By Mark Quinlivan, Social Studies Coordinator
Laramie County School District #1, Cheyenne, WY
Testing and accountability have put a tremendous amount of pressure on the teachers in our district. Our state test does not assess social studies and for years it felt as if it was being marginalized because it was not tested. With the advent of Common Core our district, like many others, struggled to ramp up the amount of nonfiction reading students were doing while still providing access to classic literature. The DBQ Project provided social studies an avenue to support our Common Core goals and make social studies relevant.
For those considering working with the DBQ Project or who are new to the Project I would say a key is training. The notebooks developed by the DBQ Project are invaluable resources but without proper training and implementation there is a danger that the full potential of the process won’t be realized. We have found that in our district the initial 2 day training was a great starting point but that a follow up refresher is a nice addition because in the first run through teachers often don’t know what questions to ask. After using the process a few times they can really focus in on the questions and problems they have encountered.
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