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August 2021 Newsletter

Welcome (Back) to the 2021-2022 School Year!

Whew! The world of social studies education has seen more than its fair share of attention in the last couple of months. I wanted to take a moment and send Nebraska Social Studies educators a word of reassurance and some tips for possible use.

The Nebraska State Social Studies Standards were approved in November of 2019 and are based on the premise that providing opportunities for learning and educating our students is vital in developing and maintaining an engaged citizenry. Preparing students for our contemporary society cannot be accomplished without a strong emphasis on civics, economics, geography, and history – the core disciplines of social studies. It is imperative that each generation demonstrates positive and productive citizenship skills (SS K.1.1 and SS K.1.2). Because the standards were developed in part by Nebraska educators and vetted by the larger community during public feedback sessions and in open meetings, Nebraska’s History and Social Studies Standards represent what Nebraskan’s value in civics, economics, historical, and geographical education. They illustrate the community’s faith in its children to reach their full potential as learners and citizens.

The state standards outline what a student needs to know, understand, and be able to do at the end of each grade, or in the case of high school – each course. While standards are adopted at the state level by the Nebraska State Board of Education, curriculum (the resources used for teaching and learning the standards) and instruction (the methods used by teachers to teach their students in their classes and help them master the standards) are made at the local level.

Nebraska’s social studies standards and strategies for implementing those standards were developed by Nebraska educators from across the state who used their decades of teaching experience to develop high-quality, age-appropriate standards. The standards emphasize disciplinary skills and processes to be used when studying history, geography, civics, and economics which include:

  • Analyze and evaluate patterns of continuity and change over time.
  • Evaluate how considering multiple perspectives facilitates an understanding of history.
  • Evaluate the relevancy, accuracy, and completeness of primary and secondary sources to better understand multiple perspectives of the same event.
  • Gathering, interpreting, and using evidence to develop claims to historical, economic, geographical, and political questions and communicate those conclusions.
  • Analyze relationships among causes and effects.
  • Create and support arguments about social studies topics and issues using evidence.

The standards also support the process of social studies inquiry, which results in a  deeper understanding of content. Incorporating inquiry using the content standards reinforces the same skills contained in the Nebraska English Language Arts (ELA) Standards through reading, writing, speaking, and listening with social studies content.

Here are a few tips to help social studies educators moving forward this school year!

Tips for Educators: 

  • Build community and trust in and outside the classroom with both students and  parents. Students and parents should feel comfortable addressing issues or discomfort with the instructor. Encourage questions and dialogue.
  • Foster student agency in your classroom. This can be done through giving  students choice in content or products and encouraging them to voice their ideas  and advocate for themselves.
  • Focus on the History and Social Science Standards and tie your curriculum and instruction back to the standards. The standards have been approved by the State Board of Education and have passed through public feedback.
  • Carefully preview all materials used to avoid unexpected issues.
  • Use multiple types of primary sources in the classroom. In addition to documents  and texts primary sources can be photographs, oral histories, journals and  diaries, art, music, video footage, artifacts, and newspapers.
  • Provide multiple sources and multiple perspectives in the study of social studies content.
  • Avoid generalizations and encourage students not to categorize groups of people  based on their experiences in history and historical events.
  • Avoid presenting marginalized or oppressed groups as only victims- make sure to include examples of strength, resiliency, and overcoming adversity.
  • Use pedagogies that are student centered, such as the inquiry process. Have  students do the work of historians, economists, political scientists, and geographers.
  • Many times, educators want to use a simulation to create empathy, but this can backfire. Be cautious with simulations. Avoid simulations that have students take on the role of oppressor or oppressed persons. Use journals, oral histories, images, picture books, and literature to create understanding and empathy instead. If using simulations then try simulated court trials, congressional hearings, and historical debates.
  • Use structures for discussion like to examine different sides to issues and historical questions. Please refer to the NDE OnDemand video “Difficult Conversations in the Classroom” for additional assistance. https://www.education.ne.gov/socialstudies/difficult-conversations-in-the-classroom/
  • When teaching difficult histories like slavery, genocide, removal of indigenous peoples, segregation, lynching, war, the Holocaust and other sensitive subjects, review materials, especially graphic visuals carefully and use them only to the extent they are necessary to achieve the lesson objective. Try to select images and texts that do not exploit students’ emotional vulnerability or might be construed as disrespectful to the victims. If images are too graphic, use other approaches to access the material. https://www.ushmm.org/teach/fundamentals/guidelines-for-teaching-the-holocaust
  • Provide plenty of opportunities for students to debrief and evaluate classroom activities.
  • If you are in doubt, ask your supervisor or a colleague.

United States Senate Youth Program

Nebraska Social Studies educators! The United States Senate Youth Program application is now available! Encourage your high school juniors and seniors to apply! Application deadline is 4pm CST on September 24, 2021!

US Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska speaks with his delegates Claire Doyle and Dominic Mendlik on Zoom during the United States Senate Youth Program on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. One hundred and four high school student delegates – two from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity – take part in the 59th annual United States Senate Youth Program held online (because of the COVID-19 Pandemic) on March 14-17, 2021 and numerous Senate Zoom meeting from February 17 to March 30, 2021. (© Photo by Jakub Mosur and Erin Lubin).

From the United States Senate Youth Program website:

THE 60TH ANNUAL UNITED STATES SENATE YOUTH PROGRAM IS BEING PLANNED FOR MARCH 5–12, 2022 IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THE PROGRAM MAY BE HELD ONLINE PENDING PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE, TO BE DETERMINED IN THE FALL OF 2021.

Delegates will hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials of the Departments of State and Defense, leaders of other federal agencies and senior members of the national media. Delegates also traditionally participate in a meeting with a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the president of the United States. Most speaking events include in-depth question and answer sessions.

The Hearst Foundations will pay all expenses for Washington Week including transportation, hotel and meals if held in person. The Department of Defense (DoD) annually provides a team of competitively selected men and women officers to serve as mentors and chaperones for the student delegates, and a registered nurse, licensed physician and professional security team are in place at all times throughout an in-person week.

USCIS Questions Only Version

Are you a Nebraska educator using the United States Customs and Immigration Services Naturalization Exam to meet the graduation requirements of 79-724? Have you been looking for a version that comes with the questions only? Look no further! A PDF has been created that has removed the answers to make it easier to provide the complete exam as a study guide or other instructional material to meet your needs.

OER Conference for the Social Studies

From the OER Project website:

Real teachers, real historians, real ideas. We’re engaging new and established voices to share their experiences and unique perspectives. They offer practical guidance, inspiration and hope.

Join thousands of educators online August 3–5, 2021 to discuss how our world has changed and the impact on teaching practices as many students head back to the classroom this Fall. We’ll explore what history can tell us about this moment, how our view of citizenship has shifted, and what teachers should consider as they shift their practice to meet the challenge.

Registration for this 3 day conference is required.

