A Note on Links: When reading back posts, please be aware that links have a short half-life. You can find working links to all of the MHS resources on our Educator Resources Page.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Will You Join Us?


We still have a few spots in both of our online workshops, which means you still have a chance to spend an hour and a half on August 7 with  National Museum of the American Indian Education specialist Colleen Call Smith and an hour and a half on August 14 with Stanford History Education Group and Civic Online Reasoning founder Sam Wineburg.

Learn more here.
Register here.

And while you are online, how about joining our new Teaching Montana History Facebook Group? We're hoping to build a community of practitioners and provide a place for folks to share resources and ask questions. Will you join us?

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Bringing Superstars to Montana...Virtually

I confess: I pouted for a few days after we decided that the health risks of holding an in-person history conference was too high. Gathering with teachers and Montana history enthusiasts in September is one of the highlights of my year. But after a few days of being down in the mouth, I worked with colleagues to come up with an alternative plan. And what a plan it is!

We decided, if we are going to have to go virtual, let's see if we can bring in people we could never hope to attract to an in-person conference. My partner in crime, Deb Mitchell, reached out to Stanford Professor Sam Wineburg and National Museum of the American Indian Education specialist Colleen Call Smith to see if they'd present. They said YES! So now, instead of being sad, I'm pumped, and I hope you are too!

We've moved the 47th Annual Montana History Conference Educator Workshops to August (because we're no longer confined by time or place) and we invite you to join us for one or both of these interactive online learning opportunities.

August 7, 2020, 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.: National Museum of the American Indian Education Specialist Colleen Call Smith will lead an hour and a half interactive session on the digital inquiry, "Native Knowledge 360° and Montana Essential Understandings: More Complete Narratives About Native American."

August 14, 2020, 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.: Stanford University Professor of Education Sam Wineburg will lead an hour and a half interactive session on "Historical Thinking and Civics Education," based on his work with the Stanford History Education Group's Reading Like a Historian and Civic Online Reasoning.

Register for one or both of these workshops. Renewal units will be available.

Need more to get excited?

Here's a little background on our presenters:

Colleen Call Smith  serves as an Education Specialist (Materials Developer) in the National Museum of the American Indian’s Office of Education. She earned her master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Kentucky and taught middle and high school social studies for a number of years in Kentucky, Virginia, and D.C. and has experience in inquiry-based social studies instruction. Colleen supports the education office in the research, development, writing, and production of online resources for the Native Knowledge 360° initiative. She collaborates closely with NMAI departments, Native communities, and members of the education department.

Sam Wineburg is the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and, by courtesy, of History & American Studies at Stanford University. He heads the Stanford History Education Group, whose curriculum and assessments have been downloaded nearly ten million times, making it one of the largest providers of free curriculum in the world. His latest book, Why Learn History (When It's Already on Your Phone), was published by the University of Chicago Press.  

Need even more incentive? 

We're going to give away free copies of Sam's book to the first 50 people who register for his session on August 14, and free copies of Do All Indians Live in Tipis: Questions and Answers from the National Museum of the American Indian to the first 30 people who register for the NMAI session on August 7. (NMAI session is limited to 50 people total).

So what are you waiting for? Register now.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Join Our Facebook Group

A small group of us met together in June to talk and learn about how to use tech tools (particularly Google Classroom) to teach Montana history. We enjoyed sharing so much, we decided to keep it going by creating the Teaching Montana History Facebook Group. I invite you to join the group and join the conversation: 

On another note entirely--we've got two amazing online professional development opportunities shaping up for August. I know I use the word amazing a lot--but this time it is no exaggeration. Sessions will feature staff from the National Museum of the American Indian and Professor Sam Wineburg of the Stanford History Education Group and Civics Online Reasoning. Stay tuned for details.  

