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Granite Teaching American History Institute

Schools in this district serve students from some of Utah's most disadvantaged communities. More than 40 percent of the students are minorities, and 24 percent are considered limited English proficient. This project will build on the success and momentum of an existing Teaching American History grant. Each year, the project will include a 2-week teacher academy, which features content taught by historical experts, the modeling of best practices in instructional methodology, and hands-on research and group work; quarterly school-year workshops to ensure that participating teachers know the Utah History Core, can assess student learning and can modify their instruction to meet student needs; and quarterly collaborative study groups to help teachers identify needs, brainstorm and prioritize appropriate solutions, and implement those solutions. To address the needs of its diverse population, the project will extend professional development to 40 teachers per year; based on their needs and performances, teachers may participate for up to three years. The highest selection priority will be given to teachers who are not highly qualified, have taken few academic history courses and/or have not recently attended history-related trainings. The content will explore questions and enduring understandings of traditional American history that transcend all time periods, focusing on pivotal issues, events, turning points, documents, legislation and judicial cases. The project will integrate cross-curricular and life-skills strategies, engage teachers in lesson study and develop peer mentors/coaches. Participants will create high-quality resources, including primary source kits, integrated language arts lessons, history unit plans and in-service units, and comprehensive elementary history curriculum maps and benchmarks.