Thursday, March 15, 2018

Media Literacy Part 3

At the end of January,  I wrote about tools to teach media literacy in a post titled "Fighting Fake News." It touched a nerve. Several educators responded, including  Lisa Kerscher, who pointed me toward a resource I shared in a February post: "Checkology: Another Media Literacy Resource." That post generated additional suggestions: 

Kim Anderson from Humanities Montana wrote: 

"Middle and high school teachers also might want to take advantage of a new catalog of presentations we have—The Informed Citizen. This program is part of the "Democracy and the Informed Citizen" Initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public's knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry. We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership. All programs are available to schools for free." (By the way, this is just one of many programs available free to schools from Humanities Montana.) 

Chris Seifert of MontanaPBS wrote: 

"KQED Teach is a free, online professional learning community for educators to expand their media literacy skills by taking short courses.  Participants will find courses, lesson plans, and activities for making their own digital media, developing lesson plans and sharing it with the community of fellow educators.  Sign up at teach.kqed.org to take courses and learn about digital media."

Many of the best resources I share come from readers. If there's a resource you love (on media literacy or any other relevant topic) please let me know so I can share it with your colleagues.

P.S. Are you playing Montana Madness? Polls close Sunday, March 18, at 11:59 p.m., in these exciting contests: Jeannette Rankin's shoe vs. 2,000-4,000 year old petroglyph, the Charlie Russell painting When the Land belonged to God vs. the Fisherman's Map of Montana, the earliest letter in our collection (written in 1810 by Pierre Menard at Three Forks) vs. a ca. 1900 beautifully beaded cradleboard, and the 1908 Montana State Federation of Labor Certificate of Affiliation vs. a pair of 1910 Cree beaded gauntlet gloves. Please vote and encourage your friends and students to vote. And may the best object win.

Monday, March 12, 2018

April and May IEFA Online Book Club Courses

Western Montana Professional Learning Collaborative is offering two more online book club courses in April and May.

American Indian Literature (for use in grades K-8) will run April 2-May 22, 2018. "The course serves as an opportunity for participants to explore OPI developed instructional units based on literature sent to all Montana elementary and middle school libraries alongside additional primarily fiction texts for use in grades K-8." It "will be divided into three parts: literature for K-2, literature for 3-5, and literature for 6-8. Many resources are place-based, either focused on Montana tribes or created by Montana Indian authors. Participants will read texts, engage in discussions, complete instructional activities, and examine accurate and authentic Native American fiction and nonfiction texts. Ultimately, participants will select texts and instructional units for immediate integration of IEFA into their classrooms. This course is rigorous and requires the participant complete extensive reading and access a number of texts through their school or public library or purchase said materials from WM-PLC or booksellers." 

Registration fee: $175. Credit: 30 OPI Renewal Units or 2 Semester Credits (semester credit is offered through the University of Montana and is an additional fee of $155.) Find more information and a link to register here.

The History of the Flathead Reservation will run April 9-May 27, 2018. "Through the readings, participants will examine primary and secondary documents that inform the tribal history of the Flathead Reservation. Participants will utilize their critical analysis skills while using instructional strategies within the context of multicultural education." Books include 
  • In the Name of the Salish & Kootenai Nation: The 1855 Hell Gate Treaty and the Origin of the Flathead Indian Reservation by R. Bigard and C. Woodcock (1996);
  • A Brief History of the Salish and Pend d’Oreille Tribes by the Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee (2003);
  • Salish People and the Lewis and Clark Expedition by the Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee and Elders Cultural Advisory Council (2005); 
  • Coming Back Slow: The Importance of Preserving Salish Indian Culture and Language by Agnes Vanderburg (1995). 
Registration fee: $175. Credit: 30 OPI Renewal Units or 2 Semester Credits (semester credit is offered through the University of Montana and is an additional fee of $155.) Find more information and a link to register here.

And speaking in April workshops, we have FREE in-person workshops scheduled for Kalispell (April 18), Libby (April 19), and Pablo (April 20). There is still plenty of room in all of these workshops. Would you let your colleagues in northwest Montana know? 

P.S. Last week, the Smith Mine Disaster Board, Lewis and Clark Bridge, White Swan Robe, and Elk Tooth Dress advanced to the Elite 8 in #MontanaMadness, our take on March Madness.  Vote for objects currently competing in the tournament at http://mhs.mt.gov/education/MontanaMadness

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Little Something for Everybody

We've got an amazing one-day workshop, "Crossing Disciplines: Social Studies, Art, and the Common Core," coming to Kalispell (April 18), Pablo (April 19) and Libby (April 20). If you are within an easy drive of any of these communities, this is one PD you will not want to miss. Learn more and register and please share the link with your friends. I can only get the Society to continue to support on-the-road workshops if I can demonstrate a need.

