Teaching the Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement is a significant part of American History. What began in the late 1940’s and ended in the late 1960’s, had a profound impact on social justice and legal rights of African Americans.

Standing for Freedom Curriculum Package

Here at Studies Weekly, we strive to tell the real stories of history through primary source materials and multiple perspectives. In our new civil rights curriculum package, we incorporate the accounts of multiple civil rights activists. Join the Freedom Rides with Hank Thomas, sit at the lunch counters with Joan Trumpauer and cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Joanne Blackmon Bland.

The Standing for Freedom Curriculum Package includes: 

Standing for Freedom (30 copies + 1 teacher edition) – This magazine format guide is 30 pages of the people and events that helped change American History.

 

She Stood for Freedom (1 copy of each book) – The Amelia Bloomer Award-nominated books about the life of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland and her journey through the Civil Rights Movement.

 

An Ordinary Hero (1 copy) – The education version of the award-winning documentary about the life of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland and the Civil Rights Movement.

 

The Uncomfortable Truth (1 copy) – The education version of the Emmy-winning documentary about the history of institutional racism in America. It provides a solid understanding and unique perspective on American History (suitable for teachers and students middle school age and up).

 

History Matters Poster (1 copy) – The engaging mugshot that has come to symbolize the Freedom Rides and called one of the most famous in American History and is a great conversation starter for the classroom.

 

Interactive Map and Timeline – Expand the experience even further with exclusive interviews and artifacts found only on our map and timeline. Don’t just read about the Civil Rights Movement see where it took place and how the events are connected.

Whether you are teaching the Civil Rights Movement, need content for Women’s History Month, want your students to understand about civic engagement and civic responsibility or are looking for a unique way to teach anti-bullying, the Standing for Freedom curriculum package is the perfect addition to your classroom.

Interview with Chief Product Officer: Kim Mogilevsky

Our Chief Product Officer, Kim Mogilevsky, has been with Studies Weekly for eight years. She currently leads the Research & Development team to develop evidence-based curriculum materials. Before joining our team, she earned her National Board Certification in 2002 and worked as a teacher for the Palm Beach County School District in Florida for 15 years. She has a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction and is a doctoral candidate for the same specialty.

Kim presents to the State Department of Education offices, school districts, state, national and international conventions and conferences all over America and the Caribbean. She’s a huge asset to our team, so we decided to sit down with her and discuss why she believes Studies Weekly is one of the best social studies curriculums out there.

The Interview

Q: Tell me about Studies Weekly and the program.

A: Our first goal is to always acknowledge the teacher as a professional. I like to say that our lesson plans are lesson plan suggestions. Because if you have 25 different kids in your classroom, you have 25 different learning styles, reading levels, and behaviors to deal with. When I came to Studies Weekly eight years ago, high socio-economic schools were buying it because they could afford another supplement and weren’t seeing it as another textbook or core content. In my case, the gifted students at my Title I school were using it, but regular education and exceptional education students were excluded. 

I began shifting the internal and external perceptions of who should use our publications. As a team, we decided this was for every student and took the necessary steps to make that possible. That does not mean that we water down, it means that we show teachers research-based strategies on how they can teach it to make it accessible for all of their students. The rigor of the product has increased since I’ve come on board. We’ve leveled all of our questions and activities using William Dagget’s Rigor and Relevance Framework, which instead of one continuum of, ‘This is an easy question, this is a hard question.’ It’s multi-dimensional.

Q: If you were going to tell a fellow teacher about Studies Weekly, what would you say?

A: I would say this is something you could use as a multi-tasker all day long. You can teach the majority of your ELA standards through social studies content. It covers all of your informational text standards, all of your writing, listening, viewing, and speaking standards. The content crosses over into science and engineering as well, because that’s a part of social studies. Our goal as a curriculum producer is to ensure that every single article, activity, project, and lesson plan covers some kind of standard and everything has value.

Studies Weekly also gives you a ton of resources. We provide you with so many primary sources, so whenever I see a primary source photo, I’m like, ‘Whoo! Free lesson!’ You can take that one image and teach a 20-minute lesson. Another one of the great things about our product is that it’s in a newspaper format. Every kid has their own copy. It’s consumable. They can write on it, highlight it, cut it up. It is a whole lot easier to send home than a textbook. Parents, pediatricians, and everyone else has noticed that textbooks are killing our kids’ backs, but this isn’t one of them.

Q: What makes this comparable to textbooks? Not comparing apples to apples, but moving ahead to what makes this the future?

