This week’s blogger is Adam Topliff: He teaches 8th Grade Social Studies and Civics at Wamego Middle School in Wamego, KS. Adam loves all things Hamilton!
Congratulations! You’ve made it to summer! Now take a deep breath and relax for moment. You should allow yourself some quality time with your family, catch up on some reading (ask Glenn Wiebe if you are looking for some good reads), and maybe do some things to make yourself better at your craft.
In recent years, summer professional development has become a popular trend and is taking on many forms. There are great webinars and online opportunities. Check out Twitter. You will find a great variety of chats and great people posting awesome ideas to steal. You can partake in the face to face opportunities (insert my shameless plug for KSDE Summer Institutes) along with many other organizations that have great professional development options. These might not be for you, either because of time or resources, but that does not mean you can’t get some quality professional development.
I love to use my summer family road trips to squeeze in some quality self-paced professional development. Every summer, the Topliff Crew heads to a variety of places around this great state and nation to explore and expose our kids to as much as we can. This summer, we have planned four days in New York City and we are pretty pumped! Each year as we plan our trip, I look into what the area has to offer historically. With New York City, the trip practically planned itself. We included many things related to Hamilton, including a visit to the famed Fraunces Tavern. Continue reading Summer Road Trip – Have Fun And Get Some Professional Development
Plans are underway for the 2017 Kansas Social Studies Conference and we hope you will save the date for November 5-6, 2017 in Wichita. This year’s conference will focus on how Kansans Can with Social Studies Education. Registration is only $50 for Kansas teachers/administrators and pre-service teachers will pay only $20. There will be great sessions for all K-12 grades and you can’t go wrong with the price so be sure to register! This year we will be in Wichita at the Hotel at Old Town Conference Center in the heart of downtown Wichita where all the action is located. From out of town? We have reserved a block of rooms at the Hotel at Old town. You’ll love the hotel price of $79/queen studio or $99/2 queens studio. Be sure to reserve your room at 877-265-3869 and request the Kansas Social Studies Conference block rate. It is a great bargain for a great hotel and just steps away from the conference center with its own parking garage. You can request an invoice for your school when making your reservation.
DON’T MISS SUNDAY!
Sessions will begin at 3:00 p.m. There with be an awards ceremony after the sessions with hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Don Gifford, KSDE, will discuss current issues for Kansas social studies education. The evening will end with a special screening of Dawn of Day and a Q & A time with director Rusty Earl. Dawn of Day is a historical documentary about the Underground Railroad in Kansas that brings to light Wabaunsee County’s unsung heroes who traversed one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history. Faith, family, and politics united a community of neighbors who lived and died to ensure Kansas was a free state.
MORE SESSIONS MONDAY:
Monday will begin with breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and followed by a day of sessions with lunch included. The Keynote Speaker is Mark Schug, Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and President of Mark Schug Consulting. Mark taught for 36 years at the middle school, high school and university levels with his teaching fields being social studies and economic education. Mark has written and co-authored over 20 publications like Economic Episodes in American History. He has spoken around the world about economic education, American economic history and financial education for all ages. You’ll love what he has in store for you so plan to join us. There will be sessions for all K-12 grades so don’t miss this great conference!
WOULD YOU LIKE TO PRESENT?
Submit your proposal online today! We will be accepting proposals through mid-September. Let us know how your proposal can address the theme of Kansans Can: Social Studies Leading the Way!
As Kansas teachers, some of us are in our last week of school, others (like myself) still have another week to go. I’d like to wish all of you the smoothest possible finale to your year.
That said, once you have a chance to catch up on your sleep and spend some long overdue time with your loved ones, I have a request to make. I’d like to encourage you to work your civics muscle. We’re social studies teachers and since the civics engagement/government stuff is part of why we got into this content in the first place, I’m guessing you already keep up with what’s going on in Topeka and DC. The fact remains that we are busy professionals with personal lives and it gets hard to keep up with everything. If you have the opportunity this summer to attend a town hall or otherwise contact your Senators and Representatives, please do. Here’s a little on what KCSS has been doing and some sources for what else is happening with education funding.
Last week, the Kansas Council for the Social Studies signed onto a letter with 140 other organizations, urging the continued funding of ESSA Title II-A. The proposed Trump budget would eliminate these funds which assist with funds for teacher training and quality.
ESSA Title II-A Funding Letter
The National Council for the Social Studies provides great updates on what’s going on with funding for the social studies, here’s their latest:
Status of National HGSS Funding from NCSS
Finally, the KNEA and Mark Desetti do an excellent job with Under the Dome, keeping Kansas teachers informed on what’s going on in Topeka.
Under the Dome – Kansas Education Funding from the KNEA
This post is already a day late and I have a bunch of essay left to grade, so I’m going to go now…then I’ll likely be making some phone calls.
This week’s post comes to you from Adam Topliff: I teach 8th Grade Social Studies & Civics at Wamego Middle School in Wamego, KS. I love all things Hamilton!
Spring Break History Nerdfest for the Topliff Family took us to lovely Kansas City and man, it was amazing. We took in the Negro League Baseball and National World War I Museums, looked out over the city atop the Liberty Memorial, and got our fill of great KC BBQ. (Thanks Arthur Bryant’s!) As we took in all of the great stories at the museums, my family and I discussed all the powerful stories of people who have impacted the story of us. So many people of our past never have their story told, primarily because they may not be seen as the big names of history.
Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy are names that will show up in every text book, but they are not the only influential people that have shaped our history. The story of us is filled with millions of ordinary people that might not have stories that flash off the page, but they are just as critical. This important part of telling history became the backbone for a project I created called The Historical Hall of Fame.
A decade ago, in my first year at Wamego Middle School, I was looking for a long term project that would engage my students in one of the most difficult times of the year, after state testing and weeks before the end of the school. Being a fairly new teacher, I struggled to find something that my students could manage. Continue reading Who Has Influenced Mankind? Let Your Students Be The Judge Of That – The Historical Hall Of Fame
There are a lot of factors that affect our access to good professional development: district size, geographic location, budget (both your’s and your school’s). So what’s a teacher to do when you’re one of the only social studies teachers in your building, or you want to try something new but the people in your department still won’t give up their precious overhead projector?
There is one outlet where you can find solid PD, often hosted by leaders in the field, at least once a week: Twitter Chats. As Chris Hitchcock, one of the moderators of #sschat, describes how she felt when she discovered the hashtag:
#sschat offered this whole new world of collaboration, support, and interaction that was fascinating and really helpful.
Have I piqued your interest yet? Continue reading #sschat: A Professional Learning Community from the Comfort of Your Couch