Thematic Instruction in Social Studies has been a topic of discussion between Chris and AJ for over a year. During the 2017-18 school year, Chris changed his instruction to follow the 10 Themes of Social Studies. He eliminated traditional tests/quizzes, homework, and notetaking in favor of a project-based, student-centered classroom. While Chris does get pushback from some administrators on this approach his students’ enjoyment of the class and increased levels of engagement are all the proof he needed to continue and to help AJ bring this approach to his class as well.
- What is thematic teaching?
- What are the 10 themes in history?
- TIME, CONTINUITY, AND CHANGE
- PEOPLE, PLACES, AND ENVIRONMENTS
- INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT AND IDENTITY
- INDIVIDUALS, GROUPS, AND INSTITUTIONS
- POWER, AUTHORITY, AND GOVERNANCE
- PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, AND CONSUMPTION
- SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY
- GLOBAL CONNECTIONS
- CIVIC IDEALS AND PRACTICES
- How does PBL fit into the learning?
- How has thematic teaching enhanced student learning?
- What is student feedback like?
- What about grades?
- What has feedback from admin been? How are they liking thematic teaching?
- What’s the end goal for your classes this year?
What We’re Listening To
Feedback and Shoutouts
- Hey guys! I love this most recent episode of Podcast PD. So much of it resounds with me. I moved to [a new] School District…this year. You guys are in Jersey and I’m sure are at least vaguely familiar with happenings in the regional urban districts. It’s crazy. I’ve been thinking this all year. The new district is all about data and rules. There is close to zero human element in regard to the teachers and students. Chris mentioned the idea of teachers only referring to one another as Mr. and Mrs. I TOTALLY FEEL YOU THERE. I encourage people to call me [name redacted]! People don’t even say the Mr. or Mrs. You are addressed by your last name when it comes from the P or many other colleagues. While this is not the intention, but I totally feel like the human element is stripped when you can’t address someone by their first name. I love your “action items” at the end of the episode. I’m going to try to pick something up for my grade partner and her resident teacher. Great idea! Thanks for all you all do. Y’all are an inspiration!
- Jen Duda (via Voxer) @DynamicDuda338 – OK. Just listened to the latest podcast regarding Human Element in Ed. and I thought it was awesome!!! Especially since I learned about “Wow in the World” from you guys and it is a little high for my students (my biological kids love it- they are 7. Anyway, I would like to incorporate a podcast/listening/writing/discussion lesson at the end of each day. I will look at the scholastic podcast. Thank you so much for the recommendation!!!
- Tina Monteleone (Twitter) @tinamonte – Enjoyed my ride this morning with @PodcastPD @mrnesi @AJBianco @iruntech #njed
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