Expanding the Boundaries of the History Classroom

Grades K-2

“No teacher ever walked through the supermarket and heard “Hey Mr. Skomba, that multiple choice assessment you gave us at the end of Chapter 27 really changed my life!”

“I fondly remember the teachers who subbed out traditional assessments with Project Based Learning in order to make “history come alive.” Carrying that torch of authentic assessment, I enjoy pushing young people to deconstruct and reconstruct their perspectives on the world around them in personalized and creative ways. Research has shown that students inordinately value how history content relates to their own lives and if it will be on the test. Why not leverage their own skills and interests and re-conceptualize assessment at the same time?’

“In the first session we will explore rationales behind using driving questions and project/problem-based learning (PBL). We will discuss ways to establish a culture of questioning and risk-taking where students of any background can contribute. We will conclude the session with practical ways to apply PBL and tasks for the weeks between sessions. Although heavy on the theoretical side, the workshopping of PBL will provide concrete next-steps.

“In the second session we will review the artifacts that the group brings to the table. We will also discuss other examples of PBL that I have found success with. Lastly, we will review resources and create a PBL assessment with a current event of the groups choosing, leveled for all involved.

“As you can with other TeachingPartners Live Workshops, you can earn a six-hour Certificate of Participation from TeachingPartners for your participation in both Workshop sessions. And, if you add your phone number during registration, TeachingPartners will text you reminders as we get closer to the date.”

Michael Skomba

Mike Skomba teaches US History and Big History at Somerville High School in the Garden State, also known as New Jersey. Although as he was a traditional route teacher, he entered Teach for America in 2010. His first teaching job was on the Navajo ... Full Bio