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Jill Colyer has been a teacher and a writer of curriculum materials since 1991. As an educator, she has taught both secondary school students and adults. Her secondary school experience has been gained at a number of schools within the Waterloo Region Board of Education in Ontario, and at Taylor’s College in Malaysia. Her work in adult education includes working with teachers upgrading their qualifications through the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and working with student teachers from a variety of faculties of education.

Contest -- Become a Historical Thinking Blogger!

The Historical Thinking Project has been working with teachers across the country to explore the many ways that historical thinking can be integrated into History and Social Studies classrooms. Teachers are eager to make the changes necessary to transform their classrooms, but getting started can be a bit daunting. You can help by walking us through the steps you've taken to work with historical thinking concepts in your classroom. 

Send a sample Blog entry of no longer than one page. Your entry should reflect your personal style, but should include a statement of what you wanted to do in your course that day/week, what you did, and a short reflection on how it went. (See Risa Gluskin's Blog on the HT Project site for an example.)

If you become our new Blog writer, you will receive a set of classroom posters, a copy of the new PD resource The Big Six: Historical Thinking Concepts, and an honorarium for each entry you write. Plus, the fame and glory that comes with being a writer :)

Entries should be sent to Jill Colyer (jillcolyer@rogers.com), national coordinator of The Historical Thinking Project, by November 30, 2012.

What is a Benchmark?

<p>John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising &amp; Marketing History,<br />Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections</p>

A surveyor cut a "benchmark" into a stone or a wall when measuring the altitude and/or level of a tract of land. A bracket called a "bench" was secured in the cut to mount the surveying equipment, and all subsequent measurements were made in reference to the position and height of that mark.

The term "benchmark" was first used around 1842 to refer to a standard of quality by which achievement may be measured.

The foundation documents available through the Benchmarks site attempt to help teachers establish standards for assessing student learning of the modes of thought that constitute historical thinking.

John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History,
Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections