Zach Wimmer is a high school teacher in Sublette, Kansas where he teaches Geography, Government, Debate, and Economics. In this guest post, Zach highlights his use of Edmodo in a Chromebook learning environment.
As schools implement a one-to-one technology initiative, it is easy for educators, novice and veteran alike, to feel overwhelmed by how they should employ them in the classroom. When my high school in western Kansas adopted Chromebooks, there were questions among the faculty about how these new devices would actually enhance student engagement.
One site in particular eased these concerns. Edmodo, in myriad ways, has improved the learning process in my Social Studies classroom immensely. As the website explains, Edmodo is “a free and safe way for students and teachers to connect and collaborate.” Continue reading
As we move into a social studies world that is asking kids to collect evidence, organize evidence, create products, and communicate results, writing skills are becoming more and more important.
But for the last ten years or so, at least in the state of Kansas, we’ve asked kids to focus instead on memorizing content. So now when we’re asking our middle school and high school students to not just write more but to use evidence while proving assertions, we get a lot of blank stares.
Steal a practice used by a lot of elementary teachers and start training your secondary kids to use evidence-based terms while writing.
Evidence-based terms are simple phrases that support the use of, well . . . evidence. So if we ask kids to look a couple of primary source documents and develop a thesis from their analysis, they have some scaffolding to help them do that.
Examples of evidence-based terms? Continue reading
Are you looking for some sweet Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic instructional goodies? Here’s what I’ve got:
Start with the basics
(I’m part of Team Apple so . . . these are iPhone / iPad apps. I did some checking – Google Play and Android also have tons.)
Lesson Plans / Instructional Materials
I grew up in western Kansas. Land of giant jack rabbits. Tumble weeds. Beautiful sunsets. Vast horizons. And wheat. Lots of wheat.
I spent a lot of time on the family farm in the northeast part of Finney County. Much of the land was broken out by my grandmother’s father and uncles around the turn of the century. Growing up, my brothers and I rode trucks, tractors, and combines, climbed windmills, fell off windmills, walked miles of fields, hunted pheasants, raced motorcycles, and generally had a great time.
As we got older, we drove the trucks, tractors, and combines – planting and harvesting wheat and milo.
The point? Continue reading
The title for this post is from the song of the same name from the band Staind. A great rock ballad from a good rock band. But I digress. Now that I am back in the swing of things, I am ready to share some more great social studies information! Today’s post is about the using of music in social studies education.
A good colleague of mine is Dr. Chris Goering from the University of Arkansas (and graduate of Kansas State University) has a wonderful website titled “Lit Tunes” where he talks about using music in language arts instruction. As we know about the College and Career Readiness standards, we need to look at how we can incorporate language arts into our instruction. I would greatly encourage you to look at Dr. Goering’s Soundtrack of Your Life assignment on the website. Continue reading