Yesterday we concluded the second of two BHH workshops for 2009. Participant teachers from Prairie ISD and Cedar Rapids CSD blew the doors off the event activities. Their intellectual engagement, curiosity, and postive energy made the events a joy and a pleasure. Given the teachers' enthusiasm for history and finding ways to make it meaningful for their children, I'm excited to see what happens in the classrooms this coming school year.
This year, we introduced a new emphasis in our document and image analysis -- SOURCING. Daisy Martin, associate director of the Stanford history education group, suggests using the phrase STOP AND SOURCEtohelp students remember to alwaysidentify information such as the author, date of creation, type ofdocument or image and place of creation...before reading or examining a document or image.Because sourcing is only truly meaningful when we have some understanding of the authorandthe time and place in which a piece of evidence was created, it may seem a bit gratuitous to introduce the concept to Kindergarten children. But I believe we develop good habits of the mind by practice. If children develop a habit of sourcing even before they can make sense of its information, they may become used to recognizing that information and be ready to make use of it when they have developed enough knowledge to do so. The Prairie and CR teachers that joined us for this summer's events expressed willingness to tackle this challenge-- so we'llsee what happens whenchildren STOP AND SOURCE across the grade levels.
All of which brings me to the reason for this post -- expressing my heartfelt THANKS to the teachers, mentors, faculty, and support staffwho came together thispast weekto study andprepare so that children in two more school districts will have the opportunity to grow through history.Youguys rock. Truly.If the excellence you brought to the workshops is any sign of the excellence that will go into the 2009-10 BHH unit implementations, I suspect we'll have some celebrating to dowhen we rendezvous again inthe summer of 2010.
To the teachers of Prairie and Cedar Rapids,I look forward toschool yearvisitswith you in your own classroom stomping grounds. Until then, best wishes toall for the remaining days of summer!