Category Archives: lesson plans

And Rotate! Blended Learning in the Social Studies Classroom

gonzalez-inclassflip-stationsWhen I mention stations in the classroom, does your mind automatically jump to the organized chaos of a Kindergarten classroom? Could I convince you to jump to a social studies classroom instead?  Station Rotation is another Blended Learning model that promotes technology integration and differentiation, while enhancing learning in the classroom.

Stations are a great way to provide students with content through a variety of learning activities. Students can be working individually, with partners or small groups, with the teacher, and with or without technology all in the same class at the same time. Sound like organized chaos that could work in your classroom? Continue reading And Rotate! Blended Learning in the Social Studies Classroom

Financial Literacy Month Offers A Chance To Have “The Talk” With Your Students

Angela headThis 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.


FinLitMonth Image

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.

Piggy Bank Econ-dancing

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

SHEG HATs for the win

Hat fail.

I’m not talking about an actual hat. Not a baseball cap. Or a visor. Or a bowler, beanie, beret, or bucket hat.

I’m talking about SHEG HATS.

As in Stanford History Education Group and History Assessments of Thinking.

I’m sure that you’ve been over to the very useful  Stanford History Education Group’s site with its three different tools, right? (If you haven’t, mmm . . . go there now and be amazed at how your life will be changed.)

All of us at the KCSS have been pushing Sam Wineburg’s work for years so I’m hoping you’re already familiar with the work his SHEG group has been doing around the idea of reading like a historian. They’ve packaged their work into three chunks – instructional lessons that focus on training kids analyze evidence to solve problems, onlive civic literacy lessons, and wait for it . . . Continue reading SHEG HATs for the win

Teaching Economics through the Lens of Sports

 

Angela head

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.


 

bobsled-team-run-olympics-38631.jpegAs 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.

kcee-logo

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

Structured Academic Controversy – Lewis and Clark Edition!  

Today’s post is written by Cheney, Kansas middle and high social studies teacher Jill Weber. Jill is the 2016 Gilder Lehrman Kansas History Teacher of the Year.


Sometimes it all goes right. Thursday morning I didn’t think the day was going to turn out. It was just one of those rough mornings. Bad news and frustrations everywhere I looked. Before class started, I thought

Man, I’m gonna really have to fake-it-to-make-it today.

But then class started, and we got rolling with our topic and activity. By the end of my first block I knew I wasn’t gonna have to “fake it.” Today was AWESOME!

And it was made possible by the Structured Academic Controversy (SAC) activity I found using Stanford History Education Group. If you aren’t using SHEG in your classes . . . get on it! Seriously one of the best resources out there for incorporating and teaching with primary sources.

The SAC provides a controversial questions, documents for research, and the procedure for students to participate in small group debates. Students learn how to argue with evidence! And middle school students LOVE to argue!

The entire activity took two full class periods (we are on a block schedule, so two 75 min. classes) Here’s how it went down . . . Continue reading Structured Academic Controversy – Lewis and Clark Edition!