This is a neat site for creating timelines.  It’s quick to set up, and easy to use.  Students can create timelines with photos and a description for each photo.  The site organizes the timeline.  I’ve tried it out and created a USI timeline for Revolutionary War in under 10 minutes.  (Check out the site and type “Revolutionary War” into the search box.  It should be the second one that pops up.)  This would be a great review activity, especially if you have computer lab time.

6th Grade VGLA Share Session

On Tuesday, February 3rd, at 4:15 we will have a 6th grade VGLA share session.  If you are completing VGLA’s for your students in Social Studies, we ask that you bring evidence you feel is successful to share with others from across the district.  Please bring 5 copies of each piece of evidence you would like to share.  You will leave this session with new, ready to use evidence from other teachers. 

The meeting will be at IRC in Conference Room 1, and will begin at 4:15.  RSVP to Mrs. West at 393-8555 or mary.west@pps.k12.va.us

America I Am: The African American Imprint

The Constitution Center has some excellent resources for teaching the impact of African Americans on US History.  The site includes lesson plans, posters, educational media (like podcasts), and online resources.  Lesson plans include “Is the Constitution Colorblind?” which is designed to allow students to collaborate with others across the country.  There are some good resources on the site, I encourage you to check it out.

3rd and 4th Grade Workshop

The 3rd and 4th grade “History at your Fingertips” workshops will be held on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 at 4:30pm at Lakeview Elementary.  Each school will receive one binder.  Only one person per school needs to attend, so make sure you send the person who teaches and/or writes the Social Studies plans for grades 3 and 4.  RSVP to Mrs. West at 393-8555 or mary.west@pps.k12.va.us.

6th Grade “Staying One Nation” CD Giveaway

I have a set of 4 CD-ROM’s on the Civil War to give away to a 6th grade teacher.  A few eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a 6th grade teacher yourself (you cannot answer for someone in your building)
  • Must be a Portsmouth teacher
  • Previous winners of 6th grade items are not eligible this time (we want to give others a chance-but those who always post the first comment, thank you for checking the blog regularly)

First comment gets it!

Inauguration Websites

With inauguration rapidly approaching, here are a few sites that you can use to find activities for your students.






The ceremony begins at 11:30am, and Obama is to be sworn in at noon.

More Summer Opportunities

Sarah passed along some info on several more summer opportunities.  I encourage you to check out the eligibility requirements and apply.  Many institutes cover the cost of participation or offer a stipend, and you always leave with great material!

Pamplin Historical Park:  Pamplin Historical Park and Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary offers three teacher institutes in 2009:  June 22-26, July 13-17, and August 3-7.  For more information visit http://www.pamplinpark.org/institute.html.

Virginia We the People Summer Seminar, July 6-9, 2009:  The Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier will host the Virginia We the People summer seminar for twenty middle and high school teachers.  The seminar will begin on Monday evening with lectures, discussions, and group activities, and conclude on Thursday afternoon with a simulated congressional hearing.  Room and board will be provided at no cost to the teachers.  Travel reimbursement is also available.  Teachers will receive a full classroom set of We the People textbooks.  http://center.montpelier.org/application

George Washington Teachers’ Institute for Mount Vernon Area Educators:  As a special opportunity to educators who live in the greater Mount Vernon area, the George Washington Teachers’ Institute is open to ALL educators every summer for an intensive two day program.  July 21-22, 2009.  



Landmarks of American History and Culture:  Application deadline is March 16 (postmarked.)  Landmarks of American History and Culture are one week workshops which take place at sites of historical or cultural significance across the nation.  They provide teachers with the opportunity to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics in American history and culture.  For a complete list of the 20 projects offered in the summer of 2009, along with eligibility requirements and contact information for the directors, go to the NEH website at http://www.neh.gov/projects/landmarks-school.html




Questions of the Day and new USII resource

The questions of the day for most of second semester for USI have been posted.  I’ve made it through week 30.  Once I finish the last 6 weeks I’ll get those added, but I wanted them to be posted since next week is week 19.

4th grade/VA Studies questions of the day will come through e-mail weekly for awhile until they’re compiled, and then I’ll post them.  So keep an eye on your inbox for those. 

Sarah made a massive people sort for USII.  That has been added to the USII page.  It covers all the key people for each SOL and is a quick and easy review.

Welcome back, Professional Development, and Summer Institutes!

First we’d like to welcome everyone back!  We hope you had a restful winter break!

Second, the professional development schedule for the 2nd semester is now online.  Please visit http://www.pps.k12.va.us/uploadedFiles/Teacher_and_Staff/Staff%20Development%20Guide%20Second%20Semester.pdf and check that out.  Don’t forget to RSVP to Mrs. West if you plan on attending a workshop. 

Third, I have information for another summer institute.  The Institute of International Education and the Korea Foundation have posted their application for the 2009 Korean Studies Workshop for American Educators.  This is the workshop I attended this past summer.  You must be a secondary social studies teacher, so only those who teach grades 6-12 are eligible.  It was a wonderful workshop and I enjoyed it immensely.  It is a fully funded trip-I only needed spending money.  For further information and to access the application, check out http://www.iie.org//Admin/Website/WPreview.cfm?CWID=768.  And if you have any questions about the trip, please don’t hesitate to ask!  I love to talk about my trip!