Oregon Open Learning Newsletter: Back to School Edition

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Oregon Open Learning Newsletter: Back to School Edition


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Professional Learning Survey

The Oregon Open Learning team is looking for input from educators as we plan for professional learning offerings in the 2023-2024 school year. Please take two minutes to participate in this brief survey and share your thoughts on the topics and formats you'd like to see us offer in the future.


  • Reimagining Our World Together is the theme of the 2023 Fall Conference sponsored by the Oregon State Literacy Association, Oregon Council of Teachers of English, and Oregon Council for Social Studies; the event will be held on November 4, 2023, at Parkrose High School in Portland.  Register before October 15th for the discounted rate of only $50, which includes a year of membership for each of the organizations. We hope to see you at our workshop entitled “Beyond the Textbook: Using Oregon Open Learning Resources for Cross-Content Learning.” The Oregon Open Learning team will be partnering with ODE’s Language Arts and Social Science education specialists to make this an engaging, relevant, and meaningful learning experience. 
  • The virtual Open Education Conference will be held November 7-9, 2023.  Sign up by October 1 for early registration rates ($75). Full and partial scholarships are available to those for whom cost would be a barrier; this is especially encouraged for preK-12 educators. Keynote speakers include:

Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, whose work focuses on open educational practices, student-centered pedagogies, and ethical approaches to educational technology. 

Jasmine Roberts-Crews, an Ohio State professor who speaks on social justice in higher education, digital activism, inclusive pedagogy, and communication.

OER News

staff meeting roundtable discussion

Professional Learning Resources

  • What PreK-12 Teachers Should Know About Educational Technology in 2023: A Research-to-Practice Anthology is an open-access book that curates a rich collection of educational technology chapters developed especially for PreK-12 teachers. Included in this anthology is a chapter entitled “Accessing and Integrating Openly Licensed Digital Materials for Teaching and Learning” (p.418-426). It includes an open repository reference, authentic materials guide, and reflection worksheet designed to help teachers integrate openly licensed materials into their curricula.
  • The Oregon Open Learning team is ready to partner with you to provide an introduction to the Hub and additional professional learning about OER to the educators with whom you work! Please reach out to OregonOpenLearning@ode.oregon.gov to schedule an introductory workshop or to request a previously recorded workshop webinar.

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Featured Resources 

This year, Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be recognized on Monday, October 9, and National Native American Heritage Month will take place in November.  Although these are key time markers, integrating resources on indigenous peoples and topics is important to do year-round.

As a result of Senate Bill (SB) 13, passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2017, the Oregon Department of Education partnered with representatives of the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon to create the Essential Understandings of Native Americans in Oregon. These nine essential understandings served as the conceptual framework for the creation of a new statewide curriculum and provide an introduction into the vast diversity of the Native American experience in Oregon.  Subject integration includes English/Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies and Health. The “Tribal History/Shared History” lessons teach about the Native American experience in Oregon, including tribal history, sovereignty issues, culture, treaty rights, government, socioeconomic experiences and current events.  These lessons disrupt historical stereotypes, reinform the narrative about indigenous tribes in Oregon, and help shape the future of teaching in Oregon classrooms.  

For a clear overview of the value of “Tribal History/Shared History,” watch this video. The Tribal History Shared History webpage is also a wonderful resource.

The highlighted open resources below were developed in consultation with Oregon’s Tribes and are part of the Tribal History/Shared History curriculum. These resources are housed in the Office of Indian Education group on the Oregon Open Learning Hub.   


Resources for 4th and 5th grade classrooms include lessons in English, Health, Math, Social Science, and Science. Lessons highlight topics such as Cultural Bias, Language Revitalization, Geography, Oral Traditions, Salmon, and Philanthropy. Find these lessons in the 4th grade and 5th grade folders within the Office of Indian Education group

Middle School

Resources for 8th grade classrooms include topics such as cultural appropriation, cultural assimilation, treaty rights, tribal sovereignty and Oregon’s salmon population. Find these lessons in the 8th grade folder within the Office of Indian Education group

High School

Resources for high school include topics such as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Food Sovereignty, Ecosystems, Survivancy,  Sustainability, and Tribal Law and the Supreme Court. Find these lessons in the 10th grade folder within the Office of Indian Education group

In addition to the lessons developed specifically for Oregon’s Tribal History/Shared History curriculum, below is a sampling of additional supplemental OER focused on indigenous peoples and concepts. The resources below are available on OER Commons. 

Native American Cultures Across the U.S. (Elementary) Edsitement/National Endowment for the Humanities

This lesson discusses the differences between common representations of Native Americans within the U.S. and a more differentiated view of historical and contemporary cultures of five American Indian tribes living in different geographical areas. Students will learn about customs and traditions such as housing, agriculture, and ceremonial dress for the Tlingit, Dinè, Lakota, Muscogee, and Iroquois peoples.

Water Is Life: Living in Reciprocity With Local Waterways (Past, Present, and Future) (Grades 6-8) Marie Middleton, Oregon Educators for Climate Education

Students learn about the importance of water to Indigenous Peoples and the need to protect water today.

Oregon Territory & Native Genocide (Grade 8) Amit Kobrowski

The documents and questions may be used for classroom investigation or as a unit assessment. Documents can be distributed and assigned as a jigsaw or as a complete set. Students read the document and apply historical investigation skills. Students should have access to prior learning about the nature of Indian and white settler contact. Updated video link for Broken Treaties

Using Primary Sources to Determine the Effects of Native American Boarding Schools (Grades 9-12) Jennifer Johns

This unit of study consists of 5 activities investigating the effects of Native American Boarding Schools on the individual, the family, and the community. Students will analyze before and after pictures of indigenous students, primary source comments given by boarding school survivors, and historic newspapers to ascertain attitudes towards Native Americans during this time period. Middle school students will conclude with a short writing assignment. Secondary students will prepare an essay that relates the attitudes of the time to the practices in Native American Boarding Schools. Note: This is an emotionally difficult subject and special care should be taken if you have Native students in your classrooms, as this topic is traumatic for families who have survived this experience. See Multicultural Considerations before beginning.

Do you know of other educators who would be interested in receiving Oregon Open Learning’s Quarterly Newsletter?  If so, send them this link: OOL Newsletter Quarterly Newsletter.