All posts by Kori Green

About Kori Green

I teach 8th grade social studies at El Dorado Middle School in El Dorado, KS. I enjoy U.S. history, dabble in British history, and love incorporating technology in the classroom.

I Was in the Room Where it Happened!

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 2.54.13 PMThis week’s post comes from Dr. Robyn Kelso. Robyn teaches senior American Government, American National Government, and International Relations at Eudora High School in Eudora, KS. Robyn enjoys learning across social studies and am curious about the world as a whole.  Robyn also enjoys reading and working on her hobby cattle farm.


Those who are familiar with the headline . . . yes, it is a shameless steal from Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. I was lucky enough to have stars align and enable me to take three different professional development fellowships this summer. I felt this lyric particularly applied for my first trip as part of the Supreme Court Summer Institute through Street Law in Washington DC.  From content learning to lesson plans and a visit to the Supreme Court to hear opinions announced during the last days of the term, this was a terrific opportunity all the way around.

My takeaways from this experience included several things:

Continue reading I Was in the Room Where it Happened!

Good Historical Thinking Begins With The Right Question

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This week’s poster is Adam Topliff: I teach 8th Grade Social Studies & Civics at Wamego Middle School in Wamego, KS.  I love all things Hamilton!


It’s almost that time again, school is just around the corner.  Time to unpack your classrooms, create your new catchy bulletin boards and really think about lesson planning.  The unpacking and bulletin boards seems to always go quicker and with much less stress. However, the planning of how to kick off school and reflecting on the design and layout of what we explore throughout the year can sometime be a bit overwhelming.  The most important thing I think about in lesson design is not the fun activities or exploration, but the question. To create classrooms that engage in good historical thinking we have to develop the right question or questions from the very beginning.  So what are the right types of questions? Let’s explore . . . 

  • The Google Factor
    The discussion about questions that kids can Google the answer is not something new.  So this is a just a short reminder, don’t create questions for your kids to investigate that can be Googled and answered in just a couple of minutes.  Check out Glenn Wiebe’s post on his History Tech Blog that sheds more light in creating the UnGoogleable question. “If they can Google it, why do they need you?”
  • The C3 Inquiry
    If you have never spent some time investigating the C3 Framework and its Inquiry Arc you need to get over there.  Developed by NCSS to assist states in creating curriculum, the C3 Inquiry Arc begins first with developing solid inquiry based questions.

Inquiry Arc Format

 

In developing questions the Inquiry Arc asks that you have questions that will compel students to use multiple Social Studies disciplines and use evidence/sources in drawing a conclusion.  So when you think about your question, do they require your kids to do this?

  • Don’t Reinvent The Wheel
    Good news – if you are struggling to figure out what to ask, there are great resources that have pre-created inquiry based questions.  The New York State Social Studies K-12 Resource Kit provides a great site that you can search by grade level and topics. Once you find a an inquiry that might fit what you are looking for, you can quickly download the entire Inquiry Arc with all the compelling questions and formative type of activities that can be used in class. NYC Inquiries You also can create an account and create your own inquiries using their resources and push it out digitally to your students.  

Gilder Lehrman has a amazing list of inquiry based questions that are listed in chronological order and allow for great historical investigation and discussion – “Essential Questions in Teaching American History”

So as you kick off the school year and begin unpacking your lesson plans don’t forget to start with just the right question.

How do we help students compete in this global economy? A professional development opportunity.

Angela headThis pre-holiday week post is from 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.


How do today’s students become more competitive in this ever-changing global economy?  One of the best ways is to increase the level of understanding in regards to economic issues.  As citizens of this great Nation, we should all strive to be better consumers, producers, workers, investors, voters and all around better decision makers in everything we do.  This makes the case for economic literacy in the classroom.   Kansas and the entire Nation will gain when we increase the level of economic education in Kansas.

Many people think that economics is rather abstract and difficult to teach to our youth.  While we might be a little biased in the Council for Economic Education network of states councils, we very strongly disagree.  Economic education must have priority in our K-12 school system just like we teach math, language arts and history.  Economic education should have foundations laid as students progress in their level of understanding.  At the age of 18, students can vote but we know that many lack the most basic understanding of economics.

Economics concepts are easy to integrate across the curriculum into language arts, math, science and social studies since economics is everywhere.  While many say economics is boring, most teachers introduced to great resources are very excited to go back and teach economics in their classroom.  Economics is practical and it definitely relates to the real world.  Students will instinctively recognize the relationship when teachers bring them engaging lessons.

Schools and teachers will also find that teaching economics can also be easy on the ol’ budget.  Free educational resources and professional development opportunities are readily available in most states, including Kansas.  The Kansas Council for Economic Education (KCEE) is here to help Kansas schools.  KCEE has partnered with the Foundation for Teaching Economics to bring Kansas teachers a special one-day training:

July 25Understanding Global Economic Issues – an event offered in partnership with the Foundation for Teaching Economics for 6th-12th grade teachers incorporating global economic concepts into classes.  Focus of program is on current global economic issues with a variety of lecture/discussion sessions and case studies/simulations adapted for classroom use.

  • FREE one day professional development event
  • Location – Lake Quivira Country Club, south of the Kansas Speedway off Hwy 435
  • $50 stipend if accepted by 10th
  • Optional: One hour graduate credit in economics from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (approximately $122).  Assignment to be given during program seminar.

Why do people trade – across city lines, state lines, or national borders?  Are we better off with or without trade?  Will trade hurt or benefit certain groups of people?  How do some nations try to distort trade patterns?

These questions and many more are incorporated into the various lecture/discussion sessions and case studies that serve as the basis for the FTE One Day seminar on Understanding Global Economic Issues.

