2015 MCSS Annual Conference

The Maine Council for the Social Studies annual conference, held on Friday, October 30, 2015 at Morgan Hill Event Center in Hermon, Maine, focused on "Enhancing Your Social Studies Toolkit in a Proficiency-Based World."

We were excited to welcome Jenny Buccos as our keynote speaker. Jenny (pictured above; photo © ProjectExplorer.org, 2011, by Rachel Rudwall), a multi-award-winning director and producer and agent for global citizenship, is well known for her work with Project Explorer and her international documentaries. Her keynote explained her journey to becoming a leading advocate for global competency and highlighted the critical need for global understanding in primary and secondary education.

Numerous sessions throughout the day also featured local and statewide presenters.

The conference fee of $75 included continental breakfast, conference, and buffet luncheon.

Conference Schedule

  • 7:45 - 8:15 a.m.
    • Registration
  • 8:15 - 8:30 a.m.
    • Welcome
  • 8:30 - 9:15 a.m.
    • Keynote, Jenny Buccos
  • 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
    • Session I
  • 10:30 - 10:50 a.m.
    • reak / Vendor browsing
  • 10:50 - 11:50 a.m.
    • Session II
  • 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
    • unch, comments, and award
  • 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
    • ession III
  • 2:30 p.m.
    • Evaluation and wrap-up; vendor door prizes announced

 

 

2015 MCSS Conference Abstracts

 

Session I   9:30am-10:30am

JENNY BUCCOS GLOBAL LEARNING: FROM THE VIRTUAL WORLD TO THE REAL WORLD

AUDIENCE: ALL

Explore how the power of multimedia supports development of the global competencies necessary for students to succeed in the 21st century. In this keynote, Jenny will translate virtual learning experiences to the real world through collaborative projects that develop those competencies and support core content areas.

 

BETSY ARNTZEN: USING MAPS TO INVESTIGATE LOCAL ISSUES: CASE STUDIES IN MAINE AND QUEBEC

AUDIENCE: GRADES 6-8

Between 1980 and 1995, a referendum for Quebec to separate from Canada was put to voters two times. Both times the vote resulted in a defeat of the separation proposal. This session will use maps and activities to uncover the cultures inhabiting Quebec and to consider the votes to separate in the context of these cultures. It will also use maps and activities to investigate issues in Maine's history as well. The participants will investigate sources, pose questions, and attempt to answer the question using the sources provided. Answer th equestion will be in a group discussion.

In addition to participants experiencing this lesson, they each will receive copies of the lesson plus the map pack.

 

JACQUELINE LITTLEFIELD: AND THE WALL CAME TUMBLING DOWN!-  COLD WAR TURNING POINTS   

AUDIENCE: GRADES 9-12

Turning point.  Landmark.  Milepost.  Watershed.  Throughout history critical events have caused a historically significant shift or change.  Using a variety of instructional strategies tjos session will examine how turning points help us understand the historical narrative of the Cold War.. Receive complementary materials and learn about the Application Process for TOP*’s all expenses paid Summer Study Tours to Germany.  Have some fun and take back ideas and materials to engage your students Monday morning.

*Transatlantic Outreach Program

Session II  10:50am -11:50am

JEANNE MAIN AND JENNIFER ST. CYR – USING TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY TOOLS TO TEACH SOCIAL STUDIES

AUDIENCE: GRADES 5-8

Teachers will see a model text set, participate in actual activities, and then use Kindles to experience for themselves the process of how a text set is developed.  We use twenty-first century technology to access resources that provide a virtual experience of the era.  Primary and secondary documents are used in the list of materials. Emphasis is placed on comparing texts and finding evidence for various points of view. 

"GETTING STARTED WITH ARCGIS ONLINE" IS FULL

MARGARET CHERNOSKY: GETTING STARTED WITH ARCGIS ONLINE: A HANDS ON WORKSHOP

AUDIENCE GRADES 7-12

Have you ever had a moment when you wish you had a map? This hands-on workshop will help you get started making custom maps with ArcGIS Online. You will learn how to use web-based mapping software to create, save, add data and share maps. At the conclusion of the workshop, you will be comfortable teaching your own students how to use this powerful geospatial technology. Please bring your laptop or tablet.

At least a week prior to the workshop, please request a free ArcGIS Online Organization account for your school. https://esri.app.box.com/connectedrequest    If you miss getting your Organization account, please come anyway!

MARGY BURNS KNIGHT-UNPACKING COMPLEX SOCIAL STUDIES TEXT VIA TALKING WALLS DISCOVER YOUR WORLD
AUDIENCE: GRADES K-8

Wander into an ancient walled city, visit Nelson Mandela’s prison cell, and view the Great Wall of China. Author and teacher Margy Burns Knight will introduce the content ofTalking Walls Discover Your World through the lens of five texts: visual, informational, compendium, paired and digital.  Teachers will then learn how to unpack the complex text in Talking Walls. They will not only add this strategy to their tool kit, but also understand how this instructional strategy supports and expands the key elements of close reading : key ideas and details, craft and structure, integration of knowledge and ideas and range of reading in their social studies units. With practice this strategy will become habit and help students when they describe, evaluate, compare and analyze social studies text.


SARAH NORWOOD – TAKE A VETERAN TO SCHOOL PROGRAM

AUDIENCE: GRADES 6-12

In this session, presenters will view a short video about the Take a Vet to School program, discuss the impact on students as they prepare for the day and interview veterans. Participants will also learn how to plan, utilize the format and get publicity for their event.  Students may be present to share their experiences.

 

Session III   1:30pm-2:30pm

 

HEIDI HARRIS – AN UN-SESSION ON THE UN-CONFERENCE MODEL

AUDIENCE: ALL

This is a presentation on how to use the un-conference model for Professional Development. I hope to show attendees how the un-conference model works, why it is a beneficial model for PD, and how they can plan their own un-conference. This session will be a model an un-conference within the session.

"USING GOOGLE EARTH IN THE CLASSROOM" IS FULL

PETER SPIEGEL – USING GOOGLE EARTH IN THE CLASSROOM

AUDIENCE GRADES 6-12

This presentation focuses on the features and possible applications/uses for the Google Earth platform. Teachers will see all of the major tools of the program and that can be applied the next day in their classrooms. In addition to developing immediate classroom uses, teachers will leave with insights to plan long-term projects that complement their individual curricula. Given the nature of Google Earth, this presentation may be most useful for Social Studies, Geography, and English teachers, but potential uses in math and science classes will be highlighted as well. The importance of instructing students to create content that can be overlayed on top of existing maps helps to create context and a better overall understanding of issues that face our world.” There will be links to several Google Earth files to help teachers create their own content (EX: World River systems, Blank polygons of all world countries)

Please download Google Earth onto your laptop prior to coming to the presentation.

KATHRYN KING – THE CHOICES PROGRAM: CLIMATE CHANGE AND QUESTIONS OF JUSTICE

AUDIENCE: GRADES 9-12

Climate Change and Questions of Justice explores the causes and effects of global warming and delves into questions of who is most responsible for and vulnerable to the changing climate. Students grapple with how to respond to climate change at local, national, and international levels in ways that are both effective and fair.

The program incorporates interactivity via small group, collaborative work and a culminating simulation activity. It is academically rigorous and aligns with the reading and writing standards associated with Common Core. Because the subjects of climate change and climate justice are becoming increasingly urgent, a presentation of these materials is timely.

Those who attend the workshop will be able to download the 5 - 10 day unit, in PDF format, for free. 

JOHN TAYLOR – NATIONAL HISTORY DAY

AUDIENCE: GRADES 6-12

This session will inform participants about the National History Program.

The program instills a high level of enthusiasm for history and teaches students how to conduct high quality research. In addition to introducing young adults to the importance of historical research and knowledge, NHD also helps students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, hone their research and reading proficiency and practice oral and written communication with knowledgeable people working within the field of history. In other words, this program enhances a teacher’s social studies toolkit in a proficiency-based world.

NHD is a flexible program that teachers can use how they see fit in the classroom. Some make NHD a class project while other teachers sponsor after school clubs. We would like to hold a session at the MCSS conference to talk to teachers about possibilities NHD has to offer and ways they can excite students in the humanities.

 

We were honored to receive introductory filmed comments from Representative Chellie Pingree and Senators Susan Collins and Angus King. Their support for social studies in Maine is greatly appreciated!