Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Same Great Material, New URL

Beginning April 16, the Montana: Stories of the Land Companion Website and Teacher's Guide is moving to a new server. The new address is http://svcalt.mt.gov/education/Textbook/TextbookMainPage.asp. Please change your bookmarks.

Montana educators and students will also be able to access the textbook site (as well as links to many other resources) through the Outreach and Interpretation section of the Society's home page: http://mhs.mt.gov/education/educators.asp. Or--simply visit the Society's main page, www.montanahistoricalsociety.org (or www.mhs.mt.gov) and select "Outreach and Interpretation" from the dropdown bar.

I'll be slowly revising the links listed in past posts on Teaching Montana History. Meanwhile, if you click on a link and you get an error message, please don't panic. Instead:
  1. Look at the URL. Notice that the first three letters after // are "mhs".
  2. Replace the "mhs" with "svcalt".  For example,  http://mhs.mt.gov/education/textbook/Chapter20/Chapter20.asp (the old link to the Chapter 20 material) needs to be changed to http://scvalt.mt.gov/education/textbook/Chapter20/Chapter20.asp.
  3. Push Enter.
Alternately, try looking for the page you want to find on the new textbook site at http://svcalt.mt.gov/education/Textbook/TextbookMainPage.asp. And, of course, if you have any problem finding what you need, email me at mkohl@mt.gov.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Summer Professional Development: IEFA and Archaeology

Of course, I want everyone to consider coming to our FREE Women's History Matters Educator Workshop, June 16-18 I Helena (some travel scholarships available). But if that isn't possible (or of interest), here are some other interesting summer professional development I've come across:

EDU 591 Apsáalooke Basawua Iichia Shoope Aalahputta Koowikooluk: Living Within the Four Base Tipi Poles of the Apsáalooke Homeland Educators will have an opportunity to join a virtual course focused on the Crow Tribe. This educational journey into the homeland of the Apsáalooke people will be divided into four segments, to represent the four directions and full circle of understanding. Taught by Dr. Shane Doyle, students will earn 3 Graduate credits through Montana State University and OPI will provide all required reading materials.   Please contact Sarah Pierce at spierce2@mt.gov or (406) 444-0708 for more details or information.

In addition, Project Archaeology is offering courses this summer at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman and one in Virginia City, MT:

Project Archaeology Educator Field School (EDCI 588-801)Date: August 4-8, 2014
Place: Virginia City, MT
Cost: $564.80 for 2 graduate level credits and lodging included
Register online at http://btc.montana.edu/courses/aspx/descrip3.aspx?TheID=618.

Project Archaeology: Investigating a Plains Tipi (EDCI 591)Date: June 16-19, 2014 OR July 21-24, 2014
Place: Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, MT
Cost: $539.80 for 2 graduate level credits
Register online at http://btc.montana.edu/courses/aspx/descrip3.aspx?TheID=361 or (for second session) at http://btc.montana.edu/courses/aspx/descrip3.aspx?TheID=352.
To see course descriptions, follow this link. http://projectarchaeology.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/ProjectArchaeology_SUM14.pdf. For more information, contact Crystal Alegria at (406) 994-6925 or calegria@montana.edu

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Summer Workshops and Spring Fieldtrips, Part I

Last week I let folks know about our upcoming Women's History Matters Educator Workshop--but we're not the only folks planning summer professional development.

The Montana Writing Project has some excellent workshops on tap for this summer, including Worlds Apart but Not Strangers: Holocaust Education and Indian Education for All. The application deadline has moved to April 20--but, according to the organizers, applying sooner is better. A list of their other workshops is here.

Of course, you don't need to wait until summer to receive professional development training. The Montana Indian Education Association will be holding its 33rd annual conference in Missoula, April 17-20, 2014.

On a completely different note, the director at Chief Plenty Coups State Park asked me to let teachers know the park's field trip program. Can you believe I've never been to Plenty Coups home? But I've heard enough about it to know it is a fabulous resource for folks in the Billings area. And--since we're talking about field trips--what's the best history/heritage education related field trip you take your students on? Let me know at mkohl@mt.gov, and I'll share the responses.

I'll post more summer professional development opportunities in coming weeks.

