Mary Hendra

As Program Director for Los Angeles and Organizational Innovation for Facing History and Ourselves, Mary leads workshops, seminars, and professional development in the greater Los Angeles area, works with individual teachers and faculty teams implementing Facing History in their classrooms, pilots new uses of digital tools and resources for education, and collaborates with formal and informal education organizations across Southern California.

Recent Posts

3 Ways to Celebrate National Library Week!

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 12, 2016

It's National Library Week!

What is the last book you checked out of the library? Share your latest library read in a comment below.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know I joined the "Stay at Home and Read a Book Ball" for LA Public Library this year. I curled up with my choice of books - public library and my own - reading two different books that day. One of my memorable moments when studying in the Soviet Union as a college student was trying to get a Soviet library card... and then the entire process of using a library in Moscow! Needless to say, I'm a bit of a library nerd. So, in honor of National Library Week, here are three gifts:

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Topics: Teaching, Teaching Strategy, Book

The Best of our Conference Season

Posted by Mary Hendra on April 1, 2016

During the last few months, Southern California has hosted many conferences including three statewide conferences at which Facing History and our teachers presented:

  • California Association of Teachers of English (CATE)
  • California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS)
  • CUE (the largest Education Technology conference on the West Coast at almost 7000 attendees!)

Do you want to see our presentations? Participate in the fun of an Exhibit Hall giveaway without the hassle of missing school? Keep reading. We have a special gift for those who couldn't make it to the conferences in person!

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Topics: Common Core, Critical Thinking, workshop, Teaching Strategy, Community Event, Using Technology

Use Rich Video More Effectively: Tools from Our Talk at CUE National Conference

Posted by Mary Hendra on March 17, 2016

Students are media producers as well as consumers, so our pedagogical use of video is as important as the quality itself.  In March 2016, I had the honor of presenting on this topic at the CUE National Conference together with the talented Michelle Sadrena Clark, Regional Consultant for the USC Shoah Foundation and a humanities teacher at High Tech High North County. Read on for links and lessons!

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Spring Student Opportunities

Posted by Mary Hendra on March 8, 2016

There are a lot of student opportunities at this time of year which could be engaging for students in a Facing History classroom. Here are a few that have come our way. Have you heard of others? Post them below to share with other teachers!

As part of Facing History and Ourselves’ second annual Facing History Together Student Essay Contest, “Student Voices: To Kill a Mockingbird in Today’s World,” middle and high school students across the U.S. have the opportunity to win individual and classroom prizes up to $2,500.  

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Los Angeles, Student Work, Upstander

Best of Our CCSS 2016 Resources: Four Great Presentations for Social Studies Educators

Posted by Mary Hendra on March 1, 2016

Facing History educators shared four presentations at the 2016 Annual Conference of the California Council for the Social Studies. Below are the links and slides from each of the presentations. And, for those who were admiring the posters in our booth, at the bottom is a slideshow of the whole set of Choosing to Participate posters. We also encourage all who visited our booth and/or one of these presentations to deepen your use of Facing History with one of these seminars. Check out our Southern California and Northern California  seminars.  

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Rich Writing Prompts and Standards-Based Strategies: Our Presentation from CATE 2016

Posted by Mary Hendra on March 1, 2016

We had a packed room for our presentation this year at the California Association of Teachers of English conference.  Check out our presentation below, highlighting four great resources from Facing History's collection of writing strategies, literacy strategies and literature-based study guides.

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Holocaust and Human Behavior: A Humanized Online Experience

Posted by Mary Hendra on February 29, 2016

Join us this June for a unique new version of this powerful seminar, utilizing both online modules and face-to-face sessions explicitly designed as a “humanized” online experience. You'll be exposed to online activities and technological tools that both engage online while still focusing on building a safe and reflective learning community.

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Humanizing Online Engagement

Posted by Mary Hendra on February 26, 2016

As part of our "powering up" series, we wanted to share a collective inquiry into bringing a humanized approach to online engagement. Adopting technology isn't just about finding fun new tools, but how we create new models for interaction and how we use those tools for our larger goals. In Facing History's case, this means how we can use tech tools to create a more engaged, compassionate citizenry. It starts with how we engage with each other, face-to-face and online.

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Topics: Using Technology, Powering Up Facing History Lessons, Tech Innovation

Padlet Response - How Do You Stay Engaged?

Posted by Mary Hendra on February 12, 2016

A few months ago, I posed the question, "how do you stay engaged? in a blog post reflecting on current events. One group of teachers engaged with this question - and each other - through an online forum callled Padlet.

Our New York office is engaged in an effort to bring together Facing History educators from different schools across the region in Professional Learning Communities, through a grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation. The PLCs meet monthly, virtually or in-person, so that Facing History teachers can share best practices, reflect on pedagogy and instruction, and explore new resources. In a recent discussion focused on helping students connect to the real world, they discussed our Learn+Teach+Share blog post by using Padlet.

As part of our on-going series this spring on "powering up" Facing History lessons, we share their Padlet response below.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Using Technology, Powering Up Facing History Lessons

What is "beauty"?

Posted by Mary Hendra on January 20, 2016

What would it mean to have your picture taken by a world-renowned fashion photographer? What would it mean to your daughter or son? What could it mean for your students, more specifically for that student who walks in, head down, and heads to the back of the classroom, to the shadows?

Positive Exposure, featured in a special exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance, turns society’s definition of “beauty” on its head and asks us to “change how you see, see how you change.”

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Topics: Identity, Los Angeles, Social and Emotional Learning, Community Event

Welcome to Learn+Teach+Share

This blog helps Southern California teachers connect directly with each other, share ideas, and learn about new resources and opportunities for those interested in or already implementing Facing History.

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