Cleaning and Revising

We’re sure you’re well aware that the standards change next year for Social Studies.  Sarah and I will be working to revise the materials that we currently have on the blog to make them match the new SOL’s put out by the state department. 

We will remove all the materials from the blog on June 18th.  If there’s anything you think you’ll need, please save it before then.  We’ll begin to post revised materials before next school year. 

We just wanted to give everyone a heads up so you’re not shocked if you check back over the summer and all the materials are gone!

Resources and summer workshops

NBC has launched a website chronicling 60 years of the Civil Rights Movement.  “Launching the Dream” is a free video series available for teachers, students, and parents.  The site currently has over 100 videos, grouped into ten thematic units, with plans to add additional video content.  This is a great resource to allow students to hear from those who were personally involved in the Civil Rights Movement.

There is also a summer workshop about the Civil Rights Movement, through the VA Historical Society.  Textbooks and reading materials are free, and meals and lodging will be provided for out to town participants.  Each participant will also receive a $250 stipend upon completion of the workshop.  Visit to apply. 

And finally, the Civil War Preservation Trust will have a teacher institute in July.  The workshop is free, and includes meals, although a $100 refundable deposit is required to hold your space.  The workshop will take place in Hagerstown, Maryland, and includes a day long tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield.  Visit the CWPT website for more information and to apply.

Innovator Grants and HBO Archives

The application for this year’s Portsmouth Schools Foundation Innovator Grants has been sent out.  Awards of up to $500 will be distributed to Portsmouth Public School teachers, staff, or parents.  The applications are due by noon on Friday, October 9, 2009.  Projects can be done in teams.  Here’s the application in case you need it.

PSF Grant Application

I just checked out a new resource from HBO Archives.  It’s the March of Time newsreel series, which was produced from 1935-1967.  The films are free, but you do have to register.  (It only takes a couple of minutes.)  There are many newsreels covering different topics, some of which are relevant to our curriculum.  (Moreso for middle and high schools.)  There are a lot of reels from the 1930’s (covering topics like the CCC, TVA, King Cotton, child labor, etc.)  A few reels from the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s are also posted.  HBO is still working on restoring and posting footage, so the list will certainly grow. 

Clips vary in length, but could be an interesting primary source addition to your lessons.  I’ve watched several already and they are very interesting and give a good insight to the mindset of the time.

TimeRime Education

Awhile back I posted a link for TimeRime, which is a (very) easy to use site for creating timelines.  They have now created TimeRime Education, which has several perks (such as no advertising!) 

If you’d like to check it out and create your own TimeRime Education page, visit  It really is very easy to use, students would have no problem figuring it out, and it makes creating timelines very simple.  Just an idea for next year!

New SS Resources (Grades K-3, 5-6)

The Technology Department has been working hard on  Social Studies Resources for the district.  They are now posted in the Y drive on the shared network.  There are resources for grades K-3, and 5-6.   (Sorry 4th grade, you guys had quite a few resources so they concentrated on areas that were lacking.)

To access the materials, go to My Computer on your desktop.  Under Network Drives, click on the Y or Media Drive.  You should then see 2 folders (one for SS, one for Science) and you’ll find all the materials the TRT’s have put together in the SS folder.  If you have a question, or need help finding the drive, contact the TRT in yoru building.  Hope it helps!