Nystrom Education


Case Study: Cross-Curricular Instruction


Ruth King, 5th Grade Teacher
Cedar Ridge Elementary School, Alpine School District
30-year veteran in education
Master Teacher Ambassador for Colonial Williamsburg

Ms. King has seen it all in her education career: radically changing standards, extended day school, specialized versus generalized teaching roles. The one thing that's remained constant, however, is her love of social studies and her recognition of its value in supporting adjacent subject areas.


Ms. King needs materials that she can rely on throughout the constant changes that she and her peers face in K–12 education. For social studies, in particular, Ms. King has to satisfy a wide variety of needs, no matter what changes may come. These include:


Nystrom Education products have served Ms. King exceptionally well over the years, starting with her first use of classroom atlases. King shared, "I was handed a big social studies textbook and nothing else, but I needed something I could really get my hands around that I could use as a guide throughout the year. The atlases were my go-to resource."

These "go-to" resources served Ms. King well despite the many changes she has seen in her school, including the adoption of new standards and changes in the school-day format. "We moved to an extended-day format with specialized teachers," said Ms. King. "I was lucky enough to be a specialized teacher for social studies."

However, the changes kept coming: "We went back to a traditional format where teachers covered all subjects, which meant I had to be very thoughtful in how I managed my instructional time. I've learned that the fundamental skills associated with atlases-reading nonfiction text, plotting charts and creating graphs, recognizing longitude and latitude-these are skills that serve my students well in all subject areas."

With Common Core's emphasis on reading and math, "Teachers are too often told that, because of new standards, they don't have time to teach everything," according to Ms. King. "So teachers feel like they are required to reduce social studies and science instruction. With Nystrom products, I'm not forced to choose."

Lucky for her kids—and for us—Ms. King continues to choose Nystrom as her go-to.