If you expected some great ideas, you'd be right!

This is the coolest book. Have you heard of it? "S?"

San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies hosted a meet-up in Visalia, CA at Cafe 225. Exciting ideas burst simultaneously around the table. Teachers shared how they taught students before and after the election, keeping the students civil in the process. Brinkley Abercrombie shared that she had the students think about what they felt about this election and type on their computers how THEY would vote in 2020 based on what they learned from this election. Gina Nelson focused on the propositions. She held a mock election. Each student had to research on a proposition.

iPhones came out as Chris Cumiford showed the group his classroom. You will read more about it soon. I'd like to go to class here, wouldn't you?

"Physical environment is just as important in student learning as assessment.

"Physical environment is just as important in student learning as assessment.

Notice the screen in the front. There are actually three of them, and students have access to a multi-media slide show and actual artifacts as they study a unit.

Chris Cumiford2.jpeg

What motivated these social studies teachers to attend a meet-up in the middle of the week?

  • Money, a stipend?
  • Nothing else to do?
  • Duty?
  • Close to home
  • None of the above

According to Chris, money or location would not make him give up time with his little daughter to attend a meeting. He wanted to share with other excited teachers. And share they all did.

Do you want to see a picture of that?

Do you want to see a picture of that?

Ideas about future meet-ups flourished as Chris shared about what programs the Tulare County Historical Society is planning. Marsha shared about the San Joaquin Towne Hall meetings in Fresno. Chris said that he enjoyed going to different places around the region because he had not been to all the historical spots. "It's nice to change it up."

It would be nice to have some online meetings, too. But it's not the same as face to face.

"It would be helpful to have some online meetings, too."

"I'd love that. It is hard to get out at night. This is the third night out this week, but I'm glad I came."

"I agree that online meetings work but it's not the same as face to face."

sjvcss-meetup101

These teachers want to expand what they know in order to become better teachers.

Teachers teaching teachers began spontaneously.

Chris brought an amazing book written by and author and movie producer. The double plot was like a classic book with student writing and notes in the margins. "Impressively smart, engaging . . . Filled with secrets and stories that are endlessly beguiling and inviting . . . Reading S., and trying to decode everything [was] an incredibly enjoyable, fun experience, as well as a particularly immersive one. . . . For all its mysteries and intrigues, this is a book about the value of books, and what they can offer us that other storytelling mediums cannot." --Wired

This is the coolest book. Have you heard of it? "S?"

This is the coolest book. Have you heard of it? "S? See the student's notes in the margins."

As he opened the book and told us about it, artifacts fell out of the book. Not pictures on a page of a document - an actual document or post card.

"Wouldn't that be cool if textbooks were like that?"

"They will make it into a movie soon."

"JJ Abrams said he did not want it to become a movie."

The story is about two kids that share a library book. See the bar code.

The story is about two kids that share a library book. See the bar code?

The Business Part of the Meet up

"So what about the SJVCSS awards for excellent teachers?"

"Wouldn't it be cool if we could get donations from stores for cool stuff for their classrooms?" (Like Chris's 3 screens?)

"That would be awesome!"

What about other meet-ups for social studies teachers?

"Did you hear about the last Fox last event, Nosferatu? It was a silent movie. Someone came out and told the history. It originally aired in a deserted zoo. Everyone at the Fox was dressed up in period costumes. They decorated the theater to look like the original setting. This is what it looked like. And the coolest thing was the organ music."

The original location of the silent horror film Nosferatu.

The original location of the silent horror film Nosferatu.

"The Tower Theater in Fresno does the same thing!"

"I'd love to do things like that, especially if someone explains the history."

"Listen to what the Tulare County Historical Society is planning."

"That sounds interesting, too. I wonder if Visalia teachers would come to things in the Visalia area?"

"We can try it."

"Yeah, we could."

All they need now is you.

Would you be interested in social studies teachers' meet-ups?

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