Interested in helping to plan the Community of Practice Follow-up Training (July 28 and 29th)?
Contact Jen Sigrist if you are interested in being part of the team that outlines the learning for our community! Email: or tweet her @jensigrist no later than June 1st! We need some teacher leaders to help the team generate practical experiences for our classroom teachers.
About the Social Studies group

Because our students are in a world that is becoming increasingly global, it is important for our student to recognize that there is more than one perspective to an event or idea. Students all over the world are learning about history, culture, and economy and each of them interpret the learning through their own lenses. This Global Citizenship unit will focus on how our viewing the world with consideration to only one perspective creates bias; a lens that closes the ability to appreciate other peoples, cultures, and nationalities.

The unit is intended to be student-centered where teachers have many resources to provide student choice in exploring global citizenship. To make the unit flexible to the realities of Iowa classrooms, roughly half of the 15 hour unit is divided into four separate content approaches to global citizenship; history, geography, government, and behavioral sciences strands. All students will have opening instruction setting the stage for the project work around the following questions:
  • What are skills I need to determine bias?
  • What is global citizenship?
  • Why is global citizenship a relatively new term?
Students will then explore different cultures and perspectives through one of the four content lenses previously mentioned. Multiple resources will provide teachers opportunities to facilitate whole group discussion, lead small group exploration, and formatively assess learning. The remaining 3-4 hours of instruction helps bringing all the learning together in a culminating learning experience that incorporates literacy skills as students share their thinking through the perspective of another culture/nationality. This international summit format provides a student centered approach to learning that ends with individual student reflection.

Community facilitators
Jen Sigrist, Director of Teaching and Learning for Van Meter Schools
I was a social studies teacher for 9 years teaching everything from Psych and Sociology to history, government and civil law. Most of my teaching experience was while I lived in Southern Arizona and both districts I worked for were just miles from the Mexican border. I am the project lead for the social studies content and am thrilled to be working with such knowledgeable and creative teammates on developing eCurriculum for global citizenship. I love this work and am so excited for the opportunities it will provide for students in Iowa!

Michelle Arneson, School Improvement/Professional Development Consultant, Prairie Lakes AEA
Welcome! I am excited to be learning with you. Prior to my employment at PLAEA, I taught special education in both an elementary and middle school setting. Our school was very committed to providing learning supports to all students in the general classroom setting so I worked in many classrooms as a co-teacher. I have always had a deep passion for project- based learning, interdisciplinary curriculum and instructional technologies.

Personal introductions
Patricia Diggins -Hi! I am a history and English teacher at Logan-Magnolia High School in western Iowa. I've been at the school for 32 years!! Yes, I am one of the "old dogs" but still in love with teaching and very excited about this opportunity to develop eCurriculum! Teaching in rural Iowa, it is a challenge at times to create global awareness among our students, so I am very happy to be involved in this project.
Sorry Patricia. I must have deleted your name by accident when I was trying to put my picture on the site. Wow, not a way to start off huh? Monte
John Fernstrum-
After living in the Washington D.C., I have returned to Iowa and I am currently finishing my second year teaching. I teach at South O'Brien in northwest Iowa. I look forward to the challenge of educating the 21st century learner using technology. I am excited to meet you all in person and anticipate a wonderful year of collaboration.
Hello, my name is Monte DeArmoun. I'm the guy on the right! I have been teaching junior high/high school social studies for 17 years. My first two years were at Aurelia, with the last 15 at Northwood-Kensett. When I'm not teaching you can find me coaching junior high girls' basketball or volleyball, helping my kids' teams, officiating varsity basketball, advising the student council, or attending meetings for the different committees of which I am a member. My wife, Cheryl, and I have been married 19 years. We have two great kids, Paige (12) and Ross (10). I am very excited about this collaboration opportunity.
Twitter: nksocialstudies
Website: Mr. DeArmoun's Classes
external image hartkemeyer.jpg
Hello, I am Ashley Weaver and I am currently finishing my fifth year of teaching at Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School. I teach US History, Government, Economics, AP Human Geography, and will be taking on AP Economics next year! Last spring, I finished my masters in school leadership through Drake. That program and degree has given me many opportunties to advance my leadership skills. When I am not working or taking classes, I love to spend time with my husband, John, and stepsons Reece (14), Tate (11), and our son Anderson (15 months). I can't wait to meet everyone and begin working on the eCurriculum.

My name is Andrea Wilford, and I having been teaching social studies courses at Muscatine High School for about 18 yrs. My school is currently experimenting with a new project-based curriculum modeled after a school in San Diego, High Tech High and this project fits right in with our new goals. I have been married 31 yrs and have three daughters in college! I bought my first home computer (the Mac!) in 1984 and have embraced technology ever since! I am really excited to be a part of this pilot program and I am looking forward to next week.

