Illinois Social Science Community

Upcoming free virtual #ILSSCom events:

Check back often to see our latest offerings


Dialogue About Our Deepest Differences 3-10-20

Election 2020 in this era of political polarization brings both challenges and opportunities in engaging students in current and societal issue discussions. Mary Ellen Daneels joins us to discuss research-based practices in creating a safe environment for student participation in addressing the most essential questions facing our communities. Walk away with resources to engage students in deliberation to enhance your current classroom practice. Explicit connections will be made to the IL Social Science Standards, IL Civics Mandates, Social-Emotional Learning Competencies, the ELA Common Core State Standards, and the Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching.

C-SPAN Classroom 1-14-20

Tom Grane, Craig McAndrew, and Pam McGorry shared the wealth of FREE resources available to educators at C-SPAN Classroom. C-SPAN Classroom is a FREE membership service that works with C-SPAN’s programs on public affairs, coverage of Congress, non-fiction books and American history to create free educational resources. Their website provides social studies teachers with access to thousands of free resources, including short Current Events videos, Lesson Plans and Bell Ringers, Constitution Clips and On This Day in History events. They also offer professional development opportunities for middle and high school teachers and host StudentCam, C-SPAN’s annual video documentary competition for students in grades 6-12.

Getting Students to Remember What They Read 12-17-19

Social science educators know that students need to be able to use literacy skills in the content areas but sometimes get frustrated when sifting through reading and writing strategies to find ones applicable to their content. Kathi Rhodus discussed quick strategies and activities targeted to allow social science teachers to help students learn more effectively in their content areas. Discover a soon-to-be-released module on disciplinary literacy which includes strategies and resources to support students as they engage with texts and content.

Positive Classroom Environment 11-14-19

On our first ever cross-curricular #ILCom, guest speaker Krystal Clifton discussed strategies for fostering a positive classroom environment. Krystal is a 4th grade teacher in a diverse school district where 100% of the students in the district receive free lunch. One of the biggest struggles her district faces is a 28% chronic absenteeism rate. Krystal shared with us strategies for fostering a positive classroom environment by building relationships and rapport to support the risk-taking and authentic learning we want to see in the classroom.​

Tech Tools for Social Science 10-8-19

Learning Supports Content Specialist Lisa Ward joined us to share some of the student-centered tech tools available to support the Illinois Learning Standards for Social Science. In addition to hearing about the tools Lisa has to share for both K-5 and 6-12, time was set aside to allow participants to ask questions that our expert could troubleshoot. 

Using Children’s Literature in SS 9-10-19

The Illinois Social Science Content Specialists discussed how children’s literature can be used to support or launch social science inquiries. We discussed the Illinois created K-5 resource, Children’s Literature Connections to the Illinois Social Science Learning Standards, shared some culturally responsive book lists for classrooms, and allowed participants to share some of their favorite books to use with social science inquiries. 
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