVID-19 safeguards and teaching becomes more demanding and exhausting than ever. In addition to all of the above items, teachers now have to ensure masks are worn properly, students are … [Read more...] about Teacher Self-Care During a Pandemic
As the Presidential election quickly approaches, the reminder to vote is everywhere and a very important part of our civic duty. As secondary students, your students probably aren’t old enough to vote yet, but it is so important to instill a desire and duty to vote while teaching them how to become informed voters.' It is important to discuss the history of voting and who has had the right and privilege throughout history. Your students would not have been allowed to … [Read more...] about The Importance of Voting
Whenever government structures are involved in lessons, students may become confused. There is so much information to cover, which will present many unfamiliar terms. When students are focused on the United States, they not only have to learn about their local government but also the state and the federal government. Federalism may be a tough topic to learn about but with the right lesson components, students will gain a much deeper understanding not only on what federalism … [Read more...] about Teaching Students to be Critical of Federalism
Briefly Grade Transferer is a chrome extension that lives in the browser and allows teachers to seamlessly transfer data between a variety of educational platforms and their gradebook(s). The Problem It Solves With an increase in remote instruction, teachers are using a huge variety of online resources and tools, including Google Classroom, Google Meets, Zoom, online gradebooks, educational apps, and other technologies. Unfortunately, these tools don’t always … [Read more...] about Grade Transferer: The Time-Saving Tool for Teachers
I have been trying to wrap my head around how to give tests with some students all virtual and some students in person. Socrative is my solution! What is Socrative program? Socrative is a determinative assessment tool that helps teachers and learners to evaluate understanding and progress in real-time in class through the use of games, queries, and reflection inquiries. How does it work? Socrative is accessed via website or app, with separate apps for … [Read more...] about Self-Grading and Editable AP U.S. Government Exams
Regardless of the age of your students, teaching about the election is always an important topic. For younger students, they may host their own election nominating a class president while learning in an age-appropriate way who is running to be the next United States President. As students get older, many become more interested in learning who the candidates are and how an election is run. One vital topic to include during a presidential unit involves the electoral … [Read more...] about Teaching the Electoral College
The best tip/trick I know is to choose 2 or 3 new things (nothing more) and learn those. Don't try to do everything all at one time. Also: It's not impossible, it's just new. Be mindful of not overwhelming students with technology tools!Set your class rules (just like you would do in person)- on time, mute yourself, how to ask a question, etc. Digital citizenship lessons should be embedded into all students' learning experiences.Create one zoom link for each subject with a … [Read more...] about Tips & Tricks for Distance Learning!
When teachers are developing a lesson, there is always a focus on ways to make the content engaging for students. When students enjoy the content and can relate to it, they are excited to be learning and naturally begin to remember the content. By doing this, students are not having to memorize information! A great way to teach social justice is through a favorite of students among all-ages- Harry Potter! From the book series to the movies, students quickly became … [Read more...] about Teaching Social Justice Through Harry Potter
A common goal of teachers is to develop lessons that students not only enjoy but remember in future years. A lesson that students remember throughout school, tell their family about, quote in a graduation speech, and impacts them beyond high school. These lessons begin as soon as students enter elementary school. A unit that teachers can create life-changing lessons in involves teaching students what social justice is. Whether you have directly seen a focus on social … [Read more...] about The Power of One: Teaching Social Justice in Upper Elementary School
I don’t know about you but I am nervous about heading back to school. All the uncertainly is nerve-wracking. Will I be teaching online? Will I be at home? Will I be in school? How can I keep a mask on all day and prevent getting sick? How can we socially distance in a class above 25 students? Do I have to change the way I teach with group work and project-based learning? Will my son be in school? How are we going to manage to … [Read more...] about How to make distance learning work?
“F. Scott Fitzgerald” once said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Still serves as the best definition to describe the word “debate” in intellectual terms. “Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel. It is to bring another out of his bad sense into your good sense.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson- Debate is a valuable activity for students of … [Read more...] about What is a Q and A Debate in High School?
Current Event Assignment: This is a two-page current event assignment. Students have to report on the same topic from a left-leaning news source and a right-leaning news source.Gender Project (four days): It includes a toy Websearch, a toy show and tell project with a rubric, and a gender music analysis project with a rubric. Personal Finance Quizzes: Assess your students with these five digital personal finance quizzes: money, budgeting, credit, banking, insurance, and … [Read more...] about Dollar Deals -All lessons $1!!!