Monday, February 8, 2016

Making Field Trips More Meaningful

I'm both old and a not very visual person, so it's no wonder I haven't reflexively embraced Glogster, "a Web 2.0 tool that allows users to create virtual posters combining text, audio, video, images, and hyperlinks and to share them with others electronically."

Despite my natural resistance, I am intrigued by the idea of using Glogster to bring learning home from a museum field trip.

Glogster asks: "What if there was a way to get real results by letting learners do what they do best – exploring?" And it proposes that its a field trip template is designed to do just "exactly that, using their own curiosity as a guide" while also checking their understanding and creating "a lasting memento of a fun and fact-filled day out." 

What do you think makes a meaningful fieldtrip--and how can you make it more than a fun day away from school? Can Glogster help you fulfill your goals? 

The Smithsonian points to the following research-based best practices for a meaningful fieldtrip:
  • Clarifying the learning objectives of the visit.
  • Linking the visit to curriculum. If necessary, contact the museum’s education department for assistance.
  • Giving structure to the visit (with tours, writing activities, worksheets, etc.) while also allowing time for free exploration. At any age—but especially by middle school—students want time simply to observe and interact with an exhibition.
  • Building in opportunities for students to work together in groups.
  • Interacting with students during the visit. Pose open-ended questions, explain aspects of exhibitions, and get students talking about what they are seeing and experiencing.
  • Making the experience more memorable and personal by building on it when you return to the classroom.
The Glogster app is one tool to help implement some of these best practices. But there are others--several examples of which were featured on TeachingHistory.org.

First-grade teacher Jennifer Orr asks her students to take pictures on a field trip to Washington, DC, to create a class video on the monuments and memorials they see. Back in the classroom, the students help Orr organize the pictures and decide on and record the narration.

High School teacher James Percoco shares his strategies for creating "Individual Field Trips" which, he claims permit "students to encounter the past at historic sites and museums, all within the context of learning history based on state and national standards. They make outstanding summative assessment tools, while at the same time permitting students to have an enjoyable and fun experience while they learn." He also shares his techniques for "Crafiting Meaningful Field Trips for Students" by using student historians. 

Columbus, Montana, English teacher Casey Olsen is a master at making field trips meaningful. One of his tricks is to provide students time to write on site. 

We've been working hard to make our tours more interactive--which we hope will make them more meaningful.You can find out more about our tours here--and if you are bringing a class to Helena, I particularly encourage you to consider booking a tour at the Original Governor's Mansion. Our lead tour guide has recently created new interactive children’s tours of the mansion, which "highlight stories of the mischievous young Stewart girls, Emily, Marjorie, and Leah. Participants experience social and material culture from 100 years ago and become part of life at the mansion when they receive a role to play, crank up the Victrola, or place a call on a vintage phone."

If a standard tour won't do, we are happy to work with you to personalize your class's field trip to fit into your curriculum. And--as always, I'm interested in your best practices. What do you do to make field trips meaningful? Let me know, and I'll share out.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Teaching Montana: Stories of the Land

A few weeks ago, we asked those of you using our textbook, Montana: Stories of the Land, to take a brief survey. Twenty-three wonderful teachers took time out of their busy schedule to respond. Thank you! It warmed my heart. Two were high school teachers, one was a fourth grade teacher, but most were middle school teachers. Here is what they had to say.

Helpful hints for teachers using MSOL for the first time:

