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:

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

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.

California Department of Education HSS August 2016 Newsletter


History-Social Science Curriculum Framework (HSS Framework)

The State Board of Education (SBE) voted to approve the Draft California HSS Framework, contingent on additional minor edits, on July 14, 2016. This is great news for California schools, as it will provide long-awaited guidance on updating and upgrading history and social science instruction in California.

The updated Framework:

  • will give students access to the latest historical research and help them learn about California’s rich diversity and the contributions of people and groups who may not have received appropriate recognition in the past;
  • adds stronger emphasis on civic learning and aligns with the recommendations set forth by the Task Force on K–12 Civic Learning in their 2014 publication, Revitalizing K–12 Civic Learning in California: A Blueprint for Action, and
  • includes more than 20 classroom examples that show teachers how they can integrate instruction to build students' knowledge and skills in HSS, literacy, and English language development.

The CDE and external colleagues are currently planning activities designed to support the rollout of the new framework. More information will be available soon!

2017 History–Social Science Instructional Materials Adoption

The application for reviewers for the 2017 History­–Social Science Adoption is now live on the CDE Instructional Materials Web site, under the tab “Reviewer Info.”

  • Please share this information with anyone you know who might be willing to serve as a reviewer.
  • Applications will be accepted through October 19, 2016.

New CDE HSS Education Programs Consultant

The Professional Learning Support Division is pleased to welcome Janet Mann, the new HSS consultant in the Literacy, History, and Arts Leadership Office. Janet brings over 25 years of experience in secondary education, having taught all the required Social Science courses and many electives such as AP Human Geography, Psychology, and Sociology in California public schools.

Keeping up on subject matter content as well as instructional strategies is a “hobby” for Janet as she participates in institutes most summers, including Street Law, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, the Foundation for Teaching Economics, and the National College Testing Association. She is a member of the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) and the APA (American Psychological Association).  If not at an institute, she travels, sometimes with students, and has visited over 20 countries. This includes a Fulbright exchange to South Africa.

  • At the CDE, Janet works closely with colleagues in the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division, the Superintendent’s Civic Education Initiative, and many outside organizations to support professional learning activities around the new framework and civic learning blueprint. She will also be actively involved in the California Global Education Network, along with many other HSS-related activities.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Update: Using Federal Funds to Improve Student Outcomes in Humanities

In a Key Policy Letter from the U.S. Department of Education, educators nationwide now have additional guidance and examples of how to leverage existing federal funds, for the 2016–2017 school year, for Humanities Education, which includes social studies areas of history, civics, government, economics, and geography.

  • Stay informed on the ESSA and the development of the California State Plan by visiting the CDE ESSA Web page and subscribing to the CDE’s e-mail newsletter by sending a blank e-mail message to 

MyVote Student Mock Election

California’s MyVote Student Mock Election program allows middle and high school students the opportunity to research and vote for real candidates and ballot measures.

  • The mock election will take place on October 11, 2016
  • School registration is available on the Secretary of State’s Web site. Early registration ensures a school receives a free tool kit, which includes research materials, mock ballots, “I Voted” stickers, and more.

Assembly Bill 1817 (Statutes of 2014) designates the last two full weeks in April and September as High School Voter Education Weeks and encourages school districts to conduct voter registration and education drives on campus and in classrooms during these four weeks.

The Kinsey Collection: Historical African American Art on Tour

The California-based Kinsey African American Art & History Collection is receiving national recognition through its recent exhibitions, including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C., the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, and an ongoing exhibit at the American Heritage Gallery at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida.

  • The most recent exhibition in California was at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History last spring. The next exhibit in California will be opening on January 20th, 2017 at California State University, San Bernardino.


The 12th Annual Constitution Day Conference: Resources for Teachers, K–12
Saturday, September 10, 2016
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Simi Valley, California

Conference includes:

  • A tour of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, the Discovery Center & Air Force One
  • Constitution Scholar Series
  • Interactive teacher workshop sessions and
  • FREE LESSONS from sponsor organizations
  • Showcase featuring recipients of the California Civic Learning Award

Register at
Deadline: September 2, 2016
($25 Registration Fee)

ABOTA Foundation Teachers Law School

September 16 –17, 2016
Sacramento, California

October 7, 2016
San Francisco, California

The American Board of Trial Advocates Foundation is proud to present the Teachers Law School, a program designed for middle and high school educators with an interest in prioritizing civics and law-related education in the classroom. The presenters are esteemed members of the bench and bar with a wealth of information and stories to share.

Find out more about the program and what past participants are saying about their experience with the TLS by 

Understanding Sacrifice World War II in The Pacific

National History Day®, the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have partnered to reinvigorate the teaching of WWII in middle and high school by helping teachers understand the sacrifice of fallen American heroes of World War II.

Apply now to be one of 18 middle and high school teachers selected to study the experiences of America’s World War II soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen as they fought throughout the Pacific. The program will allow teachers to study this phase of World War II, engage in scholarly readings and discussions with experts and peers, and develop multimedia, multi-disciplinary lesson plans to help teachers and students around the world understand the service and sacrifice of America’s armed forces.

