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
We are all trying our best to increase engagement via distance learning. I recently went to a conference on Teaching Distance Learning and listened to an amazing presenter Emma Pass. Emma shared some engaging strategies that I literally used the next day in my classroom and some I modified and made my own. Strategy 1: Set Clear Rules and Maintain them Your students need to have a clear understanding of your expectations during remote lessons to increase engagement. … [Read more...] about Increase Engagement during Distance Learning
I don't know about you but Thursday 1/7/21 was the longest teaching day of my teaching career! I was running on adrenaline, lack of sleep, and I modified that lesson more times than I'd like to admit! I changed my lesson from impeachment to a lesson to help my students process the events happening in the capital at 11 PM at night, which is not like me. On Wednesday 1/6/21, I was glued to the news like the majority of this country. I thought to myself this is how my … [Read more...] about The longest day of my teaching career!
Every teacher wants students to enjoy their time in the classroom. School becomes a home away from home with students spending so much time there, so it is important to make the most out of every minute to ensure students are engaged, excited, and eager to learn. Boom Task Cards for Social Studies is a surefire way to build these three aspects in your classroom and within your students! What are Boom Task Cards? Task cards have been popular for years among … [Read more...] about Boom Task Cards for Social Studies
It’s hard to believe that we’re wrapping up 2020. As much as I would love to bash 2020, I have a lot to be thankful for and I am a glass-half-full person! Due to the pandemic, I am so thankful for all the family time we got. We ate every meal together, had more zooms than "normal" in-person gatherings, played outside almost every day, and reconnected as a family. Even though teaching online was hard, I learned some amazing tricks that I'm going to take with me for the rest of … [Read more...] about How the Pandemic changed my teaching?
I am a huge believer in the power of Socrative for review games and assessment in the classroom, but have you tried Gimkit? I learned about it at NCSS and instantly fell in love with it! Gimkit can be used in any classroom to introduce or review concepts; it's like a mashup of Kahoot! and Quizlet on steroids! No seriously, my kids ask to play it like every day... Live Gameplay The live gameplay is fast-paced and engaging like a game show, but when it's assigned for … [Read more...] about Gimkit is more addicting than drugs!
This is a wonderful collection of resources shared from the National Social Studies Convention, December 5th-6th, 2020. I hope you take and use a resource or two with your class! Click here to check out the list of amazing social studies resources! … [Read more...] about NCSS Resource Smackdown!
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 teachers … [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