Friday, April 4, 2014

OPI Is Looking for Feedback on Smarter Balance--And I'm Wondering How Smarter Balance is Changing What You Teach

This post is not Montana history or place-based education or teaching with primary sources, but I thought it was worth sharing anyway. OPI is looking for classroom teachers’ and school administrators' feedback on their experience administrating the Smarter Balanced Field Test, so it has created a short online survey that includes the following four open-ended questions:

  • If you administered the all computer non-Performance Task (non-PT) portion of the test, please share your comments on the administration of the non-PT, all computer portion of the test.
  • If you administered a Performance Task (PT), please share your comments on the classroom activity and the administration of the PT portion of the online assessment.
  • Did you feel that you were adequately trained for the test administration?
    Please share your comments on the adequacy of the training that you received and any suggestions that you have for improving your preparation for administering the test.
  • What was your students’ response to the online assessment? Please share your comments.

The SBAC Teacher and Administrator Feedback Survey link is posted on the OPI webpage at http://opi.mt.gov/curriculum/MontCAS/.

On a related note, I’m wondering how Smarter Balance is affecting your classrooms in terms of the issues this blog deals with.

My sense is that the Common Core Standards, when implemented correctly, provide a great rationale for using primary sources, teaching students to analyze an author’s point of view, using inquiry, and many of the other things promoted by here. (You can see some of my pro-Common Core Posts here, and here. (Click on the tag "Common Core" at the bottom of this post for more.) But I also have the impression that anxiety about the assessment piece connected to the Common Core standards (Smarter Balance) may be shrinking opportunities for students to conduct real research or engage in place-based learning. I’d be interested in how this dynamic is playing out in your district. Email your comments to mkohl@mt.gov and I will collate them (without including names or other identifying information) to share.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Teaching Women’s History Matters! Montana Historical Society’s Summer Educator Workshop

Looking for Summer professional development that will help you integrate into your classroom:
  • primary sources
  • new teaching techniques to meet Common Core standards
  • women's history, and 
  • Montana Indian history?
Look no further than our upcoming workshop: "Teaching Women's History Matters!"
Where: Montana Historical Society, 225 N. Roberts St., Helena, Montana

When: Monday, June 16, 1:00-6:30, Tuesday, June 17, 8:30-5:00, and Wednesday, June 18, 8:30-12:30 (Participants must attend all three days)
Who: Grades 4-12 Social Studies teachers, English Language Arts teachers, and Librarians
What: FREE, hands-on workshop. Taking women’s history as the theme, the workshop will focus on
  • building content knowledge,
  • practicing techniques, and
  • uncovering free, easily accessible primary and secondary source material that can be used with students to meet Common Core ELA standards and IEFA.
Participants will engage in hands-on learning activities and leave the workshop with ready-to-use lessons and primary sources to integrate into their current curriculum.
Sixteen OPI Renewal Units will be provided.

Why: 2014 is the hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage in the state of Montana, yet women are still largely overlooked as historical actors. To rectify this situation, and in honor of the centennial, the Montana Historical Society created Women’s History Matters—a web-based project designed to make Montana women’s history visible. Workshop attendees will learn
  • how to use these newly created resources in their classrooms
  • how looking at history from a female perspective changes the stories we choose to tell
  • how they can find primary and secondary sources to meet common core standards
  • how women’s history can be integrated into classes that are already being taught
Cost: FREE, including Monday evening reception, Tuesday and Wednesday continental breakfast and lunch. A limited number of travel scholarships are also available.
Limit: 25
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, June 1, 2014 (Deadline for scholarship applicants May 1, 2014)
Want to know more? See the Workshop Agenda, below, or contact Martha Kohl at mkohl@mt.gov


Montana Women’s History Matters Agenda

Monday, June 16
1:00-1:40 Introductions
1:40-2:30 Women’s History 101: An Introduction to Workshop Themes (Anya Jabour, University of Montana Professor in the History and past co-director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program)
2:30-2:50 Writing Reflection/Discussion
2:50-3:00 Break
3:00-5:00 Mining Childhood/Doing Oral History (Janet Finn, University of Montana Professor of Social Work and author of Mining Childhood: Growing Up in Butte, 1900-1960)
5:00-6:30 Opening Reception/Scavenger Hunt
Tuesday, June 17
8:30-8:45 Discussion of Day 1 (especially scavenger hunt results)
8:45-10:30 Women’s History for Elementary Students (Deb Mitchell, Montana Historical Society Program Specialist)
10:30-10:40 Break
10:40-11:30 Women and the Changing Law: A Historical Overview, Montana State Law Library staff
11:30-12:30 Lunch
12:30-1:20 Taking Action: A Political History of Women in Montana (Diane Sands, independent scholar on women's history, Montana state representative)
1:20-2:50 Using Personal Narratives to Learn about Indigenous Women's Lives during the Treaty Period (Laura Ferguson, Indian education consultant and curriculum developer and a contributor to the Women’s History Matters blog)
2:50-3:00 Break
3:00-5:00 Women’s History Tour (Ellen Baumler, Montana Historical Society Interpretive Historian)
Wednesday, June 18
8:30-9:00 Discussion of Day 2
9:00-9:45 Overview of Available Resources (Martha Kohl, Montana Historical Society Historical Specialist and Women’s History Matters Project Manager)
9:45-10:00 Break
10:00-11:15 Crowd-Sourcing Project: Gathering Resources to Integrate Women’s History into the Teaching of Montana History (participants, led by Martha Kohl)
11:15-12:15 Crow Women in the Twentieth Century (Mardell Hogan Plainfeather, retired National Park Service supervisory park ranger, Crow field director of the American Indian Tribal Histories Project at the Western Heritage Center in Billings, and coauthor of The Woman Who Loved Mankind: The Life of a Twentieth-Century Crow Elder, by Lillian Bullshows Hogan, As told to Barbara Loeb and Mardell Hogan Plainfeather) (awaiting confirmation)
12:15-1:15 Lunch/Evaluations/Depart or Research on your own