Presented in a non-biased manner, issues that face nations throughout the world will be explored and discussed.  Case studies and simulations may be adapted to variety of classes and disciplines.

The primary economics concepts emphasized throughout the sessions will be those related to the role of trade in raising standards of living and how policies can be developed to accomplish this goal.

Sessions will focus on current global trade patterns, trade alliances, impact of changes in exchange rates, and trade-offs that occur as trade patterns change over time.

REGISTER ONLINE:  http://bit.ly/UGEIapplication Seating is limited so apply ASAP.

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KCEE also offers other ways to help schools.  Webinars will be available in August for some programs and events.    Most states have a Council affiliated with the Council for Economic Education is a non-profit education organization with a great network of state Councils.

Register online or find out more about these workshop on the KCEE website at www.kcee.wichita.edu.  Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KCEE1959.

NCSS President’s Farewell

Below you will find the farewell from the outgoing President of our national organization, Terry Cherry.


TCherry_OnStage2

June 30, will end my term as President of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).  The time I spent as President has been a roller coaster ride, with highs, lows, twists, and loops. As the ride ends, I am glad I went on it and would do it over again if I could.

NCSS is approaching its 100th anniversary, which will be celebrated in 2020.  That year our country will also elect a president, participate in the summer Olympics in Japan, celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, and certainty witness other major events.

To prepare for NCSS’ second hundred years, I have been explaining to members that it is time for some changes.  We can no longer be an organization that only supports conferences and publications. Larry Paska, the NCSS Executive Director, and the NCSS staff are reaching out beyond our social studies education communities to share our message and build new partnerships.  Larry understands, as we all do, that NCSS has a message, which needs to be heard by everyone.

As we approach our centennial, NCSS needs to consider what its future vision and mission should be. Is it time for a name change?  NCSS has some international ties and those need to be expanded. This would require to use the term International. The term social studies is mostly used in the United States.  Other countries use the term social science.  There are some states that now are replacing social studies with social science.  International Council of the Social Science or something close to that needs to be our new name taking into our bicentennial.

Last September NCSS board of directors held its first-ever meeting in conjunction with a state council.  Cincinnati, Ohio hosted the Ohio Council for the Social Studies and the NCSS board met during the conference.  This allowed social science educators to meet the NCSS board members and allowed board members to participate in a state council conference.  I do hope this pattern continues of engaging NCSS board members with state council members during a state conference.

The bulk of NCSS membership is classroom teachers approximately 88%. The remaining members come from Associated Groups. This year the Board of Directors  has reached out to our Associated Groups more fully than in the recent past. They were included in our March board meeting. The Associated Groups have been given 4 positions on the Nominations and Elections Committee.  In the next few years board positions could be exclusively from members of the four groups.

Is this a positive move or not?  That is something you as a NCSS member need to consider. Representation of all NCSS members is important. A balanced representation is also important.

The future of NCSS depends on each member. You as an NCSS member are also an ambassador of our discipline.  Telling people who we are, explaining the importance of social science in the curriculum, and reminding everyone that we teach citizenship.  NCSS is working on giving you the tools to share our message. We welcome any suggestions, ideas, and methods on ways to promote your organization.

During the 2017-2018 year some accomplishments have been:  

  Hiring a Director of Marketing & Membership and a Youth Engagement Program Manager to expand our marketing and Rho Kappa programs, and re-structuring a department built on member services.

  Revising several other positions, including a Membership Program Manager, Member Engagement Program Manager, and a Meetings & Education Program Manager.

  Expanding membership options to include Online and Premium Memberships, and joint memberships with Affiliated Councils and the National Council for Geographic Education.

  Building a new Institutional Membership option for services offered to organizations, starting Summer 2018.

  Building new subscription services to promote individual benefits to the general public, starting Summer 2018.

  Launching a monthly webinar series for leadership groups to connect with each other and strengthen our internal professional learning network.

  Creating new partnerships with education associations and institutions to expand professional learning, networking, and membership options.

  Increasing the frequency of issues for The Social Studies Professional, communications with leadership groups, and social media engagement.

I ask that you welcome and support our new NCSS President beginning July 1, India Meissel. One of the best ways to support the new president and NCSS is to sign up to attend our annual National Conference in Chicago, November28-December2.  Registration is now open on the NCSS website http://www.socialstudies.org/conference.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your President. The ride is slowing down and the end is in sight.  But there are other rides to take for you and me within the NCSS. May you as an NCSS member find your special ride, use your gifts and talents as together we build NCSS into an International organization.  Together we seek ways to promote NCSS as the only organization to representing social science educators. At the end of our ride, we can say we helped the world to know the importance of social science in the lives of students and adults.

Terry Cherry

NCSS President 2017-2018

It’s The Most Troublesome Time Of The Year…Engaging Kids At The End.

adam-topliff

This week’s blogger is Adam Topliff: I teach 8th Grade Social Studies & Civics at Wamego Middle School in Wamego, KS.  I love all things Hamilton!


 

Summer Vacation Meme

So, it’s May… track meets, warm weather, field trips, crazy schedules, finals, and we’re supposed to keep kids engaged?  Maybe one of the greatest challenges in education is the end of the year. How do we find creative ways to keep kids interested in learning.

One popular survival mechanism is plugging in a movie that is connected to your curriculum.  Do you really think the kids will find it much fun to watch Gettysburg and complete a worksheet connected to the movie?  Sometimes we are required to give a semester final, but to ask the kids to take a long drawn out test that you may not be interested in grading when the school year is done lacks a lot of appeal. Frankly, the last month of a school year can be a real struggle and make you feel like our friend pictured above, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You just need to inject a little creativity into your year-end routine.

Next May, try one of these game changers: Continue reading It’s The Most Troublesome Time Of The Year…Engaging Kids At The End.