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

Using Video in the Classroom: Active or Passive Learning?

Posted by Mary Hendra on October 1, 2015

As an educator, when you use video in the classroom are you asking your students to be passive or active?

I can certainly appreciate the leisurely watching of movies and television shows, even documentaries. But, as a teacher, when I chose to use valuable class time to watch something on video, I definitely wanted my students to be as engaged as possible! Here are some of my strategies. 

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Topics: Common Core, Teaching Strategy, Tech Innovation

11 Zaption Tours to Encourage Deeper Engagement with Video

Posted by Mary Hendra on September 29, 2015

Zaption has received accolades from SXSW (winning the LAUNCHedu competition), Fast Company (in their innovation issue), and educators far and wide. We've been happy to have an initial set of Facing History videos available as Zaption tours since their launch last August, and are now thrilled to share two more collections for educators.

The Holocaust and Human Behavior pulls together five films used by Facing History educators to explore the pressures on individual and group decision-making, the ways Nazism affected cultural and religious institutions, and the insight gained from the recently-opened Soviet archives. In this film from the Zaption tour set, Professor James Waller explores how ordinary individuals can become perpetrators in genocide.

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Topics: Film, Reconstruction, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Critical Thinking, Teaching Strategy, Using Technology, Tech Innovation

3 Ways to Make Your Classroom Contract More Effective

Posted by Dan Alba on August 18, 2015

We've all heard the adage "first impressions are the most lasting." As your students return from summer vacation, what first impressions will they have on their first day in your classroom? What lasting impressions will "set the tone" for the remainder of the semester or school year?

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Topics: Safe Schools, Teaching Strategy

Break the Ice: 4 Favorite Activities from the LA Staff

Posted by Emily Weisberg on August 11, 2015

Building on our webinar for creating a safe, reflective classroom community, this week each LA Program staff member of Facing History and Ourselves has shared their favorite community-building activity. Here is our final activity - rounding out our set of four!

One of my favorite go-to activities is “Human Bingo.” It takes a little work on the front end but provides a great platform for a group to learn more about one another in a guided, fun way.

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Topics: Safe Schools, Teaching Strategy, Breaking the Ice

Break the Ice: Activity 3 of 4 Great Strategies to Build Community

Posted by Mary Hendra on August 10, 2015

Building on our webinar for creating a safe, reflective classroom community, this week each LA Program staff member of Facing History and Ourselves will share their favorite community-building activity. Here is activity #3 of 4.

 Listening Is An Act of Love, produced by StoryCorps, is a film I've enjoyed as a way to highlight the power of storytelling to build community.  

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Topics: Safe Schools, Teaching Strategy, Breaking the Ice

Break the Ice: Activity 2 of 4 Favorites for Building Community

Posted by Dan Alba on August 7, 2015

Building on our webinar for creating a safe, reflective classroom community, this week each LA Program staff member of Facing History and Ourselves will share their favorite community-building activity. Here is post #2 of 4.

To Look At Me You Wouldn't Know...."

I absolutely love this simple yet powerful strategy to help build classroom community by breaking down students' assumptions and stereotypes about others.

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Topics: Safe Schools, Teaching Strategy, Breaking the Ice

Break the Ice: 4 Strategies to Strengthen Classroom Community

Posted by Armen Menechyan on August 6, 2015

Building on our webinar for creating a safe, reflective classroom community, this week each LA Program staff member of Facing History and Ourselves will share their favorite community-building activity. Just in time for back-to-school!

My go-to strategy is called “Circle in a Circle.”

This strategy can be used not only to “break the ice,” but also throughout the year to review ideas, make connections, unpack or extend information, prepare for writing, and more. It gets students up out of their seats and talking. The process is simple enough for students to learn, and can then be varied for effectiveness based on which questions you ask students to discuss.

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Topics: Safe Schools, Teaching Strategy, Breaking the Ice

Selfie

Posted by Mary Hendra on September 30, 2014

Have you ever taken a "selfie"? We all get a good laugh these days about selfies - the candid taken with a celebrity or in a striked pose - but could taking selfies help students dive deeper into the complexity of their own and others' identities?

A few months ago I saw the short film, "Selfie" produced by Dove, and I still think about it. It examines the way taking and posting selfies on social media can change our definition of beauty and transform our sense of our own beauty. (Click here for an article on the film, or watch it below.)

I don't know about you, but when I was a teenager, the LAST thing I wanted was a picture of myself. I hated how I looked in pictures. My parents had a plethora of photos of the back of my head as a result of my quick reaction to a camera being raised around me.

So, "Selfie" got me questioning:

  • How many times, if ever, did a young woman in one of my classes put "beautiful" on her identity chart? (It was rare if ever!)
  • Does our self-identification as beautiful or not impact our sense of belonging?
  • If others' description of us as beautiful contributes to being accepted, can redefining "beauty" also expand group acceptance?
  • The quick blame for almost unattainable standards of beauty often goes to corporations (Barbie, cosmetics, clothing, plastic surgery), but to what extent do mothers pass it on to their daughters, sisters to sisters, peers to peers, and so forth?
  • After so many generations of female beauty being defined by professional photographers. magazines, and cosmetic companies, is it truly possible that the democratic nature of social media and self-taken, impromptu photographs can redefine our standards of beauty? If so, "choosing to participate" could be as simple as... taking a selfie?
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Topics: Identity, Teaching Strategy, Using Technology

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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