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Archive for March, 2009

A potpourri of event season notes

Friday, March 20th, 2009

As of yesterday, seven of the 12 History Day events are complete. We have seen a lot of excellent projects and are anticipating many more at the remaining five events.

Yesterday, at the South Central History Day event in Mankato, an incident reminded the History Day staff of the great dedication of History Day teachers and students. The Northfield delegation was involved in a serious bus accident on their way to the event. Despite the tragedy and confusion and some pretty shook-up kids, the Northfield delegation soldiered on to the competition and performed marvelously. We want to commend them for pressing on and allowing the students to present their hard work!

History Day and a few students were also featured in a short news spot on a local Mankato news station. For the clip, check out the KEYC website and scroll down to South Central History Day.

Just a reminder to teachers who have students advancing to state: The History Day staff will be hosting a full day of help sessions for students on Saturday, April 4. Students can sign up for 20-minute time slots by e-mailing me the following information:

  1. Name
  2. School
  3. Category (exhibit, documentary, performance, website, paper)
  4. Preferred time slot

I still have plenty of spots left. This is a great opportunity for state qualifiers to get individual help with their projects.

Remember that state registration forms are due to the History Day office by Friday, April 3. This is a received-by date, not a postmark date.

Paper and Website Judging

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

For those teachers who had students submit papers or websites for judging yesterday, here is what your students can expect from the judging process.

  1. This week, the History Day staff will sort all the papers and websites into judge teams and send them out to our judges.
  2. The judges will evaluate the papers and websites and choose their top entries. Judge decisions are due to us by March 27.
  3. Paper and website finalists will be notified by the History Day staff of their advancement to the next level by April 3. Students who do not receive notification will not be advancing.
  4. Finalists will receive their judge sheets and can make any revisions they choose for the state competition. Revised papers and websites are due to the History Day office by April 20.
  5. Although only notified finalists will be interviewed at the state contest, all paper and website students will receive their judge sheets by about the second week of April.
  6. Finalists will be interviewed at the state competition on Saturday, May 2. Two papers and two websites from each age division will be chosen to represent Minnesota at the national competition. Non-finalist papers will be on display at the state event, but unfortunately, space and technology will not allow us to display all websites.

If you have any questions about this process, please let us know. Finalists are encouraged to make changes before state, based on judge comments and teacher input.

Opportunities for Social Studies Teachers

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

The Dirksen Congressional Center, based in Pekin, Illinois, is offering a four-day workshop for teachers of history, government, civics, political science or social studies called “Congress in the Classroom.” The workshop, scheduled for July 27-30 in East Peoria, Illinois, focuses on the exchange of ideas and information for teaching about Congress. Sessions focus on Congressional scholarship and on methods for teaching students about the federal legislature.

This appears to be a great opportunity to expand your knowledge and teaching skills on Congressional subject matter. The workshop is limited to 40 teachers and is competitive. You can find more information about the program and applications, which are due by April 15, on their website.

Another, more local opportunity can provide subsidies for school trips to Minnesota’s historical sites and museums. These subsidies are made available through Sesquicentennial funding through June 30, and can be used for field trips to one of the following Minnesota Historical Society sites:

  • MInnesota History Center
  • Minnesota State Capitol
  • James J. Hill House
  • Historic Forestville
  • Jeffers Petroglyphs
  • Mille Lacs Indian Museum
  • Northwest Company Fur Post
  • Forest History Center

To apply, visit the education website.