  • Get to know the textbook and on-line resources. We focus fourth quarter social studies on Montana History and I often find that I wish I would have spent more time during the year previewing the vast supplemental materials throughout the year so that I am not trying to do it while planning/implementing the unit. 
  • Great book. Pick and choose which units/chapters that suit your classroom the best.
  • Read each chapter and go through the resources provided on the companion website.  Now that you are familiar with it, create a folder keeping notes of what you liked and start collecting supplemental resources on your own.  When you see them put them in the folder.  Visit any sites, museums, tours that you can add information from.  Your folder will be constantly changing and improving.
  • Use the online text book and your smartboard to identify the critical information that you would like your students to have in their notes. There are very few developed resources for the text (powerpoints and worksheets) so utilizing the text book is a great way to cut down on personalized lesson development if you are in a time crunch.
  • Don't get overwhelmed if you can't get through the whole book.  Look through the chapters and choose the ones you think the class needs to know about.  I only get Montana history for one semester so I don't get through much of the book so I choose chapters that I feel are important for students to know in regards to how Montana was formed. 
  • Although all of the course content is online, I found it very useful to have a hard copy of the Montana Stories of the Land:Teacher's Guide.  I reference it often and it is easier to make copies on the fly if there are internet problems or i don't have access to a computer. I would also use the for educators section and online resources that accompany the website. I found these very helpful and thought they complemented some of the lessons I taught very well.
  • Even with a full year, you cannot hit all of the chapters effectively.
  • Be prepared to come up with your own projects. There are worksheets for each chapter, but they do not always focus on the most important aspects.
  • I only spend enough time on Chapter 1 to develop a full understanding of the geographic eras.  I combine Chapters 2 and 3 into one unit.  They really have fun with the mining unit.  
  • Use the primary sources and worksheets found online! I love to grab these and find them helpful. I don't use too many of the actual chapters since our 7th grade MT History teacher uses the book pretty extensively. [Teacher teaches in high school.] I only use C 6 and 10 because I find them the best and cover material that is kind of difficult to find elsewhere.
  • You can't do all the chapters!  The first several are important for setting the scene.  Kids love Open Range.  I love A People's Constitution and Progressive Montana.  Use the accompanying website -- so many amazing resources.
  • This book and our history beg for hands-on projects.  At the end, have students research and present chapters for which you did not have time.
  • Because CC is about finding information rather than regurgitating, I now almost always have the tests be open book.
  • Read this book aloud with your students.  It is well written and is very useful to use to teach reading comprehension.  Most of the material in this textbook can be put into graphs, such as cause and effect and Venn diagrams.  We make a game out of it in a "Think-Pair-Share" setting.  First we read.  Then students identify the graph.  Next students put the information into a graph by themselves.  Next they share with their group.  Finally each group re-creates their graphs on the whiteboards in a 360 assessment strategy.  The chapter test is relatively easy to pass after doing this.
  • I currently go through the book backwards since I want my students to understand the connections to current events and the ripple effect (cause/effect) that each time period offers to our current choices and options. The book is wonderful because it offers the same information in multiple chapters to help enhance the concepts even if you move faster through it.
  • I give plenty of time for the students to read in class and read to them from the chapter focusing on the key points.  I also make a study guide of each chapter that focuses on key terms.  Included are essay questions and critical thinking questions that they answer on a regular basis.
  • Using local resources is a great tool!  Have people come speak to the class, visit local museums, tells stories about the area.  I purchased Baumler's ghost story and Montana Moments books and will often read stories out of those that relate to the unit we are doing.  They love the ghost stories and the funny stories!!  I also try to do many activities throughout the units.  I feel that the more hands on the units are, the more the students appreciate learning about their state. Walking where Lewis and Clark actually walked or sitting in the room where Sitting Bull surrendered, creating tools just as the Native Americans did in the Dog Days are all examples of how a student can truly experience history.

We know the book is too long to teach all of the chapters well—especially in a quarter or a semester, so we asked our respondents to tell us which chapters they taught and how long it took them to cover a chapter. Of the middle school teachers: 

  • Two respondents only have a quarter: one covered 7 and the other 12 chapters. 
  • Five have a semester. Two of them teach every chapter, two teach 13 chapters, one teaches 8 chapters. 
  • Eleven respondents have yearlong classes. One taught only 8 chapters. Two taught all 22. The others taught between from 11 chapters to 16 chapters. 

We were also curious how long teachers spent on the chapters they teach. Interestingly, this did NOT correlate exactly with how long they had to teach Montana history. Some teachers with shorter units (e.g., a quarter instead of year) wisely chose what to focus on so they could "go deep".
  • One teacher averaged 2-3 periods per chapter.
  • 3 teachers averaged 4-6 periods per chapter.
  • 8 teachers averaged 5-10 periods per chapter.
  • 3 averaged about 10 periods per chapter.
  • 5 averaged 10-20 periods per chapter.
In addition, we wanted to know how much actual reading of the textbook they required of their students (63% said the entire chapter) and where they took time to do special projects (the most popular topics for special projects were Lewis and Clark, the Gold Rush, and the Treaty Period/Indian wars). More details below.

Finally, we were curious about which areas of history teachers focused on. For those who did NOT teach the entire book, half only made it to the homesteading boom. The other half skipped parts of the nineteenth century in order to include more twentieth century chapters. 

Which chapters of Montana Stories of the Land do you teach?