In July 2017, teachers will follow the path of the armed forces and travel to San Francisco, Honolulu, and Manila. Teachers will visit several American Battle Monument Commission and National Cemetery Administration cemeteries to honor individuals from their home states who sacrificed their lives in the war.

Most fees are covered by the program including travel to San Francisco, Honolulu, Manila, and all courses. The resources teachers create will be hosted online and will be free for any teacher to use. Teachers from a variety of disciplines including social studies teachers, science teachers, art teachers, and physical education teachers are welcome to apply.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: September 2, 2016

Additional information is available at


Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf Association Presents "Wharf Walks - Walking Tours at Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf" the First Saturday of Each Month

The next Wharf Walk will be held on Saturday, August 6th on Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf and will focus on "The History of Fishing on the Monterey Bay."  The tour is for ages 10-adult only.  Advance reservations are required and there is a fee to participate.

More information is available at,


Asia Society

Visit the Asia Society’s Web page to follow a blog, learn about upcoming events and initiatives, and more. Attend their upcomingGlobal Education Forum 2016 in October in Philadelphia to explore how to prepare students to be globally competent, review trends and best practices in teacher and leadership development, and develop strategies for teaching and assessing critical 21st century skills.

California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP)

Stay current with the latest happenings in HSS by visiting the CHSSP Web site for regional events and reading the UC Davis CHSSP blog at

  • Subscribe to access classroom-ready resources for the 2016 Election with Teach the Election.

Constitutional Rights Foundation

New Civil Conversation Lessons

The Constitutional Rights Foundation’s civil conversation method gets students engaged in policy-based discussions on current, crucial controversies. Students are encouraged to engage intellectually with challenging materials, gain insight about their own point of view, and strive for a shared understanding of issues. Two new lessons are available: Immigration Enforcement Raids and The Syrian Refugee Crisis and U.S. Policy.

Global Oneness Project

The Global Oneness Project offers free multicultural stories and accompanying lesson plans. Their award-winning collection of films, photo essays, and articles explore cultural, social, and environmental issues from around the world with a humanistic lens. Aligned to National and Common Core Standards, their curriculum content contains an interdisciplinary approach to learning and facilitates the development of active, critical thinking.

The story of the month, When a Town Runs Dry, tells the story of Stratford, a small town in California that is suffering from a severe drought and its impact on the community, land, and residents’ daily lives.

Veteran National Education Program

The Veteran’s National Education Program offers a variety of educational resources, including videos, to support the teaching of history and world affairs and encourage critical thinking. The materials are focused on events “as seen through the eyes of veterans” and highlight both past and current events.

  • Check out the Global Awareness Map for detailed information about the people, government, religions, and U.S. military presence in countries around the world.


These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this listserv. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by the CDE. Please closely review these opportunities and materials before use.

To subscribe to CED's electronic mailing list, send a blank e-mail to

Follow CDE on Twitter @CaEdGlobal and @CaEdHSS

CDE’s History-Social Science Professional Learning & Curriculum Resources

We would love to hear from you! Please send let us know of any events and/or resources you would like to see included in the next edition of the newsletter.


Aileen Allison-Zarea, Administrator

Literacy, History & Arts Leadership Office

Professional Learning Support Division

California Department of Education

1430 N Street, Suite 4309

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916.323.6269

Fax: 916.323.2928

How to Find Useful Resources for Classroom Use

How Do You Find Sources for Your Classroom?

Finding accurate, reliable resources takes time.
28 page book on Native American dolls

28 page book on Native American dolls

Why reinvent the wheel?

Google is helpful, but it does not guarantee that the resources will be accurate and reliable. As a social studies teacher, you can not leave everything up to chance when either you or your students research topics for reports, project-based learning, and other Common Core activities.

Resources day by day available help differentiate the day or give teachers a hook.

National Geographic resources day by day available help teachers differentiate the day for their students or give teachers a hook to get students started. Click the image to go to National Geographic.

You've heard the story that a student indicated that the Holocaust never happened. He/she claimed it had to be true because it was on the internet.

SJVCSS believes in using the best resource hacks!

And best, you get it for FREE!

Bookmark This Page For Easy Access

San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies, SJVCSS, updated its list of useful resources page in June 2016 to make sure all the links work.  Scholar, Dr. Peg Hill from Inland Empire Council for the Social Studies first compiled this list. She and other teacher spent hours confirming that the sources are valuable for you and your students.

Copy the page into a Google Docs to give to students for their research.

If you find additional online sources that you can validate, please share them with us. Busy social studies teachers do not have time to hunt and peck around all over the internet. SJVCSS promotes sharing.

Images, primary source documents,

Images, primary source documents,

You can sign up to follow this blog at no charge.

San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies SJVCSS provides professional networking opportunities both on and offline for social studies teachers in Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera and Mariposa Counties. The council advocates keeping history-social science as an essential part of the core curriculum in public education K-12.

If you find a broken link, please notify SJVCSS at or call 559-407-0571.

If you find this post helpful, please share it with other teachers.