Financial Literacy Act

The Nebraska Legislature adopted a law in May that requires school districts, when appropriate, to include financial literacy at the elementary and middle school levels. The law also requires students to complete at least a half-credit course in high school on finances before graduating. It is set to begin with the 2023-2024 school year and goes into effect on August 21, 2021.

State Statute 79-3003 states:

“Beginning with school year 2023-24, each school district, in consultation with the State Department of Education, shall include financial literacy instruction, as appropriate, in the instructional program of its elementary and middle schools and require each student to complete at least one five-credit high school course in personal finance or financial literacy prior to graduation.”

NexGen Personal Finance Academy

From the NGPF website:

WHAT IS NGPF ACADEMY?

NGPF Academy is our system to offer and track FREE professional development opportunities for educators focusing on personal finance. While anyone can participate in free professional development through NGPF Academy, the swag and gift card incentives are intended for teachers and educators reaching a multitude of students. Finance professionals and homeschool educators are welcome to attend NGPF PD but will not receive Academy credit.

3 WAYS TO START EARNING NGPF ACADEMY CREDITS:

VIRTUAL PD

Join live sessions, find support, and collaborate with the community of teachers.

CERTIFICATION COURSES

Become NGPF Certified in personal finance topics by taking a multi-week course.

NGPF ON-DEMAND

Try new PD opportunities that can be completed on your own time.

Native Land

From the Native Land website:

We strive to map Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see the history of their countries and peoples. We hope to strengthen the spiritual bonds that people have with the land, its people, and its meaning.

We strive to map Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages across the world in a way that goes beyond colonial ways of thinking in order to better represent how Indigenous people want to see themselves.

We provide educational resources to correct the way that people speak about colonialism and indigeneity, and to encourage territory awareness in everyday speech and action.

Native-land.ca is a website run by the nonprofit organization Native Land Digital. We are guided by a Board of Directors and an Advisory Council. Our funding comes from friendly organizations and individual donors.

Nebraska Council of Economic Education (NCEE) 2021-2022 Calendar of Events

Nebraska and NewsELA Standards Alignment

Support your Social Studies classrooms with content that’s aligned to the 2019 Nebraska Social Studies Standards and resonates with students. Newsela’s vetted content builds connections, promotes inquiry, and develops background knowledge, pushing students to think like historians, economists, political scientists and geographers.

Newsela Highlights:

  • Get even more out of core instruction
  • Differentiate instruction easily with texts published at 5 reading levels
  • Add relevance or rigor to any lesson
  • Daily content added to help teachers and students stay up to date on what is happening around the world
  • Provide more reading and writing choices for students
  • Save time finding, vetting, and aligning content
  • Ensure every student can access background knowledge and discussions

Newsela is aligned with the Anchor Social Studies Strands in K-12.

Civics

Forms and Function of Government and Civic Participation

Economics

Economic Decision Making, Financial Literacy, Exchange and Markets, National Economy, and Global Economy [starting in 5th grade]

Geography

Location and Place, Regions, Human-Environment Interaction, Movement, and Geospatial Skills and Geo-Literacy

History

Change, Continuity, and Context, Multiple Perspectives, Historical Analysis and Interpretation, and Historical Inquiry and Research

60 Days Across the USA

From the “60 Days Across the USA” website:

It took 60 days, but our virtual journey is in the books.

Over 8 weeks during spring 2020, we traveled through all 48 states in the continental United States. We visited 370 towns and 33 state capitals. We also encountered dozens of rivers, lakes, mountains, highways, parks, museums and landmarks.

Along the way, I had the privilege of interviewing some terrific people across the country.

There’s been a host of interesting places from the Washington town that celebrated skyjacker D.B. Cooper to the Iowa farm field where singer Buddy Holly’s plane crashed to the Illinois community that brought in purple starlings as a way to solve its mosquito problem to the town in Idaho that’s 36 miles long and less than 1 mile wide, a set-up designed to skirt the state’s liquor license laws.

We visited the towns where Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln lived as well as the birthplaces of Muhammad Ali and Lucille Ball. There’s also that upstate New York town that was reportedly the setting for the classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

I’ve learned so much about this country’s history, culture, geography and people that I could almost put together an encyclopedia.

The research and writing took me nearly 3 years. It was worth every minute and every word of the 400,00

0 words on the site.

And, now, we continue on.

Over the next few years, I’ll actually be driving portions of this route in 1-week, 2-week and 3-week chunks. I’ll freshen up each of the 60 daily columns as I do.

There’ll also be revisions as events happen in the states and cities we’ve covered. Our first update was posted shortly after the 60th day in our Day 12 column about Louisiana. The new information included the flooding being experienced this week in Lake Charles, a town hit by two strong hurricanes last year. There was also an update on the Day 38 column with President Joe Biden’s visit to a Ford factory in Dearborn, Michigan.

There’ll also be projects that fall under our “spotlight” category where we look at issues such as immigration, hunger and the nation’s manufacturing industry.

Finally, we’re going to rely on our readers to help us fill out the site. There is a Travel Center in the lower left box on the 60 Days USA main page. As you plan and take your road trips, fill that out and let us know where you’re going and what you’ve seen.

Our photo gallery also welcomes all types of images from our readers’ road trips, so just upload them onto our 60 Days USA Facebook page and we’ll get them posted here.

Wishing everyone safe and enjoyable travels as our nation hits the road once again.

Using Innovation and Technology to Promote Economic Inclusion and Financial Capability for Nebraska Students

Project PLACE Units

From the Project PLACE website:

These units were developed for Project PLACE (Project-approach to Literacy and Civic Engagement), an initiative at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. They are project-based units designed for second-grade students. Support for the development of the materials was provided by the Spencer Foundation and support for their testing was provided by the Spencer Foundation and the George Lucas Educational Foundation. The materials have been modified somewhat from the versions tested to be more useful for educators in a wider range of contexts. Units cover the four major disciplines in social studies: civics/government, economics, geography, and history. We recommend that you teach the units/projects in the order in which they appear. Please note that materials are copyrighted.

The Living New Deal

From the Living New Deal website:

The New Deal reached into every corner of the U.S., touching citizens of every kind and leaving its mark on the nation’s landscape, economy and culture. The Living New Deal is keeping alive the memory of the New Deal.  An important part of that effort is educating the public about the Roosevelt era and its legacy. That includes introducing our audience to a wealth of resources in libraries and on the web: books, films, documents, oral histories, and more. We also provide sample curricula for teachers to pass along knowledge of the New Deal to their students. Use the pull-down menu or click on the headings to find what you’re looking for. (Elsewhere, we provide short histories and a host of news items pertaining to the New Deal).

Websites on the New Deal showcase museum collections, photographic archives, history blogs, and much more that may be of interest to anyone looking for information on the New Deal, its programs, artworks and leaders. It includes websites specific to individual states, as well.

Films and Videos is our effort to generate a record of the New Deal’s attempts to capture its activities on film. The Roosevelt administration harnessed advancements in movie technology to promote its many programs. We provide descriptions of all the films we have found, highlight some of the longest and best films, and include a section of modern films about the New Deal. Our “Fireside Films” section showcases one film each week.