  • 8th grade. Unit lasts a quarter. Teaches chaps 2-13. Notes: “Because our time is limited I generally teach chapters 2 and 3 early in the year to set up some of our IEFA goals that I try to reach throughout the year.  I do not necessarily teach each chapter from front to back.  However, we use the text and the content to teach previewing/reading content area material and noticing text structure while we are introduced to the content.  Generally, I have used chapters 5-13 in connection with a jigsaw strategy -- assigning different groups of students a specific period of time and promoting the chapter in the textbook as their first resource.”
  • 8th grade. Unit lasts a quarter. Teaches chaps. 8-11 and chaps. 20-22, spending about 7 class periods per chapter and has students do an extended project on chapter 11 (reservation era). Students read about half of each chapter.
  • 7th grade. Semester Class. Teaches chaps. 1-13, spending 1-2 weeks per chapter. Students read entire chapters. She assigns larger projects for chapters 3, 4, 7, &  8.
  • 7th grade. Semester Class. Teaches chaps. 1-22. Spends about 2 days per chapter. Students read only part of each chapter.
  • 7th grade. Semester Class. Teaches chaps. 3-10. Spends about 4-6 weeks per chapter with students reading the entire chapter. Does many supplemental activities, “from making pemmican to mapping our town like Lewis in Clark would have.”
  • 7th grade. Semester Class. Teaches chaps 1-22. I usually spend between 4-7 days per chapter, with other material worked in.  Some chapters go faster than others, and the chapters that I am most knowledgeable in go slower because I really try to divulge in the information and talk with the kids about the chapters. Assigns special projects for Chapter 2 (Buffalo Jump Diorama), Chapter 4 (Fur Trapper Journal), Chapter 6 (Mining Town Map Creation), Chapter 8 (Field Trip to Charlie Russell Museum). We do other projects, spaced throughout the semester as well including a weeklong unit from Montana's Charlie Russell. Students read the entire chapter.
  • 8th grade. Semester Class. Teaches chaps. 1-8, 10, 13, 15-16, and 21 spending about 2-3 weeks per chapter. She does larger projects for chapters 1,2,4,5,6, and 10, and her students read about half a chapter.
These teachers have a FULL year to teach Montana history. Lucky folks!
  • 7th grade. Teaches chaps. 1-11, 13, 15-16, 18-19, spending 8-10 days on average per chapter. She does special projects on Lewis & Clark, Two Worlds Collide, Politics & Copper Kings, Homesteading, WWI, Great Depression. When studying a chapter, her students read about half of it.
  • 7th grade. Combines chaps 1-3 in a two-week introductory unit, starting with the state flower lesson plan. She then teaches Chap. 4-7, 10-11, 13, 15-16, 18-19, and 21. Spends an average of 2 weeks per chapter. Students read the entire chapter. “We read all of the text in class, and the supplementary materials become homework.  I also supplement chapters with the Montana Mosaic videos when there is one.” She uses all the historical documents and worksheets since they provide a different perspective. Uses OPI’s Sweetgrass Basket unit with chapter 11 and the When Worlds Collide with chapter 4 for special projects.  Se also fits in Picturing the Past and the Clothesline Timeline lessons at strategic points throughout the year.
  • 7th-8th grade. Teaches chaps. 1-16, aking about two weeks per chapter but spending more time on Chapters 7 - 11 and 13, assigning special projects for Homesteading and Reservation Years. Students read the entire assigned chapter.
  • 7th grade. Uses chap. 1 to show regions then teaches chaps. 2-10, 12-13, 16, 18, 19, 21. Spends 5-10 days per chapter. Spends 2-3 weeks per unit (chaps 2-3 combined into one unit.) Students read about half the chapter. “We do many projects throughout the units. This year we made authentic Native American bread and tools for the Dog Days unit, created our own specimen boxes and acted as newspaper reporters in St. Louis for the Lewis and Clark Unit, we created a gold mining town replica, visited Fort Union and Fort Buford, research papers on famous mountain men, gold mining towns, explorers, and Native American tribes native to the area.  I use primary source documents from the newspaper archives and other archives on the LoC website for activities. I do make them write quite a few small research papers for practice and to help them document sources among other activities!”
