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.
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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!
It’s that time again! Teachers and kids across the nation are preparing to head back to school. As we prepare to kick-off the new school year, it might be important to start considering the ways you are working to develop more civic engagement with your students. For the past couple of years, Education Commissioner Watson has stressed the importance of an education that develops the 21st century student. One key element of that is having our kids understand their role in the world around them and how they can impact it. In short, we are talking about civic engagement. Check out the KSDE HGSS site to learn more about the initiatives to bring more civics to classroom.
We all know that travel can enrich our teaching, provide us with experiences that we bring back to our students to will help them to better grasp historical events and far flung locales. This fall I’m bringing Germany back to my students.
Mid-July and hot as an oven outside with just under a month until we report back for another school year. Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with your family and probably too the opportunity to partake of some professional development. If you stayed close to home I bet you checked out a Kansas Impact Institute, #ksedcamp and/or Podstock. If you decided to go a little farther afield you likely spent a week or three with the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Gilder-Lehrman, or any number of programs provided by foundations and museums around the country.
This summer, I had the honor of being selected a TOP Fellow. If you haven’t heard of the Transatlantic Outreach Program, please check them out; if you’ve attended one of their workshops or their reception at NCSS – you need to apply! TOP sends six groups of educators to Germany every summer for two week tours that are truly extraordinary. Every tour is tailored to the interests of the selected educators and lovingly crafted by one of the TOP employees who will guide your trip. Continue reading A TOP Experience→
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.