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FInal Class Reflections

This is your reflection so you can reply as you wish.

If you kept a journal, you can share from those thoughts if you wish - or consider and address any or all of the following:

Time to process information

TIme to apply new information

Was their new information that you will continue to use

Thank you for enrolling in this class. I hope that the work we did here will serve you and your students long into the future.


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  • Reflection

    I am pleased that I was able to explore the Library of Congress website and collections. I had no idea how many opportunities and resources that would be available. The thoughts that these resources are so easily assessable make it ever better. It will be especially beneficial for an Alaskan student to see a document “first hand” since most of our students have not had an opportunity to visit a Smithsonian or other historical sites. The Revolution and the Civil War will be able to come alive for my fifth graders.

    I will be able use these resources again, and I am glad I did have time to process how I might use these resources in my classroom after the class was over. Looking at the Dual Inquiry paper more closely has really made me think about new ways to boot up my teaching.

    Jane von Birgelen

  • I thought the online Library of Congress was interesting.  I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into taking the class, but I like online resources that are easily accessible to my students.  One thing I learned was that it was more difficult to go "looking" for something specific for my lesson plan and instead found something I liked & then built around that picture.  I found it challenging to narrow down topics at first when doing "Alaska" or "Iditarod" but once I found a few pictures then it was easier to link all the rest.  In a way, it was like having to work backwards in how my mind works. 

    I think the Library of Congress website will be something that my students will enjoy searching on.  I liked the tutorials and noticed that the Library of Congress offers actual summer classes for teachers in DC and that is something I would be interested in further investigating.  I liked the other teacher resources on the site as well.

    I did like the freedom of being able to make a lesson plan that I can actually use in my classroom next year.  I feel it is important when taking classes to make the assignments relative and useful.  It was also very helpful to be able to work with other classmates.  It seems in education we don't have as much time to collaborate ideas and lessons and learn from each other.  Having the time to work together was valuable to me.

  • I have intentionally waited to write my class reflection.  During the class I was blown away with the amount and quality of resources available on the Library of Congress website.  Although the class's focus was on primary sources, the LOC had so many activities, resources, lesson plans, and so much more.  I am grateful we had time during our class to "play" with the website and talk with other classmates to figure out how to utilize the resources.  I am excited to use primary sources and the LOC website more regularly in my classes (and not just my history classes). In the past I have had limited experience using primary sources in my lessons, but every time I did the students really enjoyed seeing something first hand and not through someone else's lens.

    In creating the final Project for this class I took time to look around the LOC and in doing so I was able to make notes on things I want to use in upcoming classes and I found myself being pulled into the website looking in different spots and finding a variety of interesting and applicable material. 

    I do think we had ample time to process information.  Although I read the articles the week of the class, I waited to write my response because I do feel like the processing time is valuable and like Neva said during our class so often we rush through a class not to look back or even remember what interesting elements caught our attention.  I like the idea of having to wait awhile before writing a reflection; it feels more reflective.

    The two day class is certainly fast paced, but in that 2 days we were able to apply information not only towards our final Project but also in a wider sense of exploration of the website.  I especially enjoyed being able to compare, converse, and discuss with the my classmates.  Often times I don't how to over come the bumps until I hit them and by being in a room together we were able to encounter more bumps and problem solve as a group or partners. 

    I will most definitely continue to use the LOC.  I will use it in my history classes, but I also see a use for the LOC for my Literature classes as well.  In my final project I even reference a story to help connect the content and in a full unit I would even use the LOC to use resources directly connected to the author. 

    I took two classes that week.  This one and one about the Constitution.  This class helped me think wider in that class as well.  Because in thinking about the Constitution there are a whole heap of other resources that are useful in teaching the Constitution.  

    Overall, I enjoyed this class and look forward to using the LOC in the future.  In the moment, technology scares me a bit, but I enjoy the long term benefit of stretching myself and this class made me stretch myself.  I know we only touched on a few tips of a great iceberg, but that iceberg is such an amazing resource I would be fool not to explore it more.  I also look forward to introducing the LOC to my high school students so they can have more reliable base of resources. 

    Thank you...  Thank you.. Thank you...

    I appreciate all you did.

  • I enjoyed exploring the different areas of the Library of Congress, and wow! what a vast collection of materials and activities.  I continued looking at what the library has to offer in the hopes that I can find primary sources I will be able to use for my class next school year.  I did find some but I thought it's so limited for 2nd grade AK Social Studies curriculum.  However, I'm glad to be introduced to this resource.  Who knows I might teach another grade level sometime.


  • As a learner, I felt frustrated, anxious, and lost. I was a rat in a maze and someone kept moving the cheese. The Library of Congress is not user friendly. The information on the LOC site seems to be disjointed.  To find sources on a specific topic, one has to explore several different areas to ferret out what is available. As a librarian, I'm not used to feeling ineffective as an information hunter gatherer.

    Imagine that you needed to outfit a softball team.  If the LOC were in charge, you'd have to drive across town to buy baseballs, fly off to Seattle to get shoes, hit Utah for uniforms, jet over to Hoboken for helmets and other protective equipment, Boston for bats, and Louisiana for lime to mark the field. Ridiculous!

    As a teacher, I can see that if I am going to introduce this resource to my staff, I'll have to adapt and adjust my teaching (as Neva did) to meet the needs of my students.  Allowing learners plenty of time for "mucking about" and peer collaboration will also be very important.

    I liked being able to create folders to save the treasures I found on the site.  It would be nice if we could have more folders so I could better serve my staff.  I also appreciate the learning tutorials available.  Those are resources I plan to use soon.

    One of the most useful tutorials is the one on Copyright. Some of the comments in class highlighted the misunderstanding still surrounding this issue for educators.

    While I will use the LOC in the future, it is unlikely that it will be my first choice for most reference requests. However, when it comes to primary sources, it's the bomb!

    I committed heresy and googled what I wanted then followed the links from google to the LOC site so I could satisfy the requirements of the project.

  • My purpose for taking this class was to explore new ways of incorporating primary sources into the curriculum. I feel it is important for students to analyze, evaluate, and interpret history through documents created by the people who actually lived the events they read about in their textbooks. It encourages a personal connection to the past and helps foster critical thinking  and inquiry skills

    It was good to review the LoC and what it has to offer and how it is organized. The reading were helpful and interesting. The Analyzing Primary Sources worksheet is a streamlined version of what I have used before and will defiantly be using that with my students. The tutorial on copyright was informative and timely and I will be using it with my students as this is a continual issue with students as they progress through a digital world.

    I had sufficient time for processing information, but would have liked more time to explore the application of the use of primary sources available on the LoC as well as sometime to discuss those ideas with other teachers.

    Overall, the class was helpful. I was able to review the LoC, learn new information, and came away with something concrete I could use with my students (the ARS) and look forward to exploring the LoC with my students and to next years’ ASDSA and perhaps a ‘part two’ of this class.

  • ASDSA 12-A: UAA:ED 545.401 Teaching Social Studies with Primary Sources (Library of Congress)
    The overall focus of the class, Library of Congress (Primary Sources) was a treasure trove of knowledge. I enjoyed exploring the Library of Congress site especially Kids & Family. The Kids & Family link had great categories appropriate and fun for elementary aged kids and provided great resources for me to share with my class! I explored the section called Meet Amazing Americans. I chose the Activists & Reformers category to delve more into Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. After being introduced to the Library of Congress (LoC), Teaching with Primary Sources document, Annotated Resource Set (ARS), I was able to complete components and resources through the aforementioned links. I was also shown the (LoC) Primary Source Analysis Tool, with modifications for Kindergarten, to incorporate into my lesson. In addition, I was able to use the Prints & Photographs Collection, to locate my Primary Sources photographs and permanent (persistent) url links.
    In conclusion, I gained plenty of new information and sources to utilize & enhance my classroom curriculum. We were given lots of exploration time to navigate & process the Library of Congress website. That proved to be the most valuable opportunity for me. However, I felt the initial introduction to the course was disjointed & confusing. The overwhelming frustration the first half of class, was cleared up once the course syllabus was disseminated & discussed. There was a better understanding of class objectives. I am grateful to Neva & Stephanie for their breadth and depth of knowledge they were willing to impart to our class.

  • What an exciting resource!  I had no idea that the LoC was so easily accessible because of modern technology.  Since taking this course I am thrilled to say that my way of teaching will be changed forever. 

    I enrolled in this class to help me learn how to incorporate primary resources into my social studies and history instruction.  I homeschool and this next year I will have a middle school student.  I want to be able to instruct him not to just regurgitate facts and opinions from a textbook but learn to use primary sources to ask questions, think and discover for himself.   I am also looking forward to sharing this LoC resource with the homeschool families I oversee.  I know that they will find this information just as exciting and helpful in their instruction of their children.

    The copyright tutorial, as well as the articles given to us to read was very helpful.

    Thank you for the time in class to work on our projects.  It is always helpful to work in small groups to promote better understanding, practice and success of the material taught when given time in class to practice what has been learned.  Be assured I will be using all that I learned and hope to discover many new things as I browse through the vast information on the LoC site.

  • Thank you!  Our time going through the Library of Congress was time that I could not have set aside for myself...and it all seemed so complicated that I am afraid that on my own, I would not have gotten very far.  That said, this class has provided me with the exploration time to figure out how browse the LoC and helped me to better understand primary and secondary sources.  Class time provided me with the time that I needed to process through what we were doing...while I am not yet “at-ease” with the LoC, I can at least access what is there (with a little more time and exploration, I should be able to do even more).  Class time also provided me with the ability to reflect on what we were doing and the time I needed to figure out how to continue to use the LoC (the pictures that you passed around the classroom, really resonated with me and I hope to do something similar with my students).  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  This was a good class (in the future, I would recommend that extra copies of the syllabus be available, just to avoid the initial confusion...but otherwise, this was a good time to explore and learn! ---- Evelyne Tunley-Daymude

  • This class provided me with some valuable tools and resources that I can see using with my library lessons.  I have been to the LoC website many times and never came away with anything of value.  The real issues is that I was just not aware of the plethora of available information and resources they provide.  Being able to take this class and being exposed to what is available has made a world of difference on my view of LoC.  

    It was neat to peruse through the digital images and see such powerful images that show not only the events that have shaped our country but some of the individuals who were involved.  I find it more powerful when you can place an image with information; it is even more powerful if you can show a primary source from an era as it makes it more real to the viewer.  Anyone can talk about something in the past, but when you get to actually see a first account image of that place or person, it just makes it even more real.  

    Not only did I come away with a new fondness for LoC, but I came away with two new tools that I can see being useful to me in my library.  The first tool was the Primary Source Analysis tool.  Before given the tool the image was just an image, but when given the tool that posed some observational questions, the image became much more as I had to really analyze it and try to answer the questions.  I can see how this tool would really make the kids think more about the details and they could compare/contrast images from the same topic or images that span over decades.  The second tool that I think will be useful for me personally is the ARS template.  I have been searching for a lesson plan template and have yet to find one that suites my needs.  The ARS templates offers a way to create a lesson plan in a nicely organized format which is a huge bonus as I am an extremely organized person.  

    I feel there was plenty of time to process and apply the information presented in class which is helpful so that you can process it while it is still fresh.  

    Thanks for the info Neva! 

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