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

resourcessample

  • 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 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!

 


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


Hey Elementary Teachers! We have civics resources!

Over the past few years, at the request of teachers and in an effort to address ongoing issues with social studies at the elementary level, the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship has worked to create resources for K-5 elementary teachers. Under the visionary work of our curriculum director. Ms. Valerie McVey, and in collaboration with teachers from across the state of Florida, we have three main tools for you to consider.

modulesOur K-5 Modules are extended lessons plans that are aligned with the Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Social Studies, as well as with the Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS). If you are not a Florida teacher, you can adapt these lessons for use in your own classroom simply by reviewing the alignment to your own state standards, keeping in mind that the LAFS benchmarks are essentially a redraft of Common Core as well. These modules involve a great deal of work with text and text skills while exploring an essential question around a civics topic.

Civics Correlation GuideThe Civics Correlation Guide to Current K-5 Reading Series is intended for Florida teachers and uses all of the current Reading series that have been adopted in Florida from Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt, Pearson, Studies Weekly, and McGraw-Hill. You can search by benchmark and/or publisher, and you can see just how strong the correlations are. If you are not from Florida, I encourage you to review Florida’s elementary civics benchmarks here to see if you can use this resource in your own classroom.

civics in a snap

Civics in a Snap! For when you have just enough time to help your kids learn about being good citizens!

Civics in a Snap is our newest resource, developed in the summer of 2015 in collaboration with elementary teachers from Dade and Pinellas Counties here in Florida. The intent of these lessons, which are also aligned with language arts standards, is to provide teachers with quick 15 to 20 minute lessons aligned with Florida’s elementary civics benchmarks. Our hope and belief is that every teacher can find 15 minutes in a week to teach kids what it means to be a citizen!

So, how do you access all this awesome stuff? Well, our good friend from Bay, Alana Simmons, was kind enough to create this overview, and we want to share this with you. Simply follow the directions below to complete your free registration and explore to your heart’s content! You can access the sign up page here! 

accessing resources

Questions about any of our resources, materials, or civics in Florida and beyond can be directed to Steve Masyada here at the FJCC!


First Annual Florida Civics Teacher Survey

In our efforts to improve our work and help teachers in their efforts to build the next generation of citizens, the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship is looking for feedback from teachers. To facilitate this, we have created a survey, which should take about 15 minutes.

The survey asks teachers about Classroom Climate, Coverage of Instructional Benchmarks, School Climate, Professional Development, Classroom Instructional Practices & Resources Used, Availability & Use of Classroom technology, Demographics & Background

Ultimately, we are seeking to understand how you, the great civics teacher that you are, approach classroom instruction and work with your future citizens. Completing this survey will be a huge help for us, and we are grateful for your assistance and support. You can complete the survey here. Thank you in advance for your collaboration and cooperation!


The FJCC is Looking for Item Writers!

Update: We have sent out invitations. Thank you for your interest!

 

Do you teach social studies in Florida, particularly civics? Do you have or would like some experience developing EOCA type items? Do you understand the 7th grade civics benchmarks and the role of the benchmark clarifications? Then we would like to bring you in to the Lou Frey Institute on the 13th and 14th of June to work on helping us develop items for EOCA practice and review!

This will be a two day session. While the agenda is still being crafted, it will be led by our Dr. Terri Fine and yours truly. Day One will provide and overview and experience with the process and Day Two will give you the opportunity to write items! You will be compensated for your time, travel, and effort. We are hoping to recruit up to ten folks for this project, and would like at least regional diversity in participants. If you are interested, please shoot me an email, describing your teaching experience, item writing experience if any, and your district and school. Once we have ten folks, we will be ready to go. Thanks for your willingness to help your fellow teachers here in Florida!


