Technology integration, individualized learning, differentiation, data based decision making, standards driven content…the list of expectations in any given lesson could go on and on, but how do teachers go about efficiently meeting all of these demands in their classrooms? Blended Learning is a great solution that many teachers are turning to, and one model frequently used is Learning Contracts. These contracts are agreements between the teacher and their students, which allows students some choice in their learning while requiring students to meet conditions set by the teacher. Contracts outline an entire lesson or unit for students before they begin learning the content, providing them with what they will be learning, how they will learn it, due dates, and assessments.
KCSS is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Judy Cromwell Excellence in Teaching Awards. This award is intended to reward and encourage high quality instruction in the social studies. Winners of the award exhibit innovative and effective instructional strategies, utilize state and national standards, foster a spirit of inquiry, develop democratic beliefs and values, and participate in professional organizations. Nominees for the award must be presently serving as a social studies educator (K-12) with at least a half-time appointment and have taught a minimum of three years at the designated grade level. Awards will be given at K-6 and 7-12 grade levels.
If you are interested in nominating a social studies teacher, or you would like to nominate yourself, please complete and submit the nomination form. Complete nomination packets (1-2 page letter from nominee, professional resume, and 2 letters of recommendation) can then be submitted to either the email or mailing address listed at the top of the nomination form.
Complete nomination packets must be submitted by September 15th, winners will be notified by October 1st, and are expected to attend the Kansas Social Studies Conference in Wichita on November 5th & 6th. Winners will be announced during a reception at the conference on Sunday night and are awarded $250, conference registration, and travel expenses. Both winners are automatically considered for the Kansas State Combined Teaching Award and are also eligible for the National Council of the Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award.
Download the information sheet for additional details about the award.
One of my favorite ways to present information to students is through the use of infographics because they are visually appealing and easy to read, even though they can contain a wealth of information. In the past I have been a huge proponent of not recreating the wheel when it came to infographics because it is so easy to search for a topic and find something that has already been created and can easily be used in the classroom. That was until I was introduced to Piktochart, the easy-to-use infographics creator. Continue reading Graphic Content: Using Visual Communication in the Social Studies Classroom
Yesterday three outstanding social studies teachers were recognized at the annual Kansas State Social Studies Conferences for receiving the Judy Cromwell Excellence in Teaching Award. Judy Cromwell taught social studies in the Topeka area for over 38 years. She was a long-time member of KCSS and served on the board for 28 years.
Judy was known for her strong support of classroom teachers, her delicious buffalo chip cookies, and for leading summer trips around the state with teachers. The Excellence in Teaching Award is named in her honor. Intended to reward and encourage high quality instruction in the social studies for educators who are currently teaching social studies at least half-time and have three years teaching experience, KCSS selects one winner in each of the grade levels: elementary, middle, high school, and higher education.
This year nominations were received and winners were selected for the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Continue reading Congratulations to KCSS TOY Award Winners
Last school year I wrote two separate Google posts, one on using Google Forms in the classroom and one on using the Flubaroo add-on to create and grade quizzes. This year I’m going to start off by updating both of those posts, because Google has completely updated their forms! Not only can you create and grade quizzes without using an add-on now, but you can also get more advanced reports from your students’ responses.
Continue reading It’s a Google World and I’m Just Teaching In It (Part 3)