Posts Tagged ‘conference’

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Our Days with Documents : Civil War Edition offers many resources for teachers. This page will be updated with information and resources from each day’s presentations.

Resources Day 1   – July 13,2016

8th grade American History teacher Art Titzel’s presentation centered on ways to enhance a field trip. His presentation focuses in on some methods to engage students on a trip to Gettysburg  . He highlights activities for students and stories related to the battle that can be used to tell students which could make for strong connections.

Email: atitzel@hershey.k12.pa.us

            PDF format

Click on link , make a copy and save to your own Google Docs


Resources Day 2   – July 14, 2016

American history teacher Rob Finkill shared some strategies on using primary sources in the classroom. Posted here are links to his presentation and resources in helping teachers find primary sources resources. Our Gettysburg School Bus has several posts on primary sources in the classroom with primary sources – from accounts from the battle both civilian and military as well as using monuments as primary sources.

Email : rfinkill@hershey.k12.pa.us

Presentation Slides

Using Primary Sources in the Classroom Presentation in Google Slides format

Organizers to Guide Student Inquiry


     Blog Posts related to Primary Sources



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I get so emotional

“I didn’t know what to think when I got here on Sunday and an organizer of the conference greeted me with a hug and tears in her eyes, I knew right from the start this wasn’t going to be another ‘Nerd Camp’ ”  a teacher from Philadelphia explained to me on the eve of the final day of the  Richard Bartol, Jr. Educator’s conference held this week “but now I know why she was teary eyed , all the hard work that was put in was coming to reality and I found out about Rick Bartol…”

As an educator , there are many conferences and workshops put on by various groups and organizations that can be attended. Teachers get many emails and glossy post cards encouraging them to make the trip to places like Philadelphia, San Diego, or Las Vegas to find out about the latest trends in their field. This week, I was at a conference like no other I had ever been to. I found myself in the car riding home feeling like Barb Sanders, one of the conference organizers,  did on the first day and I might have even got a little emotional myself.

What was the Bartol Conference?

A s part of the 2011-2015 commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and the  Gettysburg Foundation’s Education 150 initiative, a select group of 50 Middle School Social Studies and   Language Arts educators were invited to Gettysburg for a conference, made possible by a generous donation from the David Bruce Smith Education Initiative of the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The conference helped educators to connect students to the relevance of the Civil War and confront challenges facing educators in engaging their students with the people and places of the Civil War within the context of Social Studies and Language Arts, and address the curriculum needs of teachers and the active learning needs of students.

All week long…

The teachers , who hailed from schools in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, spent the jam packed days:

  • taking field trips on the battlefield with guides like Rich Kohr, Gary Adleman, & Dr. Carol Reardon,
  • hearing key note speakers such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Dr. Scott Hancock, Dr. Nina Silber, & Dr. Peter Carmichael
  • attending workshops presented by various Civil War scholars , bloggers, and educators

Click here to read bios of speakers and presenters
  The attendees also spent time with a  mentor/master  teacher corps ( of which I was fortunate enough to be  asked to be a member of).

These mentor teachers worked with the attendees in the areas of literature, writing , technology, and ” basic”  training all related to teaching the Civil War.

So what now?

The Bartol Conference attendees received curriculum, books  and other materials for use in  their classroom and school district. They also created their own “trunk” of Civil War related items , such as books, uniforms, and other period items to use in their classrooms. These educators will also be working to share their knowledge with colleagues at their home districts.  The Gettysburg Foundation ,its generous donors, and the rangers at Gettysburg NMP will now begin the process of working with the teachers to bring their students to Gettysburg on a unique field trip – not just a simple bus tour – but a historical experience that will leave a lasting impression. The attendees will also get to nominate some of their own students to attend a student version of the Bartol Conference next summer which, in conjunction with Gettysburg College and the Gettysburg Foundation, will focus on the development of leadership skills and provide a  glimpse of college life for promising students.
Waterworks, Really?
This week was the culmination of over a year’s worth of hard work for the National Park Service and Gettysburg Foundation, and the hard work paid off in a conference experience like no other I have ever been to. On a personal note, I am not ashamed to say I got a little teared eyed on the way home. When I thought about the man who the conference was named for, Richard Bartol Jr, it got to me a little bit (I’d like to blame that on lack of sleep, but…). Rick was a teacher and park ranger at Gettysburg for many years who has left a legacy that has carried not only to his family and friends, but also to educators like he was, who now will have the opportunity to bring their students to a place , Gettysburg, that was close to Rick’s heart.

For information on future conferences check the Gettysburg Foundation Web site

Resource for teachers

Civil War Classroom Web site

Click for a web site with links to information on field trips, the Civil War, lesson plans, and more

Twitter: @RobFinkill

email: rfinkill@hershey.k12.pa.us

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