  • 7th grade. Teaches Chaps. 2-8, 11, 13, 15-16, 18, and 21. Spends about 2 weeks per chapter, and almost every chapter has a project/group work assignment.
  • 8th grade. Teaches Chaps. 1-8 and does big projects with all of them.  “For example, in chapter one we do a lot of supplemental activities on the three big disasters, Glacier Lake Missoula, Quake Lake and the one that hasn't happened yet, the Supervolcano.  Chapter 2 - Students ask parents for oral family histories to tell to their classmates, throw atlatls and find out how to make a straight arrow shaft, identify the parts of a buffalo and decide what each part was used for (we have a buffalo box that we bought from a fellow on the Sioux reservation in S. Dakota), read excerpts from primary documents that talk about the role of dogs in the Native American's life. Chapter 3 - Student groups create class winter counts for the years that they have been in school together, Watch OPI's "Tribes of Montana and How They Got Their Names" DVD, pemmican lecture and then we make pemmican and eat it. Chapter 4 - We watch a DVD on David Thompson and read a short book on John Colter.  Then they have to write an essay about their opinion of John Colter and use evidence from their book to prove their point. Chapter 5 - We read a series of primary documents written by various mountain men who lived in Montana.  Each set of primary documents has a writing assignment that involves going back to the documents to prove a point that the student is making.  A quick debate to decide if it would be better to be a free trader or part of a brigade. Chapter 6 -  The students pan for bb's in a mining stimulation, go through a Chinese discrimination activity that teaches them about unions, and debate the ethics of being a vigilante. Chapter 7 - The students participate in a Hellgate Treaty activity, a Tribal Land Status activity, read a short book on the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and if there is time create a news cast about the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Chapter 8 - The students watch a Charlie Russel PP and try to figure out what the names of each painting will be. Read some excerpts from primary documents written by Granville Stuart (Stuart's Stranglers), and if there is time create maps of the major cattle drives, railroads and major shipping points in the U.S.
  • 7th-8th grade. Spends 5-8 days per chapter, students read entire chapter. First year of teaching the book and at half way point just finished chapter 8. Feels as if it could be more teacher-friendly. (Some of the worksheets are a slog.)
  • 7th-8th grade. Teaches Chaps. 1-11, and 13, and the rest of the chapters "as time allows." Students read the entire chapter. Spends about 8-10 class periods.  “It takes about 4--6 for reading and creating notes, usually I have an activity that is fun, and test.” “I conclude the year by reading Pretty Shield.  Last year, I was even able to schedule a trip to the Battle of the Little Big Horn Battlefield. I also use the Montana Historical Society trunks.  They have amazing lesson plans and activities built into them.” 
  • 6th grade. Teaches Chaps. 1-11. Spends 2-3 weeks per chapter (4 weeks on chapter 6). Students just read selections from the text. Assigns larger project for every chapter, whether that is a writing assessment or some other higher level thinking activity.
  • 8th grade. Teaches all the chapters, spending 1-4 weeks per chapter. Students read entire chapter. Typically spends more time on chapters 2, 3, and 11 “since my class struggled with the essential understandings and tribal recognition as sovereign nations”. Assigns larger projects for 6, 7, 10, and 21.
  • 6th grade. Spends 10-18 class periods per chapter. Students read entire chapter. First year teaching MT history but so far has supplemented with “Analyzing a Buffalo Hide created by the Smithsonian http://americanhistory.si.edu/buffalo/hideactivity.html and reads aloud "Spotted Flower and the Ponokomita" by Kae Cheatham, to help them make the connection between the Dog Days and the Horse Days. Uses Past to Present questions as Bell Ringers.
  • 7th grade. Teaches Chaps. 1-14 and 21. Students read entire chapter. Starts school year with Mapping Montana A-Z. (Kids love it.) Two weeks per chapter with more time for chapters 2-3,7, 11 (usually include a research project on these chapters.) In depth projects for chapters 7 and 11 (research project related to Native Americans) and chapter 13 (kids create a Homestead of their own).