Hi everyone. My name is Brady Weber and am currently an 8th grade US history teacher at Stilwell Junior High in the West Des Moines Schools. In respects to my educational background, I am a 1997 graduate of Urbandale High School and a 2003 graduate from the University of Northern Iowa -- major in Social Science Education. At UNI I was also a member of the baseball team there for 5 seasons. Besides teaching in West Des Moines, I also coach 3 sports including varsity baseball at Valley. In my experience in West Des Moines I have had an opportunity to draft curriculum for an Advanced US History course, be an anchor for AIW at my school, and receive training on inquiry based strategies.Personally, I have been married for 9 years to my wife Hilary and we have 2 girls (Ellie and Amaya). I'm excited for the chance to work with all of you!
My name is Steve Peters. I am a second-generation alternative education teacher. Since 1976 I have taught social science at Des Moines' alternative school. Our curriculum is now all project based. Two days a week we have a Community Based class. (CBL) We use a classroom at the State Historical building to explore our community. My picture shows part of our CBL class the day we met Congressional Medal of Honor Winner Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta. (I am 2nd from the left) In addition, I teach government for Iowa Learning Online ( ) I have been married for 38 years. We have one daughter who is a sophomore at Central College, in Pella. This semester she is studying abroad in London. ( ) I look forward to having the opportunity to collaborate and help shift the way teachers "teach" and students learn. As we say at ILO "Technology is not a tool it is a way of thinking."
Twitter: @AlternEdGuy
Hey folks, Randy Duffy, I teach 9-12 Social Studies @ Bondurant Farar. I have taught for 22 years, in Alden, IA Waukee, IA and Bondurant! My wife was an elemntary teacher, who has done daycare in our home for 16 years, I have a 16 year old daughter, Alex, 15 year old son Sam and a 13 year old son Jenson! I am always tired! Looking forward to some learning....Duff
external image 14237_1198760002386_1030103232_30540761_1032934_n.jpg
Nikki Schubert - I am the only HS Social Studies teacher at Remsen Union CSD, a very small school in NW IA. I teach Civics, World History, US History, and Government, with a smattering of elective courses when I can fit them in. I am in my 11th year of teaching and am very excited about developing an ecurriculum. I have been happily married for almost 11 years to my husband Jeremy and we have 3 beautiful and energy packed kids - Treighton who is 10, Kalina who is 8, and Torian who is 4.
Greetings and salutations!

My name is Tim Hadley. I am an alumni and current instructor at Pekin High School. I currently teach U.S. History, Government, World History, A.P. History and current affairs currently in my 3rd year. I also coach football and wrestling. My wife, Bethany, and I have two wonderful kids, Selah (4) and Isaiah (6 months). I really have no idea what I have signed up for, but am excited to get out of the house for two days....

Hi! I am Kelley Molitor, I have been teaching for 12 years. I taught Psychology, Sociology, and US History for 2 years at Columbus High School in Waterloo and for the past 10 years I have been teaching middle school social studies in Osage. My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we have 4 children. I am looking forward to this project and meeting all of you!
My name is Maggie Haines, and I have been teaching eighth grade social studies in Winterset since January 2007. I earned my BA from the University of Iowa. This past year, I have been involved in planning our building's professional development through our Building Leadership Team, and I'm excited to contribute to this project and learn more to bring back to our junior high.
Hello. My name is Zarmun Duke. I've been teaching at Cedar Rapids' Washington High School for ten years. I currently teach US History, World History and a level one sped resource class. I've been using Moodle to provide supplemental instruction in my classroom for a few years, but have little training and even less peer collaboration in online instruction. I hope this project will make me a better instructor and provides increased learning opportunities for my students.
My name is Kim Sprague, and I've been teaching American History for 10 years (9 years at 8th grade, 1 year 9th) at North Scott Schools in Eldridge. I enjoy learning new technologies but usually struggle with what I feel is meaningful implementation. I'm looking forward to learning new things and working out ideas for useful computer technology in the classroom. I feel like this is an awesome opportunity for me step up my instruction and move the students into a whole new arena.
decrease size
decrease size
My name is Sonja Anderson. I have been teaching at Tri-County High School for over 10 years now. I teach US History, World History, Government, Sociology, Psychology, Women's Studies, and other electives. I also am the head Prom Advisor and Student Council Advisor. I have 2 grown children. I am a little nervous about what I have got myself into but I am excited to challenge myself and improve my teaching skills.
external image 40225_152010724811236_100000069277897_453506_2719321_n.jpg
My name is Marcey Gerke. I have been a teacher at Manson Northwest Webster for 7 years. I currently teach American History, US History, and Current Issues. I have two children, Erin (12) and Tanner (8). I am looking forward to learning new ideas and working with other educational professionals.
My name is Kayla Gaskill and I am a first year teacher at Manson Northwest Webster. I graduated from Grand View University last April and graduated high school from Irwin-Kirkman-Manilla (IKM) in 2006. I currently teach 7th grade Social Studies, 9th grade World Geography, 10th grade World History, and 12th grade Government. I use Twitter all the time to connect with other teachers and get new ideas. I have experience with Moodle through an OLLIE course I took last fall. I have created my own classroom website that I update for my students and have had them create their own also as a final for their class. I am the freshman volleyball coach and junior high boys track coach so I love staying busy!. Follow me on Twitter @kaylagaskill (I'm the one on the left in yellow)
I am Kent Miller. I teach 7-12 Social Studies at Van Meter Secondary. I have been teaching for five years. VM is a 1:1 school and has been for several years now.