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Teaching Strategies for Using Historic Newspapers

The Library of Congress Education Team and the Teaching with Primary Sources Program at Metropolitan State University of Denver are offering a free webinar on teaching strategies for using historic newspapers on March 27, 2014, 3:00 EDT. 

This "Hangout" will feature a panel that includes Billings school librarian Ruth Ferris. Panelists will highlight the historic newspapers available through Chronicling America and discuss teaching strategies for using the materials with students.  More here.

Can't make the Hangout to participate in the webinar in real time? It will be preserved on YouTube after the fact. You can also access it from TPS Colorado's YouTube page.

Monday, March 24, 2014

More on the 1964 Flood--and Student-led Community History Projects

I received a fair amount of feedback from last week's  post on the 1964 flood—all of which reinforced my belief that this would be an EXCELLENT community history project for high school students. When I pitched the topic, I provided a link to previous posts on teaching disasters and oral history in the classroom—but I thought folks might also be interested in some additional resources on conducting large community study projects.

The master of student-led community studies was the Montana Heritage Project, which was active from 1995 to 2006, but still has resources posted online.

Particularly useful, I think, are the MHP resources under the tab “Research with ALERT” (ALERT stands for “Ask,” “Listen,” “Explore,” “Reflect,” “Teach.”) Their website does a good job outlining the process for encouraging "high school students to take their communities as the subject of serious historical research."

But back to the flood itself, and the memories it evoked. 

Bonnie Boggs (now of Miles City) wrote:
This letter reminds me, with a heavy heart, the flood of 64.  I was 14 and we lived outside of Browning, 9 miles to the east.  The flood was devastating and I will remember it always. So much was lost and so many perished, including friends. I remember we didn't leave our farm because we had a cow that was due to calf at any time and we didn't have the means to leave the animals behind.  I recognize now that it meant my families livelihood as we had a dairy farm as well.  As the water rose we found ourselves on a small island completely surrounded by water.  We moved everything to the attic with hopes it would survive.  I also know that it made a deep impact on me, more than I ever thought.  Well, we did survive and I remember helicopters flying over and dropping food supplies. I also remember the radio saying that people needed to get shots as protection from flood caused disease and my 3 sisters and I feeling so lucky that since we couldn't get to Browning, we didn't have to get the shots........how lucky we were.....kids thinking no less. Only later did we realize the people who were lost and missing, one being my best friend and several of her family.  The loss was tremendous and the fear was ongoing for weeks after.  Floods are so powerful and when Mother Nature speaks the wrath can be enormous.  We survived, others did not and still life goes on with questions unanswered and perhaps it is meant that way.  I might add that 3 weeks after the floods subsided, the cow had a beautiful little Holstein calf.  We named her Miracle.
Diane Van Gorden (now of Baker) wrote:
I remember the Flood. I was 9! The HS Gym in Valier became the Red Cross center for many of the displaced families and my dad logged many hours on search and rescue while my mom worked at the gym and I babysat my younger brother.  And I remember trying to help by baking a batch of Ranger cookies that were a major flop.

Some people suggested resources.

Sandi Vashro recommends the book Sky, by Pamela Porter (grades 3-5). “A Blackfeet girl and her family are wiped out by the '64 flood.  However, she finds a young colt in the aftermath. Good book touching on many issues at the time.”

Reference Historian Zoe Ann Stoltz noted that the Montana Historical Society Research Center has put together a list of Montana disasters, that might make a good starting point for student research projects: . She also recommended the book Montana Disasters: Fires, Floods, and Other Catastrophes, by Molly Searl.