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)
Building off of my last post about Google Forms, I want to introduce you to an add-on called Flubaroo which can turn your form into a self-graded quiz (yay for efficiency!). The steps are very quick and simple, like most things in the Google universe, and is a great way to save some trees and implement technology in your classroom.
In an effort to improve the writing skills of my students and better prepare them for the Kansas Writing Assessment, the Multidisciplinary Performance Task, I have begun implementing the Stoplight Writing strategy. I attempted to use this strategy in my classroom last year, but as a last ditch effort before the test rather than a regular activity the students experienced throughout the entire school year.
This year however, my students are writing every unit using stoplight writing, and the dramatic difference in the finished products from last year to this year are extraordinary. Last year I feared that my 7th grade students didn’t know how to write a complete sentence, this year I am finding that my expectations for the students are too low and every unit I raise the standards for their finished work. Continue reading Stop! In the Name of…Writing?