Do You Want Professional Development for Social Studies Teachers?

Do You Want Professional Development for Social Studies Teachers?

Everything at OUR District Is Language Arts or Math!

Professional Development IS available for history-social studies educators. California Council for the Social Studies is the prime source of PD for all branches of social studies, and that is in March. National Council for the Social Studies is an amazing conference for teachers across the nation and will be in CA in 2018. That is a fall conference.

What about locally and at home?


San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies (SJVCSS) meets regularly and schedules tours across the county. We had a teacher meet-up in Visalia which inspired all of us. We will be scheduling more of these. Tulare County Office of Education has a broad assortment of Common Core Social Studies Professional Development (PD), that your district would approve.

But have you considered a webinar?

Here at SJVCSS central, we get notices all the time - opportunities for teachers to educated themselves with top experts across the country. This one  from the Library of Congress caught my eye scheduled December 7 at 4:00 EST, 7:00 PST.

Join Us For Books Go To War: Armed Services Editions in WWII

Join reference specialist Abby Yochelson, of the Library of Congress Humanities and Social Sciences Division, as she discusses “Books Go to War: Armed Services Editions in World War II” based on the Library’s America Reads exhibition.

When the United States entered World War II in 1941, it opposed nations that had banned and burned books. In 1943, the Council on Books in Wartime, working with the War Department, began distributing pocket-sized volumes to every theater of war. Approximately 123 million copies of 1,300 titles in every genre were printed and distributed. The program rescued from obscurity such now-classic books as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn became a national favorite.

Today, the books are loved by collectors, and the Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division has the only complete set. Join us to learn more about this fascinating collection. Register here .

Individuals requiring accommodations for this event are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or

Attend a webinar on your own or with friends


Have your considered having your own meet-up and inviting us? SJVCSS members are all over the Central Valley. If you email us at and send us the info, we can create a simple flyer and share it with our Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter followers and our paid CCSS members by email.

Does your principal want you to be a better social studies teacher?

Of course!

Does the school or district have money to bring big speakers to you?

No, they don't, so if you can substitute something else that would meet all of their needs including Common Core, will they support you? You'll never know until you ask. If you want Professional Development that makes sense for YOU, sometimes you have to take an active role to find it. And we can help.

SJVCSS is here to help meet your professional development needs in social studies.

Please help get the word out about the LOC webinar and share this post on your timeline and to your groups. Thanks! 🙂

Related Articles


When and Where Are the California History-Social Science Framework Rollout Sessions?


California History-Social Science Framework Rollout Dates and Locations


Join local teachers, administrators, and teacher educators for the first in a series of programs designed to introduce California’s History-Social Science Framework. These roll-out events are the result of collaboration between the California Department of Education (CDE), the State Board of Education (SBE), the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), and in partnership with the California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP).

Registration fee is $125 per participant. Registration includes continental breakfast, lunch, and materials.

March 2, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
California Council for the Social Studies Pre-Conference Event
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Sacramento

May 2, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Los Angeles County Office of Education

May 4, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Tulare County Office of Education

November 1, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Los Angeles County Office of Education

The agenda will be sent to all registrants prior to the meeting. These interactive and engaging one-day conferences across California offer time to collaborate with other educators, as well as state, regional, and local HSS leaders. Participants will leave with classroom-ready instructional materials, and a full-day examination of the instructional shifts, updated and expanded content, aligning HSS instruction with the ELA/ELD Framework, and inquiry-based instruction across grade levels.

Workshops and Sessions include:

  • US History (for 5th, 8th, and

    11th gradeteachers)

  • World History (for 6th, 7th, and

    10th gradeteachers)

  • K-5 Inquiry
  • 6-12 Inquiry
  • K-5 Literacy
  • 6-12 Literacy
  • Economics
  • Civics / Citizenship
  • Geography
  • Environmental Literacy
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Professional Learning in History-Social Science
  • Assessment in History-Social Science
  • Access & Equity
  • Administrator Session

Learn more and register today at:

Do You Need Units and Want to Learn How to Engage Students in International Issues?

SJVCSS received this email from CCSS affiliate member, Mimi Stephens.

Introductory workshop for secondary level social studies teachers. Engaging Students in International Issues: The Choices Approach Walnut Creek, CA Thursday, December 8, 2016 8:30 am - 3:00 pm Co-sponsored by Acalanes Union High School, CA Units Provided: The Middle East in Transition: Questions for U.S. Policy & The Origins of the Cold War: U.S. Choices after World War II OR Mountain House, CA Friday, January 27, 2017 8:30 am - 3:00 pm Units Provided: Immigration and the U.S. Policy Debate & Freedom Now: The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi More info:

Professional Development: Echoes & Reflections

The Power of the Human Story

by Gay Atmajian

Professional Development for ELA and HSS teachers in Tulare County at TCOE. Echoes & Reflections

Professional Development for ELA and HSS teachers in Tulare County at TCOE. Echoes & Reflections

“A real human being puts a personal face on history,” posits Echoes & Reflections presenter Sherry Bard.