A: Number one: There is a lot of information to get through in your textbooks. Typically they make one textbook, and then they slap a picture of the state on the cover. So there is a lot of information in there that is not needed for that particular state’s teacher. I always say the same book they sell in Florida, they sell in Texas and slap a picture of Texas on the front. They “Tex-ify” it, and there you go, it’s the same thing! Our publications are state-specific, and we’ve cut out all of the extraneous information that isn’t needed.

When I was a teacher, my first year, I took home the Teachers Edition. It’s usually spiral bound, it’s huge, and I cried. There was so much information, and so many lesson suggestions, I didn’t know what to do. We’re not wasting your time, our Teachers Edition is straight to the point.

Number two: Kids really like our format. We used to have this tagline: “If students had a choice between a textbook or Studies Weekly, 100% of the time, kids are going to choose Studies Weekly.” It doesn’t look scary, it’s not intimidating. And best of all, it’s developed by educators for educators!

For more information about Studies Weekly, click here.

Our Award-Winning Classroom Resources

Most Promising New Textbook Award Winner - Studies Weekly brings award-winning classroom resources to your classes!For over 30 years, Studies Weekly has been working hard to create and produce valuable classroom products for teachers like you to use in your classrooms. We are now beyond excited to announce that we will now be bringing you award-winning classroom resources.

Most Promising New Textbook Award

Mississippi Studies Weekly has been awarded a 2018 Most Promising New Textbook Award by the Textbook and Academic Authors Association (TAA). We are thrilled to add “award-winning” to our curriculum vitae so to speak.

The winners were announced on Thursday, February 22, 2018 on the TAA Blog, Abstract, and on TAA’s social media pages. You can also download a copy of TAA’s press release on the awards.

Ceremony and Reception

The TAA Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held in June in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We’ll be getting our black tie attire ready for the event. Thank you, TAA, for this amazing honor and opportunity. We are especially grateful to teachers and students in Mississippi and nationwide for their hard work. You are largely what has made Studies Weekly a huge success. We could never have done it without your support.

Mississippi Studies Weekly is an innovative, age-appropriate publication that brings history and social science to life for its audience in a way traditional textbooks may not be able to do. It is a very well-designed, visually appealing and interesting weekly learning tool for 4th graders in the Magnolia State.

Official Adoptions

Towards the end of 2017, Studies Weekly was officially adopted in Florida and California, which is where award-winning teacher Cathy Marston uses and loves Studies Weekly. We are now in one-third of classrooms nationwide, and this recent award is icing on the cake.

Find Out More

To find out more about Studies Weekly and our newly award-winning classroom resources, visit our online shop. We have resources and curriculum specific to your state that aligns with state standards. Not ready to buy yet? Order a 30-day free trial and see why our publications are in one-third of elementary school classrooms in the United States!

This is what award-winning classroom resources look like!

Studies Weekly Wishes You Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays from the Studies Weekly family! As we wrap up 2017 and go into the new year, we wanted to give a shout out to the great teachers who make our work possible. None of us could do this without you, and we are so grateful. We have had a great year and are looking forward to the great things that await in 2018.

After some feedback from some of our valued customers, we have decided to update this blog each month with a look at the month ahead and a summary of the months behind. To that end, here is our recap for the fourth quarter of 2017 and a few highlights.

Nice to Meet You!

The Studies Weekly team at the NCSS2017 conference.

Over the past couple of months, we have gotten to know a lot more of the educators who are using our products. We loved getting to know many of you better at the NCSS 2017 conference we attended.

Also, a great big “thank you!” to all who were able to attend the Veterans Day Video Assembly with your classes and interact with us on social media. Just a note, you can view this and related videos here. We are looking forward to keeping in touch with more of you going forward.

Studies Weekly on the Road

We had some of our representatives travel to California to meet with current and prospective customers. Any time we get to go out and interact with you is a good time for us. If you are interested in meeting one of our representatives face to face, let us know! We are fortunate to be able to have some visits already scheduled with districts in the following states in January:

  • January 3-5, 2018: Alabama 
  • January 8-12, 2018: California and Kansas
  • January 16-19, 2018: Ohio and Indiana
  • January 22-26, 2018: California
  • January 23-26, 2018: California

Representative Demos and Presentations

In addition to these dates, we will also be in Orange County, California at the Instructional Materials Adoption Fair. We also have representatives presenting at the Santa Barbara County Education Office History/Social Science Publishers on January 30 and 31, and look forward to meeting many of you there!

Meeting an Award-Winning Teacher

Cathlina Marston, a teacher in Glendora, California, has been using Studies Weekly publications in her classroom for 15 years. She’s been teaching for 30 years and we’re happy to be a great resource for her. Marston won the California Outstanding Social Studies Elementary Teacher of the Year Award, and we got to go meet and talk with her. She showed us how she’s using Studies Weekly in her classes and what she loves about it. If you missed that video, make sure to watch it now:

Official Statewide Adoptions

We celebrated official adoptions in California and in Florida towards the end of this year,  which we are extremely excited about. We are now on the approved vendor lists in these two sunny states. This affords us even more opportunities to get to know many more of you dedicated teachers.

