Top 5 Virtual Field Trips in our Library

One major aspect that sets Studies Weekly apart from other textbooks is our vast library of videos.

Exploring Virtual Field Trips

Most of our videos are created here at Studies Weekly headquarters, but for special projects, we send our video team all over the U.S. to capture interviews and virtual field trips. Taking a virtual field trip can be fun and exciting for your class, so we are going to highlight five of our favorites.

1. National World War I Museum and Memorial

For our first virtual field trip, we take your class to Kansas City, Missouri to tour the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The Museum opened in 1926 and was designated as America’s official World War I Museum by the U.S. Congress in 2004.

In this field trip, we are led by Mike, one of the Museum directors, and taken through the history of World War I, or what was once called, “the war to end all wars.”

2. Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas National Park

For this virtual field trip, we head down to the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Florida Keys to visit Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas National Park. The only way to get to Fort Jefferson is by seaplane or boat.

Ranger Mike of the National Park Services guides us along as we explore this amazing site. Fort Jefferson covers 16 acres and is made up of 16 million bricks. It was one of America’s greatest military assets, as it its location is right along the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

3. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

For this field trip, we take you over to Collinsville, Illinois to visit one of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilizations, the Cahokia Mound State Historic Site. Cahokia was the biggest American Indian site covering six square miles and had about 10 to 20 thousand people, called the Mississippians.

In this video, we take you on a tour with one of the lead in-house archeologists to learn more about the site and the people who lived there.

4. Virtual Field Trip: San Jacinto Monument

The San Jacinto Monument is located in Harris County, Texas. The historic site is dedicated to the heroes of the battle of San Jacinto. We explore the 567.31-foot-high monument, the museum and the USS Texas.

The USS Texas is noteworthy for being one of six remaining ships that served in both World Wars. It is over 100 years old and is the first battleship memorial museum in the United States.

5. NASA

In this virtual field trip, we take you to the Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center incorporates about 700 different buildings which most people aren’t allowed in but we take a look at the Visitor Center with Discovery Dan.

These are just a few of the primary source interviews, micro-documentaries, hands-on activity videos, fun fact videos and virtual field trips we have here at Studies Weekly. To explore more, login to your account online, or visit our YouTube page.

 

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.

Getting Started with Studies Weekly

So you’ve received your Studies Weekly blue box and you’re thinking, “Now what?” Receiving a whole new curriculum can be intimidating and nerve-racking at first. Learning how to use this new material may be the cherry on top of your stressful back-to-school prep, but no need to fear! We are here to make your life easier when it comes to getting started with Studies Weekly.

So first things first, let’s open the box.

After opening the box, inside you will find three things. First, is the instructions page. This page will go over how to collate your publications so that they are separated by weeks. Next, you will find the teacher resources. These will either come in one larger supplement or four separate ones. Finally, you’ll find the student editions. Each student edition comes compiled in four quarterly bundles consisting of enough weekly units to last the entire school year.

Now we come to one of the hardest parts about Studies Weekly, sorting out the publications.

Collating the publications may seem like a pain but trust us it’s worth it in the end. You can have your students sort the publications, or have some upper-class students to help you sort them into the individual weeks.

To begin, remove the first quarter of each student edition. Next, separate each week and put them into piles (each week has a different color to help you stay organized). After each week is complete, gather each pile and use either an alligator clip or large paper clip to keep the pile together. Then, place the weeks back into the blue box until your ready to start using them. Once the first quarter is done, repeat the same process for the next three quarters.

We print our publications in four quarterly bundles to help save money and ultimately keep costs low for our customers. Here’s a great explanation why:

Now you’re set for the whole year! To start setting up your Online Account, register or login to Studies Weekly online.

