A New School Year with FJCC

Well, it is another school year, and we here at the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute wish teachers everywhere a great start to the year. In this post, you will find a compilation of the resources that we have to offer as you start the new year. If you have any questions about these resources, please feel free to shoot me an email! 

Civics360

Civics360 is our newest resource, and we continue to add to it. Some of you may be familiar with the Escambia Civics Review Site; Civics360 replaces that site. So what does Civics360 bring to the table?

Student Friendly Readings in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole and Reading Guides in English
We now have the Student Friendly Readings in three languages, and a reading guide in English that can help students with their understanding, crafted with the help of literacy experts from UCF. 
readings

New Student Friendly Videos
We have a collection of new videos, ranging between 5 and 10 minutes long or so, that break down the content into easy to understand visuals and text. We have also included video guides to aid in understanding. Please note that currently half of the benchmarks have videos; we are working hard to complete the remaining benchmarks!

videos1

Additional New Features
Additional new features include new vocabulary tools, digital quizzes, a brand new practice assessment that provides you with student reports, and more.

Civics360 does require registration, but it is 100% free. Be sure to check it out!

Florida Citizen

Our main website at Florida Citizen has a number of resources that you could find useful. Of course we have our traditional lesson plans for the middle school civics course. These lesson plans are all aligned to the benchmarks and benchmark clarifications, and include content elaboration for the teacher, relevant vocabulary, and a step by step walk through of instruction.
We also have Students Investigating Primary Sources. This series of lessons for grades 2-12, developed in collaboration with the National Archives, provide students an opportunity to ‘play’ with primary sources around relevant topics aligned with Florida history, civics, and government benchmarks. You can learn more about the SIPS lessons here. 

sips page 2

We have not forgotten elementary teachers. Our Civics in a Snap lessons cover each of the K-5 elementary benchmarks, and take 15-20 minutes to work through. They are also aligned with relevant LAFS benchmarks. You can learn more about the Civics in a Snap lessons here. 

3.c.2.1

We have a number of additional resources available on Florida Citizen, including the first three parts of our ongoing webinar series. Be sure to visit Florida Citizen and register for access to the free resources today!

Questions about any of our websites or resources can be directed to Dr. Steve Masyada at FJCC! Hope to hear from you soon!


Civics in Florida: Two Good Articles

Recently, two retired and significant political leaders here in Florida addressed the issues facing civic education in the state. Don Gaetz, former Florida Senate President, writes on why civic education matters:

Recently I had coffee with an impressive high school junior and her mother. The young lady doesn’t share my politics but she spilled over with excitement to attend American Legion Girls State, a practical experience in how government works. She couldn’t wait to dive into mock legislating and she already knew the issues cold. She’s not looking for a career in politics but she wants to know how to make things better. Florida needs a few million like her.

Our young people need to be able to develop the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions of citizenship. The focus is not molding little Democrats or little Republicans, little conservatives or little liberals. It is on, as Mr. Gaetz says, helping kids learn ‘how to make things better.’

On those same lines, legendary former Florida governor and Senator Bob Graham penned a piece advocating that Florida continue its positive work around civic education.

In 2014, the first year of testing, 61 percent of Florida students enrolled in seventh-grade civics scored at or above a level of proficiency. This compared favorably to the National Assessment of Educational Progress results, also known as the nation’s report card, in which only 23 percent of American eighth-grade students were deemed to be proficient in civics. NAEP is the most comparable assessment available; 2014 was the last year the exam was given. And things were even better in 2017 when 69 percent of Florida seventh-graders tested proficient or better. Students whose teachers used Joint Center instructional materials scored almost 25 percent higher than other students.

Senator Graham argues that civic education support is worth funding, and while the focus is on the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute, ultimately, Florida is a model for civic education, and to keep moving forward, we must pay attention and serve as advocates. And isn’t that the whole point of civic education? Advocate for our selves as citizens, as members of our communities, and as residents of this great and this great nation.

Please do consider reading the two articles from Gaetz and Graham, and if you are interested in supporting the work of the Lou Frey Institute and FJCC in Florida, please consider a donation or even just writing a letter. And thank you for being passionate and engaged members of the civic community!