New Deal Resources for Teachers is a sampling of syllabi for teachers at the high school and college levels. Preparing a curriculum or lesson plan on the New Deal can be approached from a host of angles, but it is always helpful to see how other teachers have undertaken this important task and what additional resources they have relied on.

Oral Histories of the New Deal directs you to online resources dedicated to personal and family stories of participants in the New Deal, organized by state and program. These stories offer readers a wealth of personal experiences, from CCC camps in Louisiana to a resettlement community in Maryland, from artists working on public murals to African American women who participated in the WPA.



NSCAS Assessment Presentations at NDE Day 2021

Please join us for the Assessment presentations at NDE Day, July 28, 2021

(Click Links for PowerPoints)

9:45-10:30 NSCAS Innovation – Jeremy Heneger

10:40-11:25 NSCAS Growth Q&A (in person only – recording to come later) – Jeremy Heneger

1:00-1:45 Professional Learning Opportunities in 2021 and Formative Assessment Supports Network – Trudy Clark, Aly Martinez Wilkinson, and Dennison Bhola

1:55-2:40 NSCAS Update 2021-22 – Jeremy Heneger

2:50-3:36 NSCAS ACT State Testing for 2022 – Jeremy Heneger and Iris Owens

2:50-3:35 NSCAS Science: Building a Coherent System of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment – Rhonda True and Audrey Webb

 

 



NSCAS Summative Test Window

Click for a pdf of all of the NSCAS assessment schedules in one convenient document.



May 2021 Newsletter

The 2020-2019 Nebraska Social Studies Year in Review

Summer break is soon approaching and I just wanted to take this opportunity to share my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for your continued diligence, hard work, and dedication to Nebraska students. I know that this year has been a challenge, and yet you all persevered, all while implementing new standards, instructional shifts, and possibly instructional resources and materials. Also, as my first year as the Social Studies Education Specialist with the Nebraska Department of Education comes to a close, I would like to thank you all for welcoming me into your professional lives through monthly newsletters, professional development, phone call conversations, and emails. In partnership with school administration, district leaders, and ESU Teaching and Learning professionals, we are working hard to meet the needs of social studies educators in the coming 2021-2022 school year. It has been my absolute pleasure to serve you this school year and I look forward to continuing to be a steward of social studies education in Nebraska and ensuring that our students across the state receive nothing less than the best!

The monthly newsletter will pause while you all are resting, relaxing, and enjoying your summer vacation. They will start again beginning in August. I hope the information contained within this and the previous newsletters have been helpful. With that being said, there is A LOT of information below for you to digest. If for any reason you need to contact me, you can do so by emailing me at: ebony.mckiver@nebraska.gov or calling/texting at: (531) 207-9043.

All my best, wishing you and yours the best summer vacation ever!

-Ebony

The Nebraska Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (NebTOPSS) Psychology Conference

Information from Planning Committee:

NebTOPSS’s mission is to provide professional development opportunities for high school social studies teachers.  Participating in these professional development opportunities allows you the opportunity to network with other high school psychology teachers, learn from collegiate psychology professors and other psychology professionals, as well as obtain new resources for your psychology classroom.  With that mission in mind our third annual NebTOPSS conference will be on June 3, 2021 from 9:00-3:00.  Our focus this year is the social perspective.  The conference will be held at the Don Clifton Professional Learning Center, but there will also be a virtual option available to participants this year.  During the conference you will have the opportunity to listen to Dr. Cynthia Willis-Esqueda discuss techniques for conducting stereotyping, prejudice, and racism research.  You will also participate in demonstrations concerning the social perspective that you could then take back to your classroom.  Plus breakfast and lunch will be provided.

If you are ready to register use the link below to get started!

https://forms.gle/MC9BKWHf5EnprwK19

9/11 Memorial and Museum: Anniversary in the Schools Webinar

From the 9/11 Memorial and Museum website:

Join students and teachers from around the world to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 by registering for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s free Anniversary in the Schools program.

2021 Speakers

Carlton Shelley II, a West Point graduate who was a student in the elementary school where President George W. Bush was told about the 9/11 attacks.

Bill Spade, a retired FDNY firefighter who responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11, and his son, John Spade, a graduate of the 9/11 Museum Ambassador program and Museum volunteer.

Will Jimeno, a retired Port Authority police officer who was rescued from the debris pile hours after surviving the collapse of the Twin Towers.

Brielle Saracini and Cait Leavey, who both lost their fathers on 9/11 and became lifelong friends while volunteering with an organization dedicated to supporting those who lost loved ones on September 11.

The program will be available on-demand beginning Friday, September 10, 2021. On that day, Education staff will answer student questions through an exclusive live chat. Teaching guides will be available in advance of the program.

Register for the Anniversary in the Schools webinar today.

For more information, contact the Education Programs Staff at anniversaryintheschools@911memorial.org.

The webinar will be interpreted in American Sign Language and captioned. An audio description and Spanish subtitles will also be available.

The webinar is made possible thanks to generous support from the New York Life Foundation.

Nebraska E-Books

From the NDE Nebraska E-Books webpage:

The NeBooks Project is a partnership between schools, state agencies and non-profit organizations across Nebraska for the common purpose of providing quality instructional materials. The initial focus of this project was creating Nebraska focused eBooks for use in meeting 4th grade Nebraska History standards. As the project has continued to grow and gain momentum, we want to encourage the writing of eBooks in all content areas to be added to our eBook Library.

NeBooksGuidelines

  • This comprehensive packet will guide you as you begin your NeBooks Project. Get a general overview of how to do the project and see student expectations at the elementary, middle, and high school level.
  • Found a video that you want to include in your iBook? There is a letter template to send to the video owner to ask permission to use it in the iBook.
  • We want your work to be recognized, but we are required to have permission to do so. The release form allows NDE to post your completed iBook with your full name as the author, and parent approval for students under 18 years of age. The guidelines also include the same release form translated into Spanish.

Student Authors E-Book Library

Teacher Authors E-Book Library

Lincoln Speaks Symposium

From the Gilder Lehrman website:

Dates: August 1–6, 2021

Location: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, IL

Participants: K–12 teachers from Illinois, Indiana, and Nebraska

Application Deadline: May 15, 2021

In partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Lincoln Speaks Symposium will allow up to 25 K–12 teachers from Illinois, Indiana, or Nebraska to participate in a weeklong professional development event on-site at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The symposium will focus on Lincoln’s intellectual, moral, psychological, and political evolution. Participants will have the chance to explore Lincoln’s life and writings in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois.

ELIGIBILITY

K–12 educators teaching in Illinois, Indiana, or Nebraska are welcome to apply to the Lincoln Speaks Symposium. Teachers must be enrolled in the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s free Affiliate School Program to complete their application.

APPLICATION INFORMATION

Interested K–12 teachers in Illinois, Indiana, or Nebraska must complete an application to be considered. Applications will be reviewed by Gilder Lehrman and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum staff.

The deadline to submit an application is May 15, 2021. Selected teachers will be notified by June 15, 2021.

