Florida Civics EOCA Review Resources

It’s that time of year again, where we start preparing our kids for the upcoming Civics End of Course Assessment here in Florida. So here are some decent resources from across the internet that you might find useful. Of course, we must always keep in mind that any review should begin with making sure your kids are familiar with the Civics Test Item Specifications, because it tells you, and them, exactly what they need to know.

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But let’s start our review resource tour with the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute‘s own pride and joy.

Civics360

Civics360 is a free, interactive civics review tool to help Florida students improve their understanding of civics. It provides a flexible approach to instruction and review, and features:

  • Narrated Students Friendly Videos review the important content for most benchmarks
  • Viewing guides for each video
  • Student Friendly Readings for each Benchmark Clarification, available in English, Haitian-Creole, and Spanish
  • Vocabulary activities
  • End-of-Course Assessment-style guided review questions for each benchmark
  • End-of-Course Assessment practice tests
  • Additional Civics Resources to Facilitate Learning and Review

You can sign up for Civics360 here. It’s always free, but registration IS required!

The Florida Practice Tests (ePATS)

TestNav

Here you will find a practice version of the Civics EOCA. This will give you some sense of what the assessment is like and how to use the different tools for an online version of the test, as well as what the questions are like. This is provided by the Florida Department of Public Instruction.

Florida Students Civics Tutorials

tutorial

We have written about these tutorials before, and they are the first resource I recommend for both instruction and review. They are excellent for a flipped classroom model as well. If you are planning on using them as a review resource, I recommend assigning students only the parts of the tutorials they need, and it would be more effective to perhaps set these up in learning stations across the classroom. You could require that students screen-capture or write down responses to the assessment elements in order to ensure completion and comprehension.

Florida Virtual School Resources

RRSFLVSThe recorded review sessions, available for free at the bottom of the FLVS page, do a good job covering elements of each of the four reporting categories that will be assessed on the EOC. Because they are about 2 hours long, you will want to preview each one and determine where you might want students to focus their attention. They may also provide you with a model for your own approach to classroom-based reviews. I especially appreciate how an effort is made to integrate assessment elements. Please be aware that you will need to download Blackboard Collaborate to run the videos. 

You will also want to check out the FLVS Civics EOC Practice test, which may be of use to you, though as with anything, you should decided how effective or appropriate it will be for your kids. Again, however, this shouldn’t be the first time that students are being exposed to these types and styles of items. Answers to the practice test items are available here. Note that answers are actually explained as well, which is an excellent element of review. I would suggest actually having students explain WRONG answers. If they can tell you why an answer is wrong, they should have a much easier time of figuring out why an answer might be right!

Civics EOC Boot Camp Model

We wrote about this review model before, and it may be one that you find useful as well. It worked well for Randall Middle School, and it is a positive way to mix things up a little for both you and your students. We explored this model in great detail in this post, and I encourage you to take a look and see if it is something you might like to do.

 

TEACHER WEBSITES

Civics With Mr. Kula

Kula

Mr. Kula, social studies teacher at Westpine Middle School in Broward County, has compiled a number of quality content rich and illustrated study guides for the Civics EOC that could be useful for you. While they don’t cover every benchmark, what IS there is effective, and broken down by topic. These would be appropriate for students to use in conjunction with a written review or in small groups using an ‘expert group’ teaching model.

Mrs. Hirsch’s Civics Page

hirsch

Mrs. Hirsch, a teacher at Fruit Cove Middle School in St. John’s County, has gathered a number of excellent tools for EOC review. The EOC Content Review sheets that she has provided are well done and engaging, and definitely worth sharing with your own students:
Q1 Civics What You Need to Know

Q2 Civics What You Need to Know

Legislative Branch Content Review

Executive Branch Content Review

Judicial Branch Content Review

Civics Assessment Strategy Guide

Kotkin Strategies

Here is an EXCELLENT and short powerpoint covering strategies for the EOC.

Ruckel Middle School Civics Flashcards

ruckel

Ruckel Middle School, in Okaloosa County, has developed a tool using Quizlet that provides students with flashcards for review. These might be useful as a bellringer or exit slip activity as you wrap up content this year and start to transition to in depth review.

 

These are just a few of the quality review resources that you might find beneficial. If you have any additional resources to share, please shoot me an email or leave it in the comments!