Civics360: A New Resource for Civic Education

Good morning, friends in Civics. Over the past few years, teachers here in Florida and elsewhere in the United States have made heavy use of the Escambia Civics Review Site. We do believe that the partnership with Escambia County and the willingness of that district to host and share resources for teaching and learning has been beneficial for everyone. Over time, however, requests have been made and ideas contemplated about improvements that could be made to make that site even better. These requests and ideas include more student friendly videos, more helpful assessment tools, and resources for ESOL students and struggling readers. With that in mind, the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, in partnership with Escambia County Schools,  is excited to announce the launching of a new Civics review site that will, later this summer, replace the currect Escambia Civics Review Site: Civics360. Civics360 is free to all registered users, much like our current Florida Citizen website. This site is now live and available for your use.

civics360 cover

So what are the new features you will find in Civics360? Take a look at the orientation video below, which walks you through the registration process, and read the rest of the post to learn about what we hope will be a useful resource for you and your students.

  • Multiple Student Friendly Readings for each assessed benchmark, available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole

languages

  • English language reading guides for each Student Friendly Reading, developed with all levels of readers in mind

reading guide

  • Vocabulary Practice Worksheets that use Concept Circles to assist students with understanding key words from the benchmark

concept circles

  • A Quizlet tool for vocabulary practice and remediation

quizlet

  • Continually adding more new narrated student-oriented videos for each benchmark; please note that not every module currently has videos.

videosample

  • Video Viewing Guides for each new video to facilitate engagement

video guide

  • Online quiz practice within each module that reflect best practice in learning and assessment tools that facilitate engagement and retention. We have added clearer explanations and suggestions for reflection for every distractor in each question.

quizsample.JPG

  • Additional civic resources to facilitate learning and review

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  • Organized into 9 Civics Focus Areas that reflect district pacing guides

topic areas

The new site also includes a 60 question practice assessment that reflects the actual EOC in structure and format. We also in the process of developing a version of that practice assessment that breaks the test into the 4 Reporting Categories so that teachers, and students, can use the assessment and their time more effectively.

practiceassessment sample

Be sure to check out the overview video, and if you have questions, comments, problems, or suggestions about Civics360 or the FJCC, please feel free to email me


Social Studies/School-Related Legislation to be aware of in Florida

Good morning friends. It is important, I think, for us to all be aware of legislation that can impact our beloved field and our profession. Of course we all know what is happening at the national level, but remember that ultimately, education is a state-level issue. And so, dear friends, what legislation is on the agenda in the current Florida Legislative Session that might be relevant for us? I have summarized significant or relevant pieces below, but remember that you can track all bills in our state legislature!

capitol

House Bill 67: Public School Recess
Requires that K-5 students get minimum number of minutes of free-play recess each week and minimum number of consecutive minutes each day.
Likely to pass
As the parent of an active third grader, I think this is a great and necessary idea. We know that recess has positive effects on student learning, and that it has seen some level of decline as schools have focused more on assessment. One drawback of this, however, is that this may impact the already limited time elementary schools devote to the social studies. It is, indeed, a difficult balance to strike. 

House Bill 131: Mandatory Retention
Removes requirement for mandatory retention of 3rd graders based on ELA Assessment
Currently in committee
This is unlikely to have a huge impact on social studies, but it could have a significant impact on elementary schools and promotion/retention policies and approaches. 

House Bill 303: Religious expression in public school
Prohibits discrimination against students, parents, or school personnel on basis of religious viewpoints or expression; requires districts to adopt limited public policy forum and deliver disclaimer at school events; requires DOE to develop and publish model policy and boards to adopt and implement it
Passed; moving on to governor

Senate Bill 392: High School Graduation Requirements
Adds .5 credit to social studies requirement in the form of a stand alone personal financial literacy course and money management. Reduces elective credits to 7.5.
Moving forward
The state of Florida has tried to implement some sort of personal financial literacy component for the past few years. This time, the bill seems more likely to pass. Obviously it increases social studies requirements for high school graduation, and will necessitate a re- balancing of teacher preps. Note that this is a stand alone course and NOT integrated into the traditional economics course. It also will have an impact on the arts and other electives, as students lose a half-credit there. 

House Bill 549: Student Assessment
Requires that DOE website publish any assessment administered or adopted during previous year. Expectation is every three years (see College Board as example)
Working through committees
This bill, if it passes, is likely to have a some level of financial impact on the state; currently, the DOE re-uses test items. If they are required to post older tests, they will then have to order the creation of even more items for a bank. 

Senate Bill 964: Education Accountability
Eliminates End of Course Assessments (including Civics and US History)
Passed Senate, on to House; likely outcome unknown
The House and Senate differ, generally, on the benefit of accountability measures. It should be noted that the passage of the Sandra Day O’Connor Civic Education Act and the existence of the civics EOCA provides social studies education with a much greater level of prominence and importance than it had prior to the act and the assessment. What happens to that if the assessment disappears? 

