Thoughts on teaching, learning, technology, and leadership from the field

Author Archives: msmrocks

Cover Slide

Hi! Here’s the slide deck for the session I presented at the NJASA / NJPSA / AASA Women’s Leadership conference.

Women’s Place in History of Schooling

<3, Amy


Just back from an amazing conference in Vancouver. For sketchnotes and resources on Michael Fullan’s Coherence preconference, Deep Leaning in Action, Teacher Voice, etc. please see my Sutori!

This is the email I sent to our Social Studies teachers this morning… 

We know that kiddos are going to be coming to you this morning with lots and lots of questions. If you’re wondering what to tell kids when they ask, remind them that the Framers of the Constitution designed the branches of government to check and balance one another; that no president has all of the power; that change in this country is a process and requires compromise. And that this was a very, very close race. Not everyone who voted for either candidate agreed with everything the candidate said or promised. And that campaign promises aren’t as easy to enact as candidates make it seem.

I’ve sent out this Politics in the Classroom guideline a few times and it’s been in the WAIP but wanted to send it again. Remember board policy, as well as best practice, includes the requirement that teachers be fair and impartial in their discussions with students.

Here are some short videos and games to talk about the powers of the president, branches of government, and checks and balances, if you need them.

Ben’s Guide to Government – areas for all ages – I like the Branch O’ Mania game for looking at different branches of government

BrainPop has several good videos in their election series, including the branches of government and the powers of the president.

Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances – Video, Best for Secondary Kids

Executive Command game – good for secondary students, simulate a day in the life of a President and the powers they have/don’t have.

Civic Responsibility Launcher game – great for lots of ages. Your elementary kids can play this whole class if it’s projected – helps talk about what good citizens are and do.

Yours in the pursuit of excellence in Social Studies and civics,

Amy Lynn Mount

apple-256263_960_720Dear teachers,

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week. I hope your free Chik-Fil-A sandwich or BOGO Chipotle burrito was delicious. I hope your PTA and administration wrecked your diet with baked goods and goody bags attached to cute little sayings. I hope your kids remembered to say thank you. I hope a few wrote you sweet little notes that are worth more than to you than the kids could ever imagine. I hope some saintly parent donated a few reams of paper or other desperately needed supplies to your classroom.

I wish though, teachers, that you didn’t have to rely on the kindness of parents for donations. Or that you didn’t have to pay for them out of pocket. While the discounts this week, the platitudes from politicians and celebrities, the knickknacks, the junk food are nice, the reality is that a week of appreciation is not sufficient.

This week, in Texas, we heard that schools will still be measured by test riddled with glitches.

This week, in Detroit, teachers held “sick outs” to call attention to the budget crisis so severe that their paychecks, their livelihood, the roof over their heads and the food on the table of their own children, is in jeopardy.

This week, the Center for Education Policy released the results of a study showing that teachers today feel stressed by poor leadership, a lack of voice in national discussions about education, and over emphasis on standardized testing.

Here’s what I wish you had instead of Teacher Appreciation Week.

And, I wish that on your hardest, bleakest days that you remember the optimism and enthusiasm you had when you walked into the door of your first classroom. I sincerely hope that you never lose it entirely, even if it gets occasionally bruised and battered. I wish for you the strength and the courage to keep pushing for kids, their families, the future of our field, and the future of this country.

<3, Amy


Sharing a flyer with live links to elections resources for teachers and schools. This is already a very busy political season – and the fall will be even hotter. Arm  yourself with information and resources!

SS Election 2016 Resources – PDF


Everywhere you go!

Take a look at the teachers and kids. They’re glistening again

With furrowed brows and wringing hands that  sweat! 

Gearing up for your Social Studies STAAR reviews? I’ve got stuff for you!

Here’s my 8th and 11th Grade USH STAAR and EOC Reviews. It’s a Google site with live links. It isn’t too flashy and works well on mobile devices. I based the information on the TEA Performance Level Descriptor documents. PDFs are available to download from the site as well. Feel free to use and share!

CNN has a feature story today about the changes to the new SAT test, including revisions to the reading sections which now include more dense text, including Social Studies texts.

I went through the SAT teacher’s implementation guide and summarized all of the major changes that impact Social Studies teaching.

Here’s where to access the information!