I am very interested in making my SS classes interactive. My school does not use history alive, but I am considering purchasing the starter kit. I currently use my own version of an interactive notebook. Would anyone recommend purchasing the notebooks from history alive? How about the interactive desk maps?
I am also interested in doing some readers theatre and simulations for SS. Is there a website or resource I can use? Does history alive provide good lessons on simulations? I teach fifth grade and we study European Explorers, Colonial times, the Revolution up to Civil War. I currently use the SQ3R method and try to incorporate graphic organizers to spice up the lessons. Any other suggestions?
Our district just purchased the Ancient History and Medieval History books for sixth and seventh grades. I have gone to 3 HA trainings over the years and I am very very happy. My sixth grade students LOVE their history curriculum. (might have something to do with my enthusiasm) If you are asking if you should purchase the Interactive Student Notebooks from History Alive, they go hand in hand with the textbook. I don't think they will be very helpful if you don't have the textbook. It is such a great program because they have done all the hard work for you. When you have to figure out which teaching strategy you will use it takes a lot of time to also develop your Visual Discovery, Social Studies Skill Builder, Experiential Exercise, Writing for Understanding, Response Group, or Problem Solving Groupwork. I am at home and I am not sure what is included in the started kit, and I have not used the interactive desk maps. There are trainers who do a great job of teaching you how to develop your program in the HA style. I can pass along a name if you are interested. Good luck. It is the best in the way of teaching strategies!
Thanks for the input, Sara. My district will not be purchasing the text books, however, I do have 1 copy. I am thinking it would be possible to photocopy the units I wish to emphasize and use the notebooks with those units. Does this seem doable to you? I am a first year teacher and am all about making my life a little easier.
I have my students use composition books to create their ISNs. I do not use the History Alive ISNs as they are, but I photocopy the pages I want the students to use and they tape them into their personal ISN. I would be careful about copyright laws. You better research that before you copy parts of the book. Also, the starter kit only has the placards and transparencies for one unit in it. That won't get you very far. You can also buy replacement parts from History Alive. I am not sure if your district has to have already bought curriculum for them to buy the replacement parts. They are expensive too! I took my first History Alive training before my first year teaching 13 years ago and did my best to incorporate their practices into my teaching. Of course then they did not have any textbooks! There is a lot you can do with a digital camera, the internet, and a multimedia projector.
The notebooks come with the books when you purchase them, but after that year you can copy the pages you need. I use the notebooks this year because I have them, but will use only portions of them next year. I also recieved the maps with the set but have yet to use them. If you ask for a sample kit, you will recieve the book, a notebook, and a sample unit (Rev. War, I believe) There are some useful things in the nb.
I also teach 8th grade History Alive. Have you done the Ch 9 simulation on the Constitution? My students LOVED it. When we started the Bill of rights we were reading the parents bill of rights and they were commenting that without the sections under the articles, a supreme court judge would be needed to determine limitations. I am really looking forward to the debates on the Contemporary Supreme Court Issues. this class is really responding to this series.
I have just purchased the HA! Medieval World and Beyond teacher resource package. It comes with an interactive student notebook, the placards, the lesson guides, the two CD's and a few other things. I can't wait to start using this with my class. Since I don't have an HA! textbook for every student, I'm going to use our textbooks with the HA interactive notebook by making some copies that correlate to our school adopted text. I am also going to start doing my own version of an interactive notebook. I didn't know there was consultants who will help you out. I'll have to look into that. I also teach life science. And looking through the history alive stuff is inspiring me to think of my own "Science Alive" type curriculum where we do simulations, and all that suff for science. It's going to take me a while to develop because I'm a first year teacher and I already have enough stuff to worry about right now.
I would invest in the starter kit but not the notebooks. Students can use the spiral, composition book, or whatever they normally use in order to keep all of their work together. Once you start using the kit, you will see how to make your own lessons for other subjects or topics not covered by H.A. kits. I use it all of the time