 

How to Leverage Technology in the Classroom

My daughter, a first grader, keeps asking me for a phone. “So many kids have them!” and I wonder, “For what?” but I know the answer: for everything. Technology is everywhere. It’s in classrooms, churches, the bus, the dinner table. Everywhere. And rather than resisting it, there are some key things that teachers, in particular, can do to leverage the growing trend for electronic classrooms to work in their favor. Here are a few of those things you might consider:

1. Have a Clear Electronics Policy in Place

No matter how much you care about your students, as a teacher, you know realistically that if given free reign of a tablet or laptop, any kid from the age of 5 to 18 (and beyond!) is going to return the device at the end of the day with the thing loaded with a variety of farm heroes, exploding candies, pictures of doe-eyed kids with flower crowns…and not to date myself even further, but I have no idea what kids are playing these days. Whatever it is, without some clear boundaries in place, it’s not going to be what you’re teaching them.

So first things first, when you come to embrace technology in your classroom, lay out a clear electronics policy. What are the consequences of excessive or inappropriate technology use? What tools are okay to use and which are strict no-nos? If you hear technology knocking at your classroom door, it might be time to get together with your school or district IT professional and determine what constitutes “acceptable use” in your school.

2. Create Natural Consequences for Misuse

With any luck, your students are growing up in environments where they understand that every action has a natural consequence. According to Edutopia, “a disruption should always be a bigger headache to the student than to you as a teacher.” When our 6-year-old is acting out like 6-year-olds often do, my husband will sometimes say, “You better stop that or you won’t go to the park tomorrow!” This is frustrating because the consequence of her action is more of a headache to me than it is to her. No park tomorrow means “hang out with mom and push every button you know she has.” Kids need consequences that are relevant to them without putting a burden on someone else.

In a classroom setting, if a student is using technology for something other than schoolwork, the consequence might be that the device is taken away. If they use tablets to take notes, then the natural consequence of misusing it is that they have to use pen and paper. If students are using devices to create presentations, they have the option of completing the project at home or again, pulling out the stone-age tools of pen and paper and creating a rough draft that way.

3. Use Your Powers for Good

With recent hurricanes ravaging the south, and the strongest earthquake in Mexico in a century shaking up and destroying homes south of the border, there is no shortage of terrible things happening. People all over the country and all over the world need help, and no student is too small or too young to make a significant impact. Consider using technology to teach your students the value of humanitarian aid. No matter the subject you teach, there are things your students can do to leverage technology to help people around the world.

To cite a few examples, FirstGiving, Pledgie, and GoFundMe exists for purposes just like this. DonorsChoose is another one that is specifically for classrooms if you have a project that needs funding or just to raise awareness or bring support to fellow educators. Students can use these tools to create awareness of what is going on in the world, or they can use them to facilitate projects of their own.

4. Make Classroom Content Shareable

There are several examples of classrooms across the country that are doing this perfectly. Teachers are now posting documents such as syllabi online for parents to review. Some schools even offer parent accounts so parents can track their child’s progress. Even students are able to collaborate using cloud-based software to work on and complete projects together.

Students are going to need to be able to navigate software programs and share ideas as they go through school and beyond, and as they grow in their professions. Whether this looks like a classroom website that all students can post homework assignments or class notes, or a Facebook page where students can bounce ideas off each other, we have seen firsthand the significant results of educators creating and promoting shareable tech.

 

February 2018 Wrap-up and Look Ahead

It’s been a great month here at Studies Weekly. With our amazing social studies materials hot off the presses, we are getting ready to ship these out to teachers all over the country. We couldn’t do what we do without all of you, and we are deeply appreciative. We wanted to start off this month with a recap of what’s been going on as well as give you a look ahead of what we’ll be up to this spring.

Changes to Our Website

To start off, we enjoyed some fun victories this month. The Teacher Accounts side of our website underwent some changes that rolled out on February 2. As a Studies Weekly subscriber to our print social studies materials, you already have access to our online component as well. If you are using Studies Weekly online (and you should!), you probably noticed the following updates:

  1. Autosave Function on Assessments (reviewed here);
  2. Student Gradebook and More Comprehensive Reports (reviewed here); and
  3. Teacher Professional Development Usability Updates (discussed here).