House Bill 989: Instructional Materials for K-12 Public Education
Revises terminology, standards, and review and adoption processes relating to K-12 instructional materials; PROVIDES FOR OBJECTION BY CERTAIN PERSONS TO ADOPTION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS; provides right to appeal school district decisions; REQUIRES DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARDS TO PROVIDE CERTAIN PERSONS FULL ACCESS TO MATERIALS IN SCHOOL LIBRARIES
On track in House and Senate
We are currently in an adoption cycle, and texts and resources for social studies are likely to have been selected before the requirements of this bill are implemented (should it pass). However, our science friends are likely to be impacted by this, and note that it allows anyone, not just parents, to object to curricular resources being used in schools. We have seen, in our state, vigorous debate over instruction in certain controversial issues in social studies; this will probably increase the amount of those discussions. 

House Bill 1023: Required K-12 Instruction
Revises requirements for instruction relating to Africa to include specific content relating to enslavement of African peoples; revises requirements for curriculum of required character education programs to include history of Africa and African-Americans
Still in early stages
Obviously this would fall under the social studies bailiwick. 

Senate Bill 1710: Education
Designates September as Founder’s Month; revises duties of ‘Just Read, Florida’ office to include developing resources for elementary schools; requires postsecondary students to demonstrate civic literacy.
Moving forward
The expectations of this bill reflect what we already teach in our US history, civics, and government courses. I am, honestly, not quite clear on the part that requires a demonstration of civic literacy by ‘postsecondary students’. This could be some sort of graduation test around civics, or it could be a civic assessment targeting college students. We will have to wait and see. 

Remember, always, to make your voice heard. As social studies teachers and as civic education professionals, let’s be models for our students, no matter where you stand on these or other bills.


Florida Council for the Social Studies 2017 Conference

Hello friends. The 2017 Florida Council for the Social Studies Conference is now accepting proposals for this fall.

conf2017

This is the 60th annual conference for FCSS, and we expect some excellent opportunities for engagement with social studies teachers and leaders from across the state and country. The conference will be help on October 20-22, 2017 in Palm Harbor, Florida.

More information about the conference can be found on the FCSS homepage. We look forward to seeing you in Palm Harbor!


FJCC New Civics Teacher Webinar: What to Expect When You Are Expecting the Civics EOCA now available!

Good morning, friends of FJCC and civics. Our recent webinar, What to Expect When You are Expecting the Civics EOCA, is now available. In it, you will find an overview and discussion of Florida’s Civics EOCA, hosted by our own Peggy Renihan. Materials and resources relevant to the webinar are available here. 

You can access the annotated PowerPoint PDF below. The transcription is available on each slide as notes.
Annotated What to Expect When you are Expecting the EOCA

Should you have issues, please contact me.  Our next webinar will occur on March 29th, 2017 at 4:30 EST. It will cover review and remediation for the Civics EOCA. Registration will be open soon!

 


FJCC Webinar Series for New-to-Civics Teachers in Florida

The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship is excited to announce the first in a series of webinars targeting those who may be new to be teaching Civics here in Florida. In this ongoing series, we will be addressing issues of concern around content, pedagogy, assessment, and related areas as requested by our teachers.

Webinar One: What to Expect When You Are Expecting the Civics EOCA
Did you know that this assessment counts as 30% of a student’s grade, as well as being included in school grade? The webinar will address what exactly you need to know going into the assessment, and we really encourage participants to bring questions they may have about the Civics EOCA!

Date: March 7, 2017
Time: 4:30 PM

Participants are asked to register in advance. You can register for the webinar here.

Questions may be directed to Dr. Steve Masyada. We look forward to your joining us!


Upcoming SOURCES Conference at UCF!

SOURCES Annual Conference
University of Central Florida
Orlando, Florida
Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Teaching with Primary Sources Program at the University of Central Florida (TPS-UCF) will be hosting the third annual SOURCES Annual Conference at the University of Central Florida on Saturday, January 14, 2017. The SOURCES Annual Conference is a free opportunity available to any educators interested in the utilization and integration of primary sources into K-12 teaching. Presenters will focus on providing strategies for using primary sources to help K-12 students engage in learning, develop critical thinking skills, and build content knowledge, specifically in one or more of the following ways:
Justifying conclusions about whether a source is primary or secondary depending upon the time or topic under study;
Describing examples of the benefits of teaching with primary sources;
Analyzing a primary source using Library of Congress tools;
Accssing teaching tools and primary sources from www.loc.gov/teachers;
Identifying key considerations for selecting primary sources for instructional use (for example, student needs and interests, teaching goals, etc.);
Accessing primary sources and teaching resources from www.loc.gov for instructional use;
Analyzing primary sources in different formats;
Analyzing a set of related primary sources in order to identify multiple perspectives;
Demonstrating how primary sources can support at least one teaching strategy (for example, literacy, inquiry-based learning, historical thinking, etc.); and
Presenting a primary source-based activity that helps students engage in learning, develop critical thinking skills and construct knowledge.

