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Time to Shift Gears  

We understand that the C3 Framework and the new literacy standards require significant shifts in how you approach instruction.  That is why we offer this resource that provides rationale, explanation, and illustration of these shifts. This investigation is designed to provide information on the development, purpose, and structure of shifts in ELA shifts and social studies and how they relate to the Core. 


In the September/October 2014 _Social Studies and the Young Learner, Lorraine S. McGarry and Donnan M. Stoicovy describe how their school's annual "town hall meetings" to start the school year lead to a C3-aligned project during which students wrote a code of rights and responsibilities, which included the authentic experiences of electing representatives and holding a constitutional convention.

"Writing a School Constitution: Representative Democracy in Action" (pdf)"

Subject Area: 

K-12 assessments from WA

Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

Washington state developed assessments for social studies K-12. These resources give a general rubric and structure to be used to assess social studies skills and content. Teachers choose their own specific topics and formats, and the rubric provides uniformity in scoring structure.

Scroll down to the table and look at the models that are provided for each subject area and grade level.

Organization website:
Carol Coe
Contact email:
Assessment Resource Type: 

Beyond the Bubble: A New Generation of History Assessments

Web Link to Resource:

Stanford History Education Group

Beyond the Bubble features new kinds of history assessments that allow teachers to gauge whether students have mastered key historical thinking skills. These innovative assessments, called History Assessments of Thinking (HATs), prompt students to answer questions about historical sources and to justify their reasoning in two or three sentences.
Most HATs can be completed in ten minutes, some in less than five. HATs allow teachers to get a quick sense of what students do and don’t know. Teachers can use this information to adjust instruction to meet the needs of their students.

Organization website:
Sam Wineburg
Contact email:
Assessment Resource Type: 

Should public school elementary teachers teach about such holidays as St. Patricks Day, which have religious roots?

Nancy Gallavan

Yes! Most holidays have religious roots; the word “holiday” comes from “holy day.” Teaching and learning must be balanced to include a wide array of holidays representing many different cultures. It is essential that holidays are taught as information; the classroom is not the place to either promote or demote a particular culture. Be sure that information is factual and does not trivialize or demean through language, items, or actions.

Su Hickenbottom


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