Wrapping Up the School Year with an Econ Focus

Free Interactive Nebraska Redistricting Lesson from LWV-NE

Attention: American Government Teachers and Curriculum Specialists

The League of Women Voters of Nebraska with the support of Common Cause of Nebraska has developed a 60-90-minute lesson plan on Redistricting 2021 with a focus on Nebraska. It addresses the Nebraska civic education curriculum standard:

SS HS.1.1. Analyze the foundation, structures, and functions of state government and its outcomes. For example: bicameral/unicameral, reapportionment/redistricting, branches of government, judiciary process, penal system

Meant to Represent: Putting Our Vote on the Map, an interactive presentation, incorporates speakers from LWVNE who offer explanations and video demonstrations of redistricting terms: Census, apportionment, redistricting, gerrymandering, packing, cracking, and communities of interest. Nebraska voting districts and precincts are illustrated. Constitutional requirements for redistricting both at the national and state levels are covered along with a brief history of redistricting in Nebraska. The unique concept of Nebraska’s Unicameral, the role of Nebraska’s citizens as the second “house,” and the importance of public participation in state government is emphasized. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on state redistricting are addressed as well as the path taken to ensure fair redistricting in the state legislatively and through ballot initiative. An optional quiz is included.

With a strong emphasis on voter participation, the second portion of the presentation focuses on a community map-drawing activity, using DistrictR software, that demonstrates how lawmakers use data to inform where they set voting district boundaries. A LWVNE member facilitates the use of the program and draws a sample community. Following the presentation, students can use the software to draw their own community defining “communities of interest,” citing parks, schools, familiar landmarks, restaurants, and businesses.

Meant to Represent: Putting Our Vote on the Map will be available for your use after May 8, 2021. Please register below to receive a customized-for-Nebraska lesson on redistricting. This plan is especially relevant now through the end of September. The Nebraska Legislature will draw new maps in late September, early October, 2021.

Bonus! Nebraska Poets on Redistricting!!

Watch Redistricting Poetry Winners read their poems on LWVNE’s website:

Redistricting – League of Women Voters of Nebraska (lwvnebraska.org)

First Place – Grace Eastin, a Junior at Sutton Public Schools, and resident of Clay Center, Nebraska

Second Place – Patrick McEvoy, Poet and Core Teaching Artist, Nebraska Writers Collective, Louder Than a Bomb

Name:________________________________________________________________________

School Name:__________________________________________________________________

School District:_________________________________________________________________

Position:______________________________________________________________________

Email:________________________________________________________________________

Course & Grade:________________________________________________________________

Level:________________________________________________________________________

Phone:_______________________________________________________________________

Date Needed:__________________________________________________________________

Send application and any questions to Carol Dennison, cdennsion@lwvnebraska.gov.

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center – 2021 Virtual Summer Institute

From the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center website:

Through this introductory institute, teachers will begin an investigation into the history of the Holocaust (1933-1945). During this intensive, five-day virtual seminar, participants will become familiar with the content area, literacy-based teaching methods, and resources to teach Holocaust history to their students. The course will include primary source readings, use of historical documents, multimedia presentations, guest speakers, and will draw interdisciplinary connections that align with state and national standards.

Educators will leave a with deeper knowledge of the Holocaust and rich pedagogical resources. The program will enable educators to investigate with their students the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and indifference, and the role of the individual in nurturing and protecting democratic values and human rights.

Full and partial tuition assistance is available.

State Board, District, and ESU Map Resources

The State Board, District, and ESU Map Resources page has been updated with NEW 2021 maps!

Microsoft Education Center

From the Microsoft Education Center website:

Learn with free courses and resources today! Nearly a million courses were completed worldwide over the last month with the Microsoft Educator Center. Bring new skills to your classroom, earn professional development hours, and acquire badges as you confidently implement hybrid learning.

Newspaper Navigator

From the Newspaper Navigator website:

Newspaper Navigator is a project being carried out by Benjamin (Ben) Charles Germain Lee as part of the Innovator in Residence Program at the Library of Congress. The goals of Newspaper Navigator are 1) to extract visual content from 16+ million pages of digitized historic American newspapers in Chronicling America and 2) re-imagine how you, members of the American public, can search the visual content using machine learning techniques. The first phase (extracting the visual content) was completed in April, 2020, and resulted in the full Newspaper Navigator dataset. The second phase of Newspaper Navigator consists of the application that you are currently using! All Newspaper Navigator photos in the app and dataset are in the public domain!

The Geography Teacher

From the Taylor and Francis Online website:

Free access until June 1, 2021

The Geography Teacher provides a forum for educators and scholars to present innovative teaching strategies and essential content for elementary and secondary geography, AP Human Geography, introductory college geography, and preservice methods courses. The journal invites scholarly work in the areas of how students learn and instructors teach by preserving and disseminating research. It is also a forum for discussion of state, national, and international trends in geography education. The journal seeks original manuscripts that contribute to the understanding of issues and topics associated with geography education.

While research manuscripts are accepted, one important aim of the Journal is to provide a forum for those manuscripts that may be outside traditional research formats. Lesson plans and approaches to teaching are of particular interest.

The Critical Social Educator

From the Critical Social Educator website:

The Critical Social Educator is an open access, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal designed to connect practitioners and researchers interested in critical social education at the elementary level. By critical, we mean an examination of power relations with a focus on injustice and oppression in terms of how these operate within sites of learning as well as efforts to disrupt them. By social education, we mean all experiences through which children learn about the social world and their participation in it. By elementary, we mean educational experiences that include children ages 5-12 and/or prepare adults teaching and learning with this age group.

The journal aims to provide a space for researchers and practitioners to be in dialogue about the possibilities and challenges of critical social education at the elementary level.

Personal Finance Institute

PERSONAL FINANCE INSTITUTE– REGISTER NOW!

July 13-15, 2021

Due to the success of previous Institutes, we are again offering the Personal Finance Institute.

Register Now!

Are you a new/newer teacher?  Are you a seasoned teacher wanting to refresh and sharpen your skills? Do you teach Personal Finance? Would you like to earn financial education industry certification? Are you interested in revising an existing Personal Finance course to add more rigor? If so, consider attending Nebraska’s Personal Finance Institute, to be held at the University of Nebraska-Omaha July 13, 14, and 15, 2021.

K-12 teacher participants will each receive a $300 honorarium. Meals are included but participants must pay for their own lodging. A room block is reserved at the Aksarben Courtyard Marriott for those who wish to stay overnight. To be eligible to receive the $300 honorarium, attendees must participate in all aspects of the Institute, including pre-work, evening meals and W!se certification pretest and exam.

The Personal Finance Institute is limited to the first 30 completed registrations. To register you must complete the online Personal Finance Institute application and submit your $100 refundable deposit.  Your check will be held and returned to you the final day of the Institute.