Dr. Michael Berson and Dr. Ilene Berson, of the University of South Florida, and Bert Snow, of Muzzy Lane Software, will provide the Keynote Presentation, Historical Inquiry with Primary Sources: The Kid Citizen App for Young Learners. In this session, they will discuss about and present ways in which educators can use an application that they collaboratively developed in order to foster young children’s inquiry with Library of Congress primary sources focusing on Congress and civic participation. Templates to add content will be demonstrated. Additional session titles include the following:

· Primary Source Analysis in Elementary Grades: A Tool for Building Critical Literacy Skills
· Integrating Current Events and Geography into Social Studies Curriculum
· Examining the Cold War through Primary Sources
· Teaching with Primary Sources through A Geography Lens
· Making Texts Accessible: Situated Word Learning and Scaffolded Inquiry
· WGBH/PBS Learning Media: US History Interactive Modules for Grades 9-12
· Venture Smith’s Real Voyage
· Building Civic Competencies with Primary Sources
· Teacher-Leaders & Professional Development
· Library of Congress Resources – BYOD
· Emerging Technologies for Promoting Inquiry: A Top 10 List
· The Kids Are Alright: Children from the Past Tell Their Stories
· Archiving It! – K-12 Web Archiving Program
· Using Primary Sources to Engage All Learners in U.S. History
· Finding a Voice in History Using Found Poetry to Construct Meaning
· Social Studies and Social Media: Engaging Students in their Medium
· The Interactive Constitution: Non-partisan Civics Education for 21st Century Classrooms
· Island in Transition: How Cuba’s Past will Influence its Future
· Exploring the History of Local Schools
· Hollywood or History? Using Primary and Secondary Source to Analyze Film
· Examining the Civil Rights Movement from a Historian’s Eye
· Emerging Technologies for Promoting Inquiry: A Top 10 List
· Kindergarten Historians and the Power of Primary Sources
· Student-created History Labs for the Secondary Classroom
· Perspectives & Voices from Reconstruction
· Myth-Making in the News: Tracing Sojourner Truth’s Legacy
· Leveraging Library of Congress Materials to Teach Second Order Historical Concepts

Registration is free and is open for the SOURCES Annual Conference. Register now: http://www.sourcesconference.com/registration.


Future of Florida Summit for College Students!

This is an incredible opportunity to learn about a little known feature of Florida governance, and the Graham Center always offers excellent programs.
The 2017 Future of Florida Summit, held from Feb. 10 to Feb. 12 on the University of Florida campus and sponsored by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, will focus on the upcoming 2017-2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission. Students from any Florida college or university — public or private — are invited to apply to attend.

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission has more influence than most Floridians realize, and many don’t even know it exists. Commissioned every 20 years, this group of unelected appointees will have the power to put constitutional changes directly on the November 2018 ballot. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the revision process and the history of Florida’s constitution from the state’s leading scholars on the topic and members of past Constitution Revision Commissions.

This type of revision process is unique to Florida, providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to directly influence the contents of Florida’s constitution. Invited students will draft constitutional amendments, which will then be submitted to the 2017-2018 Constitution Revision Commission.

Food and lodging are provided by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service. However, invited students are expected to arrange travel to and from Gainesville and arrive at Pugh Hall — centrally located on the University of Florida campus — by 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10.

The Summit will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, and end at noon on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. Accepted students will receive notification by Monday, Jan. 16, and will be required to confirm that they are attending by Friday, Jan. 20.

You can apply for the summit here.


New Assessment Items for Florida Civics Teachers!

new-items-2

The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship is pleased to announce that we have completed another round of item development and review! Thanks to our own Dr. Terri Fine for her hard work on getting these done, and our Mike Barnhardt for getting them up on the main site. You can find these new items on our main site at Florida Citizen. Simply hover over the ‘Resources’ link, visit the 7th Grade Applied Civics page, and scroll down to the benchmark you want to play with! Once there, scroll to ‘Civics Assessment Items’ and you will see the new ones! Note that we have a new format for upload. To make it easier for you, we have identified the type of stimulus or content, the complexity, and the benchmark clarification. A list of all new items is below. If you have questions, please feel free to email me!