Thank you! Civics360 Videos Reach a Half-Million Views!

video views

The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute has spent more than a year working on the current iteration of Civics360. While less than ten benchmarks still need a video resource, we have completed and shared on Civics360 more than 60 videos across the other benchmarks (with many having multiple videos to ensure that the content is not overwhelming). Looking at the statistics today on TeacherTube (our upload platform for the videos), these videos, most of which have been up for barely a year 9 and in many cases far less than that) have hit more than a half a million views!

We are grateful for the teachers, students, and parents that have found these videos and Civics360 itself useful as a tool for learning, and we look forward to improving on what is available over the next year. We expect to have the remaining videos done in the coming months, and will then work on uploading scripts, cleaning up resources, and redoing portions of 360 and the videos based on your valuable feedback!

You can get a comprehensive overview of Civics360 by reviewing this post, and be sure to register today!

Questions, comments, suggestions, and critiques about anything concerning Civics360 can be directed to Dr. Steve Masyada, FJCC at LFI Director.

The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute has joined the Civics Renewal Network!

CRN2

You may have noticed a new logo, similiar to what is above this post, appearing on the FJCC homepage. That is a sign of some exciting news! The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship is excited to announce that our parent organization, the Lou Frey Institute, was recently welcomed as a member of the Civics Renewal Network! 

CRN1

The Civics Renewal Network is a resource-sharing network made up of civics education organizations from across the country. The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute is currently in the process of curating some of our quality resources to share on the CRN website, and we look forward to sharing and posting the resources of other civics education folks across all of our platforms! We are excited to be a member of this consortium, and look forward to sharing with you some of the quality work being done across the country!

Announcing a New Free Online Course Series from FJCC for New and Beginning Civics Teachers!

Friends in Civics, we have some exciting news. The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute is now offering a free online Canvas course targeting primarily new and beginning civics teachers, though it is open to any and all civics educators who are interested.

This program will provide educators new to civics with a supported professional
learning experience while teaching middle school civics. They will learn,
implement and reflect on educational best practices, engage with a cohort of
other educators and network with experienced civic education professionals.

For those teachers in Florida seeking points towards certificate renewal, this course series offers that opportunity through the ePDC (electronic Professional Development Connections) system. In the infographic below, you can see the scope and sequence of the course series.

Canvas Course JPG

Beginning in February, we will be launching the first course in the series, A Prepared Classroom. This course was piloted in early fall of 2017, and it was a successful first effort, so we are eager to share it with other teachers!

A Prepared Classroom will focus on understanding the role of course descriptions and the Civics End-of-Course Test Item Specifications, utilizing curriculum and pacing guide resources, strategically planning and preparing for instruction, as well as providing data informed instruction based on formative and summative data. You can view the syllabus for the first course here: FJCC A Prepared Classroom Syllabus (Feb 2018)

Are you more interested in the second, third , or later courses because you feel pretty good about the content in the first one? That is fine! You DO NOT have to take every course; Florida teachers may earn renewal points for EACH course in the series. We will be piloting the second course, A Cognitively Complex Classroom, in early 2018 with a small group of teachers, and will let you know when we launch it after what we hope will be a successful pilot!

Each course in the series will be offered through the free version of the Canvas platform. Canvas Free for Teacher accounts are always free, but they do not contain all features available to institutional users of Canvas. For example, no client support beyond access to the Canvas Guides is offered to you as a Free for Teachers user. With a Canvas Free for Teachers account users can access and participate in courses as well as create (and host) their own online courses. Please note that you WILL have to create a new account to use this version of the platform; it is not compatible with the institutional version you may use in your school or district. You can learn more about this version of the platform here.

In order to enroll in the course, you will need to be sure that you register through the ePDC system. Let’s walk through the process together. First, go to the PAEC website at PAEC.org.
PAEC 1

Once there, click on ePDC and if this is your first time, click on ePDC and then ‘Create an Account.’ Once you confirm your account registration, sign in and then click again on ePDC and select ‘Course Offerings’. You should see a screen like this:

EPDC2

Click on ‘Course Offerings’, and you will see something like this:
PAEC3

 

In the ‘Search Text’ bar, you can type ‘FJCC’, and the course should appear!

FJCC PAEC EPDC

Click on ‘Register’ and you should be in. The ePDC course is setup to automatically direct the person that registers for the course to the Canvas Course page.  You will have to create an account if you do not already have one but the link to the February course is embedded in the ePDC PAEC course.

You can expect a follow up email or two from your course instructor in late December and in January, prior to the start of the course. At this time, registration is limited to the first 25 participants, but it may be possible to make exceptions!