My name is Leslie Pralle Keehn and I have been teaching 7-12 Social Studies at Northeast Hamilton for almost two years now. This year I am teaching/taught Government, Econ, US History, World History, 7th grade Geography, 8th grade US History, Media & Society, Campaigns & Elections, Sports History, and Street Law/Judicial Processes. I have a BA in Political Science from Iowa State University and am currently working on an MA in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis on technology from Grand Canyon University online. This year I have had the opportunity to be the social studies team leader for a regional (5 districts) Moodle course/curriculum for US History, and this summer I am looking forward to a 4-week fellowship with C-SPAN working in their education department. I just started an Ed Tech blog and I am also editor of the Iowa Council for the Social Studies online and print newsletters. When I'm not teaching and studying, I am spending time with my family. My husband and I have two children. Our daughter Rylee just turned 5, and our son Aaden is almost three. I enjoy running, reading, and the Colts.

external image AD34hIhaI22FimTjAglzYGEK19uue1Qk2Z-T4NZu1YkGvmgD3AdHRf0V-CZ-T6jp2lscbudFIrA6-9iOHuysARl-oE2wqwV8NdscMM-eJ_0Wv6aukm9LT5w.jpgAD34hIhaI22FimTjAglzYGEK19uue1Qk2Z-T4NZu1YkGvmgD3AdHRf0V-CZ-T6jp2lscbudFIrA6-9iOHuysARl-oE2wqwV8NdscMM-eJ_0Wv6aukm9LT5w.jpg
My name is Mike Johnson and I'm a 2nd year teacher at the South Winneshiek Middle School. I currently teach 6th & 7th grade geography and also 8th grade US History. I am starting to explore with Twitter and also use Edmodo on a daily basis in my classroom. I enjoy learning about technology in the classroom more & more. I also coach 3 sports at SW, assistant hs football, head girls basketball, and jr high boys track.

105_0236.jpgMy name is Andy Harter, I teach at Sigourney Community Schools I think this my 9th or 10th year there I lost track. I teach World History, American History, Government, and a few elective classes. I also coach Cross Country, Basketball, and Track. My wife is also a teacher and we have three boys, but if you ask her she is raising four boys. I am in my second year of a 1 to 1 initiative at school and have experience with Moodle and am always willing to try something new and look forward to picking up some new ideas.
IMG_3872.JPGMy name is Frank Dea. I teach various Social Studies classes at CAM High School in Anita. I am currently completing my 5th year as an educator & Basketball Coach. My school district has implemented various types of technology within our classrooms and we are very excited about taking the next step towards integrating blended online learning. We are currently in our third year of out 1 to 1 laptop program and several teachers have Smart Boards within their classrooms. I am looking forward to participating in this program!

Summer2010_168.jpgI am Crystal Holt from Denison High School. We have been on Spring / Easter Break and I just found out tonight I had an assignment!! I also realized I do not really have any pictures of myself as I am usually the one taking the pictures of my family which includes my husband Steven, a son age 16, and four daughters ages 12 - 11 - 8 - and 5. I have been teaching full time for 15 years - mostly Government and World History, plus I coordinate our TAG and Science Bound programs. I am looking forward to this opportunity and can't wait to try new things in my classroom and hopefully with our district.
Hi, I'm Brent Jorth and I currently teach Psychology, Sociology, and Modern World History at Indianola High School. Prior to coming to Indianola, I worked at Van Meter and Baxter. I'm a native Iowan, having graduated from Lake Mills High School, Waldorf College (Forest City, Iowa State University (BS - History), and Drake (Ed Leadership). In addition to teaching, I have coached football, basketball, golf, and baseball. I consider myself a life-long learner and someone who is passionate about transforming teaching and learning to meet the needs of students of the 21st century - whether that is with the use of technology, project based learning, or blended learning I look forward to our work together. Personally, my wife and I reside in Waukee and enjoy raising our two children, Lillian (3) and Bennett (1).
Twitter: bjorth

IMG_0300.JPGHi, I am an instructional technology consultant with Green Hills AEA. I am veryexcited to work with the social studies team since I have a social studies degree from Iowa State University. I look forward to supporting the project based learni
ng work. I have experience with PBL in my role with the AEA.