Social Studies Signal

Social Studies Signal

October 2021


Updates from the Ohio Department of Education

Oberlin City Schools Social Studies Teacher Named 2022 Ohio Teacher of the Year

Kurt Russell, a social studies teacher at Oberlin High School in Oberlin City Schools, has been named the 2022 Ohio Teacher of the Year. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria made the surprise public announcement during a schoolwide assembly on Sept. 9 at Oberlin High School.
“The Teacher of the Year program does an outstanding job of identifying and celebrating Ohio’s incredible educators,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “I want to congratulate Mr. Russell on being named Ohio’s Teacher of the Year. All of Ohio’s teachers have shown their dedication and commitment to our students especially during the ongoing pandemic.”
Kurt Russell began teaching 25 years ago with the belief that education can transform students’ lives. Since then, this veteran teacher at Oberlin High School has taught multiple courses, including African American history, U.S. History, international baccalaureate history of the Americas, and a course on race, gender and oppression.

Updated Assessment Resources in the Ohio State Test Portal

The Ohio State Test Portal provides educators resources to support student success on the American History end-of-course exam and the American Government end-of-course exam. These resources include: Students also can access an online version of practice tests on the Test Portal. Paper practice tests also are available on the Test Portal.

October Social Studies Office Hours 

The Department’s monthly Social Studies Office Hours will occur on Oct. 13 from 2:30-4 p.m. Office hours are an informal time for social studies educators across the state to connect with the Department’s social studies consultants to ask any questions or receive social studies support. Educators can join the office hours via Microsoft Teams. Click here to join the meeting

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month takes place Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year as a time to celebrate the diverse cultures, histories and contributions of the American Latino community. The United States Department of Education has compiled resources from multiple national organizations to support Hispanic Heritage Month this year.  EDSITEment, a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, also has shared teacher resources and guiding questions created during its summer seminars and institutes.

United States Senate Youth Program

The United States Senate Youth Program is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school seniors interested in pursuing careers in public service. The annual program is held in Washington, D.C. each March, where two student leaders from each state spend a week experiencing the national government in action. Students can learn more about eligibility and access Ohio’s application by visiting Ohio’s United States Senate Youth Program page.
Ohio students interested in applying to the program need to fill out the student application and have a letter of recommendation submitted by Oct. 18, 2021.

News from Other Organizations

2021 Ohio Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference

Registration is open for the 2021 Ohio Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference scheduled for Oct. 16, 2021, at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. Participants have the opportunity to attend both live and recorded sessions. Information about registration is available on the Ohio Council for the Social Studies website. Please direct any questions about the conference to the Ohio Council for the Social Studies.

2021 National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference

Registration is open for the 2021 National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference scheduled for Nov. 15-21, 2021. The conference will be a fully virtual event. This year’s conference marks the 101st annual conference. Information about registration is available on the National Council for the Social Studies website. Please direct any questions about the conference to the National Council for the Social Studies.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Danny Dollar Academy for Elementary Students

Danny Dollar Academy is a free financial literacy program facilitated by the Northern Kentucky University Center for Economic Education, University of Kentucky Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise and Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. The program promotes entrepreneurship, personal finance, civic responsibility and smart financial decision-making in grades 3, 4 and 5.
Danny Dollar Academy is based on a financial literacy curriculum that accompanies the best-selling children’s book Danny Dollar Millionaire Extraordinaire: The Lemonade Escapade by Ty Allan Jackson. As part of the program, educators will:
  • Receive a suite of Financial Literacy curriculum;
  • Receive a suite of English Language Arts curriculum;
  • Access to free resources;
  • Participate in a virtual live Q&A session with the book’s author;
  • Complete a classroom capstone project for the chance to win prizes; and
  • Receive access to attend a virtual or in-person visit with the book’s author.
To learn more about the program and how to participate, register for one of the following info sessions today.
  • Oct. 7, 2021, 4-5 p.m. EST
  • Oct. 20, 2021, 4-5 p.m. EST

Professional Learning Opportunities

Holocaust and Humanity Center Fall Workshops

The Nancy and David Wolf Holocaust and Humanity Center, located in Cincinnati, will be offering fall workshops both virtually and in person. These workshops are free and open to all educators. Registration information and session descriptions on the Oct. 17 workshop, Make Your Mark: Upstander Workshop & Museum Tour, and the Nov. 11 workshop, Veterans Day Educator Workshop: Unpacking Liberators’ Experiences, can be accessed via this flyer.

Social Studies Resources

Ohio’s National Parks Offer Educator Resources

Ohio is home to eight national parks, including historical parks and monuments. Several of these parks offer educator resources that can support social studies standards across kindergarten-grade 12. Here are the educator pages for these national parks:

Other Resources and Information

Thinking Routines Toolbox from Harvard Graduate School of Education

At the September Social Studies Virtual Meetup, Mary Ellen Daneels from the Illinois Civics Hub presented on the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero’s Thinking Routine Toolbox. This toolbox highlights research-based thinking routines that can help scaffold and support student thinking. The Illinois Civics Hub also has posted a recorded version of this webinar on their website.

Stanford History Education Group Reading Like a Historian Classroom Posters

Stanford History Education Group offers free classroom posters that can be posted in classrooms or shared with students. The posters communicate key questions to support five areas of historical thinking: close reading, contextualization, corroboration, sourcing and history. The posters are available in English and Spanish. Stanford History Education Group resources and lesson plans are free to download once a user has created a free account. 

The resources in this newsletter are free and have been reviewed using the Department’s Social Studies resource filter against established criteria. Copies of the completed filter forms are available upon request. Inclusion in this newsletter does not represent a recommendation to use a resource. Many quality resources are available beyond those included here. Educators should use their professional expertise to determine the suitability of any particular resources for use in their districts, schools or classrooms.

Send comments/questions to:

Justin Leach, Social Studies Consultant, Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies

Linda McKean, Social Studies Consultant, Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies