Good Geographic Practices - an NYGA Initiative

Perhaps the most important initiative of the New York Geographic Alliance over the last two years has been our Good Geographic Practices workshops. They have been offered all over the state - from Putnam-North Westchester to Genesee County, and from Jefferson-Lewis BOCES to Broome County. They have been tailored to meet the needs of each host district. We have done workshops exclusively for elementary teachers and secondary teachers as well. One workshop had a mixed (and enthusiastic) K-12 participation. 

The Alliance originally decided to work with Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES nearly two years ago. The response there was possible, and soon other BOCES Districts and Teacher Centers have "discovered" us. Teachers register for the workshop because they need help in implementing the geography standards of the New York Social Studies Framework (approved in 2014). There is also concern on how to prepare high school students for the newly-designed Regents Exam for Global History and Geography. There has been a need especially to help elementary teachers. They definitely want to do more geography with their students but are unsure how to proceed. We try to make these workshops engaging, using many different tools that can easily be replicated back in the classroom. 

To make this program grow, we have applied for a small grant from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). This will help us fund lesson-writing during the summer and to create a booklet of activities that can be used at future workshops. We need to train new presenters. 

Are you interested in helping out?  Many of our members are Teacher Consultants, or they have experience in presenting to other educators. Does this describe you? Would you be interested in working with NYGA to bring more workshops to other parts of the state? If so, then we request that you contact Tim McDonnell (New York Geographic Alliance Coordinator). He will arrange a time to meet with you. If you work with a BOCES district, or a school anywhere in New York and you are interested in hosting a workshop. Let us know! We are particularly interested in moving into urban school districts. 

The teachers from the Genesee Valley know which way is north? Do you? How about your students?