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  • 26 Feb 2024 9:47 AM | Evangeline Mitchell

    TXCSS Review is ready to help you this testing season, check out these strategies to review your students for success! "Old School" manipulatives, "New School" online strategies and resources for students taking the AP test.  

  • 11 Feb 2024 2:15 PM | TXCSS (Administrator)

    The Texas Education Agency compiled a collection resources to celebrate Black History Month. 

    From TEA: Each year, during February, we celebrate the history and cultural contributions of Black Americans in the United States. Students learn about the achievements, perspectives, struggles, and experiences of Black Americans throughout more than 400 years of American history. The following websites provide a variety of lessons, activities, and instructional materials that can be used to honor Black History Month and to support instruction in Ethnic Studies: African American Studies and other social studies courses throughout the year.

    Celebrate Black History Month 2024 | National Museum of African American History and Culture (

    Black History Month | Texas Education Agency

    The African American Story | Texas State History Museum (

    Texas Institute for the Preservation of History & Culture - Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture (

    African American Heritage | Texas Time Travel

    Out of the Stacks | A blog from the Archives and Information Services Division at TSLAC (

    The Nazi Persecution of Black People in Germany | Holocaust Encyclopedia (

  • 13 Sep 2023 4:45 PM | Evangeline Mitchell

    Fall into the fall semester with these quick and easy formative assessment ideas.  

    Formative Assessment or Checks for understanding help the teacher adjust as you work towards the “end.” By using formative assessments, you can make sure that the students understand the concepts or ideas before they fail a summative or unit assessment.  Here are some fun ideas to both engage your students and get the data you need on what your students know. 

    1. Graphic organizers - provide students with a way to use both words and pictures to represent their learning.  This allows students that feel they are not as good at writing to show their understanding in a different way.  

    2. Signaling - allows your students to give you a quick idea of how they are doing on a topic.  Finger signaling by holding up a number or traffic signals can provide a way for a teacher to quickly gauge understanding. 

    3. Chain Reaction - gives the control to the students the control of the assessment  & allows the teacher to facilitate the assessment and listen for key ideas

    • Have students get in a circle(s).
    • One student poses a question to the student next to them. That student then answers the question and then poses a new question to the next student.
    • Continue around the circle until all students have asked and answered a question. 
    • Teacher needs to stand in the center of the circle, facilitate/support and track what content students are not able to provide correct answers for.
    4.Snow Ball - Each student needs one piece of paper and something to write with
    • Have them fold the paper so there are 4 boxes. Number the boxes 1-4.
    • Ask Question 1 and have them write the answer in Box 1.  Tell them to crumple up their paper and toss into a designated spot in the center of the room. Have students retrieve a paper ball and open.  
    • Ask them to see if the answer to Question 1 was correct.  If the answer is incorrect or incomplete, have them correct and circle their correction.  Then present Question 2. Crumple & toss. Retrieve a paper.
    • Repeat until four questions have been asked and corrected.  Collect the papers and review to see how well the students did.

  • 1 Aug 2023 1:34 PM | Evangeline Mitchell
    Anchoring your Classroom to Promote Student Success! This edition of “Teacher Tips” focuses on setting up your classroom to promote student success by using anchor charts. Whether you are just starting out as a new teacher or are a veteran, anchor charts can set students up for success. Thanks to Tammy Lemm from Klein ISD for her help with this month's publication. What are anchor charts? This high yield instructional strategy can be used across content areas to help “anchor” major concepts into the students minds. By using color, words and pictures students are able to have a visual of their learning. Anchor charts can be student developed or teacher developed. The best charts are usually developed as a lesson evolves, with students a part of the conversation. These charts make the teacher/students' thinking visible. Once they are hung on the wall they are continuously accessible to students for reference. They should be referred to regularly so they simply do not become a poster on the wall. Other activities can be planned that allows students to interact with the charts in different ways. What Makes A Good Anchor Chart? Contains only the most relevant or important information (think Readiness Standards!) Post in a logical order (chronological for history) Keep it simple…they shouldn’t be overly elaborate and don’t have to be artistic masterpieces Need to be interacted with regularly by the students and the teacher otherwise they become posters Use sentence strips to make removable labels Have students assign clip art images that best “illustrates” the content. Where do I start? Look at your data Think about your content and the ideas in which your students struggle Start with a few and add each year How do I use Anchor Charts in my classroom? Create a timeline of your curriculum for the school year Combine with a card sort to make interactive Have students use to as a source of information for a foldable or on a graphic organizer Follow up with reflection questions or other processing activity Use student response to reflection questions to determine needs for targeted instruction
  • 8 Jul 2023 6:55 PM | Evangeline Mitchell

    July Teacher Tip: What is hot is Social Studies? Check out Chat GPT & see how AI is helping teachers in the classroom. 

    What is ChatGPT?

    ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot trained to understand typed prompts and generate content that sounds human, is the fastest-growing web platform ever. (Edutopia, March 13, 2023)

    Quick Guide to ChatGPT  This one page quick guide developed by Crystal Uhiren @MrsUTeacher. This quick guide gives teachers a one page guide of ideas that they can try using Chat GPT to make teacher work a little easier. 

    We Are Teachers: 20 Ways Teachers Can Use ChatGPT to Make Their Lives Easier

    By: Jill Staake on March 13, 2023

    Edutopia: 6 Ways to Use ChatGPT to Save Time

    By: Todd Finley - March 13, 2023

  • 8 Jun 2023 11:27 AM | Evangeline Mitchell

    Summer Break is here try Teacher Tip's Summer Bingo! Find your best self as you relax & recharge from the school year. Check out the BINGO card online to get some ideas about how to spend your summer. 

  • 2 Jun 2023 12:43 PM | TXCSS (Administrator)

    Calling all US History teachers! The American Historical Association (“AHA”) has been partnering with the National Council for the Social Studies (“NCSS”) to learn about how US history is taught in your state. Recently, the AHA sent out a survey to US history teachers in your state - another opportunity to contribute to this important work.

    If you received a letter and/or an email about the survey, please complete the questionnaire about your experiences teaching US history as soon as possible. 

    After you follow the link in your letter and/or email and complete the 15-20-minute survey, you will receive a $10 gift card as a thank you for participating.

    For more information about the survey, please visit the survey website.

  • 1 May 2023 7:12 AM | Evangeline Mitchell


    May your school year end on a positive note. State testing is over & now what? Try these quick & easy strategies to engage your students to the end.

    1.Passion Projects - allow students to research a subject of their choice and create a presentation or create a project that shows their learning.

    2.Let The Students Teach - allow students to teach the class for part of a day or period.

    3.Reflection Time - take the time to let students reflect on their experiences in your classroom. Students often realize or notice things that you would never think about.

    4.Write A Letter -students write a letter to a teacher or professional in the school that has helped them throughout the school year. Letters can be distributed by students or put into teacher’s boxes for a great end of the year surprise.

    5.Theme Days - count down to the end of the year by creating a theme for each of the last days of school.

    6.Time capsule - create a time capsule of memories using a water bottle and colored strips of paper. Students can write down their favorite memories to keep and open in the years ahead.

    7.Survival Guide - allow students to create a video on the best tips for surviving the school year in your class. The videos can then be saved to create a great way to start the following school year with your new students.

    8.Celebrate Achievements - class rewards provide a way for a teacher to recognize student accomplishments that might go unnoticed in regular school assemblies but can highlight how far a student has grown in the year.

    9.Write About It - students create a six word memoir to describe their year. Check out more information on TechNotes from TCEA.

    10.Graffiti Wall - students sign a large piece of paper with their favorite memory of the school year. Allow students to take pictures or selfies in front of the wall to preserve their memories for years to come.

  • 7 Oct 2022 10:09 AM | TXCSS Past President

    I’m sure you have heard this from the TXCSS leadership several times, because we believe this to be true. We can’t all take the time to visit legislators or attend State Board of Education meetings. We don’t all have the time to track all the pending legislation, but taking the time to vote is easy. Educators make a powerful difference by voting together to support public education.

    Last year TXCSS entered into a partnership with Texas Educators Vote (TEV) to join in their efforts to create a culture of voting in Texas public schools. How can you help in these efforts?

    • Participate in Educators Voting Day by voting on Thursday, October, 27
    • Publicize Educators Voting Day to your colleagues
    • Check out the resources TEV has at

    One of their best resources is the “Who Does What?” guide. This concise brochure or “one-pager” details which elected officials make what decisions about public education. This resource could be used with students and parents.

    Not only is your voice your power, but our combined voices are more powerful. We look forward to seeing you at the polls on Educator Voting Day – October 27th.

  • 24 Aug 2022 11:36 AM | TXCSS Past President

    The sometimes complex and lengthy process for revising the social studies TEKS has reached a point at which many educators engage - reviewing the draft proposals. Please keep in mind that getting to these draft changes has taken a fair amount of time. In that process teachers have participated in survey sessions facilitated by the regional service centers and the TEA hosted sessions at the TXCSS conference last fall to solicit input from social studies educators. Content advisors were selected, met and made recommendations to the State Board of Education(SBOE). Work groups were selected with the appointment approval of SBOE members and those groups have met several times to produce the current drafts.

    The SBOE wants to hear from the teachers now.

    Please take the time to review the drafts for revising the social studies TEKS

    and email the SBOE with your thoughts, suggestions, concerns.

    Social Studies TEKS Review Work

    The most up to date K-8 draft is from Work Group F.

    Notable changes to the social studies TEKS include the following:

    • Introduction of a conceptual theme for K-2 to provide an overarching context for the content learned in those grades and allowing for the spiraling of this conceptual understanding to later grades. Kindergarten - Community; Grade 1-Culture, Grade 2- Migration
    • Economic, geographic, political, and cultural concepts are integrated into the historical narrative in Grades K-8, providing context for these TEKS.
    • Content related to culture, migration, and community in Texas is integrated K-2.
    • A chronological historical focus established starting at Grade 3 with the study of ancient civilizations. In Grade 4 the focus is on classical civilizations and in Grade 5 postclassical/medieval civilizations.
    • The basic tenets of five major world religions are presented in Grade 4 in the historical context of where and when these religious ideas were introduced. Sikhism is introduced in high school world history.
    • Content in Grades 3-5 focuses on the characteristics of civilizations that most relate to understanding the present, such as innovations, ideas, government systems, and economic patterns.
    • Grade 6, 7, 8 continue the chronological approach focusing on places, people, and events in North America from the 15th century through the latter 20th century. The content integrates the traditional study of Texas history with the study of U.S. History.
    • TEKS are organized into historical eras Grade 3-8 and in the high school history courses. This eliminates TEKS that would possibly cut across units in curricula.
    • Content for K-3 is significantly enhanced in order to support building background knowledge, which is supported by research about reading comprehension.
    • In Grade 7 the standards for study of The U.S. Constitution are significantly expanded from the current study, possibly because of the integration of Texas and US History in a three year study.
    • World History begins with the 13 century, allowing for more depth to be given to events in the modern age which have a more direct connection to present conditions. 
    • Significant content from Grade 6 - World Cultures has been integrated into other grade levels. 
    • The inclusion of multiple narratives is evident in the history courses. 
    TXCSS as an organization respects multiple narratives, so every teacher/member should advocate his/her position in regards to these changes. We learn more when we listen to each other. TXCSS applauds the hard work and dedication of those who have served on the work groups.

    The SBOE meets next August 30 - September 2 , so make your voice heard soon. 

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