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joe taraborrelli
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Understanding in the Social Studies Classroom
Over the past few months, for the first time, I read Grant Wiggins' book Understanding by Design. Reading about understanding, obviously, is quite different than writing about it. What does it mean to teach for understanding in the social studies classroom?...

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Where does the act of teaching begin?
Some brief notes/ideas from my reading of How Students Learn. (ongoing) Students come to class with preconceptions about how the world works. This is a huge idea that all teachers must consider. I am examining this idea from the perspective of a social stud...

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Comparing historians and poets
What do historians and poets have in common? Both create. What do historians create? Historians create accounts of past events and people. To do this, they must make choices about what from the past is worth writing about and take a close look at sources fr...

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I remember...
Let's start with an 'I remember' task. Pick a moment from your recent past. Think about that moment. What do you remember? Write it down. Notice how the author wrote how she remembered picking up a handful of sand. She proceeded to describe the sand: 'smoot...

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Memory and Our First Text, a poem
Where do we begin? I think where and, more importantly, how we begin this course is key. In many ways, you should pay attention less to what I say and more to what I do. To what extent are my words and actions aligned? I have chose to begin this course with...

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An overview of my Western Civ Course
Hello and welcome to Western Civilization. The purpose of this segment is to consider the following questions: What are some of the difference b/t social studies and history? And how will these differences impact how we approach this course? I suspect that ...

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Argument is at the core of History
You may think of a fight or a debate when you see the word argument. And when you think of history class, with its powerpoints, videos, and dry textbooks, debate may seem the furthest thing from this discipline. Though you may have a difficult time acceptin...
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