Friday, June 5, 2020

Free online PD from National Geographic

National Geographic is offering FREE online professional development this summer. They include
  • Connecting the Geo-Inquiry Process to Your Teaching Practice (June 24-August 18), all grades, 30 hours
  • Teaching Global Climate Change in Your Classroom (June 24-August 11), middle school, 45 hours
    Collecting Data to Explore Plastic Pollution in Our Communities (June 24-August 11), all grades, 25 hours
  • Mapping as a Visualization and Communication Tool in Your Classroom (June 24-August 5), all grades, 20 hours
  • Integrating Service with Learning Goals (June 24-August 5), grades 5-9, 15 hours.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

I need to learn to use Google Classroom! Want to help me? Plus: STORYCORPS Is Coming To Montana (Virtually)

Online Montana History Class


I'm looking for 5-10 generous Montana history teachers who use and understand Google Classroom to actively participate in a 6-hour online class this June (Starting June 15).

I'll be honest: my motivation is not pure and this is going to be different than most of the workshops we offer. Participants WILL walk away with 6 OPI renewal units and a better understanding of the resources available to teach Montana history. But you'll also be expected to teach me the ins and outs of the platform and to be patient with me as I fumble through the learning process. (FAIL=First Attempt In Learning, right?)

Those of you who know me probably know that I'm a bit of a control freak. For this class, I'm going to let that go. We'll be in this together, teaching one another, about Montana history resources, and ways to harness technology to better serve students. 

Interested? Email me (Martha Kohl) at mkohl@mt.gov.

StoryCorps Is Coming to Montana


On an entirely different note, Montana Public Radio will host StoryCorps for 4 weeks to record the stories of local residents and preserve them in the Library of Congress.

In a StoryCorps interview, two people are able to record a meaningful conversation with one another about who they are, what they’ve learned in life, and how they want to be remembered. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides them through the interview process. After each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a digital copy of their interview. With participant permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

The first 1/2 of the reservations to record will open May 20 at 10 a.m., with the remaining recording reservations available on June 9 at 10 a.m.. Reservations can be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour toll-free reservation line at 1-800-850-4406 or visiting storycorps.org.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Will we be distance learning again next fall? Maybe. As you plan for that possibility, you might find these articles useful:
Whether instruction is face-to-face or at a distance, it's worth thinking about the big questions--especially in the summer when you aren't slammed by the daily grind. Here are some articles that might start you contemplating:
And speaking of... Harvard's Project Zero is offering a course on teaching that very skill from July 6-July 26: "Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions: Best Practices in the Question Formulation Technique".  It costs $199 per person (group rates are also available) and you will receive a certificate that you have completed 10 hours of instruction. I talked to a teacher who took this course and he said it was transformative.

Time to Explore

I wish you a happy, relaxing summer filled with good hikes and better books. I also hope you'll have time to do some digital exploring. If so, stop one should be at the Smithsonian, which has launched a "vast and diverse digital resource," Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo. And they aren't done: "the Smithsonian is committed to releasing over 3 million items throughout 2020 alone. Beyond 2020, it will add more items on a continuing basis as they are digitized, researched, and published online."





Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Recent Articles about Indian Country

I saw ""Returning to roots: The Fort Belknap Indian Health Service hospital is seeking applicants for two traditional practitioner positions — the first of their kind in Montana" in the Montana Free Press, May 15, 2020 ((if you don't subscribe to Montana Free Press, you should! And true to its name, it is free.) But the article is actually part of one of the Native Journalism Project, annual project featuring work by University of Montana journalism students.

Other stories featured in this year's project include
Remember Newsela (the website that rewrites articles at a variety of Lexile levels)? They are now featuring an article originally published in the Christian Science Monitor: "For Native Americans, coronavirus looks heartbreakingly familiar."

On a somewhat unrelated note: please help me out by spending a few minutes completing our end of the year surveyThe quality of this listserv depends on your input. If you have not yet shared your favorite Montana history lesson, how you've adapted MHS resources to distance learning, or expressed your opinion on what topics the listserv should focus on next year, please do. Everyone's favorite posts are the ones where I share what's worked in classrooms across the state, but I can't do that unless you tell me what's worked in your classroom. Need a little incentive? I added a prize for the fifty-second person to complete the survey. Will it be you?