Standard 1 Items
1-1_BC3_L Montesquieu Government Characteristics
1-2_BC1_H Bhutan English Bill of Rights Quote
1-3_BC2_L Declaration of Independence Colonists
1-3_BC2_H Taxation Modern Political System Quote
1-4_BC2_L Prince Tyrant Quote
1-4_BC2_H Prince Tyrant Modern System Quote
1-4_BC2_M Locke Declaration of Independence Quote
1-5_BC1_L Articles of Confederation Structure
1-5_BC1_H Constitutional Amendment Quote
1-6_BC1_M Including Preamble Constitution Quote
1-6_BC1_H Government and the People Quote
1-6_BC1_L Constitutional Goals and Purposes
1-7_BC1_BC4_H Federalist 51 and Constitutional Government Quote
1-7_ BC4_M Checks and Balances Scenario
1-7_BC2_L Describe Checks and Balances
1-8_BC3_M Anti-Federalist Paper Brutus Quote
1-8_BC1_L Documents about Proposed Bill of Rights
1-8_BC1_H Federalist 47 and Supreme Court Quote
1-9_BC1_L Political System Characteristics
1-9_BC2_BC 3_M Nixon Constitution Quote

Standard 2 Items
2-1_BC3_H Employment Long Term Impact Graph
2-2_BC 1_L Citizen Obligation Scenario
2-2 BC2 M_Civic Responsibility Common Good
2-2 BC2_M Pay Taxes
2-2_BC2_M Ballot Box Image
2-2_BC3_L_Citizens State Government
2-2_BC3_L_Citizens Local Government
2-2_BC3_L_Citizens Federal Government
2-2_BC3_M Armed Forces Image
2-2_BC4_H Running for President Headline
2-2_BC_6 Jury Duty
2-2_BC7_M Selective Service Image
2-4_BC4_M Rights of Accused Scenario
2-5_BC2_M Socialist Party Constitutional Principle Quote
2-5_BC2_BC3_H Socialist Party Supreme Court Decision Scenario
2-8_BC1_L Party Platform Individual Rights Quote
2-9_BC2_M Florida Two Term Governor
2-10_BC1 BC4_H Lobbyists Cartoon
2-10_BC3_BC4_H Lobbyists Impact on Government Quote
2-11_BC1_H Presidential Candidate Issue Support Image
2-11_BC1_L Symbols
2-12_BC1_L_SP2 Trash Collection
2-12_BC1_L_SP1 Trash Collection Level of Government
2-12_BC1_M Relationships Between Counties Scenario
2-12_BC2_M State Agency Student Testing Scenario
2-13_BC 1_M Public Perspectives Immigration
2-13_BC1_M Perspectives on Minimum Wage
2-13_BC3_H Immigration Graphic

Standard 3 Items

3-1_BC3_H Corrupt National Leaders Scenario
3-2_BC4_H1 Parliamentary Elections Headline
3-2_BC4_H2 President and Congress Quote
3-3_BC2 President and Supreme Court Quote
3-3_BC3_M House of Representatives Quote
3-4_BC4_H Constitutional Relationships Map
3-5_BC4_H Proposed Constitutional Amendment Headline
3-5_BC4_M Constitutional Amendment Process
3-6_BC1_M Civil Rights Movement
3-6_BC3_L Violation of Constitution Scenario
3-7_BC2_BC3_M 26th Amendment
3-7_BC3_H Poll Tax Image
3-7_ BC3_ M Political Participation Graph
3-7_BC3_L Ratification of Voting Rights Amendments
3-7_BC3_M Amendments Right to Vote
3-8_H Cabinet Nominations Headline
3-11_BC1_L Court Jurisdiction
3-11_BC1_H US Supreme Court Citizen Rights Quote
3-12_BC 1_M Gideon v Wainwright Quotes
3-12_BC 1_M DC v Heller Quotes
3-12_BC3_L United States v Nixon
3-12_BC 1_M Bush v Gore Quotes
3-12_BC 1_M Tinker v Des Moines Quotes
3-13_BC1_L US Constitution-Rights
3-13_BC4_H Federal Constitution Powers Quote
3-13_BC4_M State-Federal Relationship Quote
3-14_BC1_L Government Services
3-14_BC2_H Government Services Quote

Standard 4 Items
4-1_BC1_L Domestic Policy Action
4-1_BC3_H Domestic Foreign Cartoon
4-1_BC4_M Secretary of State Quote
4-1_BC4_H US Domestic and Foreign Affairs Quote
4-1_BC 4_M Employment Cartoon
4-1_BC5_L Secretary of State
4-2_BC2_M1 UN Headquarters Quote
4-2_BC2_M2 International Organization Headquarters Scenario
4-3_BC1_L US Declare War on Japan
4-3_BC1_H President-Congress Relationship Quote