FJCC Has New Assessment Items for Florida Civics Teachers

One of our ongoing projects here in Florida is to meet the demand of our stakeholders for assessment items that are aligned to the Florida 7th grade Civics benchmarks. In pursuit of this, we have spent a great deal of time creating new items of varying complexity levels in order to fill holes in the Escambia and FJCC teacher item (free registration required) banks. Well, we finally have finished the first round of item development, and we have just posted 65 new items spread across the 35 assessed benchmarks.

new items

Please note that while we would like the organization to look prettier, we wanted to at least get them up for you quickly. You will find just the item itself to use as an assessment tool:
item 1.1 no ans

As well as the rationales for correct and incorrect answers for further discussion between you and your students:

1.1 rationale

We will continue to develop new items and refine old ones. We hope you find these useful, and thank you to Dr. Terri Fine  for the work she and her folks did in getting these items completed. To access the items, please visit our 7th grade resources page. Registration IS required, but all of our materials are always 100% free!

Update:
The 65 new items are spread across the benchmarks and are low, moderate and high complexity items. Not all benchmarks have new items, and some benchmarks may only have one new item, depending on what was needed between the main FJCC site and the Escambia Civics review site. The new item breakdown is below, with item cognitive complexity in parenthesis.

Reporting Category One
1.1 (L,H)
1.2 (H)
1.3 (L,H)
1.4 (L,M,H)
1.5 (L,H)
1.6 (L,M,H)
1.7 (L,H)
1.8 (L,M,H)
1.9 (L)
3.10 (L,H)

Reporting Category Two
2.1 (H)
2.2 (3 L, H)
2.5 (M, H)
3.6 (L,M)
3.7 (L, 2M)

Reporting Category Three
2.8 (L)
2.9 (M)
2.10 (H)
2.11 (L, H)
2.12 (2L, 2M)
2.13 (M)
4.1 (L,H)
4.2 (2M, H)
4.3 (L,H)

Reporting Category Four
3.1 (H)
3.2 (2H)
3.3 (H)
3.4 (H)
3.5 (M,H)
3.8 (H)
3.11 (L,H)
3.13 (L,M,H)
3.14 (L,H)


The Work of the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship

Data is, of course, what we in education are now obsessed with. Everything comes back to data. How are we doing? Let’s look at the data. How have our kids grown? Lets look at the data. How effective are our teachers? Let’s look at the data. Well, this is no less true for the work we do here at the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship. And, happily, we have some data for you to share in the wonderful infographic our own Mike Barnhardt has put together. Now, we are not normally ones to toot our own horn, but, well, one has to these days, doesn’t one?

infographic

We are quite proud of the work that we do here, and we hope to be able to continue this work if the legislature continues our funding. We do believe, based on the data that we have gathered, that our work and our resources have had an impact. This is the result of a team effort:
Valerie McVey: Curriculum Director
Peggy Renihan: Regional Program Coordinator
Dr. Elizabeth Washington: Pedagogy Specialist
Dr. Terri Fine: Content Specialist
Mike Barnhardt: Web Developer
Laura Stephenson: Assistant to the Executive Director of the Lou Frey Institute
Shena Parks: Office Manager
Dr. Doug Dobson: Executive Director of the Lou Frey Institute 

One of the most important elements of good citizenship is the ability to work together as a team and collaborate for the common good. Here at the FJCC, we believe that we have that ability and we love our work. We look forward to continuing this sort of self-evaluation over the course of the next year.


Florida Middle School Civics EOCA Review Resources

The Middle School Civics EOCA is just around the corner, and we have been asked about resources that might be useful in reviewing for the exam. So without further ado, here are some possibilities that could serve you well! I have personally reviewed each of these resources, and am comfortable recommending them to you. And if you have any additions to this compilation, please feel free to share! Click on the link in the heading or in the text to access the resource.

FLDOE 2015 Civics Content Focus Reports

CFR

The 2015 Civics Content Focus Reports give you at least some idea of what the test might look like. Be sure to note the cautions on page 9. You will also want to review the Civics EOC Test Item Specifications, which you hopefully have been using throughout the year!

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.

