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Changing Practices for Changing Times

  • 10 Aug 2020
  • 14 Aug 2020
  • 5 sessions
  • 10 Aug 2020, 9:00 AM 12:15 PM (EDT)
  • 11 Aug 2020, 9:00 AM 12:15 PM (EDT)
  • 12 Aug 2020, 9:00 AM 12:15 PM (EDT)
  • 13 Aug 2020, 9:00 AM 12:15 PM (EDT)
  • 14 Aug 2020, 9:00 AM 12:15 PM (EDT)
  • Online


  • Includes 1 year membership

Registration is closed

  • As social studies teachers implement principles from The C3 Framework and blend disciplinarydigital, and critical literacy skills into their instruction, the Michigan Council for the Social Studies offers a unique, one-week, intensive workshop to jumpstart the 2020-21 academic year. 

    Time will determine the type of learning situation in which students and teachers will engage at the beginning of the school year.  Whether your district will be in a face-to-face mode of instruction or a mode of remote learning, or a hybrid situation, chances are you may be thinking one or both of these thoughts:

    •  “I need to expand the tech tools for more effective student engagement in my teaching toolbox,”
    •  “If I’m going to build (or strengthen) relationships with my students in an online setting, I can’t do that if we’re not working on strengthening their discipline-specific skills in history, geography, civics, and economics.”

Regardless of the format, the need is greater than ever, for engaging and rigorous social studies instruction that will prepare students for civic life within their K-12 education and beyond.  To help meet the demand and desire for dynamic social studies instruction, MCSS is proud to offer this intensive weeklong institute for social studies teachers in grades 5-12. 

Even though we will be meeting in Zoom and using a number of tech tools, we will continue to ground our work together in effective instructional strategies for social studies, and provide the tech support (and encouragement) that you need to fully engage in the institute experience! Through our time together, you will become more informed and engaged with inquiry-driven, literacy-rich, and digitally-enhanced best practices for your social studies teaching. 

Participants in our institute will experience:

      Four teaching demonstrations, led by experts in social studies and digital literacy, with strategies adaptable to a variety of grades and content areas.

      Updates on the implementation of The C3 Framework, GELN’s Essential Practices for Disciplinary Literacy, and the Inquiry Design Model of unit development.

      Detailed instruction on a number of digital tools for communicating knowledge and taking action including interactive storymaps and timelines, as well as creation of websites and videos, all connected to Michigan’s MITECs ed tech standards. 

      Individual support while revising or creating a new instructional unit for use during the 2020-21 academic year.

For more information about the “Changing Practices for Changing Times” institute, please contact: Rebecca Bush at

To register, please visit: 


social studies educators, grades 5-12

Cost to participants:

      $199 for MCSS members

      $249 for non-members (includes a one-year membership)

      Includes 30-35 SCECHs (pending approval)


Intensive, one-week virtual institute for integrating disciplinary, critical, and digital literacies


The C3 (College, Career, and Civic Life) Framework for Social Studies will require educators to make significant shifts in instructional practices, including a renewed focus on inquiry- based learning, critical thinking, and integration of disciplinary literacy practices. Building on Michigan’s “Essential Practices for Disciplinary Literacy Instruction in the Secondary Classroom: Grades 6 to 12,”

Teachers involved in the institute will engage in a sustained, immersive, and exploratory professional learning experience. Specifically, they will choose a unit of study from their own curriculum and revise it with The C3 in mind, moving students toward civic participation and taking informed action. As part of Michigan’s efforts to implement the revised social studies standards, this cohort will meet online with the goal of producing new units of study at grades 5-12. Moreover, they will contribute to and participate in a local network of teacher leaders with opportunities for sharing their work in the future through regional and statewide venues such as webinars, workshops, and at the MCSS Annual Conference. 

Learning Objectives:

      Integrating content and skills purposefully

      Providing tangible opportunities for taking informed action

      Cultivating and nurturing collaboration and civic spaces

      Crafting questions that spark and sustain inquiry

      Promoting literacy practices and outcomes

As a result of attending, participants will be able to:

      Identify key standards from The C3 Framework, The Common Core Literacy Standards, and ISTE/MITECs standards for students to design a collaborative, inquiry-based unit with their teaching partners.

