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Engaging Minds in Social Studies Classrooms: The Surprising Power of Joy

James A. Erekson
(Michael F. Opitz and Michael P. Ford, eds.)

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About the Author  |  Comments

About This Book

Political intrigue. Environmental issues. Ethical dilemmas. Critical thinking. Problem solving. Social studies content is directly connected to real life and is filled with built-in hooks to transform tuned-out students into engaged and enthusiastic learners. 

Experiencing schoolwide elections, researching a cause, and participating in mock court cases are just a few ways to build the joyful self-efficacy and knowledge that students need for college, careers, and civic-minded adulthood.

Springing from the insights and research in Engaging Minds in the Classroom: The Surprising Power of Joy, Erekson explains how to integrate the joyful learning approach with social studies standards, including the Common Core, the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, and the College, Career, and Civic Life framework. 

In addition to discussing how to create a student-centered classroom and develop activities that generate authentic products and meaningful outcomes, Erekson provides specific strategies that will enhance your own joy of teaching and learning.

This volume completes the set of Engaging Minds and is a welcome addition to every teacher's reference collection.

See the book's table of contents and read excerpts.

Get this title at a discount when you buy it as part of a four-book set that includes Engaging Minds in the Classroom, Engaging Minds in English Language Arts Classrooms, and Engaging Minds in Science and Math Classrooms.

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Engaging Minds in Social Studies Classrooms: The Surprising Power of Joy

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February 2014

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About the Author

James A. Erekson, AuthorJAMES A. EREKSON is an associate professor of reading at the University of Northern Colorado. He has been teaching in the field of languages and literacy for more than 20 years, teaching four foreign languages in addition to reading and language arts courses. Erekson collaborates with K–12 educators to teach and do research on reading, writing, and oral language in elementary and middle schools. He taught elementary grades and collaborated with middle school teachers to coordinate a successful reading center for eight years, where the vitality of social studies content helped young readers make breakthroughs in reading and writing. Erekson has presented his work both nationally and internationally, and recently worked with Denver Public Schools' elementary teachers on a three-year state-funded learning experience on social studies and literacy.


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social studies | student achievement | student motivation | teacher motivation | assessment


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