Welcome to the Commons

A word from Matt Shomaker
The open movement in education has benefited my students and myself, both as an educator and learner.  In appreciation of those individuals and institutions that have shared their knowledge and collections willingly, and in the spirit of reciprocation, I am making my classroom accessible to anyone interested.  

The materials and links available on this site are the ones I use in my personal classroom.  The units listed in the sidebar represent the scope and sequence established by my district.  Units 01-06 are explored in 7th grade while units 07-11 are covered in 8th.  

I hope visitors to this site will be introduced to new resources, inspired to use or modify materials for use in their own classrooms, and be encouraged to join the open movement by sharing their own resources and materials.

About Matt Shomaker
Growing up in Flat River, one of the largest towns in Missouri’s old lead-mining district, Matt earned a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Evangel University in 2008 and a Masters degree in History from Missouri State University in 2011. He is an unabashed history nerd, bibliophile, and learner who shares his love of history with middle school students in Clinton, Missouri.

Matt also enjoys sharing ideas about teaching history with technology and training students to become historians with other educators through conferences and professional development.

He blogs irregularly at: liveamericanhistory.blogspot.com and tweets @theshoe_CMS
What is the OER movement?
OER stands for Open Educational Resources, which are educational materials that are free to use.  Open sources are distributed by individuals and organizations that choose to share their work with few, if any, limitations on use and reuse under Creative Commons or GNU licenses.  Instead of being limited to costly, often outdated, textbooks and pricey text-based supplies and digital subscriptions, the open movement encourages the use of OER collected from a variety of digital sources and curated for optimal classroom use.