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, May 27, 2014

Montana History Conference Scholarships: Thinking Ahead to September

The Montana Historical Society is putting together an amazing program for the 41st Annual Montana History Conference, to be held in Helena, September 18-20, 2014. (The educator’s workshop is shaping up well, too.) We hope you’ll consider attending—and that the scholarship opportunity detailed below will make things easier.

This is obviously a great opportunity for teachers, but it is also a good opportunity for your students. In past years, the Butte High School History Club has used this scholarship to send interested high school students (with a chaperone) to the conference. We’ve loved having those young people!

About the conference: Native Americans have called the land we now know as Montana home since time immemorial. But Montana itself first appeared on the map in 1864 with the creation of Montana Territory. The year 2014 is the territorial sesquicentennial, which provides inspiration for the 41st Annual Montana History Conference to be held in Helena, September 18-20, 2014.

About the scholarships: The scholarships will consist of full conference registration plus a $275 travel/expense reimbursement.  All teachers and students in Montana’s high schools, colleges, and universities are eligible to apply (residents of Helena and the immediate vicinity are eligible for the conference registration scholarship but not the travel reimbursement).

Recipients must attend the entire conference, including Thursday’s Educator’s Workshop. 
Preference will be given to
  • Teachers and students from Montana’s tribal colleges;
  • Teachers and students from Montana’s on-reservation high schools;
  • Teachers and students from Montana’s community colleges;
  • Teachers and students from Montana’s small, rural, underserved communities.
Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. September 3, 2014.  Awards will be announced the following week.
Applying for a scholarship is quick and easy. Apply online.
For more information, contact:
Deb Mitchell, Montana Historical Society
PO Box 201201
Helena MT 59620-1201

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Learn How to Write and Edit Wikipedia Articles

Sign up for a one-day Wiki-Write workshop (Bozeman, July 19) to be guided by experts through the complexities of editing Wikipedia. You will learn how to correct errors and misinformation, how to add new information, and how to include photographs, maps and links to sources of information. Experts will explain how to use and evaluate free online resources.

According to the workshop leaders, this workshop is specifically designed with a local history focus in mind. "You will gain the ability to create and improve the Wikipedia articles on your town and its historic buildings, famous leaders, schools, businesses, notable events and any other topics in Montana local and state history that you consider important for the world to know." 
  • Prerequisite: All they expect is that you can handle your email.
  • Place: Montana State University, Main library on Bozeman campus
  • Date: Saturday July 19th
  • Time: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Credit: 6 OPI renewal units
  • The $10 registration fee will be waived for public libraries and teachers!
  • Register online at www.wikiwritelocal.org
  • Registrations accepted through June 30.
  • Questions? Contact Tammy Bennert at 406-850-9744 or tammy@kaleid.net.
I'm excited about this workshop because, as many of you know, I am a big fan of projects that allow students to make genuine contributions to scholarship by sharing their research and writing skills with an authentic audience. (See here, here, and here, for example.)

I think that producing and/or editing Wikipedia articles is a possible way for students to make a meaningful contribution. This article in Learning and Digital Media examined the way four university professors integrated editing Wikipedia into their classes. Can thoughtfully designed Wikipedia assignments work in high school classes as well? Attend the workshop and see what you think!

 P.S. There's still time to take the annual Montana History and Heritage Education survey, share a favorite lesson, and possibly win a prize. Response has been great. Forty-seven of you have already responded--so I'm adding a fourth and final prize for the fifty-fifth survey respondent.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Take a Survey and Maybe Win a Prize

As the school year winds to a close, I’d appreciate getting your feedback. I’d also like to gather information on what has worked for you in the classroom, so I can share it with the list next year.

Would you be willing to take a short online survey? If so, click here.

Need a little incentive? I’m offering prizes to the fifth, fifteenth, and thirty-first person to complete this survey.

P.S. Don't be confused. The survey refers to the listserv because the way the information on this blog is delivered to most people, but the Montana History and Heritage Education Listserv is the same as the Teaching Montana History Blog.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Another Summer Professional Development Opportunity

Among the many workshops offered this summer by the Golden Triangle Cooperative, this one caught my eye:

"In Our Own Words—Native American Story through Reading, Writing, and Media Literacies," led by Dottie Susag

This workshop will feature newly revised OPI Indian Literature Units to include relevant MCCS standards. These are texts by Native Americans writing from their storied cultural, geographical, historical, and literary contexts. The workshop will model MCCS aligned critical reading, writing, and media strategies with relevant informational texts, as well as several ready-to-go model lessons. Participants will receive complimentary units and a collection of Montana Indian poetry.

DATE: Monday-Tuesday, June 9-10, 2014

PLACE: Great Falls

TIME: 8:30 a.m.-Noon and 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. daily

TARGET AUDIENCE: 6-12 educators

COST: $40.00 for GTCC member / $100.00 for non-members

CREDIT: 15 OPI renewal units OR 1 graduate credit through Montana State
University-Northern. MSU-N will charge $150.00 for this credit which is
paid at the workshop.

For more information and to register, click here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I was poking around on OPI's Indian Education Program's website, and I discovered that the long awaited Fort Peck Place Names (designed for use in grades 9-12) is now available to download (be patient--it is a big file.) Here's the description, taken from the OPI Website:

"Fort Peck Place Names" contains five interdisciplinary modules, written with the Montana content standards in mind and each module accomplishes several standards throughout the activities.

Module 1 and Module 2 contain a literacy and social studies component that lends itself well to an interdisciplinary unit with social studies and language arts teachers.

Module 3 and Module 4 focus on science, research, and critical media literacy skills.

The technology and language arts components of Module 4 is an opportunity for the media center specialists or librarians, the English language arts teachers, computer science teachers, and science teachers to work together with students to accomplish the goals of the units.

Module 5 is based in government and literacy.

While the modules build on one another and were written to be taught in succession, it is possible to teach any of the modules in isolation if the teacher provides adequate scaffolding--or even to pull out specific activities/resources. This is a good thing, because each module is designed to take a week to two weeks to complete. However, each is packed with material worth cherry picking.

 The PlaceNames Project began with the goal of building cross-cultural relationships between traditional Bitterroot Salish and Pend d’Oreille Tribes’ worldviews and science using Google Earth and tribal cultures. The Salish unit, “Building World Views Using Traditional Cultures and Google Earth,” was designed for use in Grade 6.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

More Fourth Grade Resources

There was great response to my recent post, Teaching Montana History in Fourth Grade, including some additional ideas for resources and approaches.

Chris Siefert at MontanaPBS wrote: "I might add the Mission US game called Cheyenne Odyssey, which is designed for 4th graders… It covers the Cheyenne experiences as encroachment occurred…and the title character is Little Fox…and the voices and places are Montana…" (This works with Chapter 7 of the textbook).

Dalene Normand, in Frenchtown, is new to fourth grade. She noted that one fourth grade teacher in her school, "Kathy Gaul brings in many of your history trunks and teaches almost exclusively through them and the various resources she has picked up from the many workshops and classes she has attended throughout the years.  The other 4th grade teacher does Montana through a little book we have, Montana, from the Land of Liberty series, written by Mike Graf and  published by Capstone Press.  Being a newbie, I used both the little textbook and included the trunks when they arrived and found it to be very successful.  The book touched on a little of the history, while including Montana government and economy, and the trunks gave the opportunity to go more in depth and make history 'real' for the kiddos."

Finally, reading specialist and curriculum developer Tammy Elser, author of The Framework: A Practical Guide for Montana Teachers and Administrators Implementing Indian Education for All, suggested that teachers have their students read and analyze excerpts from Montana: Stories of the Land instead of just using it for their own background knowledge. "I am convinced that with careful planning and scaffolds, this is the perfect informational text - even for 4th graders.  The bites just need to be smaller, and processed using good supportive practice in class (Not Round Robin Reading...)."