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Spring ACARC/CDCSS Mini-Conference

  • 20 Apr 2024
  • 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • NYS Museum, 222 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12210

2024 Spring ACARC/CDCSS Mini‐Conference

A strand for Elementary/Middle School Teachers

NYSRA President, Dr. Nance Wilson - Opening Keynote

$15 for ACARC or NYSRA members with access code: CDCSS_ACARCpartnership 

Lunch is included


See full schedule below:


Saturday, April 20 – 8:30 am to 3:30 pm at NYS Museum, 222 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12210

Sessions will begin promptly at 8:45 am. 

8:45 AM - Opening Remarks presented by NYS Museum and Archives Staff Welcome - Quick overview of the day and introduction to the NYS Museum and NYS Archives

9:00-9:45 AM (45-minute session) – Opening Keynote presented by Dr. Nance Wilson, Professor of Literacy at SUNY Cortland

As we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, we must provide students with the skills, strategies, and dispositions to be able to explore multiple historical narratives.  We must push past students reading simply to complete a task but re-orient them to become independent, metacognitive thinkers who develop conceptual understanding while fostering critical questioning.

10:00-10:45 AM (45-minute session) - Civic Readiness at Shaker High School: Through the Lens of Students – Presented by Andrew Krakat, Shaker High School and his students: Seniors: Leila Adelstein, Benil Babu, Tehreem Fatima; and Junior Jack de Roziere – all taking the Civic Engagement and Leadership course

Session attendees will learn about Shaker’s Civic Engagement and Leadership course, and hear from students about their experiences taking civic action as they work toward earning their Seal of Civic Readiness.

11:00-11:45 AM (45-minute session) - You are never too young to hold onto a piece of history! Presented by Emily Thomas, Social 

You are never too young to hold onto a piece of history and discover its connection to your life. Using primary and secondary sources gives elementary students an opportunity to see, touch, and find clues about the history they are learning. These sources bring the past to life in a way that nothing else can. We will explore several quick, easy methods or techniques to integrate the evaluation of primary and secondary sources in your classroom even if you are short on time, are not sure where to look, or are worried it would be too challenging to students.

11:00 AM-11:45 PM (45-minute session) - The Cost of War: A PBL Podcast Project Presented by Catherine Eisele, Tech Valley HS

In this interdisciplinary PBL style project, high school US History and ELA students team up to do a cost and benefit analysis of the wars of the 20th century. Over the course of 5 weeks, students research historical events, analyze history through multiple lenses, and learn how to write and produce a podcast with our educational partners at WMHT. In this presentation we will share how TVHS teachers map out a project and help students navigate working on a team. We will provide access to our project entry event, calendar, organizer, and past student samples for attendees to explore and modify to fit in their own classrooms!


Noon-12:45 PM (45-minute session) - Hands on with Haudenosaunee Life and Culture Presented by James Jenkins, NYS Museum -

What was Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) culture like over 500 years ago? Participants will examine archaeological evidence, first-hand accounts, historical reproductions, and step into a full-size reconstruction of a Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) longhouse to explore the material culture, values, and daily-life of Iroquois families. Participants will discover different types of evidence they need to build a deeper understanding of the lives of the men, women and children who lived 500 years ago in a Haudenosaunee village. Participants will discover different types of evidence they need to help their students build a deeper understanding of the lives of the men, women and children who lived 500 years ago in a Haudenosaunee village.

Noon-12:45 PM (45-minute session) - Developing Civic Readiness through Capstone Projects Presented by Amanda Weklar and Sean Fitzsimons, Albany High School

Over the past decade, civics teachers at Albany High have developed a hands-on course called Civics and Public Engagement. A full year course to replace the traditional senior year half-credit courses in Participation in Government and Economics. In recent years, a partnership with grassroots community organizations led to the development of a civics capstone project that empowers students to engage in civic action and social change through authentic learning experiences. This project has been especially powerful because it has allowed for a focus on equipping students to embrace their voices to shift power toward addressing a diverse set of community issues, many of which have been traditionally underrepresented in policy discussions. This session will outline the steps taken to develop the project, as well as lessons learned along the way.

LUNCH  1:00-2:15 PM (45 minutes of CTLE included for Roundtable Poster Sessions which will be given during Lunch) - Lunch is sponsored by

- Museums, Historic & Cultural Organizations Roundtable Sessions

2:30-3:15 PM (45-minute session) “Nothing New Under the Sun: Media Bias in the Present and the Past with the American Revolution” presented by Rich Strum, Fort Ticonderoga, Tim Potts, Monticello CSD; Mackenzie Strum, Ticonderoga CSD –

Using elements of lateral reading and other strategies from the Digital Inquiry Group (formerly SHEG), participants will explore methodologies to use with students to assess possible bias in present-day online sources. Then participants will examine multiple sources describing the 1775 capture of Fort Ticonderoga by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, attempting to parse fact from fiction.

3:15-3:30 PM - Wrap-Up – Raffle – CTLE certificates

Participants are welcome to tour the Museum at their leisure following the conference. Museum personnel may be available to respond to attendee questions.

This training opportunity was made possible through a partnership with the NYS Museum and Archives, the CDCSS and ACARC.  The CDCSS is a registered CTLE provider.  PD certificates will be provided for any completed programs.

A bibliography of book pairings for Museum Collections will be made available for all attendees.

Registration fees: CDCSS members $15, nonmembers $40, Pre-service $5. Membership is included for anyone who wishes to become a CDCSS member. Any members of the ACARC or NYS Reading Association are welcome to join us at the CDCSS membership rate!

Members of the ACARC or NYS Reading Association are welcome to join us at the CDCSS membership rate! Email Mary Miller at to obtain the registration code.


Emily Thomas –



Click here to download a PDF copy of this schedule.

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