Secondary Social Studies Newsletter

November 2014

Teacher Behaviors and Student Behaviors:
What are they and what do they look like?

You have heard a lot about planning for student behaviors, but what does that really mean? While most of us initially identify these behaviors as students in their seats, ready to learn when the bell rings, and turning their work in on time; when planning for learning, we are talking about a different type of student behavior. Let's use the DBQ process as an example. For a student to be successful in writing a DBQ, he/she will need to be able to analyze primary sources, make inferences, draw conclusions, develop a thesis, determine text evidence, make connections, and write in complete thoughts, to name a few of the behaviors needed.

Once you make a list of these desired student behaviors, you now need to determine, what behaviors you as a teacher will need in order to support the learning and behaviors you want from your students. Teacher behaviors could include, providing scaffolding questions or strategies for primary source analysis, modeling a think aloud for making inferences and drawing conclusions, and providing instructions and an example of a thesis using the chicken foot.

Now that you’ve identified the behaviors, how do you translate it into your classroom? The best way is to ask yourself, what will it look like and sound like in the classroom if students are successfully exhibiting these behaviors?

These are all discussions that can happen in your collaborative planning when you determining the "how" based on the needs of your students. For more information and examples see Steve Barkely's latest blog at

Election Day

Students at Wester participated in a mock election for the Governor's race, complete with voter registration and electronic ballots.
Wester's Mock Election Results

Election Day is today, November 4th.  A little election day trivia: 7 of the 8 US Presidents who died while in office were each elected how many years apart?  If you need more resources to discuss the election in your classrooms try the following links:

Everything is in Eduphoria! Why do I still need to plan???

When we designed our curriculum for FISD Social Studies, we intentionally left out direct teach portions that may be needed to introduce units and topics.  The mentor lessons found in Eduphoria are meant to offer interactive strategies to promote an active learning environment.  Our goal is to provide a model for good instruction in a social studies classroom and we leave the direct teach piece up to you all.  Therefore it's important to always start with your test banks and blue books to identify exactly what the students need to know to ensure alignment of activities and determine, where you might need to add in your own information to fill in the gaps.  

Veterans Among Our Ranks

8th Grade Teacher and IC, Tai Davis served as a captain in the US Army from 1990-1997.

John Laine, US Navy, 1988-1992 Wakeland High School IC

Mark Thomas, US Coast Guard, 1990-2000, Liberty High School

Kyle Stevens, Kansas Nation Guard, 6 years, Heritage High School

Great Things Happening

Check out LRE's New Website!

You can now search for lessons by grade level and TEKS!  Check out all that LRE has to offer K-12! Great resources, lessons, and workshops!


Cynthia Huchthausen, IC at Vandeventer, and winner of last month's trivia! Cynthia will be receiving a class set of clear protectors.  Be sure to read this month's newsletter carefully to find and answer the question for a chance to win.  Respond to Dodie Kasper or Meridith Manis with your answer!