For which chapters do you assign larger projects? (Results don't include teachers who assigned special projects for every chapter they taught).

Chapter 1--Geography (2 teachers)
Chapter 2--Pre horse (5 teachers)
Chapter 3--1700s-1820 (3 teachers)
Chapter 4--Exploration (6 teachers)
Chapter 5--Fur trade (2 teachers)
Chapter 6--Mining boom (6 teachers)
Chapter 7--Treaties/Indian Wars (6 teachers)
Chapter 8--Open Range (4 teachers)
Chapter 10--War of the Copper Kings (3 teachers)
Chapter 11--Reservation Period (4 teachers)
Chapter 13--Homesteading (3 teachers)
Chapter 16--World War I (1 teacher)
Chapter 18--Great Depression (1 teacher)
Chapter 21--1972 Constitutional Convention (1 teacher)

Thanks again to all who responded. I hope this peek into other teachers' practice encourages all of those teaching Montana history in middle school to think critically about how they are use MSOL in their own classrooms. I especially hope these results give you permission to cover less content more deeply. My takeaway: most teachers are not teaching every chapter. You don't have to either!  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Online Professional Development

Last fall, we teamed up with OPI to spread the word about our resources by producing four "Digital Blasts," one on footlockers, our new Charlie Russell lesson plans, online resources that accompany our textbook, Montana: Stories of the Land, and our Women's History Matters project and teaching resources.

We've now combined these digital blasts into an online courseMontana Historical Society Educator Resources, for which you can earn one OPI Renewal Unit through OPI's Teacher Learning Hub. 

This was my first experience with the Teacher Learning Hub (the Hub),  an online platform providing free, high quality professional development and training for all Montana K-12 educators. According to OPI, the Hub will minimize the time teachers spend away from the classrooms to attend training, as well as save school districts money on professional development. OPI is keeping a strong partnership with MEA-MFT and MTDA to build on their early success and broaden offerings for Montana educators. The Hub has lots of offerings--both self-paced courses and facilitated courses--so go check it out!

The Hub is only one of many cool things OPI is doing online. Do you teach writing? Then check out the online Montana Writing Teachers Professional Learning Community led by Skyview High School writing teachers Bridgett Paddock and Wendy Tyree. The kickoff was 3:45 p.m. on January 13, 2016, but this is only the first in a series of monthly on-line meetings that will provide a place for writing teachers across MT to meet, share teaching strategies, and learn from one another's expertise, and new participants are always available. The most intriguing part? The instructors noted that "Time will be devoted to writing together--after all, it's important for writing teachers to write."  

The next online Montana Writing Teachers PLC will be held February 10, 2016, beginning at 3:45. p.m. Joining is easy:
  • Click on this link (the same link will be used every month--so if you miss February you can join in March): https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/842676717 Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) - a headset is recommended. 
  • Or, call in using your telephone.Dial +1 (872) 240-3412 Access Code: 842-676-717 Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meetingMeeting ID: 842-676-717GoToMeeting®
  • Not at your computer? Click the link to join this meeting from your iPhone®, iPad®, Android® or Windows Phone® device via the GoToMeeting app.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Resources for Teaching about Copper Mining

A teacher who attended our weeklong NEH-funded workshop, "The Richest Hills: Mining in the Far West," last summer sent us a link to Dig into Mining: The Story of Copper. The interactive web-based program for students grades 6-8 uncovers the use of metals such as copper in our everyday life, and provides students a deeper understanding of today’s hard rock mining industry.

It looks to be a very well-done resource. The only caveat is that it doesn't talk about environmental impacts of copper mining and processing. Clark Fork Watershed Education Program has a few relevant lesson plans highlighting the aftermath of copper mining in Butte on their website: cfwep.orgPitwatch.org has information about the Berkeley Pit. Another resource that focuses on industrial mining's environmental consequences is this PowerPoint and script about Butte's industrial landscape. Professor Fred Quivik created the PowerPoint to present to educators as part of The Richest Hills, but it can be easily modified to use in your classroom. 

Two other relevant and extremely well-done resources--especially for high school students--about copper mining in Butte and its aftermath are the movie, Butte, America, and the article "Pennies from Hell: In Montana, the Bill for America’s Copper Comes Due" (written by Edwin Dobb and published in Harper's Weekly in October 1996). Neither are available online, but both are well worth the extra time it will take to work with your librarian to access this material. A trailer for Butte, America, which really is one of the most powerful movies ever made about Butte, is here

P.S. Dig into Mining is offering a virtual tour of the Morenci Copper Mine in Arizona on March 3. Designed for middle school students, this virtual  field trips will provide "a behind-the-scenes interactive journey of copper processing and show how copper goes from ore to 99.9% pure copper! During this virtual event, students will hear from mining engineers, metallurgists and others on how they apply STEM in their daily tasks." Learn more and register here.  

