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Social Studies Teachers – The Suburban Times


Clover Park School District announcement.

Clover Park School District is celebrating American Education Week by highlighting some of the great teachers providing students with the opportunities they need to learn and grow in the classroom. Today’s featured subject is social studies.

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Colleen Moran, Idlewild Elementary School

Lakewood Playhouse

Idlewild Elementary School fourth grade teacher Colleen Moran weaves social studies into her teaching no matter what subject her students are learning. Students work on creative writing through historical fiction or strengthen their reading skills by researching a historical subject.

“Rather than having a specific block in the day where we are working on social studies, it’s always a part of what we’re doing,” she said. “We’re not teaching our subjects in isolation, so it’s a lot more engaging and fun for students and teachers to bring different subjects together.”

Colleen is always looking for ways to give her students more control over their learning. A lesson on government, for example, allows students to research and study a type of government, such as democracy or monarchy, that interests them. “Students are so much more excited to learn when they have agency over what they’re doing,” she said.

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Ian Lewis, Hudtloff Middle School

Hudtloff Middle School social studies teacher Ian Lewis brings history to life in his classroom. Embracing the skills and knowledge he gained in his previous career as an archeologist, Ian uses hands-on projects and access to real cultural artifacts to get his seventh-grade students excited about Washington state history.

“I have a lot of passion for history that I can share with them,” he said. “I do my best to bring in as many different resources as I can to get them interested in doing their own research and make their own discoveries about history.”

Ian recently brought in an ice block and pushed it along the school’s track to show the impact glaciers had on shaping the landscape of Washington state. “They can really visualize what is happening and how glaciers are changing our land,” he said. “It’s one example of how we can take what they’re learning in the textbook and make it more real for them.”

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