Exploring Resources

GOAL: After this segment the teaching staff will be able to use resources that will assisit them in the planning and implementation of effective social studies lessons for students with special needs. 

Teachers will learn how resources are benficial for the success in ALL our students, especially to the students with mild disabilities.
Teachers will be able to use and teach students with mild disabilities how to use resources that will help master social studies curriculum.

Students learn using a variety of modes. An effective teacher will use the wealth of resources available to meet the different learning styles of individual students so each student can reach his/her fullest potential in mastery of the subject material. Students also have different abilities and there are various reading levels available in informational texts, which with the teacher's guidance she can help place a student at the level to meet his/her needs. The teacher can help students learn how to use different resources effectively to maximize their understanding of the subject matter. It provides assurance that they have accurate resources that they can use as benchmarks for other resources. The more resources available provides more ways for the teacher to teach the concepts and also provides more ways for the students to master the concepts.


Part of this PD segment will be used by having the teachers go through some of the helpful resources that have been found by classmates during this course and the other part of the segment will be devoted towards giving them time to search the internet for resources they find helpful and having them add to the resource folder already started by this class.

This page is a collection of resources, compiled by my CEP 842 class related to social studies instruction for students with disabilities or other learning problems.

http://www.socialstudies.com In the search box search for Differentialed Instruction. Listed you will find a differentiated toolbox, a list of "practical tips" for the classroom, ways to enhance with technology, and a wide range of content ideas. There are also presentation handouts, which include tools for all students, as well as lesson plans and helpful ideas for differentiated instruction in the middle school and high school classroom. (Jenny Luyckx)

http://funsocialstudies.learninghaven.com This site offers students the opportunity to speak with a tutor for free. If has puzzles and activities, articles on history and geography, social studies resources, and lesson ideas for teachers. The lessons on the page are from kindergarten all the way through high school and offer a variety of interactive ways to make teaching and learning social studies fun. (Jenny Luyckx)

www.amazon.com/Teaching-Professional-Development-Successful-Classrooms/dp/142801714#reader_1425801714 Teaching Social Studies Development for Successful Classrooms, by Sara Shoob and Cynthia Stout. This book contains educational strategies based on solid research to provide teachers with the best practices in social studies. It contains various teaching methods and techniques, plus up-to-date research and ways to implement the strategies in the classroom. Although the website does not offer a full printing of the book, it does contain a lot of the pages. (Jenny Luyckx)

Brain PopBrain Pop - This a great site for showing students videos about several subjects in Social Studies. There are quizzes and games to go along with several of the videos. There is a also Brain Pop Jr. for students K-3. It is a fun way for the students to introduce your students to a certain subject in social studies. You do however need a subscription to view most of the videos, however you are able to view what topics are available and some of the movies are free. (Amber Augustine)

http://pbskids.org/buster/blog/index.html This is a great site for teaching about different cultures and places in and outside of the United States. (Rachel Dempsey)

http://www.pbs.org/teachers/socialstudies/ Awesome site for finding resources for your social studies lesson or for students to expand on their learning. Materials are organized by grade level and include on-line activity packs, videos, and complete lesson plans. (Matt Murray)

http://www.historycentral.com/index.html If you aren't a big fan of your social studies textbook or resources your district offers, this is a good site to use. This could be used for upper elementary, middle, and high school. Every year, I have my students work with a partner to complete a mini-biography project on one famous figure from the American Revolution. I have them use this site specifically: http://www.historycentral.com/Bio/RevoltBIOS/INDEX.html. There are also many other good uses on this site; in fact, there are pretty complete textbook replacement links, timelines, primary sources, etc. (Theresa Thompson)

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/web_games.htm This is a great website for students to use when learning about topics within the social studies curriculum. This interactive site includes great resources for learning about the United States of America including the states, the government and presidents. Our 4th grade students used this site when studying regions of the United States. There are tutorials and games to help students to learn the states, their capitals, regions and geographical features. (Jessica Reed)

http://www.sporcle.com/games/category/geography There are interactive map games here, capital city games, landmarks, islands, flag quizzes, and even Geography by Numbers for those who are "terrified of math". There is actually a great deal more here in other subjects as well, but the social studies activities are exceptional. ~ (later): I found an excellent site today while I was helping some sixth grade students look for information about Brazil. On this site you can find just about any statistic on any country and you can rank any statistic with a single click to see how countries compare to each other in any aspect. There also are maps and flags, and an encyclopedia that covers a plethora of other topics. This can all be found at: www.nationmaster.com- what I'm not crazy about with this site is the ad for a dating website that was at the top of the page and the "comment" section at the bottom. Not all the comments were something you would want your students to read. So, as with all things Internet, proceed with caution and check things out carefully before you send your kids there. (Kasey Briske)

www.historyforkids.org/ The information on HistoryforKids is written for middle school students by university professors. It provides information on history, environment (includes maps), religion, philosophy, clothing and much more. Just click and a particular country and you can find out information about that country. (Nicole Henderson)

www.topics-mag.com/internati/holidays/festivals.htm This site is written by writers from around the world. They describe special days that are celebrated in their countries. (Nicole Henderson)

www.members.aol.com/donnandlee/ This website offers extensive lesson plans and units on the study and teaching of ancient Greece. This site also includes a list of vocabulary words and Greek gods, pages on Hercules, links to online games and acitivies and other resources. (Nicole Henderson)