      Engage in a variety of social studies and literacy activities as learners, then analyze and reflect on their experiences in those activities through digital, disciplinary, and critical literacy frameworks. 

      Create a series of appropriate lessons and activities for their social studies unit, unique for their own teaching context, grade level, and subject areas. :

Pre-Institute Webinar: 60 min (Aug. 5th 7-8p.m. OR Aug. 6th 9:30-10:30a.m.)  Select one.

Mon. Aug. 10

Tue. Aug. 11

Wed. Aug. 12

Thur. Aug. 13

Fri. Aug. 14

9:00 - 10:30

Troy Demo

Beckie Demo

Dave Demo

Roy Demo

Charette (Work in Progress)

10:45 - 12:15






Sync/Async Activities in Afternoon or Evening

Live workshops

Async activities

Live workshops

Async activities

Live workshops

Async activities

Live workshops

Async activities

Async activities

Post-Institute Showcase: 90 min

About the Presenters:

Rebecca Bush is currently the Social Studies Consultant at the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD), where she assists K-12 social studies teachers in developing curriculum, modeling instructional strategies in social studies literacy, and designing district level formative and summative assessments.  She has presented at various national conferences on multiple topics surrounding social studies instruction as well as innovative techniques and topics in formative and summative assessment design.  Currently she is the Project Director of G.I.A.N.T.S.—an integrated geography and history curriculum for students in grades 3-8.  Additionally, she is the Co-Project Director of the Performance Assessments in Social Studies Thinking (P.A.S.S.T.) Project and assists with the ongoing enhancement of the MI Open Book Project where she serves as an editor of several of the project’s texts.  Rebecca is past-president of MCSS as well as the National Social Studies Supervisor’s Association and is an adjunct faculty member at Hope College as well as Michigan State University.

Dr. Troy Hicks is Professor of English and Education at Central Michigan University (CMU). He directs the Chippewa River Writing Project and, previously, the Master of Arts in Learning, Design & Technology program. A former middle school teacher, he collaborates with K–12 colleagues and explores how they implement newer literacies in their classrooms. Since beginning work at CMU in 2007, he has earned numerous distinctions including the Michigan Council of Teachers of English Charles Carpenter Fries Award (2008), CMU’s Provost’s Award for junior faculty who demonstrate outstanding achievement in research and creative activity (2011), the Richard A. Meade Award for scholarship in English Education (2014), the Michigan Reading Association’s Teacher Educator Award (2018), CMU’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2020), and the Initiative for 21st Century Literacies Research’s Divergent Award for Excellence (2020). An ISTE Certified Educator, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

Dave Johnson is the shared social studies consultant for every ISD in Northern Michigan.  He's in his 10th year in this role, and his 19th in education.  He is the project manager of the Michigan Open Book Project, co-director of the PASST project, and a technical consultant on the GIANTS project.  In addition to all of this, he is currently serving as the president of Michigan Social Studies Supervisors Association, and will be the president of the Michigan Council for the Social Studies during the 2020-21 school year.

Roy Sovis is a Coordinator for Instruction at the Genesee Intermediate School District where he has provided Social Studies-related professional development and other services for over 20 years to the 40 public schools in Genesee and Lapeer Counties. His expertise includes curriculum development, instructional design, and summative assessment development. For ten years he has also developed and offered a Formative Assessment Institute which has helped numerous districts “level up” their assessment systems to improve student achievement. Recently he served as a writer on the Michigan Social Studies Standards Revision Committee and on the Michigan Department of Education Social Studies Professional Development Collaborative Committee. Early in his career he was the State Coordinator for the National lStudent/Parent Mock Election and received 2 National CNN Awards for Utilization of Media and/or Technology in Voter Education, 2 American Association of School Administrators Awards for Outstanding Leadership in Voter Education and was the recipient of Presidential Certificate of Appreciation for dedicated service and teamwork. Currently, Roy also serves as the Michigan Council for Social Studies Executive Board Secretary and District 4 Representative.

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Michigan Council for the Social Studies

A 2022-23, 2023-24 Gold Star Affiliate of the  National Council for the Social Studies

13565 Port Sheldon St., Holland, MI 49424

Office Manager Mandy Laninga

Direct Line: 616-796-1502 

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