A peek inside social studies teacher Justin Ashley's classroom at McAlpine Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C., might reveal a dance-party atmosphere with students rapping or dancing or playing games. But it's all part of Ashley's approach to engage students in history -- using music and dance to help them retain information. "Kids have to have that structure they actually need and desire that structure, but you also have to make learning fun," said Ashley, who in January was named the state's Social Studies Teacher of the Year.

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