http://www.eduplace.com/index.jsp?state=mi&audience=_t&submit.x=55&submit.y=8 This is website through the Houghton Mifflin company. There are wonderful resources for topics across the curriculum. There are many great teacher resources, links for student activities, lesson plans, and worksheets. In the resource room I visit this site for activities to reinforce math lessons but this site is a favorite for our 4th grade teachers. They use this website to support and enhance the social studies curriculum. There are eBooks available for topics relating to the state standards. The link for Time for Kids is a favorite as well as many printable maps and graphic organizers.(Jessica Reed)

http://www.mrnussbaum.com/circumcode.htm This website includes a variety of resources about many subjects, including history and maps. Students are able to play interactive games, read about current events, learn about history, and explore a variety of other options. This is a great website for students to use in order to study for a test or simply browse during free choice. (Jamie Livergood)

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history This site gives historical facts and information specific to today's date. It provides great topics for discussion and writing prompts. The information is presented in various multimedia forms and could be utilized or presented to a variety of different levels.

http://www.softschools.com/social_studies/ This site contains games, study guides, quizzes and tests for both U.S. and World History. There are maps, worksheets, online tests and much more that the students are able to interact with. Not being a Social Studies teacher, I've used this site in the past for special days during the year (non-recognized holidays) when the kids are still in school. We are challenged to recognize days like this with mini lessons in our first hour classes, thus I print a crossword or do one of the online tests with the entire class. (Josh Leatherman)

Discovery Education Streaming This website includes a variety of resources for all subject areas. I find it particularly helpful for Social Students because of the numerous accurate and interesting videos/video clips that pertain to the subject matter. I use this sight frequently and can link the videos right to my Smart Lessons. It is a wonderful tool to aid in differentiating instruction to reach all learners. (Amy Arnold)

http://www.harcourtschool.com/ss1/index_na.html This website is available for everyone to use, not just friends that use the Harcourt social studies text. On this website, you choose a book, which you could pick based on your grade level or topic you are teaching. That may be the only tricky part, but with in the site, you have the option of using the interactive atlas, take an online field trip to historic parks and places around the world, and my favorite use the Geoglossary. The geoglossary gives the definition of a geography term, an example of the term using a real place in our world, a diagram of the geographic term, and facts about the term. It offers multiple ways for learners to learn new terms and understand the term through examples. Lastly, I would like to add that it offers skill practice aligned with different parts of the text and resources for parents and teachers to use at home and online. ( Anna DiMeo)

http://www.socialstudies.org/resources/notable This site offers an extensive list of trade books that can be used in the Social Studies classroom. Studies have shown that trade books used as an addition to the Social Studies curriculum can be very powerful. This site offers the annual lists that the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) have deemed as effective books to use in the classroom, recognizing them as culturally sensitive, appropriate, and having a high literary quality. (Rachel Martinez-Bell)

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/kids/ This website offers great games, video, photos and more about social studies and science. For social studies there are video links for people and places, explorers, and history. There are many games about geography and photos and videos about different countries. (Melanie Burd)

http://www.bostonmassacre.net/index.html This site is about a very specific incident that happened, but it offers a lot of information about the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre Historical Society put this website together with pictures, a reinactment video, and several accounts into the incident. The website also offers timelines, unknown facts, the British perspective, and Revere's message in his silver engraving. I think this website just proved to me that there are several "societies" out there who probably have put together website like this about particular historical events. I have used this with my students in the past and will continue to use it in the future. (Theresa Thompson)

This is a great resource that offers information for grades k-12. The information is not written like a textbook so the kids won’t get bored with it quickly. (Rachel Dempsey)

This is a website that is not necessarily a social studies site. It is a site that I use often to teach vocabulary, but you can teach other content as well. On this site you can put questions with multiple choice answers. The students then answer the questions utilizing their cell phones to text the answers. The really cool thing is the result show up immediately on the board. You get instant feedback on what the students know or don't know. Looking at this feedback allows you to reteach or address any misconceptions the students have regarding the topic. The students like it because it is something different and fun for them to do in class. I like it because it is free to set up and use. Check it out, I'm sure you will find it useful in your classrooms.Poll Everywhere (Wallace Woodman)

This website provides election results for just about every election ever to be held in the USA. Students can get a visual representation of the election results. I have used this various times in my US History course. The students like seeing what states voted for whom. They have access to presidential, congressional, and even Gubernatorial elections. (Matt Ball)

American Revolution Web-quest
This web-quest guides students through the American Revolution. I like this activity because it allows students to assume the role of a variety of different people during the American Revolution. It is a great way for students to self discover major ideas of the revolution. (Matt Ball)

This is a great resource that will provide many sources (lesson plans, supplementary material for a lesson, or reference material for the teacher to learn more about a particular topic before teaching it) to help support your teaching in social studies and other subjects. This has resources that are both helpful for middle ages and younger school ages. (Sarah Cermak)

www.Education.com This website gives educator tips and strategies on how to teach social studies to students with disabilities. Also, the website provides links to specific disabilities and how to reach those learners at their level. Information is also grouped by grade level also. (Torian Billings)

This is a helpful resource for vocabualry strategies and games for social studies instruction. (Sarah Cermak)