I picked up some great ideas at OPI's Best Practices in Indian Education for All Workshop this week. I'll share in more depth in a later post, but here are a few links that were new to me:

Pow Wow Sweat is a YouTube series created by The StyleHorse Collective and the Coeur d'Alene Tribe that teaches pow wow dances, including Traditional, Old Style Women's Fancy Shawl, Jingle Dress, Men's Grass Dance, and many more. Teachers said they are great for PE, indoor recess, and just to get the wiggles out.

Native Land is an interactive map created by Victor Temprano.  As he says on the website, it's a work in progress, being continually refined. He also points out that there are many problems inherent to mapping indigenous territories: "Western maps of Indigenous nations are very often inherently colonial, in that they delegate power according to imposed borders that don’t really exist in many nations throughout history." Even given these issues, the site is interesting and thought-provoking. Add English place-names to see in whose territory he's placed you. (Helena, according to this map, is Blackfeet, Salish, and Kootenai Territory.) 

The Arlee Boy's Basketball team, who won the 2018 Class C Boys' Basketball Tournament, created a very moving suicide prevention video.

Speaking of basketball, only one reader has submitted his completed Montana Madness tournament bracket, making him the sure winner--unless some of you step in to give him a little competition by emailing me a photo of your completed bracket before midnight, Sunday, March 11. Prizes and bragging rights are on the line.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Montana Madness: The Other Big Tournament This March

This March, sixteen objects from the Montana Historical Society’s vast collections are competing in “Montana Madness” for the title of Montana’s Most Awesome Object. Will you play along and help select the winner? 

The competition, modeled on the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, will pit object against object from the Montana Historical Society’s museum, archives, and library collections.
Throughout the month, objects will face-off in online polls that will be promoted on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #MontanaMadness. But the game isn’t limited to Facebook and Twitter. Anyone can download a Sweet Sixteen bracket and vote on the objects they think should advance in the tournament at our website.

Those voting through the website can enter a sweepstakes to win a one-year family membership to the Montana Historical Society, a signed copy of Montana's Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society, by Jennifer Bottomly-O'looney and Kirby Lambert, or a 7 ½” x 9 ½” print of Night Storm, by Blackfeet artist Gale Running Wolf, Sr. 

To up the ante, I'll throw in another prize just for Teaching Montana History readers: snap a picture of your completed bracket and email it to me and I'll enter you in a second contest for as an as-yet-to-be-named but fabulous prize. Predict the champion object for the prize. If more than one person predicts the champion, then I'll start working backwards to choose the winner: who predicted both objects in the championship? All of the objects in the Final Four? All of the Elite Eight? You get the idea. If there is more than one person whose bracket is perfect it will be prizes all around. For the competitive among you, I'll throw out this tip: GOTV efforts are NOT cheating. If you want to see a particular object advance, either out of loyalty to the object (Lewis and Clark Bridge near Wolf Point, anyone?) or to improve your chances of winning, encourage your friends, colleagues, and students to vote. Put the link up on Facebook and Twitter. Send it out to your Christmas list. It's all fair play. 

We'll be running four contests at a time--the first four end March 11. They are:

#1 Seed: The Smith Mine Disaster Board vs. #16 Seed: "Square & Compass" Branding Iron

Smith mine board and brand

#5 Seed: Lewis and Clark Bridge Near Wolf Point vs. #12 Seed: Faro Board and Casekeep

#4 Seed: White Swan's Painted Robe vs. Fort Benton Weather Vane

Elk Tooth Dress vs. #10 Seed: A’aninin (Gros Ventre) Tipi Liner

May the best object win!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Middle School Teachers: Apply to become an MHS Teacher Leader in History

Last year we started an Elementary Teacher Leaders in History program. It's gone so well that this year we're soliciting applications from middle school teachers (grades 6-8) to participate in the program. 

If you are interested in helping improve middle school history education in your schools, districts, and regions, consider applying to become a Montana Historical Society Teacher Leader in History. 

Successful applicants will demonstrate a commitment to history education, interest and experience in teaching Montana history, excellence in the classroom, experience in sharing best practices with their colleagues, and familiarity with the Montana Historical Society’s work and educational resources.

In addition to the criteria above, program fellows will be chosen to reflect Montana’s geographic and educational diversity, assuring representation from different regions and both small and large schools.