Prior to the Institute, participants are required to spend a minimum of 20 hours in Institute pre-work. We will utilize NextGen Personal Finance (http://ngpf.org) on-demand professional development modules for this purpose. More details will be provided at a later date. Prior to beginning the Institute pre-work, participants will take a 1-hour proctored certification pretest from their own device at home/school. In the registration link, you will choose the pretest date/time from the following:

  • Saturday, April 17 at 8am
  • Sunday, May 2 at 3pm
  • Saturday, May 8 at 8am
  • Wednesday, May 12 at 6pm

Any Nebraska middle school, secondary and/or 2- or 4-year college educator who intends to implement personal finance into their curriculum is eligible for the Personal Finance Institute. Those participating in the Institute should understand that they are responsible for paying their tuition, if choosing to take for credit, prior to the Institute. Off-site lodging is your own responsibility, although a discounted housing block will be established. Only K-12 teachers are eligible for the honorarium.

At the end of the training, teachers are required to take the W!SE financial literacy certification exam. Passing or failing this literacy certification exam will not affect the course grade. However, being able to add an industry certification to your teaching resume is a valuable aspect of professional development!

Earn Graduate Credit

The Personal Finance Institute will be offered as an optional 3-hour graduate credit on-campus course from July 13-15, 2021. Participants can sign up for optional graduate credit (3 credits—ECON 8050: Economic Education) through UNO. To do so participants will need to create an account. Applications are now open for Summer with a July 1st registration deadline for credit. Participants are responsible for all tuition and fees.

Note that if you are using ECON 8050 to complete the Certificate in Economic Education please reach out to Dr. Jamie Wagner (jfwagner@unomaha.edu) prior to enrolling in the course for additional information.

Create account: https://www.applyweb.com/unograd/index.ftl

Program selection: Graduate non-degree summer 2021

Applications open now for Summer 2021 and deadline is July 1st.

Application fee: $25

No prerequisites in economics required.

Participants are required to attend the entire on-campus training sessions, including evening meals, for the 3 days of the Institute, plus take the literacy certification exam.   The Institute will run approximately from 8:30 am each day and conclude around 7:30 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 4 pm on Thursday. Your registration indicates your commitment to fully attend and participate in the Personal Finance Institute.

Participants should bring a laptop for use throughout the Institute. Dress is business casual. Rooms can be chilly – please bring a sweater or jacket.

Complete the Personal Finance Institute online application, which is due by April 30, 2021 or when registration is full.

If you have any questions, please contact:

  • Dr. Jamie Wagner, Director, UNO Center for Economic Education, jfwagner@unomaha.edu
  • Dr. Jennifer Davidson, President, NCEE, jdavidson2@unl.edu
  • Mary Janssen, Career Field Specialist, NDE, mary.janssen@nebraska.gov

Becky Barnard | Council Coordinator | Nebraska Council on Economic Education | University of Nebraska–Lincoln | Hawks Hall 525 C, 730 N. 14th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588-0404 | 402-472-2333| nebraskacouncil.unl.edu |

Gallup Strengths: Positivity, Developer, Empathy, Connectedness, Harmony

Open Textbook Library

From the Open Textbook Library website:

Textbooks in the Open Textbook Library are considered open because they are free to use and distribute, and are licensed to be freely adapted or changed with proper attribution.

Open textbooks are licensed by authors and publishers to be freely used and adapted. Download, edit and distribute them at no cost.

The Open Textbook Library is supported by the Open Education Network.

Resources to Respond to Tragedy and Violence

From the IllinoisCivics.org website:

All educators are civics teachers. Teachers send messages to students about power, justice, and representation by the content we select, the way we engage student voice, the norms we employ, and the stories included in our classroom. We have a responsibility to prioritize our students’ lived experiences, putting Maslow before Bloom, to inform the essential questions we address in our curriculum. When violence or tragedy occurs, classrooms provide a safe venue for students to process, ask questions and be given context to understand current events as they happen.

While current events unfold, it is not the time to debate policy. Educators will not have all of the answers to the questions students pose. Teachers can create a classroom space where we can be present, listen, and create a safe environment for our students to do the same.

EVER-FI Virtual Classroom Launch

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! EVERFI wants to thank Nebraska teachers for enduring this year by virtually taking over a class period + a $10 Amazon gift card! Elementary and middle school teachers can sign up for a virtual classroom launch by scheduling time with Heather.

During the 45 minute visit, Heather will introduce the Vault – Understanding Money digital resources sponsored by the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office, support students in the registration process, and get students excited about financial literacy–no lesson planning necessary for teachers!

We are so excited to thank Nebraska teachers for all they have done for students this year!



Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

The next Technical Advisory Committee Meeting is on April 19, 2020 from 11:00-3:00 CST.

Zoom: https://educationne.zoom.us/j/93618490403 

Meeting Agenda:

  • Using Principled Alignment and Item Difficulty Modeling to Create an Integrated, Hybrid Interim-Summative Through Year Adaptive Assessment System: Proof of Concept and Considerations
  • Through Year Prioritization Model Overview


April 2021 Newsletter

Educating for American Democracy Roadmap

From the Educating for American Democracy website:

The aim of the Roadmap is to provide guidance that shifts content and instruction from breadth to depth by offering an inquiry framework that weaves history and civics together and inspires students to learn by asking difficult questions, then seeking answers in the classroom through facts and discussion for a truly national and cross-state conversation about civics and history to invigorate classrooms with engaging and relatable questions.

The Seven Content Themes map out the disciplinary and conceptual terrain, as well as the skills and dispositional learning needed to support healthy civic participation. The Five Design Challenges span the seven themes and state honestly and transparently some of the rich dilemmas that educators will encounter as they work with the content themes and instructional guidance.

Honest History Readers

From the Gibbs Smith Education website:

Welcome to your new go-to social studies resource. This is not your traditional textbook. Yes,

the history is there, presented in an accurate, unbiased way. But this diverse resource displays a variety of perspectives, stories, and events in a thematic way for students to connect to and engage with. In Honest History Readers students will study topics like independence, conservation, technology and innovation, international relations and more through the lenses of history, civics, culture, economy, and geography, and be able to see themselves in every volume.

Honest History Readers are a K-2 and 3-5 social studies program designed to engage and immerse students in thematic social studies content. Each set includes nine volumes a year, with additional sets available each year. Every volume can be purchased both in print, for a more hands-on experience, or on our digital platform for a more interactive experience, or both.

Nebraska Game and Parks

From the Nebraska Game and Parks website:

Celebrate 100 years of state park history from your classroom! These resources offer K–6 teachers the opportunity to integrate the Nebraska State Park Centennial into curricula, lessons and activities. Connect students with our state park system through fun activities that are aligned with state standards for learning.

Explore the history of Nebraska’s oldest state park, Chadron State Park, and discover the people, legislation and improvement projects that make the park what it is today. Then think about important events in your life and build a timeline of your own.

Text Complexity Workshop

Integrating Primary and Secondary Sources into Teaching: The SOURCES Framework for Authentic Investigation

From the Integrating Primary and Secondary Sources into Teaching website:

SOURCES Framework

Scrutinize the Fundamental Source(s)
Organize Thoughts
Understand the Context
Read Between the Lines
Corroborate and Refute
Establish a Plausible Narrative
Summarize Final Thoughts

It is essential for educators to provide students with various opportunities to engage with primary and secondary sources in an authentic and engaging manner that replicates that which is done by professionals in various fields of study (Waring, 2020). Through the use of the SOURCES Framework for Teaching with Primary and Secondary Sources, educators can properly scaffold the learning experience for students to allow them a more independent, inquiry-based approach. An added benefit of teaching students in this manner is that the skills and approaches that they employ throughout the process mirror those needed to effectively navigate various perspectives and opinions, including traditional and social media, with which they are confronted on a daily basis (NCSS, 2013).

As students move through the seven stages of the SOURCES framework, the SOURCES Analysis Sheet for use with primary and secondary sources is useful (example image), Additionally, educators will want to use the SOURCES Framework Analysis Sheet to help guide students through the investigation and each of the stages of the SOURCES framework.

ProCon.Org

From ProCon.Org website:

“To promote civility, critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting the pro and con arguments to debatable issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, freely accessible way.”

Through our website, ProCon.org, we serve as a non-biased information source for our users. We present sourced pros and cons of debatable issues, as well as a host of reference information relevant to those issues, thoroughly researched and compiled by our research staff and editors. We use the pro and con format because it achieves four objectives:

1. First, by exposing readers to both sides of an issue in a side-by-side format, we make it easier for them to see the difference in the facts and arguments offered by each side.

2. Second, our pro and con format creates what we call “beneficial confusion,” causing readers to struggle with well-presented opposing positions, and, therefore, to engage in evaluative thinking to formulate their own views. Readers who have a pre-existing view of an issue may feel more confident in their view, or they may change their view. In either case, many will recognize that the process of acquiring and critically evaluating information has a beneficial and satisfying effect on their decision-making.

3. Third, the format makes readers more confident and comfortable in discussing and debating their views with others, knowing what the “other side” may think.

4. Fourth, challenging readers to examine both sides of an issue tends to reduce the likelihood that they will resort to the “demonization” of those who hold opposing views.

The Redistricting Game

From The Redistricting Game website:

The Redistricting Game is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting. Currently, the political system in most states allows the state legislators themselves to draw the lines. This system is subject to a wide range of abuses and manipulations that encourage incumbents to draw districts which protect their seats rather than risk an open contest.

By exploring how the system works, as well as how open it is to abuse, The Redistricting Game allows players to experience the realities of one of the most important (yet least understood) aspects of our political system. The game provides a basic introduction to the redistricting system, allows players to explore the ways in which abuses can undermine the system, and provides info about reform initiatives – including a playable version of the Tanner Reform bill to demonstrate the ways that the system might be made more consistent with tenets of good governance. Beyond playing the game, the web site for The Redistricting Game provides a wealth of information about redistricting in every state as well as providing hands-on opportunities for civic engagement and political action.

Geography Games by Sheppard Software

From the Geography Games website:

We create content and games for our website with these goals:

1) To add sound and visual effects to make learning fun and more memorable.
2) To design games with many difficulty levels so that players will continue to be challenged no matter how far they progress.
3) To provide games that will exercise players’ brains

Resources for Teaching Asian American Identity and History

The recent increase in anti-Asian attacks and the violent death by gun of six Asian women in Georgia on March 17th, has generated discussion and resources in support of the Asian American community. Classroom discussions after violent tragedies like this or the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado should be handled carefully. Current journalistic practice is to focus on the lives and experiences of the victims, presenting a fully humanizing picture of their lives. Good social science practice should include both the challenges faced by Asian Americans confronting a long history of racism and discrimination, as well as the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans to the culture and history
of the United States.

Below are resources created by national organizations and resources with specific connections to Nebraska history.

APANO responds to shooting tragedy in Atlanta

Council of Korean Americans: #StopAsianHate

Learning For Justice: After Atlanta: Teaching Asian American Identity and History Asian

Americans in the People’s History of the United States

A History of Omaha’s Chinatown

Asian Community and Cultural Center

Nebraska Chinese Association

Zoom In U.S. History Lessons

From the Zoom In website:

Zoom In is a free, Web-based platform that helps students build literacy and historical thinking skills through “deep dives” into primary and secondary sources.
Zoom In’s online learning environment features 18 content-rich U.S. history units that supplement your regular instruction and help you use technology to support students’ mastery of both content and skills required by the new, higher standards:

● Reading documents closely and critically
● Identifying author’s point of view and purpose
● Engaging in higher-order, text-based discussions
● Writing explanatory and argumentative essays grounded in evidence

Checkology

From the Checkology website:

Checkology’s lessons and other resources show you how to navigate today’s challenging information landscape. You will learn how to identify credible information, seek out reliable sources, and apply critical thinking skills to separate fact-based content from falsehoods.

Checkology gives you the habits of mind and tools to evaluate and interpret information. And you gain an understanding of the importance of the watchdog role of the press.

TedEd

From the TedEd website:

TED-Ed is TED’s youth and education initiative. TED-Ed’s mission is to spark and celebrate the ideas of teachers and students around the world. Everything we do supports learning — from producing a growing library of original animated videos , to providing an international platform for teachers to create their own interactive lessons, to helping curious students around the globe bring TED to their schools and gain presentation literacy skills, to celebrating innovative leadership within TED-Ed’s global network of over 650,000 teachers. TED-Ed has grown from an idea worth spreading into an award-winning education platform that serves millions of teachers and students around the world every week.

National Register Database and Research

From the National Register Database and Research website:

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.

Entrepreneurship in Your Community: Creating Your Own Career

Created by UNO Center for Economic Education and social studies educator Matt Pierson of Bryan High School in Omaha, the Entrepreneurship Guide is targeted for middle and high school teachers to teach entrepreneurship. The guide can be used in its entirety for a semester-long course or it can be used to supplement resources that a teacher already uses. It is tied to the National Voluntary Standards in Economics and the National Financial Literacy standards. Additionally, each lesson is linked to the Nebraska Social Studies and BMIT standards throughout. It is free to use and download and has accompanying slides for teachers.

Effective entrepreneurship requires that students have a keen understanding of the ways in which individuals, businesses, governments, and societies make decisions to allocate human capital, physical capital, and natural resources among alternative uses. This is part of the economic reasoning process and involves the consideration of costs and benefits with the ultimate goal of making decisions that will enable individuals, businesses, and societies to be as well-off as possible. The study of entrepreneurship provides students with the concepts and tools necessary for an economic way of thinking and helps them understand the interaction of buyers and sellers in markets everywhere. Economic reasoning and skillful use of economic tools draw upon a strong base of knowledge about human capital, land, investments, money, income and production, taxation, all of which are essential to being a successful entrepreneur.

A More Perfect Union: Teaching the American Revolution and Beyond

From the National History Day website:

National History Day is partnering with the National Endowment for the Humanities to commemorate the semiquincentennial of the United States. Together, NEH and NHD will create classroom materials that highlight different perspectives on the American Revolution, early American republic, and the continued efforts to create a more perfect union throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

These classroom resources will help teachers engage students with unique primary sources and themes of democracy and citizenship throughout United States history.