In a professional development opportunity for English Language Arts and History/Social Studies teachers hosted by Tulare County Office of Education, over 40 county educators learn how “Bringing in an eye-witness brings an unmatched opportunity!” We know this to be true. The minute a historical concept, idea or entity takes on a human face and voice, we experience history in a very personal way. is a true gold mine of opportunity:

  • 65 real testimonies available
  • professionally filmed eyewitness, primary source accounts

“We want to teach the Holocaust from the point of the individual,” Bard proffers. “We want to know the stories. When you teach history and talk about the stories. Students say, ‘Wait, we remember stories!’”


Bard’s position is buttressed by Nicole Krueger’s ISTE article 3 Strategies for Using Empathy as an Antidote for Cyberbullying. Krueger writes:

"Storytelling offers a powerful entry point for engaging students’ empathy by actually changing the way their brains work. Neuroeconomics pioneer Paul Zak, who studied how people respond to stories, found that even simple narratives can trigger potent empathetic responses through the release of neurochemicals such as cortisol and oxytocin."

Krueger also quotes journalist Emily Bazelon:

"Stories have tremendous potential to help kids reflect on not just how other people are feeling but why that is a value . . . They kind of lift kids out of their own situations and give them another vantage point and a way to think about other people's experiences."

We are thus reminded that if we listen to individuals as they tell history—as they tell their stories of what they saw, what they experienced, what they lived, or what happened to them—it helps us to see them as people. It puts a face, a voice, and skin on an actual human being. We can relate to the human experience. We can connect with the person. We can understand the human being. We see the facial expressions; we hear the emotion in the voice; the tone changes; we see them remember. Through this process, history is learned, and empathy is birthed, if not nurtured, in us and in our students. Drawing on visual histories works as an avenue toward creating an empathetic citizenry—a citizenry that cares for one’s fellow man.

Gay Atmajian at Echoes & Reflections Sept. 28, 2016

Gay Atmajian at Echoes & Reflections Sept. 28, 2016

Finding Resources for Lessons

Go to Click on the Lessons link on the home page. Go to Lesson Components. Voila! Suggested Links” will appear toward the top right of the screen. Click on Visual History Clips by Lesson to discover an index of visual histories listed by topic, speaker, content, and length of the video.

Utilizing the visual history clips—the testimonies—puts a human face on history, History becomes a person-to-person connection rather than information on a page.

Gay Atmajian Biography


English Language Arts/ ELD/ Social Studies Staff Development and Curriculum Specialist

Gay Atmajian serves as a Staff Development and Curriculum Specialist in English Language Arts and Social Studies. Her background includes a B.A. in English from UC Davis, an M.A. in Theological Studies from Regent College in Vancouver, BC, and an Administrative Services Credential from Fresno Pacific University. Gay is a world traveler and a former copy editor for Global Road Warrior, a division of World Trade Press. Her career as an educator includes leading adult school Student Success workshops, working as a BTSA support provider for teachers at both elementary and high school levels, a decade of teaching grades 9-12 English Language Arts, and several years serving as an instructional support coach for K-6 instructors.

Gay welcomes opportunities to provide staff development and instructional support in:

  • Unit Design
  • Curriculum Mapping
  • ELA and H/SS California State Standards
  • Student Engagement Strategies
  • Checking for Understanding
  • Integrating VAPA standards in ELA and H/SS
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Close Reading

Gay Atmajian
(559) 651-3350

Happy Constitution Day

Just a reminder

There are two events happening tomorrow to celebrate Constitution Day.

At the Fresno State Student Union from 9-12 students and teachers alike can participate at the Constitution Day Event.

Constitution Day 2016.3

At the Tulare County Library meet some of the residents of the past from Allensworth. 

Josie Triplett, Child Development Professor (retired), George Finley, former principal of Allensworth School. Ms. Triplett’s mother was raised in Allensworth and Mr. Finley was the school principal there for many years. Together, they will relate some of the history of this unique community, as well as their personal experiences there.
Visalia Library Hosts Allensworth Event

Visalia Library Hosts Allensworth Event


Annual Rededication Event
October 8th,  2016, Saturday, 10:00 am-4:00 pm at Allensworth State Historic Park

SJVCSS Lantern Tour
Saturday, November 5th, 5-9 pm Meet at Qué Pasa in Tulare then  Allensworth State Park

Free Teacher Resource

4 New Tulare County Common Core-HSS Professional Development Opportunities

Social Studies PD Opportunities

 Training Title
 Date  Registration/Info URL
Look Who's Talking! Academic Conversation in Social Studies Aug 30, 2016 Informational flyer
Registration link
Teaching Students to Formulate and Ask Questions Oct 4, 2016 Informational flyer
Registration link
DBQ Project - Document Based Questions Grades 6-12 October 6, 2016 Informational flyer
Registration link
Argument Writing in History and Social Studies Gr 6-12 November 15, 2016 Informational flyer
Registration link
How are your English Language Arts & History/Social Studies students learning about the Holocaust?

ELA and History/Social Studies teachers and administrators- join Educational Consultant Sherry Bard for this unique professional learning opportunity!

Help Get the Word Out!

Please share with someone who you think might be interested in attending or with your principal!

Check the TCOE website for additional professional develop opportunities.