It's that time of year again, where we start preparing our kids for the upcoming Civics End of Course Assessment here in Florida. So here are some decent resources from across the internet that you might find useful. Of course, we must always keep in mind that any review should begin with making sure your kids are familiar with the Civics Test Item Specifications, because it tells you, and them, exactly what they need to know.
But let's start our review resource tour with the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute's own pride and joy.
Civics360 is a free, interactive civics review tool to help Florida students improve their understanding of civics. It provides a flexible approach to instruction and review, and features:
- Narrated Students Friendly Videos review the important content for most benchmarks
- Viewing guides for each video
- Student Friendly Readings for each Benchmark Clarification, available in English, Haitian-Creole, and Spanish
- Vocabulary activities
- End-of-Course Assessment-style guided review questions for each benchmark
- End-of-Course Assessment practice tests
- Additional Civics Resources to Facilitate Learning and Review
You can sign up for Civics360 here. It's always free, but registration IS required!
Here you will find a practice version of the Civics EOCA. This will give you some sense of what the assessment is like and how to use the different tools for an online version of the test, as well as what the questions are like. This is provided by the Florida Department of Public Instruction.
We have written about these tutorials before, and they are the first resource I recommend for both instruction and review. They are excellent for a flipped classroom model as well. If you are planning on using them as a review resource, I recommend assigning students only the parts of the tutorials they need, and it would be more effective to perhaps set these up in learning stations across the classroom. You could require that students screen-capture or write down responses to the assessment elements in order to ensure completion and comprehension.
The recorded review sessions, available for free at the bottom of the FLVS page, do a good job covering elements of each of the four reporting categories that will be assessed on the EOC. Because they are about 2 hours long, you will want to preview each one and determine where you might want students to focus their attention. They may also provide you with a model for your own approach to classroom-based reviews. I especially appreciate how an effort is made to integrate assessment elements. Please be aware that you will need to download Blackboard Collaborate to run the videos.
You will also want to check out the FLVS Civics EOC Practice test, which may be of use to you, though as with anything, you should decided how effective or appropriate it will be for your kids. Again, however, this shouldn’t be the first time that students are being exposed to these types and styles of items. Answers to the practice test items are available here. Note that answers are actually explained as well, which is an excellent element of review. I would suggest actually having students explain WRONG answers. If they can tell you why an answer is wrong, they should have a much easier time of figuring out why an answer might be right!
We wrote about this review model before, and it may be one that you find useful as well. It worked well for Randall Middle School, and it is a positive way to mix things up a little for both you and your students. We explored this model in great detail in this post, and I encourage you to take a look and see if it is something you might like to do.
Mr. Kula, social studies teacher at Westpine Middle School in Broward County, has compiled a number of quality content rich and illustrated study guides for the Civics EOC that could be useful for you. While they don’t cover every benchmark, what IS there is effective, and broken down by topic. These would be appropriate for students to use in conjunction with a written review or in small groups using an ‘expert group’ teaching model.
Mrs. Hirsch, a teacher at Fruit Cove Middle School in St. John’s County, has gathered a number of excellent tools for EOC review. The EOC Content Review sheets that she has provided are well done and engaging, and definitely worth sharing with your own students: Q1 Civics What You Need to Know
Ruckel Middle School, in Okaloosa County, has developed a tool using Quizlet that provides students with flashcards for review. These might be useful as a bellringer or exit slip activity as you wrap up content this year and start to transition to in depth review.
These are just a few of the quality review resources that you might find beneficial. If you have any additional resources to share, please shoot me an email or leave it in the comments!