How are in-service points handled?
PAEC extracts in-service records from the ePDC and submits in-service data for member and participating districts to the Florida Department of Education as a service to districts. Teachers from outside of PAEC member or participating districts should print the Certificate of Completion for each course and submit the certificate to the appropriate district professional development office.

We do hope to see you in this online space for learning and the development of a virtual professional learning community. Please share this with anyone you believe might benefit from this course series! 

Questions about this entire course series, or the first course in the series (‘A Prepared Classroom‘), can be directed to Dr. Steve Masyada or Ms. Peggy Renihan.

An Important Update on FJCC’s Civics360 Resource

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The benchmark pages on the Escambia Civics Review Site will be redirected to Civics360.  This changeover will occur around the Thanksgiving break. This will impact your favorites and bookmarks if you have saved Escambia Civics Review Site benchmark pages in your browser. 

Good afternoon, friends. As you are likely aware, the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute launched Civics360 around summer of this year. Civics360 is intended to build on the resources that were provided by the Escambia County Civics Review site, and the response has been tremendous. More than 35,000 student accounts, and thousands of teacher accounts, have been made in Florida and beyond, and we continue to add resources. The following topic areas have been completed in their entirety, meaning that all video, reading, and vocabulary tools are done:

  • Citizen You
  • Florida State and Local Government
  • The Legal System
  • The US and the World

Other topic areas are partially complete, and we have about 13 benchmarks left to complete (for example, I am working on the video(s) for Benchmark SS.7.C.3.3 now!). We have also started compiling the scripts for hard of hearing students and are uploading them as we finish them. Once that all is complete, we will go back and tweak and modify and improve the resources we have. Thank you for all of your input and feedback on Civics360, and remember that you can direct questions to Dr. Steve Masyada, FJCC director.

It is also important that everyone is aware that the benchmark pages on the Escambia Civics Review Site will be redirected to Civics360.  This changeover will occur around the Thanksgiving break. This will impact your favorites and bookmarks if you have saved Escambia Civics Review Site benchmark pages in your browser. 

If you have not yet done so, I encourage you to make sure you register yourself, and have your students register, at Civics360. It is always free and it is easy. 

Thank you for your help and support for the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship! 

Teaching the Constitution with Political Cartoons

September 13, 2017, 7-8 p.m. ET

refer to captionAnyone Home? Cartoon by Clifford Berryman, 2/24/1920

Join the Center for Legislative Archives to discover how to use political cartoons to teach about the United States Constitution. This webinar will draw from the collection of Clifford K. Berryman cartoons from the U.S. Senate Collection. Berryman’s career as a political cartoonist in Washington, DC, spanned five decades and his cartoons are a rich resource for history and civics lessons.

During this interactive webinar, you will practice techniques for helping students evaluate visual content and explore ideas for how to use political cartoons to illustrate the “Big Ideas” of the Constitution, such as separation of powers and representative democracy. You will also explore additional resources from the National Archives for integrating political cartoons in the classroom, such as DocsTeach.org. This webinar is designed for middle school and high school educators. Register for the webinar here.

 

Information about other upcoming webinars offered by our friends at the National Archives is available here! Check it out today.


Upstanders and Bystanders: Investigating Modern Social Responsibility Using History

In 2015, Cherie Arnette (School District of Escambia County), Maureen Carter (School District of Palm Beach County), and Peggy Renihan (Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute) collaborated to create materials to support discussions around bystanders and upstanders.

We here at the FJCC, and the wonderful people who developed these resources, believe that these instructional resources are useful for a variety of courses at varying grade levels. We urge you to review the materials and make your own decisions on age and course appropriateness.

During the lesson, an incredibly rich and varied selection of primary source materials from the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement are used to examine social responsibility. Participants explore the reality that at different times we could all be upstanders, bystanders, collaborators, victims, and perpetrators depending on the situation.

You can access “Upstanders and Bystanders: Investigating Modern Social Responsibility Using History” using this link – http://bit.ly/UpstandersBystanders


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!


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.

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  • 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


FJCC Webinar 2: Review, Remediation, and Reteaching for the Civics EOCA Now Available

Good morning, friends. Our recent webinar is now available! It discussed some resources and tools that you can use for reteaching, remediation, and review. You can view it below.

All resources and tools discussed in the webinar are available at http://bit.ly/FJCCRRR. Our next webinar will occur in June, and address understanding the the data you receive about the Civics EOCA.