|Content. Content. Content.|
By Steve Graham, VP: CICERO Communications
Former high school teacher, Kevin T. Brady, Ph.D., President of The American Institute for History Education (AIHE), was approached by three New Jersey school districts back in 2003 to help write and coordinate a 3-year Teaching American History (TAH) grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Two of the three $1 million grant proposals were awarded, and Dr. Brady’s company was then able to expand deeply into in the business of teacher professional development. Eventually, Brady’s company wrote and coordinated 24 more U.S. DOE TAH grants in New Jersey alone, and another 64 TAH grant for districts across the United States.
Independent evaluators gave AIHE’s Liberty Fellowshiptm programs extremely high marks in: dramatically increasing teacher’s content knowledge; moving teachers into the digital age; and most importantly, increasing student achievement. Whenever asked what the secret to his success was, Dr. Brady responded by saying, “Content, content, content, along with practical classroom (what are now called “Common Core”) methods and strategies!” Brady’s formula was to gather history education specialists and top professors from leading universities to work directly with teachers. AIHE took teachers on field studies to actual historical sites to experience history first hand. Brady also brought 1st person historical re-enactors to connect with teachers. Teachers would learn to work directly with original documents and artifacts to discover facts versus opinions and agenda driven narratives. The focus on historical content and historical thinking skills led to powerful results with both teachers and their students.
The Liberty Fellowship tm TAH programs gave birth to CICEROhistory.com, AIHE’s 5th grade through 12th grade online teaching American history classroom resource. CICERO is a website offering extensive Common Core professional development and student classroom resources including; PowerPoints, videos, lesson plans, classroom activities, music and lyrics, political cartoons, timelines, rubrics and much more. CICERO was originally designed to be a home-base for teachers participating in the grant programs. Following a lecture series from a professor, or a field study to a site such as Gettysburg or Historic Boston, they could check back into CICERO for reinforcement and further exploration. Participating teachers used the CICERO resources to create top quality classroom activities, projects, and lessons.
“The content and relevant activities contained within our website are phenomenal,” states Steve Graham, VP of Marketing for AIHE’s CICERO Systems. “It runs circles around the average high school history textbook. We knew we had a powerful teaching tool and it was time to make these resources available to teachers outside of our grants.”
CICEROhistory.com was born. CICERO integrates 21st century technology with substantive and organized content and Common Core skills and methods, and encompasses a broad range of classroom and professional development resources designed to engage teachers and students, enhance the classroom environment, and expand overall content knowledge.
CICERO is comprised of fifteen online units that cover U.S.History from 600 B.C. through present day events. It provides teachers with hundreds of lessons at the high and middle school levels, all aligned with both COMMON CORE and state Social Studies standards. The content is updated on a bi-annual basis.
|American Red Cross Becomes a Proud Sponsor of CICERO|
An interview with Jim Starr, Vice President,
Volunteer Management at the American Red Cross
With the launch of CICERO Systems™ 5th generation of CICERO: History Beyond the Textbook®, the American Red Cross has become CICERO’s first sponsor, giving us the ability to get our lifesaving message to students and teachers nationwide.
We believe youth have the potential to make a difference in huge ways. They are a vital resource bringing energy, innovation and inspiration to the American Red Cross and our goal is to provide them with meaningful opportunities for education, training and volunteer service so that they remain a part of the American Red Cross family throughout their lives.
We have found that young people begin to connect with community service in the middle and high school years. Research shows that youth who volunteer are three times more likely to volunteer as adults. The Red Cross is an organization that strongly relies on volunteer support to continue its lifesaving mission and who better than our young people to help be a part of our mission!? When you volunteer with the American Red Cross, you’re supporting one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world and making a positive impact on your peers and in your community. You can also maximize your talent, learn new skills, improve your resume, and meet new people—all while making a meaningful difference in the lives of others!
Following are a number of ways that students can get involved with the American Red Cross:
1. Start or join a Red Cross club
2. Coordinate Blood Drives
3. Host Fundraisers
4. Take one of the American Red Cross courses (ex. Babysitting)
5. Get trained in lifesaving skills like first aid and CPR
Recently, the American Red Cross has developed activity guides for youth, leaders, and teachers to help get involved, learn more about the Red Cross, and become a volunteer.
|New and Exciting Changes for CICERO Have Arrived|
By Mike Silvia, Executive Vice President
At CICERO Systems, we have a passion to provide customers with world class products and services in the education industry. We are constantly upgrading our entire award winning online resources to better serve educators.
It’s always nice to know, as a sales representative, that you work for a company who cares enough about their customers that they are willing to constantly be reinvesting in all of their products and do so at no extra cost to the customer. It tells the sales rep that you care about them as well. That you as the company want to provide them with the tools they need to be successful. We felt that in order to remain one of the leading providers of Social Studies and U.S. History online resources, that CICERO needed a little facelift.
Specific changes include, but are not limited to:
· Text to Speech
· New and Improved Timelines
· Transcripts for all Videos
· Vocabulary ToolTips
· Common Core Teaching Methods and Lesson Plans
· Cloud-Based Architecture
Already, there has been positive feedback from teachers and administrators about the new CICERO, especially in regards to the “Text to Speech” feature. Teachers feel that Text to Speech is a real advantage when working with struggling readers and English Language Learners (ELL). We feel that this upgrade alone has proven in the past to increase student retention, comprehension and memory. Overall, the responses to the new CICERO have exceeded our expectations and we are already looking to add more exciting new features in September!
|Thank you for registering for our Gazette.|