Reading Reflections

Each reading reflection listed under this heading is a response to a chapter in James Zarrillo’s book, Teaching Elementary Social Studies: Principles and Applications (2011). For each chapter listed, I provided a summary, any helpful ideas or examples from the chapter, a thoughtful or authentic question, and any assumptions I had prior to reading the chapter that I have since questioned and looked into deeper. This reflection process has helped me dig deeper into my background knowledge regarding social studies and grow as an educator.

Class Notes

Every week during class, my professor would have note documents for my peers and I to fill in as we participated in various social studies activities or discussed various social studies methods and techniques. These notes follow the themes found within Zarrillo’s  Teaching Elementary Social Studies: Principles and Applications (2011). At the end of each class, we were asked to answer three reflective practice questions,

  1. What new information did you learn? (What?)
  2. How has this information affected you? (So What?)
  3. How has it challenged your thinking? (Now What?)

Similarly to the reading reflection process, answering these reflective practice questions has activated my critical thinking skills, has made me self aware (background knowledge), and has provided me with the tools to observe and analyze my students to better understand the different ways in which their minds work.

Themes and Reflections

  1. The Past, Present, and Future of Social Studies Teaching and Learning – Zarrillo, Chapter 1
  2. The Fundamentals of Social Studies Teaching – Zarrillo, Chapter 2
  3. Assessment of Social Studies Learning – Zarrillo, Chapter 3
  4. Inquiry and Critical Thinking – Zarrillo, Chapter 7
  5. Differentiation, Integration, and the Development of Academic Skills – Zarrillo, Chapter 4
  6. A Multicultural, Integrated Social Studies Curriculum – Zarrillo, Chapter 5
  7. Literacy – Zarrillo, Chapter 8
  8. History – Zarrillo, Chapter 10
  9. Geography – Zarrillo, Chapter 11
  10. Democratic Citizenship – Zarrillo, Chapter 9
  11. Cooperative Learning; Economics