Excellent Resource: National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

Have you ever wondered how you got here? I mean how your family physically ended up in the United States. Have you ever held a desire to trace your family’s genealogy to uncover the past? Maybe you’ve seen commercials or received emails from different web services offering you a chance, free of charge for the next thirty days, to dig through their archives and generate your personalized family tree. I know I have.

For the next three days, October 28th through the 30th, the National Archives will be hosting their 10th annual Genealogy Fair. This fair is open to the public and is completely free of charge. Over the course of the next three days, the National Archives will provides webinars and resources to help you on your quest to complete your family tree.

IF you’re still unsure why you should even care about the National Archives, this blurb from the Fair’s website sums it up nicely: “The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. These include records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census and Freedmen’s Bureau materials…

Check out this link to review the day-by-day agenda and download the suggested handouts. If you have the time, I highly recommend you spend some of it exploring the National Archives Genealogy Fair. Although the cliche is often overused I find it to be true in this case: you never know what you will find.

This year's fair poster.

This year’s fair poster.

Free Resource Friday: What Does Transformative Teaching Look Like?

  1. Have students ask questions and answer real-world questions.
  2. Questions should require students to:
    • Analyze
    • Synthesize
    • Create
    • Empathize
    • Interpret
    • Reference background knowledge
    • Defend alternative perspectives
    • Determine what they know and don’t know
  3. Organize students into learning groups
  4. Make learning segments manageable thorough modeling and mastery
  5. Guide, facilitate, challenge, and support
  6. Let learning transform you


Link to Reproducible: http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/blogs/edutopia-finley-what-does-transformational-teaching-look-like.pdf

Free Resource Friday: 9 Ways to Plan Transformational Lessons

  1. Focus on teaching and learning strategies without neglecting tight curriculum
  2. Plan collaboratively
  3. Use backwards planning: design assessments and then content
  4. Make objectives comprehensible for students
  5. Create material that can be accessed on smartphones
  6. Build in think time for students before asking them to orally respond
  7. When possible, allow students to choose whom to work with, the content, the due dates, where to work, and how they complete a task
  8. Plan four or more weeks ahead, incorporating spiral curriculum and flex time
  9. In your plans, allow time for students to engage in productive struggle


Link to Reproducible: http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/blogs/edutopia-finley-9ways-plan-transformational-lessons.pdf