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!
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.
This week’s contributor is 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.
While most of the United States is busy finishing up their last minute taxes or filing extensions, many are also taking advantage of this time to focus on K-12 financial literacy. April has been declared Financial Literacy Month (#FinLitMonth) and many groups have been busy hosting Financial Literacy Month special events, developing new educational resources, and taking advantage of this month to advocate for increased support for financial literacy.
Kansas is not alone in working to encourage youth to become more financially literate. The choices available to students today require them to be equipped with a strong understanding of economics and critical-thinking skills in order to increase their changes for a successful financial future. Just one bad decision can catapult them into a life full of unplanned challenges that can stay with them for a lifetime.
The Kansas State Department of Education is encouraging schools to offer more financial literacy so we can prepare our Kansas students for life after high school. Not all parents are equipped to educate their children nor are they always great role models. Continue reading Financial Literacy Month Offers A Chance To Have “The Talk” With Your Students
Don Gifford is the Education Program Consultant for Social Studies for the Kansas State Department of Education .
The events of March 14th created a sense of excitement around civic engagement. The tragedy of the Parkland shooting coupled with other school shootings inspired students to action. So when the very inspirational student leaders of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School called for a national school walk out on March 14th, I could hardly wait to see how it manifested itself here. I happened to be traveling around the state talking with school administrators March 13th thru the 15th. I soon realized that some schools were going to miss a great opportunity to champion civic engagement in their schools. Continue reading March 14th: How Schools Missed The Opportunity To Champion Civic Engagement
This week’s post comes from Thomas Fulbright:
“I have been teaching history at Hope Street Academy, a public charter school, in Topeka since 2008. My wife and I have three daughters, Claire, Nora, and Meredith. I intend to spend my entire life convincing them how exciting and important history is! My bio picture is of Claire and I meeting President Lincoln!”
During the summer of 2016, I was lucky enough to attend the Gilder Lehrman teacher seminar American Foreign Policy since 1898, led by Dr. Jeremi Suri from the University of Texas. The seminar was going very well – until in an offhand comment, Dr. Suri implied that the way I teach history is bad for our democracy.
At that time, I was teaching my class using Structured Academic Controversies, following the model of Stanford History Education Group. His basic argument was I focus too much on having students judge the decisions made in the past rather than try to understand why those decisions were made. He told us that we need to see the decisions made in the past as the actions of logical decision makers and though we may not always like the logic those decision makers used, they still made those decisions for specific reasons. Continue reading Why does what happened in 1890 still matter? Helping students make the connection
Angela Howdeshell is 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.
As a parent, I worked hard to find many different and creative ways to encourage my child to eat nutritious foods. I would sneak it in whenever possible and sometimes in very creative ways. There were times he noticed and then times he did not. I hoped for more times where he did NOT notice. Then I would struggle with the decision of whether or not I would tell him what he had just eaten. Mostly, I chose to wait to tell him until much later down the road after he had eaten it several times.
I know that I learned this game from my mother and father. They were always trying to convince me that I could not survive on ravioli, burritos and pizza for every meal. I refused to accept that terrible story that sounded like a big lie to me. These foods seemed to have everything I thought I needed. Mom definitely tried in every way possible to force me to eat those red, green and orange things coming out of our massive garden, which she dedicated many hours tending to. Outside of the strawberry patch, there were very few things I would consider trying. Okay, maybe it had a little to do with a stubborn streak too. My parents always hoped that I would have my own child that was as picky as I was. They definitely got their wish! My son could possibly be worse than I was.
One successful way that I remember my mother succeeding to change my eating plan was with her chocolate zucchini cake. NEVER would I have touched a zucchini baked, fried, or any other way where it showed any skin, texture or taste of that very beneficial vegetable. It would just be unacceptable in my books. She succeeded this rare time and before I even knew it, I was chowing down that amazing cream cheese frosting and grabbing my second piece when she told me what was in the cake. I had already admitted that I loved it so I had to embrace the fact that I lost the “hide the food” game that day. Continue reading Teaching Economics through the Lens of Sports