Social Studies E-News from OCM BOCES Instructional Support

November 2016

Social Studies opportunities abound in November! Check these out!

New York Geographic Alliance

  • GeoFest 2016: The New York Geographic Alliance is holding GeoFest 2016 at Monroe Community College on Saturday November 19, 2016. The theme is The Power of Parks… and Geography! The event coincides with Geography Awareness Week, Nov. 13-19 as well as Geospatial Day on Nov. 16th. To honor the 100th anniversary of the National Park System, there will be workshops about national, state, and local parks in New York State. The NYGA will also highlight their new middle school module, Geographic Lessons for the Atlas of New York. Find more information about registration here.

  • New York Geographic Bee 2017: The NYGA is also sponsoring a New York Geographic Bee be held in the spring in Albany. This is a stepping stone to the National Geographic Bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society. This starts as a local competition at your school to qualify students for the state and national levels. Follow the links for registration information and resources.

Social Studies Professional Development


All of these events are posted on My Learning Plan.

Ongoing Events

  • Social Studies Leadership Network
    November 17, February 2, and June 1

    This network will meet to serve as a conduit for information, learning and discussion about the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework, assessments, and best practices in Social Studies classrooms. Social Studies teacher leaders and administrators will work collaboratively to expand their own knowledge and expertise, and, in turn, provide leadership to their own schools and districts. Participants will receive resources for in-district turnkey purposes and share their expertise and ideas.

  • Social Studies Collaboratives (formerly Curriculum Follow-Up Sessions)
    November 30, February 15, April 26, and May 31

    If you participated in the Summer 2015 or Summer 2016 Social Studies Curriculum Work (5th-8th grade from last summer, K-4th and 9th-12th this summer), think about joining us for an upcoming session. Participants may sign up for a single session or for multiple sessions, as desired.

Special Events

  • Social Studies Content Support for Ninth Grade Global Teachers
    January 18

    Dr. John Langdon, professor of history at Le Moyne College and member of the NYSED Content Advisory Panel, will continue to help participants explore and prioritize the Key Ideas in the 9th Grade Framework, and find sources that are essential for students' understanding of the concepts and connections of Global History. Participants will have the opportunity to share information, resources and instructional practices. If you attended the first session on November 2, this will be a great opportunity to come back and continue to dig into the Social Studies Framework for 9th grade.

NCSS National Conference


Don’t forget that the National Council for the Social Studies is holding its National Conference in Washington, D.C. on December 2-4 this year. Advance registration is open until November 28. Find more information here.

Other Local Opportunities for October

  • The Onondaga Historical Association has an author talks and a book signing coming up in November and December as well as ongoing tours of the renovated Hotel Syracuse. Find all of the information here.

  • The Seward House Museum will have Brent Glass, Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History as a guest speaker at 7:00PM on Thursday November 10, 2016 at the Auburn High School Auditorium. Glass will speak about his book, 50 Great American Places, which “explores the power of essential historic sites and how they illuminate core themes in American history.” The book includes several sites in Central New York. Find the November schedule and details here.

Online Resources of the Month:
Right Question Institute

RQI Logo

The Right Question Institute (RQI) offers resources to develop the strategy and skill of asking good questions using the Question Formulation Technique. The QFT is deceptively simple to implement but has dividends in increasing students’ critical thinking, engagement, curiosity and ownership of their own learning. According to the RQI website, “The ability to produce questions, improve questions and prioritize questions may be one of the most important—yet too often overlooked—skills that a student can acquire in their formal education. Strong critical thinking is often grounded in the questions we ask. By deliberately teaching questioning skills, we will be facilitating a process that will help students develop a mental muscle necessary for deeper learning, creativity and innovation, analysis, and problem solving.” Check out the website resources here. Sign up for a free account to access the resources.

Surefire (and Absolutely) Single-Minded Shameless Plug of the Month: The Social Studies Blog

If you haven’t yet read the monthly blog that offers thoughts on teaching and learning of all things social studies, you need to ameliorate that state of affairs!! It is only one of the excellent blogs that are posted by the staff of OCM BOCES Instructional Support. Check out all of the blogs here. The Social Studies blog is posted here.

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