We should always be thinking about ways to improve – even in May. So I dug around in the archives and dug out a post written several years ago that shares some thoughts about student evaluations. Because your professional growth and student evals are a lot like chocolate and peanut butter – two great tastes that go great together.
Billy Landes was probably the best teacher I ever had. Encouraging. Supportive. Tough. Demanding. Helpful. She let our study group leave to do “research” in the library when I’m pretty sure she knew that we usually headed to the donut shop instead. A learner. Smart. Knowledgeable.
And someone who always asked our feedback about how she could get better. It was the weirdest thing. A teacher asking Continue reading Chocolate & peanut butter. Professional growth & student evaluations
The National WWII Museum has an amazing opportunity for teachers this summer. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this! But hurry – the deadline for applications is February 1, 2018.
Explore World War II in New Orleans and Hawaii!
Applications for The National WWII Museum’s Summer Teacher Institute are now OPEN! This professional development experience for middle and high school social studies teachers includes a weeklong seminar at the Museum in New Orleans (July 22-28, 2018), plus a trip to explore WWII-related historic sites in and around Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (July 21-27, 2019). This year’s institute focuses on the US Home Front, and will include seminar discussions with top WWII scholars, guided tours of the Museum’s innovative exhibits, artifact analysis, and interaction with WWII veterans. Participants receive up to six hours of graduate credit for participation. Travel, graduate tuition, and seminar materials are provided free of charge by the Museum. For full details and the application, visit nationalww2museum.org/institute.
If you have other questions, please contact Joshua Goodman at Joshua.Goodman@nationalww2museum.org.
A couple of months ago, I felt smart. I had just finished a full day with some of the best social studies teachers around. We had talked about hyperdocs, completed a BreakoutEdu, identified photos as either real or fake, learned about a variety of graphic organizers, and participated in an awesome video conference focused on the Smithsonian Learning Lab with Darren Milligan and Kate Harris.
I felt smart. I had learned some stuff. I had taught some stuff. My brain was feeling good.
I should have stopped while I was ahead.
But after learning more about the Learning Lab, I decided to dig in a bit and see what all might be available online from the Smithsonian. And that’s where I got into trouble. About an hour later, I dug my way out of the incredible amount of goodness that Smithsonian folks have made available for educators. I felt smarter but not smarter all at the same time.
Smarter because I learned about some sites and resources that were new to me. Not smarter because . . . seriously, how I have I not known about these things before?
Just so you know, there is a ton of materials, lesson plans, and resources that the Smithsonian has put online. Seriously . . . a ton. Darren told us that the Smithsonian isn’t really sure how much stuff they have – he rounded it up to around 160 million objects. And that’s just the stuff in their collections, not the lesson plans and online exhibitions.
So just to share some of what I learned, here a few places that you need to pencil into your schedule to visit: Continue reading Yup, I’m smarter. Thanks Smithsonian!
Hopefully you were able to join us at the Kansas Social Studies Conference earlier this month or were fortunate enough to get to attend National Council for the Social Studies annual conference in San Francisco just before Thanksgiving. If you’re already looking for your next social studies fix or haven’t had the opportunity yet, might I suggest a trip to Kansas City?
Greetings, my fellow Kansans! With any luck the year has settled in for you. It has been a beautiful beginning, and the kids are just as wonderful as ever! My name is Jeff Benes and I am the Past President of the Missouri Council for the Social Studies. I live in Westwood, Kansas, but work in Gladstone, Missouri (be honest, how many of you had to Google those two locations). This school year, at the end of February, the Missouri Council is hosting our annual conference, and we wanted to reach out to you as neighbors and fellow teachers.
The conference will be held on the Missouri side of Kansas City, at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the weekend of February 23 and 24 (Friday and Saturday). If you have never had a chance to visit, this is the time. The museum itself is worth the weekend to come visit (and if you are a museum buff, you will need more than one day). On top of that, there will be great presentations in both content and practice, incredible speakers, a great lunch, and the opportunity to network with people just like you: Passionate teachers looking to hone their craft. Continue reading Balancing Security: Past, Present and Future
About 200 social studies teachers from around the state made their way to the Old Town Conference Center in downtown Wichita last Sunday and Monday for the annual state conference. If you were there, you know this already.
If you were not there . . . well, you missed a lot of social studies awesome. Seriously. Make plans for next year. Great conversations. Great learning. Great networking. Great food. Great people.
We know that Kansas does social studies a bit differently. Ever since 2013, when the latest state standards document was released, teachers in the state are being asked to focus on five major themes and historical thinking skills rather than just teaching a bunch of dates and places. It’s the balance between process and knowledge that we’re after.
But doing things differently also extends to our state level conference. It seems that in most other states, the different social studies organizations host their own conferences. Econ here. Geo there. History somewhere else. Here in Kansas?
The four major social studies groups – the Kansas Council for Economic Education, the Kansas Council for History Education, the Kansas Council for the Social Studies, and the Kansas Geographic Alliance – all work together to host one conference a year. With the support and encouragement of the Kansas Department of Education, this makes it easier for K-12 teachers to find us all in the same place and increases the cumulative social studies goodness.
This encourages some awesome learning opportunities. It also makes for a great Sunday night reception when we honor all of our different teachers of the year. This year’s winners? Continue reading Kansas teacher of the year winners, lots of social studies nerds, and a ton of learning