Meet Our President and CEO

I was happy this past month to be able to talk and have a Diet Coke or two with our president and CEO, Ed Rickers. Ed is tirelessly dedicated to his work in education and to your students. You can read about that conversation and get to know Ed a little better here.

Ed has an unmatched passion for education and student engagement. It is of course an honor for all of us here at Studies Weekly to know and work with him.

Let Us Hear from You

If you have any questions or feedback for us, please let us know. We truly enjoy getting to know our teachers, and look forward to learning from and about you. Keep tagging us in your social media posts so we can see what you’re doing! And as always, feel free to reach out to us anytime!

Employee Profile: Ed Rickers, Company CEO

Before taking command of the Studies Weekly ship, Ed was heavily entrenched in sales as a door to door salesman. Studies Weekly began as a project with its first operations in his garage in the late 90s.

Now, two decades later and fueled by Diet Coke and immense passion, Ed has grown his garage project into a successful multimillion dollar company (and we work in a building now, please don’t worry about us).

When I first stepped into Ed’s office, he asked me why I think his office is the biggest one. In my head, I thought, “Because you’re the most important person here?” but I knew Ed wouldn’t say that. He laughed a little and said, “They give it to the person with the most room for improvement.” Because that’s the kind of guy Ed is. Humility is his trademark and every step of the way there is always something that can be done better, and there is always, always room for a higher, loftier goal.

From Humble Beginnings to Company CEO

Ed started out as a door to door salesman in college and realized after he graduated that his part-time summer sales job was far outpacing his full-time job. So he graduated, quit his full-time job, and was a professional door-to-door salesman for over a decade. There was no way he could have known 20 years later that he would be a company CEO of his own making, running a million dollar education empire, and that he would have such an immense passion for aiding in children’s learning.

From a tiny garage to a beautiful building at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Studies Weekly has undergone changes more than just in size, although our physical growth is impressive. Studies Weekly began as a print product in just Utah and Texas. It has grown to be officially adopted by 7 states, and 1 in 7 students in the U.S. use Studies Weekly every day.

Our publications are not just in print anymore, either. Millions of students across the country at many types of schools are using the Studies Weekly online component. In addition to the online learning tool, we have nearly 4,000 original videos on virtually every imaginable topic.

A Friendly and Passionate Heart

As Ed and I talked about where he wants to go with his company and about the things that he most wants his team members to learn, it struck me profoundly how much he cares. That may be just the quality that is most impressive about Ed Rickers. It would be difficult to find someone who cares a fraction as much about their company as he does.

And it’s not just about the job for him. It’s not only about career growth. If you happen to cross paths with Ed during the work day, expect him to spend some real time with you. One thing he loves about what he does here is spending time with people around the company. He likes to hear about what they’re doing, how they feel, and what’s going on in their lives. In a company of over 100 people, making each one feel noticed is no easy feat. But he pulls it off.

 

I love having the opportunity to make a meaningful difference for so many kids. When you can make a product and publish it, and see millions of kids benefitting from it, that’s really satisfying.

Ed Rickers, President and CEO

Studies Weekly

Career Advice

Ed’s advice to anyone interested in a career at Studies Weekly (and why wouldn’t you be?) is to get to know the product. Go out into the warehouse and talk to the people working there. Read the product. Ask the graphic designers and illustrators what they’re working on. Go and watch some of the videos that our robust video department has created. Ed encourages all of his team members to do this, to ultimately “be a product of the product.”

Global-Sized Goals

Ed Rickers’s father-in-law, Paul Thompson, published the first Studies Weekly publication in 1984. Thompson produced the first issue after realizing there was no adequate textbook available to teach his fourth grade class. With the same will and determination that Ed has now, he set up Studies Weekly as a family business. As company CEO, Ed expanded Studies Weekly to Florida, Arizona, and  gradually began building other state-specific publications.

Find out what your real purpose is and do it. Everyone’s purpose is different. People find meaning and purpose in lots of different ways. However you do it, do it. Whatever your meaning is, your purpose in life, just follow it. Put it into action and operationalize it. For me, it’s all about making a difference through education.

Ed Rickers

In case you wondered, Ed’s ambition is not restricted to the United States. He’s not the type to ground himself in his too-large office waiting to improve. Oh, no. Ed dreams of an international product provided at low- or no-cost to developing countries all over the world. And nobody here doubts that he can do it. Ed Rickers makes it clear: with a big heart, bright mind, and a lifelong passion, there is no end to what you can do.