April is Financial Literacy and National Poetry Month

Listed below are links to resources that will help you teach about financial literacy and using poetry in social studies.

Financial Literacy

Annuity.Org

Capitol Hill Challenge

Council on Economic Education

EcEdWeb

EconEdLink

Expensivity

Invest It Forward

MoneyGeek

The Stock Market Game

Poetry and Social Studies

Niobrara National Scenic River: Ever-Changing Currents Mini-Lesson

Poetry for Social Studies: Poems, Standards, and Strategies

Poetry Lesson Plans for Social Studies Class

Getting Poetic in Social Studies



NSCAS General Assessment Administration Manual

The Online Test Administration Manual (with the scripts for administering the assessment) can be found on NWEA’s Nebraska Portal under Assessment Coordinators.  You may want to bookmark this page as it has a plethora of helpful NSCAS information.



Statewide Assessment & Accountability Update 2020-2021

Overview of Topics:

  • MyACT & NSCAS ACT Support
  • Expanded Testing Time for NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test
  • NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test iPad highlighter functionality
  • NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test Reporting Update
  • NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test Exempt Clarification

Statewide Assessment & Accountability Update PowerPoint

Statewide Assessment & Accountability Update Presentation Video Time: 26:06



March 2021 Newsletter

Nebraska Historical Markers

Example of a Nebraska History Marker.

Happy Nebraska Statehood Day! On March 1, 1867, Nebraska officially became the 37th state of this nation’s union.

From the History Nebraska website:

Our Explore Nebraska History app is the easiest way to find Nebraska Historical Markers in your area or access marker information from afar. You can download it on the App Store or Google Play. There is also a desktop version.

Women’s History Month Resources

It’s March and that also means that it is Women’s History Month. Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed an act which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint

resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed another additional legislation which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Below is a list of resources for Nebraska Educators to access and use lessons relating to Women’s History Month.

60 Seconds Civics

From 60 Seconds Civics website:

60-Second Civics is a daily podcast that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation’s government, the Constitution, and our history. The podcast explores themes related to civics and government, the constitutional issues behind the headlines, and the people and ideas that formed our nation’s history and government.

60-Second Civics is produced by the Center for Civic Education. The show’s content is primarily derived from the Center’s education for democracy curricula, including We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Foundations of Democracy, and Elements of Democracy.

Teaching About Food and Agriculture Using Web Mapping Tools and Spatial Data (Journal Article)

Example of what food and agricultural web mapping using spatial tools could look like.

From the article Abstract:

Food and agriculture as geographic subjects connect well with climate, weather, river systems, landforms, and the politics and resources inherent in irrigation or draining the land, biodiversity, agricultural methods, customs, cultural history and change, technological development, population and immigration, and other topics. Teaching and learning about food and agriculture in an effective, engaging manner is enriched through the use of web mapping tools and spatial data. These tools, enabled by the advent of cloud-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, bring problem solving, critical thinking, and spatial analysis to every classroom instructor and student.

OpenSocialStudies.org 

Open Social Studies (formerly called Understanding Our World), is an inquiry-based and literacy-focused K-6 social studies curriculum. It is free and open source.

Starting in the early elementary grades, all children should receive regular instruction in the social studies, which includes history, civics, geography, and economics. However, there are real pressures on schools and teachers to increase the amount of instruction in other subject areas, which often comes at the expense of their social studies time.

This curriculum was built to help teachers in K-6 schools regularly enact powerful and authentic social studies in their classrooms that will also meet essential literacy goals (linking every lesson to the Common Core State Standards). In other words, it leverages the richness of social studies content to help students learn to read, write, and think critically while exploring the past and present world around them. Moreover, it aims to make every single lesson culturally relevant, connecting to the racial, ethnic, gender, class, language, and immigration experience of the increasingly diverse United States.

Making Inquiry Possible

From the Making Inquiry Possible website:

In two short introductory films, we lay the groundwork for inquiry-based instruction in social studies classrooms and outline the origins of the Making Inquiry Possible (MIP) project, preview the films that are featured on this site, and orient the viewer to the professional learning resources available to support educators in making inquiry possible in their own classrooms and districts.

In Part 1, Dr. Kathy Swan tackles the foundational question: Why inquiry? In Part 2, Dr. Kathy Swan answers the project question:  What is the Making Inquiry Possible project?

Loper Business Invitational

Registration information for students interested in the Loper Business Invitation to take place March 23rd through the 25th.

We the People Teacher Summer Institute

Detailed information about free professional development for educators offered by the Center for Civic Education to take place this summer.

Open Ended Social Studies

From the Open Ended Social Studies website:

Lesson plans to foster a sense of wonder about the world and our place in it!

An Open Ended History is a free online history textbook adapted and expanded upon from open sources.  Its chapters are designed to address most state standards, splitting the difference between overarching themes, concise summary, and the kinds of vivid, personal details that make history memorable to the average student.  Please use and share freely – to supplement or replace what you have at hand.

NCSS Advocacy Toolkit

From the NCSS website:

The NCSS Advocacy Toolkit is an educational resource and planning tool of the National Council for the Social Studies that has been created and developed for non-profit educational and research purposes with the objective of advocating for social studies education. The Toolkit can be freely used for these non-profit purposes.

The Toolkit includes links to materials that may be copyrighted, and the Toolkit makes fair use of these materials for educational purposes. Those who wish to use any of these materials for purposes that go beyond fair use should obtain permission from the copyright owner.

American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL)

From the American Indians in Children’s Literature website:

A primary purpose of American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) is to help you know who Native people are. That knowledge can help you understand why Native people object to being misrepresented. Though we are certain that no author ever sets out to deliberately misrepresent Native people, it happens over and over again. Information is the only way to counter those misrepresentations. On American Indians in Children’s Literature, we publish analyses of children’s books, lesson plans, films, and other items related to the topic of American Indians and/or how this topic is taught in school.

2021 Economic Virtual Professional Development

2021 Economic Virtual Professional Development sponsored by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education. The March 10 session will be about government and the economy.



NSCAS Assessment Development Application – Virtual Summer 2021 Work

Even though the NSCAS test windows have not opened, it is time to start planning for next year. Below is a link for an application for summer NSCAS test development & alignment work for NSCAS summative general (ELA, math, science) and for formative classroom task development for science.  All assessment development work will be done virtually this summer.

NDE Statewide Assessment is always seeking highly qualified educators to participate in assessment development, review, and alignment opportunities.  Stipends are available when educators are NOT working under district contract.

We are currently seeking educators for summer NSCAS test development work for both NSCAS General and NSCAS formative work in science.  You can find the NSCAS summer application link below.  If you have any questions please contact us at 402.314.3013.

Application Link 

The first page of the application will offer details about content areas and dates. Please let NDE know if you have any questions about the application or the test development opportunities. The initial selection process will begin at the end of March.

