Author Archives: Joe Sangillo

Formative Assessment and Quiz are not Synonyms!

Formative Assessment and Quiz are not Synonyms!

    I recently participated in an #sschat on Twitter with Dr. Grant Wiggins, the highly acclaimed co-author of Understanding by Design. He’s a rock star in education, so I was excited to have the opportunity to chat with him. We were discussing formative assessment and I shared a view that I often discuss with

#ExperienceHistory on Halloween

    We know simulation, role-playing, and other forms of creative play are effective elements in social studies lessons every single day, and not just on Halloween. That is Discovery Education’s focus with our #ExperienceHistory hashtag and our Social Studies Techbook materials–making history interactive, engaging, and accessible for students. But we knew lots of teachers would show their Halloween spirit

6 Ways to Make PowerPoint More Engaging and Interactive

    One of my least favorite trends in education is hatin’ on PowerPoint. Visual presentation in and of itself isn’t the problem! A quick glance of Google search results for “PowerPoint meme” sums up the anti-PowerPoint narrative sweeping the web: PowerPoints can be dreadfully boring, and relying solely on teacher-centered instruction is problematic. That being

Contextualizing the New York City Subway 110 Years Later

    The inaugural run of the New York City subway was 110 years ago today. One of our main jobs as educators is to not only present content to our students, but to foster critical thinking skills. Analyzing this milestone in technology and transportation is an opportunity to do just that. Conventional wisdom tells us

Personalized Learning in Social Studies—Moving Away From Ferris Bueller Teaching

    Social studies instruction has dramatically shifted in recent years. Most of us are familiar of the famous “anyone, anyone” model of social studies instruction from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in which Ben Stein portrays a teacher lecturing about the Hawley-Smoot Tariff in a dreadfully boring, old-school fashion. The lesson was clearly not student-centered,

Teaching Hispanic American Heritage

Updated September 15h, 2015 We’re in the middle of the 27th annual National Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors and celebrates Hispanic American history and culture from September 15th to October 15th.  President Lyndon Johnson approved Hispanic Heritage Week, which was later expanded to a month by President Ronald Reagan. Why part of September and part of

Teaching September 11th: Resources for Empathy and Inquiry

Teaching September 11th is often an emotional and challenging task. Teachers vividly remember the horror of that day, the heroism of our first responders, the temporary unity of Americans, and the changing nature of government and warfare that ensued. Our students, however, do not have these memories and need a social studies teacher and rich

Let History Speak for Itself!

A history textbook was once a static, authoritative source that left little room for multiple perspectives and primary source analysis. Consider this excerpt from the 1st edition of the American Pageant textbook in 1956: The average ex-slave, freed by the war and the 13th Amendment, was essentially a child. Life under the lash had unfortunately

Celebrate Women’s Suffrage with Image Analysis

    Updated August 26, 2015 The 19th amendment, extending voting rights to women, was adopted 95 years ago today! This milestone of American progress is an opportunity to begin higher order skill development at the start of the year with your students. Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook includes images and lesson materials that will

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