Award-Winning Social Studies Materials

We are proud to officially be an award-winning publication now!
We are proud to officially be an award-winning publication now!

Another major victory we’ve been celebrating involves an award we received from Textbook and Academic Authors Association Studies Weekly social studies materials were named 2018’s Most Promising Textbook and we are thrilled about it. Read up about the award on our recent blog post, or in case you missed it, you can download the TAA press release announcement here.

Assembly with Harriet Tubman

Some of our staff was able to visit a couple of classrooms that are using Studies Weekly successfully. We were able to watch a unique presentation by Harriet Tubman herself, and got it all on video. Click here to see the exclusive video on our YouTube channel.

Regional Manager Visits

Some of our regional managers were able to attend publishers fairs in February as well. These were great opportunities for us to get out and talk to some of our customers. We really enjoyed getting to know some of you and featuring some of our products. If you are interested in meeting with one of our regional managers when they’re in your area, please check out our calendar by clicking here.

Upcoming Education Conference

One of our teachers won an Echo Dot at NCSS 2017 and some of our social studies materials to boot - you could be a lucky winner in Boston!
One of our teachers won an Echo Dot at NCSS 2017 – you could be a lucky winner this year in Boston!

Coming up this month, we will be attending ASCD Empower18 in Boston, MA. If you’ll be there too, we would love to meet you. Stop by our booth and say hi when you have the time. We had a blast at last year’s NCSS 2017 Conference, Just like last time, we will again be giving away a lot of swag and some great prizes. Stop by and try your luck at winning a tablet, Studies Weekly swag, and more! We will also have samples of our award-winning social studies materials, so check them out.

Order a Sample or Free Trial

In the meantime, you don’t have to attend a conference to have access to our awesome publication, free newsletters and lesson plans, and thousands of original, exclusive videos. Start your free 30 Day Trial or stop by our online shop for a free sample of Studies Weekly!

 

 

 

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!

Studies Weekly Educational Tools Are in Florida!

Studies Weekly educational tools adopted in FloridaIn case you missed it, the State of Florida Department of Education has officially adopted the Studies Weekly educational tools for use in all K-5 classrooms for a five-year adoption term. Studies Weekly is officially adopted now in 8 states, including the recent adoption in California. You may have heard about the California adoption at the NCSS17 conference we enjoyed attending recently. 

Educational Tools Available Statewide

What does this mean for Florida educators exactly? For starters, the official adoption puts us on the approved vendor list, making our educational tools more readily available for teachers. Our products are designed to help educators immerse their students in the Social Studies K-5 Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) and the Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS) in grades K-5 using only one student edition per week. The publications require minimal preparation. Each annual subscription includes 32 weekly units per grade. Our professional educators designed each issue so that you can teach it in just 120-180 minutes of class time per week.

Increased Student Engagement

Using our educational tools with classroom lessons creates a highly adaptable implementation and ensures completion of the correlated curriculum content. Teachers will enjoy flexibility when planning for differentiated instruction, inquiry-based learning, self-directed learning, and re-teaching. Your students will enjoy engaging with print and digital tools that we specifically designed to fit their educational needs.

Studies Weekly content includes vivid illustrations and colorful maps along with primary source pictures and documents that appeal to students. Studies Weekly’s hard copy of the publication involves students in their own learning because it is consumable. Writing, highlighting, and drawing on the product creates a sense of ownership of the content and allows for close reading.

“There is a lot that makes us different. We use a standards-based curriculum to engage students, build on prior learning, and develop critical thinking skills. Our format is age-appropriate, user-friendly, and less intimidating than traditional textbooks.”  

Kim Mogilevsky

Chief Product Officer, Studies Weekly

Demonstrations Available for Florida Teachers

If you work in Florida, and are interested in a demonstration of the online site, please get in touch with us so we can get you the login information for our valuable educational tools. For more information about Studies Weekly products, visit our website at www.studiesweekly.com.