Escambia County Civics EOC Review Site

escambia aa

The Escambia site is one that we helped develop, so we do have some attachment to it, but we also believe that the Student Friendly Readings for each benchmark clarification, as well as the assessment items (with answers) and Quizlet vocabulary review tool can serve you well in a review effort. Students can use each of the one page readings to refresh key content that they need, and it lends itself well to a learning center or small group model of review.

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. 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 last year, 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.

District Review Sheets and Practice Tests 

Many districts have done a good job developing practice tests and review sheets for the EOC. Based on what I have had a chance to see, I can recommend a couple at the least.

Marion Review

Marion County, which has fantastic leadership in the social studies department, has provided teachers and students with an EOC study guide, made up of a mix of short answer questions, EOC style questions, and vocabulary, all of which draw on the test item specifications. All or part of this is something that I encourage you to adapt and adopt for your own review. Even having the students collaborate on the completion of the study guide could be a huge help for them in preparing for the EOC. Note that the guide is developed in conjunction with their own particular pacing guide and text; you can adapt the chapter and unit headings where necessary.

pasco

Pasco County has provided a quality practice test as well, though I prefer the FLVS version because of the answer explanations. Still, it is another way to measure student understanding and get a sense of areas of need while also ensuring ongoing exposure to EOC type questions.

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. I cannot recommend it enough!

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.

Ms. Sirmopoulos’ Civics Review Materials

Jackie

Jackie Sirmopoulos, an excellent and wonderfully effective teacher at PK Yonge Lab School in Gainesville, has been teaching Civics, with some of the highest scores in the state, for awhile. She has provided a plethora of useful review materials that I encourage you to explore. I have looked at almost all of them in each folder, and are all well aligned to the benchmarks and useful in helping you start to address possible student deficiencies while ensuring understanding among all of your students.

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!


Embracing Your Civic Privilege

CWMDJgWWwAA0tZz.jpg large“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet
imagined by man, by which a government can be
held to the principles of its constitution.”
–Thomas Jefferson

So today I have the distinct pleasure of sitting for jury duty. I say this without any snark whatsoever. This is actually my first time ever, in my now 42 years of life, being called for service. I am greatly excited.

You have to think about it like this. If, God forbid, YOU were to face a jury trial, wouldn’t you want someone like YOU on the jury? Jury service matters. I find all of the jokes about getting out of jury duty, and the many ways in which people try to get out of it, to in many ways reflect the lack of civic feeling we seem to suffer from today. Of course there are plenty of valid reasons for not being able to serve, but we have to remember, ultimately, that our civic health and civic life as a nation relies on citizens fulfilling their obligations and embracing the importance of ensuring our fellow citizens enjoy the protections granted by our Constitution.

And of course, if you are a Florida civics teacher, what better way to teach the benchmarks concerning our system and the responsibilities of citizens than to experience them!

7.C.2.2: Evaluate the obligations citizens have to obey laws, pay taxes, defend the nation, and serve on juries.
7.C.2.3: Experience the responsibilities of citizens at the local, state, or federal levels.
7.C.2.6: Simulate the trial process and the role of juries in the administration of justice.

A final thought. The judge that swore us in today made the point that the right to a jury trial in this country has evolved over time. As I look around the room, many of us in here could not have served on a jury at the founding of this country, not being landed white men. It is a privilege and an obligation. As Andrew Guthrie Ferguson has argued:

A jury summons is an invitation to participation. Jurors are asked to involve themselves in some of the most personal, sensational, and terrifying events in a community. It is real life, usually real tragedy, played out in court. Jurors confront disturbing facts, bloody images, or heart-wrenching testimony. A jury may have to decide whether a man lives or dies, or whether a multimillion-dollar company goes bankrupt. A jury will have to pass judgment in a way that will have real-world effects on both parties before the court. This active role was not accidental. Participation in jury service teaches the skills required for democratic self-government. Being a juror lets you develop the habits and skills of citizenship.

And isn’t that what matters?