P.P.S. Find out how you can attend an NEH-funded workshop next summer here

Monday, January 25, 2016

March 15 is the deadline to apply for the Dave Walter Research Fellowship

The Montana Historical Society Research Center is pleased to announce the availability of the 2016 Dave Walter Research Fellowship.  The Dave Walter Research Fellowship will be awarded to two Montana residents involved in public history projects focused on exploring local Montana history. The award is intended to help Montanans conduct research on their towns, counties, and regions using resources at the Montana Historical Society. Research can be for any project related to local history, including exhibit development, walking tours, oral history projects, building history or preservation, county or town histories, archaeological research, and class projects. Awards of $1,250 each will be given to two researchers.

Recipients will be expected to:
§  travel to the MHS to conduct research
§  spend a minimum of the equivalent of one week in residence conducting research
§  provide a copy of their final product or a report on their completed project to the MHS Research Center
Applications are evaluated on:
§  suitability of the research to the Society's collections
§  potential of the project to make a contribution to local history
§  experience in conducting local history research
The application must include the following:
§  project proposal, not to exceed 3 pages, describing the research including the specific MHS Research Center collections you intend to use
§  cover letter
§  1-2 page resume
§  letter of recommendation
Applications must be sent as one PDF document to mhslibrary@mt.gov no later than March 15. Announcement of the award will be made in mid-April. Questions should be directed to Molly Kruckenberg at mkruckenberg@mt.gov.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

More Maps

After last week's post on maps, I discovered another treasure trove:

The Census and Economic Information Center has a number of maps that provide snapshots of contemporary Montana. My favorite by far? Montana 2014 Exports by Country. If I were teaching geography, I'd design a scavenger hunt and have students find top exports from Montana to countries in our region of study. (And, not in map form--here's a list of the countries from whom Montana imports the most.)

Map showing Montana Exports by Country

I also saw this post, "Creative Approaches for Using Maps in the History Classroom," on Tarr's Toolbox, one of my favorite blogs,

P.S. If you use Montana: Stories of the Land in your Montana history classroom, don't forget to take this survey about how you actually use this book with your students. If you take the survey by January 26, you will not only be giving me a great birthday present (yep--1/26 is my special day) and helping other teachers improve their practice, but, in addition, your name will also be put into a drawing for a prize!

Take the survey here.

P.P.S. Although it is not Montana history, I thought some of you might be interested in this webinar on teaching Islam: “Supporting Your Diverse Classroom and Resources for Teaching About Islam.”“Tailored for teachers and others involved in education, expert guests will explore what the First Amendment says about teaching world religions in public schools, reputable resources for teachers and educators to use in educating about Islam and World Religions, and best practices for upholding a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students.” The webinar runs from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM Mountain time. More information here.

Monday, January 18, 2016

How Do You Use Montana: Stories of the Land?

I received a query from Hellgate Middle School teacher Fred Arnold, who is teaching 7th grade Montana history for the first time. He'll be using our textbook, Montana: Stories of the Land--and was looking for advice from teachers who've been using this resource. 

He's curious about which worksheets, quizzes, and activities folks assign, but also how much time teachers spend on individual chapters? "Which subjects deserved the most time? For example, the geological forces that shaped the land and 'Dog Days'.  I know I won't get through the book, but wanted to know where teachers feel time should be spent?"

Willing to share your expertise? Email me and I'll forward any words of wisdom you have on to Fred.

His question got me thinking how little I know about how teachers are actually using Montana: Stories of the Land--so I created a survey. If you use this textbook in your classroom, I'd love to get your feedback--so much so that I will be offering prizes to THREE lucky winners, drawn at random. (Note: Only teachers who are now, or have in the past, taught using this textbook are eligible for the drawing.) 

You can answer this survey fairly quickly--so I hope you'll take a few minutes and participate. Do note, however, that there are spots for long answers too--and the more time you spend on it, the more meaningful the results will be--both for me and for your compatriots, since I will, of course, tabulate and share results.

Fred's question about what he should teach and what he should leave out reminded me of a different survey I conducted back in 2012, in which I asked folks to name the top ten most significant and influential events in Montana history. That survey garnered all sorts of interesting responses, which I discussed in three different posts: "Top Ten Survey, Surprises,"  Top Ten Survey Results and Survey Results, Part 2. Some of you who weren't around in 2012 might find these posts interesting--and might enjoy taking the survey yourself (though I am no longer tabulating results). It's always useful to step back and look at the big picture.