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MarkJarrett, Ph.D.
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The Gateway to U.S. History:
The Bridge to Success on Florida’s EOC Test

Gateway_Cover_web_copy

Florida Transformative Education is dedicated to meeting your educational needs. If your school or district is still choosing a basic text for American history, you should carefully consider The Gateway to U.S. History: The Bridge to Success on Florida's EOC Test. The book is closely aligned to all of Florida’s tested standards for American history. It covers all of the Benchmarks, Benchmark Clarifications, and Content Focuses found in the U.S. History End-of-Course Assessment Test Item Specifications, issued by the Florida Department of Education. Our browser-based online version of this book has been adopted as a major tool for high school U.S. history by the Florida Department of Education.

Even if your school or district has y adopted a different textbook or program, your students will still benefit by using Gateway to U.S. History. Students can reinforce their learning as they work their way through their adopted textbooks by reading related chapters in Gateway to U.S. History. The book can further be used for final review and preparation in the weeks just before the statewide test. Students can use the Florida “Keys” to Learning, review cards and practice questions for a comprehensive review over the course of just a few weeks.

A Brief Overview of the Book

A short preface focuses on the EOC test and describes our successful social studies test-taking strategy. We eschew shortcuts but show students how to take a metacognitive approach by following a series of deliberate steps to answer multiple-choice questions. First, they must examine each question carefully and analyze any data it contains, including tables, graphs, illustrations, maps, and documentary excerpts. Next, they must reflect on the topic that the question covers and what they remember about that topic. Only then should they finally answer the question by carefully reviewing each answer choice and seeing which answer choices (distractors) are wrong and which answer is correct.

A special introductory chapter, “Historians at Work,” shows how historians reconstruct the past. Students learn how to act as real historians as they interpret historical documents by asking who wrote the document, what they know about the author, when it was written, and why it was written. They also think about how the document relates to other evidence.

The rest of the The Gateway to U.S. History is divided into six content units, based on the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for U.S. History. The names of these units are: the Civil War and Reconstruction; the Transformation of American Society; World Affairs through World War I; the Interwar Period; World War II and the Cold War; and the Modern United States: Global Leadership and Domestic Issues. The book closes with a final practice test. Items on this test are based the NGSSS Benchmarks and modeled on the items found in the U.S. History End-of-Course Assessment Test Item Specifications. Our browser-based online program contains additional chapters on geography and the arts. The U.S. History Honors edition further includes a chapter with a special capstone project.

Special Learning Features

Content chapters range from 15 to 35 pages in length and provide cutting-edge historical interpretations. Special attention is paid to the “Benchmark Clarifications” and the “Content Focus” provided in the EOC “Item Specifications” document, and to the examples found on the CPALMS website. Each chapter follows an identical format. It begins with a list of NGSSS Benchmarks covered in the chapter, followed by a list of important terms and names that students should know. Next comes Florida “Keys” to Learning—a summary of the most important ideas and facts found in the chapter. Together, these three features serve as an advance organizer for the rest of the chapter.

This is followed by the main text of the chapter itself. Written in clear and concise language that students can easily grasp, each chapter illuminates a particular period of American history with a compelling narrative. The text is accompanied by maps, diagrams, charts, and contemporary illustrations. Students are asked to engage in various activities in The Historian’s Apprentice, found at the end of each major section. They may be asked to apply what they have just learned through role-play—such as describing conditions on the Great Plains in a letter to a relative back East or in Europe, or by reenacting the impeachment of Andrew Johnson in their classroom. They may be asked to interpret a primary document—like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”—or to research a topic for additional information—such as the life of a famous inventor or entrepreneur and the relationship of major life events to that inventor’s accomplishments. Finally, each chapter concludes with a series of review cards, a chapter concept map, and a series of practice test questions based on the EOC “Item Specifications” requirements. With the questions at the end of each chapter and those on the final exam, there are more than 300 practice assessment items in this book.

Gateway to U.S. History can be successfully used as the guiding thread for your course in U.S. History, for review, or for differentiated instruction. This book is now available for your classrooms at a very reasonable price. The book is also now available in a color edition.

Prices

  • $165.00 for a set of 10 books (includes shipping)*
  • $199.50 for a set of 10 books of the color edition, plus 10% shipping
  • $6.50 per student for a one-year license, on a district-wide or school-wide basis
* The black-and-white edition can also be purchased directly from the Florida School Book Depository

Professional Development

We provide professional development for districts adopting our materials without charge. For additional workshops with innovative instructional strategies for using this resource, please contact our authorized providers of professional development, Steve Beasley or Sherry Owens of s3strategies, at (806) 407-5354.

Documents

To see a PowerPoint presentation about The Gateway to US History, click below:

To see an introductory chapter explaining the main features of the book, click below:

To see a chapter on the Civil War, click below:

To see a sample chapter on the 1920s, click below:

To see a sample chapter on the Cold War, click below:

To see how the book covers the topics tested on all four versions of a past EOC assessment, click below: