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History Through Harmony

The New York City schools in this project qualify for Title I funding and have significant percentages of students with disabilities or limited English proficiency. Annual activities will include two online courses, monthly collegial groups, a 2-week summer institute, nine content and pedagogical workshops, historic site tours and peer coaching. During Year 4, all teachers will participate in a 2-week summer institute, and fourth grade teachers will participate in a history fair; in Year 5, all teachers will participate in full-day collegial meetings, and seventh grade teachers will participate in National History Day. Also in Year 5, teachers will visit other project schools to see how the activities are being implemented. An assistant principal from every school will participate to build capacity to coach teachers and to oversee implementation. The project will have three cohorts—assistant principals in Year 1, fourth grade teachers in Year 2 and seventh grade teachers in Year 3. This project will use music as a lens for teaching social studies with American history. Classroom strategies will focus on expanding pedagogical expertise in critical thinking skills as well as integrating music and video as primary sources. The Center for American Music will conduct summer institutes on using music in teaching. Online courses from the Foundation for Critical Thinking will teach theory and application of critical thinking skills, Gilder Lehrman workshops will help teachers create lesson plans, and tours and workshops from Brooklyn Navy Yard will help bring the historical content to life. The project Web site will house archives of student work and project-created, media-rich lesson plans that will be available to all teachers.