Mission Statement

To engage in activities supporting educational work, which shall also include the coordination, promotion, development and maintenance of quality social studies programs at all levels of educational instruction in the State of Colorado.

Professional Development 1

Civic Canopy Webinar Series: Continuous Quality Improvement

Continuous Quality Improvement: Using Results Based Accountability
January 29th
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Click here to register

Learn about how Results Based Accountability can be used as a continuous quality improvement methodology in collaborative initiatives. RBA is a disciplined way of thinking, planning and taking action to identify and improve shared outcomes for communities. This webinar will:
• Provide an overview of Results Based Accountability
• Describe how RBA can be used by collaborative networks as a continuous quality improvement methodology
• Share how two Colorado communities are using RBA and what they are learning along the way
• Connect participants to additional resources

Webinar Hosts: Bill Fulton and Meghan Ables, The Civic Canopy
Colorado Community Examples: Larimer Early Childhood Council and Prowers County LiveWell Initiative (invited, to be confirmed)

DMNS Webinar: Silk Road, 1/27/15 at 4:30;  Silk Road Field Trip Adventures

Webinar:  Silk Road
Date:  January 27, 2015
Time:  4:30pm-5:30pm
Cost: Free (registration required)
Registration:  http://www.dmns.org/webinar

In this webinar, we’ll take a trip along the Silk Road, a network of trade routes extending 5,700 miles east to west from eastern China to the Mediterranean from AD 600 to 1200. Who traveled the Silk Road? What was traded? What is the significance of these routes? Discover the answers to these questions and highlights from the Traveling the Silk Road exhibition from Dr. Stephen Nash, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science curator of archaeology, and a special guide from the past, portrayed by a Museum enactor.

For middle school groups attending the exhibition, please sign up for this Field Trip Adventure Program at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science!

Silk Road Adventure: Risks and Rewards
Dates:  Now thru May 2015 at selected times
Cost:  $8/student (includes museum admission)
Registration: http://www.dmns.org/teachers/field-trips/field-trip-adventures/silk-road-adventure-risks-and-rewards/

Experience exotic locales as you travel the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road. Students become savvy traders in an interactive role-playing game and encounter historical enactors along the way. Tour the temporary exhibition Traveling the Silk Road, and explore a world where the latest goods and ideas traveled by camel, not the Internet.

Street Law's 2015 Supreme Court Summer Institute

Dear Law-Related Education Specialists,

Street Law, Inc. and the Supreme Court Historical Society will sponsor two sessions of the annual Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers, June 18-23 and June 25-30, 2015. The Institute is open to secondary level social studies teachers and supervisors who will spend six stimulating days on Capitol Hill and inside the Supreme Court learning about the Court, its past and current cases, and how to teach about them from top Supreme Court litigators and educators.  We will also be in the Court to hear the Justices announce the final decisions of the term and attend a private reception at the Court.  For full information and to apply online, go to www.streetlaw.org/scsi_apply under the "Registration Info" tab. The application deadline is March 16, 2015.

Stephen ArmstrongPresident's Message from Stephen Armstrong,
National Council for the Social Studies

You Are the Advocate
For many social studies teachers working in the classroom, the statement that they should be engaged in “advocacy” for their profession sounds strange or scary. Many social studies teachers are told by their administrators not to let students know what their political positions are on local referendum issues, elections, etc., with an implication that all personal politics is to be dampened. In addition, many teachers perceive “advocacy” to be something that a few NCSS leaders might do off in Washington, DC; something with little connection to what they actually are doing in the classroom every day.

I have news for you: teachers have a constitutionally protected right to do important advocacy outside of the classroom, and it all begins at the local level. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the 30-year veteran—or the first-year teacher—talking to his or her state legislator or city/town council member on the value and importance of social studies education. With politics and budgets being as they are today, a large amount of legislative action that will directly impact social studies education is likely to take place at the local and state levels, and even national policy has its source at the grass roots.

Better than just lobbying a council member, begin by inviting him or her to speak to your classes or to help judge a Geography Bee competition. Successful advocates will tell you that building up this relationship is infinitely helpful.

Many teachers who go into a state legislator’s office for the first time fear that they won’t remember “everything that needs to be said.” Or, conversely, they are unclear just what to ask for. You may have only 10 or 15 short minutes to “make your case” (I have learned by this point to NOT take this time restriction personally). You might begin by briefly “Telling your story,” showing how social studies is important for your students. If you have a specific example of a student in your classes being positively impacted by what he or she did in your classes, tell that memorable story. Then, be prepared and ask for something specific. Don’t just ask for “more money for social studies,” rather, ask your legislator (or their aid, if the official is unavailable) to support a specific bill, initiative, or line item on a budget. Make sure you leave your card with the person you are speaking to, with assurances that you are available. Then, send a follow up note (not an email) to the person that you spoke with, thanking that person for his or her time.

Further hints: Advocate for all of the core disciplines of social studies, K-12. Since many legislators are especially interested when civics or civic education is mentioned, make sure that topic is covered. Coordinate with your local or state council leaders, and encourage others to do the same thing you are doing. Visit in groups of three or four, and rehearse your message before you arrive, and be sure you have a clearly articulated, central request.

Advocacy is not just something done by a few NCSS folks in Washington. The best advocacy is done by classroom teachers in their relationships with local and state officials. It’s never too late to begin!

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