And Rotate! Blended Learning in the Social Studies Classroom

gonzalez-inclassflip-stationsWhen I mention stations in the classroom, does your mind automatically jump to the organized chaos of a Kindergarten classroom? Could I convince you to jump to a social studies classroom instead?  Station Rotation is another Blended Learning model that promotes technology integration and differentiation, while enhancing learning in the classroom.

Stations are a great way to provide students with content through a variety of learning activities. Students can be working individually, with partners or small groups, with the teacher, and with or without technology all in the same class at the same time. Sound like organized chaos that could work in your classroom? Continue reading And Rotate! Blended Learning in the Social Studies Classroom

Financial Literacy Month Offers A Chance To Have “The Talk” With Your Students

Angela headThis week’s contributor is Angela Howdeshell: I work as the Vice President for Programs and Administration for the Kansas Council for Economic Education, a non-profit organization housed at Wichita State University with a mission of helping Kansas K-12 schools integrate financial literacy and economic education.


FinLitMonth Image

While most of the United States is busy finishing up their last minute taxes or filing extensions, many are also taking advantage of this time to focus on K-12 financial literacy.  April has been declared Financial Literacy Month (#FinLitMonth) and many groups have been busy hosting Financial Literacy Month special events, developing new educational resources, and taking advantage of this month to advocate for increased support for financial literacy.  

Kansas is not alone in working to encourage youth to become more financially literate. The choices available to students today require them to be equipped with a strong understanding of economics and critical-thinking skills in order to increase their changes for a successful financial future.  Just one bad decision can catapult them into a life full of unplanned challenges that can stay with them for a lifetime.

Piggy Bank Econ-dancing

The Kansas State Department of Education is encouraging schools to offer more financial literacy so we can prepare our Kansas students for life after high school.  Not all parents are equipped to educate their children nor are they always great role models. Continue reading Financial Literacy Month Offers A Chance To Have “The Talk” With Your Students

Blackout Poetry: Worth Waiting For

Jill Weber teaches US History at Cheney Middle School and high schoolers in the Teaching Career Pathway. Today she shares how she incorporates the Blackout Poetry literacy and writing activity into her instruction.


Sometimes great ideas come to us, and we’re so excited to try them, BUT the pace of the year come crashing in on us and we have to put those ideas on hold. I’ve had this idea on hold the the last three years, and we are FINALLY getting to it. Blackout Poetry.

Blackout Poetry is using text that has been printed (books, newspapers, magazines, etc…) and manipulating the text to convey a new poetic meaning. By selecting words from the text and then blacking out the remaining words.

Take a minute to Google it and check out the images. So cool!

I first ran across using this in the social studies classroom when Continue reading Blackout Poetry: Worth Waiting For

SHEG HATs for the win

Hat fail.

I’m not talking about an actual hat. Not a baseball cap. Or a visor. Or a bowler, beanie, beret, or bucket hat.

I’m talking about SHEG HATS.

As in Stanford History Education Group and History Assessments of Thinking.

I’m sure that you’ve been over to the very useful  Stanford History Education Group’s site with its three different tools, right? (If you haven’t, mmm . . . go there now and be amazed at how your life will be changed.)

All of us at the KCSS have been pushing Sam Wineburg’s work for years so I’m hoping you’re already familiar with the work his SHEG group has been doing around the idea of reading like a historian. They’ve packaged their work into three chunks – instructional lessons that focus on training kids analyze evidence to solve problems, onlive civic literacy lessons, and wait for it . . . Continue reading SHEG HATs for the win

Chocolate & peanut butter. Professional growth & student evaluations

We should always be thinking about ways to improve – even in May. So I dug around in the archives and dug out a post written several years ago that shares some thoughts about student evaluations. Because your professional growth and student evals are a lot like chocolate and peanut butter – two great tastes that go great together.

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Billy Landes was probably the best teacher I ever had. Encouraging. Supportive. Tough. Demanding. Helpful. She let our study group leave to do “research” in the library when I’m pretty sure she knew that we usually headed to the donut shop instead. A learner. Smart. Knowledgeable.

And someone who always asked our feedback about how she could get better. It was the weirdest thing. A teacher asking Continue reading Chocolate & peanut butter. Professional growth & student evaluations