Another summer opportunity!

On July 7-11, 2008, the Virginia Historical Society will hold the 2008 E. Claiborne Robins, Jr., Teachers Institute, Before Jamestown. Named in honor of a former president of the VHS, this program will help history and social studies educators with the teaching of ancient history of the Americas and, in particular, prehistoric Virginia. Leading archaeologists, anthropologists, ethnologist, and linguists will examine the Native American culture with daily lectures, discussions, field trips, and readings.

With the assistance of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, this program will immerse a group of selected teachers in an intensive one-week study of Native American culture before the contact with European powers. The institute will take a multi-disciplinary approach by exploring Native American societies through the expertise of leading historians, archaeologists, linguists, ethnologists, and anthropologists.

The Teachers Institute is open to all Virginia public and private elementary and secondary school teachers, but is targeted for teachers of Virginia Studies, USI, and VA/US History. Participants are selected by members of the Society’s teacher advisory board.

All applications must contain: a completed application form, a résumé, a personal statement, and one letter of recommendation. Application materials must be received by May 15, 2008.

For additional information, please visit

19 February 2008 Lead Teacher Meeting Notes

We discussed a couple important things at yesterday’s lead teacher meeting.  First, Sarah and I will NOT be doing the Traveling Trunks activity.  Please discard that schedule.  We are not doing this activity because we have received a grant from the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, and they will visit our 4th grade again this year.  Sarah has already sent out a schedule to the lead teachers.  This needs to be back to her by March 7th, 2008. 

 We also handed out a list of upcoming Social Studies in-services.  They should be posted/handed out to you, but you can also access the professional development schedule here:

Please make sure you RSVP to Mrs. West so that we have enough copies for everyone. 

3rd and 6th grade teachers please remember that the Hampton Roads Naval Museum visits will begin in the next few weeks.  Please let your principals/office staff know you will have someone in the building!

We also mentioned the Williamsburg summer opportunity.  You should have received a handout with some information and the website where you can apply.


As promised, here are a few pictures from the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute I attended this past summer.


Looking for tobacco worms at Great Hopes Plantation.


The dig at the site of the original Jamestown Fort. 


Discussing clothing and social class.


I thought the kitchen in the camp at Yorktown was really interesting!

I think that’s enough for now, I might post a few more later, but I just wanted to give you an idea of some of the things we did at the institute.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Civil Rights Documentation Project

I just wanted to pass along this interesting link on Civil Rights.  The site has digitized historical materials, and resources created by museums, historical societies, and government agencies.  It focuses a little more strongly on the law making process behind Civil Rights legislation, and could provide interesting background information for your lesson plans.

Summer Opportunity

I know Sarah and I have handed out information for numerous summer institutes, but here’s one more.  It’s a week with the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute.  If you’re interested, you can apply here: 

There is a scholarship available to cover food, housing, etc.  I participated in this institute last summer, and it was one of the most awesome things I have ever done.  You focus on a particular topic each day, you get to meet some great people, and you come back with a ton of stuff, not to mention ideas for lesson plans and activities.  I’ll post some pictures later, but if you have any questions just e-mail me and I’ll be happy to answer them!


I just want to say congratulations to two of our Social Studies teachers and our other Social Studies Specialist! Ms. Rowley and Ms. West-Turner have been chosen for a two week summer institute in England, and Sarah has been chosen for a two week summer institute in Ecuador! I can’t wait to see the pictures and hear the lesson ideas they bring back!

Take 2

Working with Portsmouth’s TRT’s, I have decided to re-do my blog.  I’ll add all the powerpoints, notes, and information from my previous blog, so don’t worry.  It might take a little time, but I’ll get it done!

If you need to access that information before I’ve transferred everything over, you can access the old blog here: