History Bee Update

The National History Bee is an individual academic competition for

school children across America. The Bee uses a fun and exciting

format to test knowledge of a wide range of historical topics

that have direct relevance to what students are learning in the


School winners advance to regional competitions and the regional

champions earn a chance to compete in Washington, D.C., for

scholarships, prizes, and the title of National History Bee Champion!

The National History Bee is an enriching activity that rewards

students’ knowledge and encourages a passion for learning. We

hope you will join us for the 2012-2013 National History Bee!



Joey Wiseman                 

Robert “Joey” Wiseman Jr.

Social Studies Coordinator

WVDE Office of Instruction



West Virginia K-12 GIS


West Virginia K-12 GIS

WVDE has the industry-standard tool for teaching the 21st century skill of spatial thinking with geotechnologies available to ALL educators and students!

West Virginia is one of a special group of states and school districts in the United States that provides Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software throughout its entire educational system. The software license allows every K-12 school and teacher in the state access to ESRI’s ArcGIS software (http://www.esri.com/). You can see a map of other states and districts using the software here.

To start using GIS in your class today, head to http://arcgis.com/home/ where you’ll find a FREE searchable online GIS with multitudes of data layers and maps appropriate for classroom use. Check it out today!

To request the FREE desktop software, please send an e-mail to Erika Klose, the WVDE GIS Project Manager, at eklose@access.k12.wv.us. You will receive a set of DVD’s for installing the software for educational use in your school and on your personal computer, along with a license for the software.


About GIS

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a powerful tool for exploring and analyzing spatial data. Spatial data is any piece of information that has a geographic position, such a census values, water quality monitoring stations, cities, department stores, battlefields, etc. The WVDE is making available ESRI’s ArcGIS 10 software, with the goal of incorporating spatial data across all disciplines to teach the 21st century skills of spatial thinking, problem-solving, global awareness, economic and business literacy, entrepreneurial skills and civic literacy.


GIS Listserv

The WV GIS in K12 Listserv regularly sends out information and resources to teachers using GIS in their classrooms and those who are learning how to use GIS in their classrooms.

To subscribe to the WV GIS in K12 Education listserv, send an e-mail to: LISTSERV@LISTSERV.WVNET.EDU with no subject and the following in the body (not subject) of the message:

subscribe WVGIS-K12-L FirstName LastName

Make sure you put your first and last name as specified. 



GIS software training is available through the WVDE.  Announcements regarding training are sent out through the social studies, science, and the WV K12 GIS listserv.  One-day, two-day, and week-long trainings are available at regular intervals at both beginning and more advanced levels.

Online training is available FREE to WV educators through the ESRI training center.  This website lists the courses available: http://training.esri.com/campus/catalog/licenses/courselist.cfm?id=61. If you are interested in any of these courses, send an e-mail to Erika Klose (eklose@access.k12.wv.us) with the name of the course and an access code will be sent to you for the course.

Start with the course, Teaching with GIS: Introduction to Using GIS in the Classroom. You can access it here: http://training.esri.com/gateway/index.cfm?fa=catalog.webCourseDetail&courseid=2198.

We also recommend the following courses: The 15-Minute Map: Creating a Basic Map in ArcMap;  Learning ArcGIS Desktop (for ArcGIS 10); Understanding Geographic Data; and Understanding Map Projections and Coordinate Systems. You must have an ESRI Global Login to take these courses, which you create at the ArcGIS.com website.

GIS training is also available through the NASA IV&V Educator Resource Center (ERC) in Fairmont, WV. You can find a list of available courses here.

Erika Klose maintains a personal blog of GIS training activities at http://www.eklose.com/gis/.



GIS Lessons

Complete lessons for use in your classroom are available online in a number of places.

1. Try a Google search on GIS lessons: http://www.google.com/search?q=gis+lessons 

2. Lessons created by WV educators during GIS training: http://wveis.k12.wv.us/teach21/public/gis/I_menu.cfm (These will be continually updated, as lessons occur and as WV SS and Science CSO’s are updated.)

3. ESRI’s educational community lesson database: http://edcommunity.esri.com/arclessons/arclessons.cfm

4. Explore your world (A set of six lessons designed for grades 5-12, with no computer required) http://www.esri.com/industries/k-12/PDFs/explore.pdf



GeoTech Center http://www.geotechcenter.org/

ESRI’s Educational Community http://edcommunity.esri.com/

Our World GIS Education Series http://esripress.esri.com/display/index.cfm?fuseaction=display&websiteID=131&moduleID=0


WV Social Studies Fair

West Virginia State Social Studies Fair

The 2013 West Virginia State Social Studies Fair will be held on April 26 at the Charleston Civic Center.

Exemplary education requires the reciprocal participation of the community and the student.  Effective social studies education requires the engagement of the learner in the investigation of the social science issues.

West Virginia social studies education affords all students the opportunity to ask essential questions, recognize patterns of behavior, think critically, create solutions, predict outcomes and draw conclusions to help them learn to solve problems.  With these opportunities in place, students of social studies will be prepared as participatory citizens of the 21st Century global society. The West Virginia State Social Studies Fair provides the opportunity for students to excel in these realms.


It is the intent of the social Studies fair to:

  • Recognize and reward outstanding achievements of Social Studies students;
  • Implement the Next Generation West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives for Social Studies (Policy 2520.4);
  • Develop among participants an ability to apply the scientific method as it applies to social studies investigations;
  • Challenge students to be inventive and think creatively;
  • Provide relevance;
  • Encourage students to demonstrate what they know and to observe what others throughout the state know regarding social studies content;
  • Provide the opportunity for students to interpret the cultural, social, political, geographic and economic forces of historical and current issues and events and to understand more fully the nature of social studies;
  • Encourage students to draw more heavily on all areas of social studies as a means of broadening and deepening their understanding of social science concepts and principles;
  • Encourage students to practice information and communication skills, thinking and problem-solving skills, interpersonal and serf-directional skills;
  • Provide a forum for student public speaking;
  • Generate public interest in and appreciation for the broad interdisciplinary areas of social studies;
  • Develop a greater public appreciation and understanding of the abilities of youth;
  • Encourage global awareness, economic and civic literacies, health and wellness;
  • Provide an opportunity for students to implement the 21st Century learning skills (Policy 2520.14);
  • Encourage the utilization of technology tools where appropriate (Policy 2520.14).


Please visit the West Virginia State Social Studies Fair webpage for all information related to the fair:

http://www.wvssfair.com Listed below are some of the items you will find at the site.

  • Coordinators
  • Students
  • Judges
  • Score cards
  • Abstract
  • Categories
  • Classifications
  • Project planning process
  • Hotel reservations
  • Driving directions
  • Complete schedule for the April 26, 2013 Fair
  • National History Day –The West Virginia State Social Studies Fair is very excited to be partnered with National History Day.  Students may only enter one project in either the State Social Studies Fair or National History Day they may not enter a project in both.

    All National History Day projects must be registered on the State Social Studies Fair site by April 2, 2013.  Classroom teachers please be sure and get your National History Day Registrations in to the county coordinators in enough time for them to get them entered into the system before the deadline.  Remember National History Day Participants can only be from Division II and III (grades 6-8 and 9-12).  Also small groups for National History Day can have no more than five people.


     Please make sure that these participants have read and followed the National History Day Rules from their website, including the theme.  National History Day Projects that have not followed the guidelines set-up by National History Day will not be judged. National History Day projects also fall under many of the same rules and regulations of the State Social Studies Fair.  The National History Day participants do not have to complete the abstract required for State Fair Projects, however the must complete all the required written material listed on Page 10 of the National History Day Contest Rule Book.  The National History Day/State Fair Coordinator makes the last call on all rules and regulations.  So if in doubt please ask in advance.  Send all questions about National History Day to Joey Wiseman at rjwisema@access.k12.wv.us .


    All other projects will follow the rules and regulations for the WV State Social Studies Fair.  Remember many of the state rules have changed this year as well so be sure to read your rules carefully.  Good luck to everyone.  If you have questions or are unsure about anything please contact us immediately.  Next year National History Day participants will compete at the Local and Regional levels.


