By Carolyn Jones
At Design Tech High, a charter school in Burlingame that’s affiliated with Oracle, students are analyzing the science behind the Tubbs Fire that raged through Sonoma County in October and creating blueprints for how the destroyed neighborhoods can rebuild in a way that could minimize impacts from the next fire.
The crash course in sustainability is an example of how, amidst the devastation and human suffering, teachers are using wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters to further students’ understanding of science, history and social studies.
“Drought, famine, fire, war — students get it. They see the connection between what’s on the news and these larger environmental issues,” said Andra Yeghoian, environmental education coordinator for the San Mateo County Office of Education, who teaches environmental science and trains teachers at Design Tech and other public schools in San Mateo County.
Source: Fires, floods, hurricanes: Teachers turn natural disasters into science and history lessons | EdSource
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the State Board of Education (SBE) voted to approve instructional materials for grades K–8 that teach California’s groundbreaking History/Social-Science Curriculum Framework.
“I am proud California continues to lead the nation by teaching history-social science that is inclusive and recognizes the diversity of our great state and nation,” he said. “Students will benefit enormously.”
Torlakson said the instructional materials will give students a broader, deeper, and more accurate understanding of history and the social sciences, provide them with current research, and equip them with the critical thinking and research skills to make up their own minds about controversial issues.
“They update the teaching and learning of history and social science and convey important new information about the challenges and contributions made by individuals and ethnic groups, members of the LGBT communities, and people with disabilities,” he said. “They recognize some individuals and groups who may not have been fully included in the past.”
Source: Board Approves History Social Science Materials – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)
By Donna Beth Weilenman
As bands played an estimated 1,000 people watched on land and on watercraft in Richardson Bay, the Matthew Turner finally touched water, leaving the shores of Sausalito Saturday afternoon.
The brigantine is the first wooden tall ship built in the San Francisco Bay Area in 100 years, and it’s named for the legendary prolific American designer and builder whose shipyard for years was in Benicia.
His design for his record-setting Galilee, built in 1891, is the inspiration for the new Matthew Turner, built by volunteers under the watchful eye and guidance of Alan Olson, executive director of Educational Tall Ship, which with its partner Call of the Sea, has been offering scholarly, on-board programs to school children on the smaller 2-foot schooner Seaward that was decorated in signal flags the day of the launch.
Source: After years under construction, ‘Matthew Turner’ hits the water
By Donna Beth Weilenman
A labor of love that began nearly four years ago with the laying of a brigantine’s keel will take an important step forward Saturday when the “Matthew Turner” is launched in Sausalito. Named for the famous shipbuilder who constructed record-setting vessels in Benicia, the Matthew Turner is patterned after the “Galilee,” the ship that covered the distance from Tahiti to California under sail at such speeds that the produce it carried arrived fresh enough to sell to awaiting customers.
The Galilee still holds the speed record – 22 days – for ships under sail from Tahiti to San Francisco.
Alan Olson, who founded the Call of the Sea and Educational Tall Ship education programs, has been dreaming of the day a ship built along Turner’s own designs would become the San Francisco Bay Area’s tall ship.
At one time, the Hawaiian Chieftain held that honor. That ship is an original design that recalls the packet ships that delivered mail and cargo along the Pacific coastline and inland via rivers, or outward across the ocean.
Source: ‘Matthew Turner’ ship launching Saturday
By Mayrene Bates
It’s been said that Americans revere the Constitution of the United States, but studies show that most of us know little about it. And if you missed it, last week was Constitution Week and Sept. 17 was Citizenship Day.
During this year’s Republican and Democratic conventions, there was a lot of back and forth about who had read the Constitution and who had not read it. I admit it’s not my go-to bedtime reading, but I do have two small, very portable booklets that I read from time to time. One is “The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States,” published by the Cato Institute. The other is “The Constitution of the United States,” published by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Source: Never too late to learn about the Constitution
By Dianne de Guzman
On a Monday night, a large group of local students gathered in the library at Jesse Bethel High School to listen to staff members of the Willie B. Adkins Scholars program talk about the history and the requirements needed.
The scene is familiar to many of those working with the group as adults. Now in its 30th year, a number of those helping the new group of students prepare for high school graduation, college applications and test prep were former students of the program.
“I can say that definitely because it’s a very community-oriented program, it has had a full-circle effect for me,” said Stephanie Bowens, a current instructor with the program. “…I got a scholarship through this program, so it helped fund my college education and now I’m able to give back to students and help them find their way. Volunteering in this program (also) helped me reach my own career goals of working in education.”
via Scholars program still going strong in Vallejo.
By Irma Widjojo
The Benicia education community is developing a collaborative project that is hoped to pair businesses and school projects to benefit the future generation
.b-Cubed, a pilot program, was recently introduced as a model to allow special projects developed by Benicia teachers to receive funding from Benicia’s business community.
“Often teachers raise the money on their own,” the Benicia Unified School District Grant Writer Adriene Rockwell said. “This is a way to let them focus on what they do best, teach.”
Still in its early stages, b-Cubed features innovative projects that have been selected by the school and district administrations, which would hopefully be adopted by a local business for funding.
Two of the five pilot projects have been funded by Benicia-based RIX Industries. There is a robotics project at Benicia High School, which created 14 robots, and a World History Class Cold War Simulation, which is a community-wide project that allow the students to experience the paranoia and tension of the Cold War.
via Benicia pilot program to link business and education communities.
By Richard Bammer
With his lessons centered on the rise of dictators, notably those in the modern era, it was inevitable that Buckingham Charter Magnet High School history teacher Dave Hawkins would devote some hours to Adolf Hitler.
After all, the Fuhrer (“leader” in German), who came to power as chancellor in 1933, envisioned a “Thousand Year Reich” ruled by a master “Aryan race.” The Austrian native’s dreams eventually engulfed much of the civilized world in war in the 1930s and ’40s and his “final solution” policy led to the systematic, mass murder of an estimated 6 million European Jews and millions of others in the Sho’ah, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust. It is remembered today worldwide, and especially and solemnly observed in Israel.
via At Buckingham Charter Magnet High School, Holocaust lessons taught with re-enactments.
For history and social studies teachers in California, the Common Core State Standards are welcome allies in their struggle to liberate their subject from a decade of inattention and irrelevance.
They are encouraged that the new standards stress the importance of research and analytical skills and elevate the importance of historical documents in reading comprehension. They feel valued as colleagues once again.
“Common Core gives us permission to finally teach history and not pretend it is another English class,” said Andrew Pegan, an 8th-grade history teacher in the Compton Unified School District. “That’s why I love Common Core.
”“I feel like we are emerging from the Dark Ages of educational policy,” said Ruth Moore, an 8th-grade history and English teacher at Santa Rosa Middle School.
via A Great Awakening for history and social studies | EdSource#.VSwJlWctHGg#.VSwJlWctHGg.
By Ian Thompson
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, is looking for local schools to help to interview and preserve the recollections of American war veterans as part of the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center.
Thompson, who is a veteran, is also encouraging local veterans to take part in the project and talk about their service in the military.
The goal of the Veterans History Project, which was created by Congress in 2000, is to collect and preserve the personal accounts of veterans so that their experiences can be accessible so that future generations can hear directly from them and better understand the realities of war, according to the press release.
via Thompson looks for schools, veterans to take part in history project | Daily Republic.
SACRAMENTO— State Superintendent Tom Torlakson announced today that California is moving forward to improve the way educators teach history and social science by gathering public comment on a new framework.
“By updating the framework, California is making sure students benefit from the latest methods of teaching history and social sciences,” Torlakson said. “Learning these subjects helps students understand and shape the world around them, which will better prepare them for college and careers.”
The draft History–Social Science Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Framework) will provide guidance for teachers, administrators, and parents on how to implement a curriculum, based on content standards in the classroom. The draft covers more recent historical events, reflects changes in the law since the last framework was adopted in 2001, and helps educators teach the critical analytical skills students need for 21st century careers.
via Draft History–Social Science Framework – Year 2014 (CA Dept of Education).
High school student Wyatt Smith and his Vacaville classmates could have easily read a book or encyclopedia entry about U.S. Marine John O. Dahlgren and the Chinese Boxer Rebellion.
But the students got a personal look at the man and the 1899 uprising by delving into the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum archives as part of a unique field trip.
“We wanted to do a display about the U.S. Marines and how it got started,” said Smith, a Will C. Wood High School junior in advanced placement history. “This is one person telling the story.”
via Will C. Wood High School students take to hands-on history.
Want to learn about Tradigital History? Come to SCOE’s STEM++ in Action Social Science Workshop for Educators on Wednesday, March 27.
By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:
• Identify great visual historical repositories
• Identify powerful digital timelines including free apps
• Use student response/polling
• Evaluate the effectiveness of using social media like Twitter
Bring Your Own Device and join us! Register by Tuesday, March 13.
via Want to learn about Tradigital History? Come to SCOE’s STEM++ in Action Social S….