Those accepted as middle school Teacher Leader Fellows will be brought to Helena for a two-day Teacher Leader in History Summit, to be held at the Montana Historical Society, June 19-20, 2018, at the conclusion of which they will be certified as Montana Historical Society Teacher Leaders in History.

Throughout 2018-2019, this select group of Teacher Leaders in History will
  • Serve as members of the Montana Historical Society Educator Advisory Board, providing advice and classroom testing of lesson plans on an as-needed basis.
  • Work to increase the Montana Historical Society’s visibility in their schools and communities.
  • Assist teachers in their schools in finding appropriate resources/implementing lessons that reflect best practices in history education.
  • Promote Montana Historical Society resources to teachers
    • through a formal presentation at one or more regional conferences (for which they may earn OPI Renewal Units).
    • within their own school or across their district through informal outreach and/or formal presentations.Communicate with Montana Historical Society staff throughout 2018-19, documenting the outreach they have conducted.
  • Communicate with Montana Historical Society staff throughout 2018-19, documenting the outreach they have conducted and participating in up to three one-hour virtual meetings (scheduled at mutually agreeable times).
In return, the Montana Historical Society will provide the following:
  • Full travel scholarships to attend the free two-day June 2018 Summit.
  • An honorarium of $100 to cover travel expenses to one regional conference, at which the participant is presenting, or up to $100 to your school to pay for a substitute teacher so you can present in a nearby district.
  • Ongoing support and consultation, including model PowerPoint presentations to use and adapt as in presentations to fellow educators.
  • A certificate designating the participant as an official MHS Teacher Leader in History.
  • Up to 15 OPI Renewal Units or 1 graduate credit (at the cost of $150/pending course approval from MSU-Northern.)  
No more than 12 teachers will be selected for this special program. Apply online here. Applications are due April 30. Awardees will be notified by May 11.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Checkology: Another Media Literacy Resource

My post, "Fighting Fake News," on tools to teach media literacy--especially online--received a number of responses. Among them was one from Lisa Kerscher, Education Director of Brightways Learning in Missoula, who pointed me to Checkology. Created by the News Literacy Project and designed for use in grades 6-12, the site offers 12 online lessons that (according to the site's own promotion) teach students how to 
  • Categorize information
  • Make and critique news judgments
  • Explore how the press and citizens can each act as watchdogs
  • Detect and dissect viral rumors.
My favorite statistic from the site's PR: "86% of students reported that after Checkology's lessons, they "learned to check information before they share it."

The nonpartisan News Literacy Project was founded in 2008 by former Los Angeles Times investigative reporter Alan Miller, and its partner news organizations (who endorse its mission and donate services) include the Associated Press and Reuters as well as many other news organizations. (See how I'm modeling media literacy and sourcing* here?) 

Teachers can get free premium access to Checkology during 2017-2018 school year.

*Sourcing is a historical thinking skill we all should use when analyzing informational text (including both primary and secondary sources). It starts with asking three questions of every source: Who created it, when, and for what purpose?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Your Time Machine Awaits

I'm always surprised when I talk with a teacher (especially a high school teacher) who doesn't know about Chronicling America and Montana Newspapers. These two sites remain among my favorite research tools. You can find over three-quarters of a million newspaper pages from Montana and millions more from other states. The earliest newspaper available from Montana is the August 27, 1864, Montana Post. I'm not sure what the earliest paper is nationally, but the oldest I found in a cursory search was the April 15, 1789, issue of the Gazette of the United States. 

My amazing colleague Natasha Hollenbach just added the following titles to Montana Newspapers:

  • The Winifred Times, a brand new addition to Montana Newspapers, covering June 22, 1923-July 10, 1936.
  • The Mountaineer (1921-1936), which is a continuation of The Bear Paw Mountaineer (1911-1921), the subject of their first project.
  • An additional 15 years of The Hardin Tribune-Herald. With this extension, The Hardin Tribune and The Hardin Tribune-Herald is now available from 1908-1933. 
How can you use this amazing resource in your classroom? I have ideas.

Struggling with the technology? Here are tips from Primary Source Nexus for viewing and saving articles and for searching Chronicling America. (These tips will work with Montana Newspapers as well.)

P.S. Among the objects displayed in our new online exhibit is the Lowe Press No. 2, the hand printing press on which Montana's very first newspaper, The Montana Post, was printed in Virginia City in 1864. You can read more about it here. Our Montana Madness competition--during which 16 objects will vie for the title of Most Awesome Object--kicks off in March, but through February 25, we're hosting "pre-tournament play." This printing press is in the running to make the Sweet Sixteen. You can cast your vote for it--or other objects competing to represent the "Becoming Montanans" Conference here.