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West Virginia Department of Education
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV 25305

Golden Horseshoe

Golden  Horseshoe Award

Fayette County Information- 


Golden Horeshoe 2013 FCS-PPT

olden Horseshoe Information 

2013 Golden Horseshoe Essay Test – February 12, 2013

2013 Golden Horseshoe Practice Tests will be available January 2013.

2013 Golden Horseshoe Test March 20, 2013 to March 26, 2013.



WednesdayMarch 20 ThursdayMarch 21 FridayMarch 22 MondayMarch 25 TuesdayMarch 26
Calhoun Barbour Berkeley Doddridge Boone
Clay Braxton Hampshire Harrison Cabell
Grant Brooke Hancock Jackson Gilmer
Hardy Fayette Monongalia Kanawha* Kanawha*
Jefferson Greenbrier Monroe Logan Marion
Mason Lewis Ritchie Marshall McDowell
Mercer Lincoln Taylor Pleasants Mineral
Mingo Morgan Wayne Putnam Nicholas
Pendleton Ohio Wirt Roane Pocahontas
Tucker Preston WVSDB Summers Wetzel
Upshur Raleigh Wyoming    
Webster Randolph      
Wood Tyler      
13 Counties4011 Students 13 Counties4221 Students 11 Counties3977 Students 10 Counties4220 Students 10 Counties4063 Students


*Kanawha County is split into 2 days because of the student population size and Internet.

If a county/school should experience technical problems on the day of testing, then that county/school will notify the Office of Instruction (304-558-5325) immediately.



 1   Begin collecting home and private school registration,
 January  11  Mid-Month   Deadline to request a Braille Test,Due Date for County WV Studies Teachers’ names and e-mails. Practice tests on Acuity will become available for students.
 February  12 20   Golden Horseshoe Essay Test Day for ALL Counties. Essay Test is due back into the WVDE Office of Instruction
 March  11  20-26   All home and private school registrations are due in the WVDE Office of Instruction. Golden Horseshoe Testing (Counties must test on assigned day). 
 April  First 2 Weeks   WVDE Office of Instruction will send winner packets directly to students.  We will e-mail the winners to the superintendents and Golden Horseshoe County Contacts but we will NOT send the scores until after the Golden Horseshoe Ceremony in May. 
 May  3  Mid-Month  End of May to Beginning of June   Golden Horseshoe Ceremony at the Capitol Complex – must have a ticket to attend the Ceremony. Golden Horseshoe Scores will be sent to the County Superintendents ONLY. Golden Horseshoe Winner packets will be mailed.  Packets include: group picture, individual knighting picture, newspaper and certificate. 


Registering your county’s students to take the Golden Horseshoe Test

Any 8th grade student can take the Golden Horseshoe Test one time.  We use the Acuity system for administering the actual online Golden Horseshoe Test.  For those students who have not used Acuity before, we provide practice tests so that students can become familiar with the site before the actual test date.  We request that all students test their usernames and passwords by MARCH 1.


Both home and private school students are eligible to take the test.  All students must be registered using the Golden Horseshoe Registration form by MARCH 11.  The form must be filled out completely and correctly.  If the form is not completely correct, the form will be returned and the student(s) will not be registered.

Registration Process

Public school students do not need to be registered.  The Office of Assessment does a batch enrollment from the WVEIS system.


Once correctly completed registrations have been received by the WVDE Office of Instruction, the registration forms are submitted to the Office of Assessment and Accountability once a week for a batch enrollment.  It takes about a week to a week-and-a-half to get the students enrolled.  If you have not heard from Veronica Barron 2 weeks after submitting the registration form please send an e-mail to vbarron@access.k12.wv.us.

Home-School Students

Home-school students will need to be registered to take the test.  The registration form can only be completed by a teacher, counselor or a school/county administrator were the student would normally have attend public school.  We do not permit parents to submit the registration form because the county/school needs to know that the student is planning on participating.  Once the student has been enrolled, we will e-mail the person who submitted the registration with the students information and instructions.  NOTE:  Home-school students are required to go the school that they would normally have attended to take the Essay Test and the Online Golden Horseshoe Test.

