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.

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