 



Paper/Pencil Exempt Students

Remember to send Maggie Sis (margaret.sis@nebraska.gov) any of your NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test paper/pencil material exempt students to Maggie Sis, include the student state ID Number, and reason for exemption (requires braille, large print or translation)



ELPA21 Extended Dates

The ELPA21 window is currently open and has been extended through April 2, 2021.  ALL students identified in TIDE as English Learners must have either a score for each domain test or a Reason Not Tested (RNT) code for each domain test entered.  The window for districts to review their data and enter RNT codes will be available from February 22nd through April 16th. For additional information, please refer to the TIDE User Guide, beginning on p. 90.

Contact Information: Allyson Olson (allyson.olson@nebraska.gov or 402-405-5212

 



Students Attending an External Program

Please send your NSCAS Phase I Pilot and Science Field Test students who are attending an external program (Rule 18, ESU program, or contracted service program) to Maggie Sis (margaret.sis@nebraska.gov). Review the 2/11/2021 email from Stacey Weber for details and roster template.



Assessment Team Has New Phone Numbers

The assessment team has new numbers!  For general assessment questions, call the Statewide Assessment main phone at 402-314-3013.  We no longer have the capability to transfer your calls, so if you have specific questions, please feel free to contact team members directly.  Find all our new numbers on the Statewide Assessment Contact Us webpage.



February 2021 Newsletter

Gilder Lehrman National History Teacher of the Year Award

From the Gilder Lehrman website:

Nominations and applications for the Gilder Lehrman 2021 National History Teacher of the Year Award are now open. The 2021 award will honor exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers. Eligible generalist and specialist teachers in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools, and US Territories are encouraged to apply.

Any full-time educator of grades K–12 who teaches American history (including state and local history) is eligible for consideration. American history may be taught as an individual subject or as part of other subjects, such as social studies, reading, or language arts.

  • The nominated teacher must have at least three years of classroom teaching experience.
  • Nominees must be planning to teach for at least one year following the award year.
  • Past state and national winners are not eligible.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted.

Deadline for 2021 nominations: April 30, 2021

Deadline for 2021 nominees to submit supporting materials: May 30, 2021

Black History Month Resources

Happy Black History Month! If you are looking for resources and lesson plans to commemorate Black history in your classroom, check out the links below!

We The Student Scholarship Contest

From the Bill of Rights Institute website:

What better time is there than now to reflect on the meaning of equality and justice in our world today? Encourage your students to enter this year’s We the Students essay contest.

Essay Prompt: What is the relationship between Equality and Justice?

Answering this question requires considering each of these principles and analyzing the relationship between them. To truly explore this question in an essay that is between 500 -800 words, you’ll need to go beyond “dictionary definitions,” and express your understanding and reasoning about the connection between these two principles. This reasoning involves a combination of observation, experience, and some pretty “big ideas.” What does it take to understand them? To build toward and maintain them? To see them with regard to each other? Why is this relationship important?

We encourage you to bring emotion, creativity, specific examples, and well-researched facts into what you write. A good essay will demonstrate how equality and justice are not just abstract ideas but are part of the actions and choices of people every day. We genuinely want to know how you would answer the question – what is the relationship between Equality and Justice?

Deadline for entry is April 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

Native Indigenous Centered Education Program Virtual Storytelling

2021 Economic Virtual Professional Development

EVERFI and NEST

How are your teachers meeting the Nebraska Economic Standards? EVERFI and NEST are offering schools the opportunity to host a virtual workshop where EVERFI will present an economic lesson and will help your students get signed up to use Vault. With this being an updated course and key initiative for EVERFI, we’re offering a $10 Amazon Gift Card incentive for opening your classroom to us. Vault is for grades 4-6 and is offered at no-cost through the NEST sponsorship.

Bonus:

Four lucky teachers will receive a DonorsChoose gift card for their class. To be eligible you must use one of the five online lessons within Vault with students on or before March 15. Winners will be announced during Financial Literacy Month!

Contact Heather Miller, hmiller@everfi.com or Erica Hart, ehart@everfi.com for more information or to schedule your classroom virtual lesson.

Civics in Real Life

From Civics in Real Life’s website:

The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, in partnership with Civics Renewal Network and Teaching for Democracy Alliance have created “Civics in Real Life”. Civics is all around us. There is a lot to know about the government and how “We the People” interact with the government and each other. Let’s help each other expand our civic literacy. Concise resources to explore civics concepts connected to current events. Click, Download, and Go—Updated weekly!

TheFire.Org

From TheFire.Org website:

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s mission is to defend and sustain the individual rights of students and faculty members at America’s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process, legal equality, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience—the essential qualities of liberty. FIRE educates students, faculty, alumni, trustees, and the public about the threats to these rights on our campuses, and provides the means to preserve them.

Reach the World

From the Reach the World website:

All youth need a global network to help them activate their own global journeys through work and life. All schools need to prepare students for a world where global collaboration and cooperation is the norm. Combating the ignorance that breeds fear and intolerance begins with young people. Reach the World transforms the energy of travelers into a learning resource for K-12 classrooms. Our programs use the web, messaging and video conferencing to connect youth with travelers in one-on-one global, virtual exchanges. Our nationwide network of educators, travelers and volunteers are building a more thoughtful and welcoming society by sharing the eye-opening benefits of travel with the youth of today, who will be the decision-makers of tomorrow.

Holocaust by Bullets in the Occupied Soviet Territories

World Food Prize Nebraska Youth Institute

British History Online

From the British History Online website:

British History Online is a collection of nearly 1300 volumes of primary and secondary content relating to British and Irish history, and histories of empire and the British world. BHO also provides access to 40,000 images and 10,000 tiles of historic maps of the British Isles.

We are making all of our transcribed content free until 30 April. This is a contribution to the work of researchers, teachers and students while library and archive access is difficult or impossible.

American Alliance of Museums – Distance Learning Repository

From the American Alliance of Museums website:

With children and learners out of school, learning hybrid and in other unexpected situations, museums across the continent have come together to share their distance learning with you. Use the pull-down filters to find the best programs and resources for your needs.

As of October 1, 2020, there are more than 1,000 resources or experiences listed in this repository, representing sites across the United States and in Canada, Argentina and Mexico, including eight languages and American Sign Language.

Digital Citizenship Contest

The Nebraska ESUs are excited to announce a Digital Citizenship Contest:  Belong, Be Safe, Be Kind, Be a Digi Smart Citizen. Students have the option to create a poster or PSA (public service announcement) that showcases how to Belong, Be Safe, Be Kind, Be a Digi Smart Citizen. All entries must be original creations and must be compliant with the established guidelines. Deadline will be mid-March, 2021.

History of Valentine’s Day

From the History Channel website:

“Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14. Across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the history of Valentine’s Day, from the ancient Roman ritual of Lupercalia that welcomed spring to the card-giving customs of Victorian England.” Select the link above to read and find out more!

Valentine’s Day Fun Facts! from the good people at Good Housekeeping. You see what I did there?!