Category Archives: Brad Burenheide

Building The Profession By Building Relationships With Teacher Ed Programs


Adam Topliff teaches 8th Grade social studies & civics at Wamego Middle School in Wamego, KS.  And loves all things Hamilton!



Let’s take a field trip. I want you to travel back to your college days.  

OK . . . before we go any further, this is not traveling back to all the parts of college. There may be a few details that you would like to forget or some events that you can’t quite remember as clearly as you might hope. 

But I do want you to take a quick memory ride back to your education classes, specifically your methods of instruction class.

What do you remember from the class? What were you able to take from that class that was designed to help you prepare to go into the classroom and be the teacher you aspired to become?  I can’t speak for all the colleges but I can say I took mountain of information from my methods class at Emporia State. (Thanks Dr. Mallein!)

The thing I liked the most is that the class was truly an active lab of learning how to teach beyond just the Social Studies. This was about teaching kids.  Everything from lesson plan design, to effectively implementing small groups, was geared to see the importance of the student first, not the content. Those lessons have greatly influenced my own thinking and methods as a middle school teacher.

You may not have had a similar experience. If you didn’t, I hope you were able to connect later with others in the profession who helped you grow. And I hope that you’re now motivated to help build the profession by finding ways to support and encourage others in becoming quality social studies educators.

How can we continue to build awesome social studies teachers? Continue reading Building The Profession By Building Relationships With Teacher Ed Programs

A Very Cool Website & Some Fun Ideas

I teach my methods students here at KSU to “constantly think about teaching.”  To do this, we always look for things to use even for small parts of lessons.  A picture to promote thinking, a quote to start a conversation, a primary source to investigate, all of these are ways to promote learning.  I happened to find a website the other night at class at the suggestions of Dr. John Harrington and Ms. Lisa Tabor who were presenting on geography…

Continue reading A Very Cool Website & Some Fun Ideas

Flags, Flags, Flags… and a CONTEST!!!!

As a guest post this week, Mike Cronin of Gettysburg Flag Works, shares some things you can do in the classroom and has agreed to SPONSOR A FLAG CONTEST where one lucky reader will WIN A FREE FLAG!!!!  The details can be found in the blog post so make sure you read the entire post!!!!–BB


As we educate students about American history, we tend to focus more on the events than on the civic observances that are part of history, too. However, understanding that Memorial Day is about more than parades and barbecues, and that there is a correct and incorrect way to display an American flag is also an important part of our culture. Continue reading Flags, Flags, Flags… and a CONTEST!!!!

“It’s Been A While…”

The title for this post is from the song of the same name from the band Staind.  A great rock ballad from a good rock band.  But I digress.  Now that I am back in the swing of things, I am ready to share some more great social studies information!  Today’s post is about the using of music in social studies education.

A good colleague of mine is Dr. Chris Goering from the University of Arkansas (and graduate of Kansas State University) has a wonderful website titled “Lit Tunes” where he talks about using music in language arts instruction.  As we know about the College and Career Readiness standards, we need to look at how we can incorporate language arts into our instruction.  I would greatly encourage you to look at Dr. Goering’s Soundtrack of Your Life assignment on the website.   Continue reading “It’s Been A While…”

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah! Internet Finds!

As I sit in my recliner on this Thanksgiving Eve, I want to wish all of you a restful and relaxing holiday. If you take on the hustle and bustle of the shopping season, you are on your own!

With that in mind, I want to share with you a few of the great finds on the Internet dealing with Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!

Library of Congress Thanksgiving Sources

The good folks at the Library of Congress have put together a good page of visual images and some documents that should help teachers of all grades make some sense of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Trivia:  This year is the first time in 125 years that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlap.

Library of Congress Blogger Caitlin Rizzo on Hanukkah

Last year, Caitlin Rizzo from the LoC put together a good blog post on Hanukkah with an interesting activity at the bottom.  The goal is to read a poem of Jewish Poet Emma Lazarus for each day of Hanukkah.

Where world religions are often taught about this time of year, I encourage you as a teacher to explore this website.  Often, I find several interesting entries to promote my thinking in exploring religions.

Article from IBTimes in the UK about Hanukkah’s treatment of the Mayflower Compact

As always, I want to give you resources to utilize on certain subjects, they may be useful, they may not, but I hope you glean at least one thing from them.

I wish you nothing but the best and hope that you can “sprint to the finish line” of 2013.  Have a great holiday weekend.

In social studies,