Private School Students

Private schools can participate as long as they have a school code and complete the registration form.  The school code and county code can be obtained from the Master School Code website at http://jo.my/countyschoolcode, by selecting the county the school is located in and then scrolling through the list of schools.  NOTE:  Private schools must take the essay test and online Golden Horseshoe test on the same day as the rest of the county.  Private schools should notify the county Golden Horseshoe County Contact that they are participating so that information can be distributed to the school.

If a private school does not have a school code, one can be obtained by contacting the Office of Information Systems and speaking with Sara Kitts at 304-558-8869 or e-mailing her at sara.kitts@access.k12.wv.us.


Golden Horseshoe Registration Form


Take the Test

Where to Log Into Acuity?

acuity.north.k12.wv.us acuity.south.k12.wv.us Other servers
















Institutional Ed. Programs

Private Schools BrookeCabellGreenbrierHarrisonJeffersonKanawhaMercer


acuityathome.com acuity.brook.k12.wv.usacuity.cabe.k12.wv.usacuity.gree.k12.wv.usacuity.harr.k12.wv.usacuity.jeff.k12.wv.usacuity.kana.k12.wv.usacuity.merc.k12.wv.us


Home-school students will use the acuityathome.com to access the practice tests.

Essay Test

The essay test is not required and if a student chooses not to complete the essay it does NOT disqualify them from taking the online Golden Horseshoe Test.  The essay test is used to break a tie between scores for the online test.

The essay test is scheduled for February 12.  Two weeks prior to the test we will e-mail the essay question to the Golden Horseshoe County Contact.  We ask that the Golden Horseshoe County Contact distribute the essay test to their schools, pick the essay test back-up and send the entire county’s essay test back to the WVDE in one envelope.  In case your county is spread out, the individual schools can return the essay tests directly back to the WVDE Office of Instruction.  We recommend that you send the tests back with sometime of tracking number in case the package is misplaced by the Post Office.


    • The essay test CAN be administered by the regular WV studies teacher in a regular 40-45 minute class period.
    • The teacher/test administrator will be asked to complete a confidentiality agreement and an absentee roster.  The absentee roster should include students who are absent the day of the essay test and any student who chooses NOT to take the essay test.


Incase of a snow day, please contact the WVDE Office of Instruction at 304-558-5325 and ask for Joey Wiseman or Veronica Barron.  Otherwise, there are NO MAKEUP DAYS for the essay test.  If a student is absent the day of the essay test, he/she may NOT make it up.

Essay Test Forms

Absentee Roster       PDF       Word

Essay Test Confidentiality Agreement         PDF

Online Golden Horseshoe Test

The online test is a 50 multiple choice question test that can be completed in 40-45 minutes.

Test proctor/Moderator
  • The test proctor/moderator/administrator MUST NOT be the regular classroom teacher for the online Golden Horseshoe Test.
  • The test will be turned on at 7 AM each morning and off at 3:45 PM each afternoon.
  • The test is timed by the proctors/moderators and students should be allowed 40-45 minutes to take the test.  The Acuity site will NOT shut the test down after 40-45 minutes.
  • If a student has an IEP that requires testing accommodations, please provide those testing accommodations.  For example, if a student requires extra time, please give that student extra time.  If a student requires someone to read to them, please arrange for someone to read the test to the student.


The regular WV Studies teacher may NOT administer the Online Golden Horseshoe Test to the students.  The WVDE requires an online confidentiality agreement stating that the test administrator is NOT the regular WV Studies teacher and will keep all information regarding the Golden Horseshoe test confidential.  This confidentiality agreement must be signed 3 days prior to the county’s scheduled test day.  We recommend that you have all the teachers and test administrators complete the confidentiality agreement on an ISE day to make sure all teachers and test administrators are familiar with the test’s regulations.

 Internet Usage Tips on Test Day

  • We suggest that you ask all other computer users to refrain from downloading or tying up the broadband.
  • If there is an internet slow down, please allow the students sufficient time to make the test fair.
  • If a student is kicked off the Internet, just have them log back in.  As long as the student has not submitted the test he/she can reenter the test.


During the month of March, please notify use of any new or transfer students.  We will need to make sure that he/she has an Acuity account and the account reflects the correct county they are testing in.

After the testing is complete, all absentee rosters will need to be e-mailed/faxed to the WVDE Office of Instruction.  We will check to make sure that the county’s winners are not on the absentee list before declaring them actual winners.

Online Test Forms

Test Day Tips          PDF

Absentee Roster       PDF       Word

Online Test Confidentiality Agreement        PDF

    • Three Days prior to the test
      • FAX to 304-558-5325
      • E-mail a scanned copy to rjwisema@access.k12.wv.us
      • Mail to WVDE, ATTN: Robert “Joey” Wiseman, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Building 6 Rm 617, Charleston, WV  25305


The number of winners is determined by population but every county is given a minimum of two winners.  The bigger the county is the more winners they will have.  The Golden Horseshoe test is a competition within a county NOT within the state.  We do not have average scores for the state or counties.


As we begin getting the winners, we will send the list of winners to the superintendent and the county contact.  Please stress to your teachers we will not be sending the scores to the counties until the middle of May.


We will send information directly to the students and their families about the Ceremony.  If a teacher/test administrator would like to attend, we have extra seating in the lobby area where a closed circuit TV is set up or they can participate behind the scenes by being an escort.

Honorary Nominations

Each year it is customary to honor selected educators or individuals who have made an outstanding contribute to West Virginia, West Virginia Studies and/or Golden Horseshoe program by naming them as Honorary Knights or Ladies of the Golden Horseshoe.  An individual is nominated by the county superintendent only .  Each county superintendent may nominate only one person per year.  Only 10 persons a year may receive the award.  In the event more than 10 nominations are received, a committee will review all nominations and select the ten most deserving nominees.  To nominate an individual , please complete the online form at.Golden Horseshoe Online Honorary Nomination Form

Additional Information for Students and Parents  PDF

Additional Information for Teachers PDF


Absenteer Roster  Word

Absentee Roster  PDF

Confidentiality Agreement Essay Test  PDF

Confidentiality Agreement Online Test  PDF

Essay Lines  PDF

Golden Horseshoe Registration Form  Excel

Practice Essays  PDF

Practice Multiple Choice Questions  PDF

Practice Answer Key   PDF

Test Day Tips    PDF

West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Winner Database

If you have like to replace a Golden horseshoe pin, please visit the Lost Pin Replace page

Contact Information

Social Studies Coordinator, Robert “Joey” Wiseman (rjwisema@access.k12.wv.us)

Assistant, Veronica Barron (vbarron@access.k12.wv.us)

Office of Instruction

Phone:  304-558-5325                 FAX:  304-558-1834

1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Building 6 Room 617, Charleston, WV  25305

Geography Bee

2013 West Virginia Geographic Bee

Friday, April 5, 2013 at Concord University.

For detailed information regarding the National Geographic Bee, school registration, student qualifications, daily quizzes and study guides, please visit the following website: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee/


Geography Awareness Week

November 11-17, 2012


Digital Docs in a Box

Here is a great resource for:

  • ·         Westward Expansion
  • ·         Chinese Immigration
  • ·         Social Change
  • ·         Imperialism
  • ·         Women’s Suffrage
  • ·         Great Depression
  • ·         Japanese Internment
  • ·         Civil Rights
  • ·         Native Americans
  • ·         Transportation
  • ·         Presidential Inaugurations

The resources are full of documents and photographs


A partnership between the College of William & Mary School of Education, the University of Kentucky College of Education,
and the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program


The investigations below include everything from Jamestown to When Elvis Met Nixon!


In partnership with the College of William & Mary School of EducationUniversity of Kentucky School of Education
and the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program

Thanks Joey Wiseman, WVDE