Review of Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin’s Past

I wanted another Wisconsin Historical Society Press book suggestion, so I contacted Kurt Griesemer, the School Services Director, for the Wisconsin Historical Museum. Kurt suggested I take a look at Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin’s Past. I love the art of storytelling and this text does a great job weaving history and […]


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Review of Return to Wake Robin:One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts #WCSS

Kris McDaniel gave me a list of Wisconsin Historical Society Press books to read. Among the list was Return to Wake Robin. This book recounts the experiences of Marnie O. Mamminga’s family at their family cabin on Big Spider Lake in Sawyer county (Hayward). It seems like it’s a tail of what up north life was once like.  I […]


Review of the Work of Jerry Apps #WCSS15

Kris McDaniel suggested that I check out the work of Jerry Apps. I couldn’t get a hold of any of his books the day I went to the library, but I was able to find a DVD. Although I was disappointed, I now realize my replacement was a great find. You can watch a preview […]


Teaching the Civil Rights Using Primary Sources #WCSS15

Kristen McDaniel and I have spoken several times. She’s even been a guest speaker for me (via Google Hangouts). I reference her work probably ten times a semester. I still haven’t met her though. I was super disappointed that we didn’t connect at WCSS. Despite that, I still was able to find her presentation and […]

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Inquiry Circles

How might inquiry circles fail? Teachers can make multiple grave mistakes that would cause their inquiry circles to collapse. What are they? What will it take to run an effective inquiry circle experience? Teachers need to consider options and have the foresight to see what’s coming. What needs to be considered? What research options can […]


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Reflecting on Trade Books #WCSS15

This winter I attended “Using Trade Books to Engage Students in the Social Studies!” by Wendy Otto-Pliska. Unfortunately, the links to her presentation are down, but I took some general notes.  Wendy did a good job giving us plenty of texts that we could use to teach moments in history. One text she recommended was […]


Reflections on Disciplinary Literacy #WCSS15

With the pressure of the Common Core and standardized testing, it’s no surprise that non-tested subjects are falling to the wayside in the earlier grades. In some cases, teachers are left to do Social Studies when they is extra time. Others dedicate an hour a week, tops. From my studies, the time allotment varies in […]

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Reflecting on Text Structure #WCSS15

Dr. Karen Ruffner presented at WCSS on the importance of teaching students to analyze text structure. Although I missed her presentation, I was able to obtain her materials, and engage in conversation with her via email. Little did I know, she use to teach for UW-Platteville, so we have something in common. Students need to […]