Category Archives: professional development

Buzzworthy Social Hour, KS SS conference, and engaging project smackdown

Social Hour LogoIf you’re on the fence about making the trip to Emporia for this year’s Kansas SocialStudies Conference, take a quick listen to a podcast from Buzzworthy Productions aka TJ Warsnak and Derek Schutte of Halstead High School.  In this edition of The Social Hour podcast, TJ and Derek display their own unique flair while sharing excitement for the direction the discipline is taking, battling it out in a social studies most engaging project smackdown, and highlighting some of the topics they’ll be sharing during their session at the conference.

Catch The Social Hour Podcast by clicking the link below:



The 2018 Kansas Social Studies conference targets the teaching and learning of historical thinking skills and assessments with a special focus on creating civically engaged students.

In addition to TJ and Derek’s Buzzworthy Productions, there are over 45 breakout sessions during this year’s conference including keynotes by Joel Breakstone, executive director of the Stanford History Education Group. Joel will focus on SHEG’s latest online civic literacy tools and share tips and tricks for using their award winning lessons and assessments.

The conference is October 28 and 29 at the Emporia State University student union. Get all the details and registration information at the conference website here.

And be sure to catch all the TJ and Derek Buzzworthy goodness during their breakout session:

Adding BuzzWorthy Engagement to the Social Studies
Monday October 29
9:30 am – 10:20 am
Blue Key Room
ESU Memorial Union 2nd Floor

Can we combine civic engagement, technology and project based learning in a cohesive way? You bet we can, and when we do, our classes become more engaging. Check out our methods of how we combine these three components to expand learning opportunities and make your classes more buzzworthy. Hear about a new projects that can easily be integrated into your classes as well as how to use Google Sites as a basis for future designs. Join us for a a fun session full of ideas, laughs and some new teaching designs.

Both TJ and Derek are active on Twitter and can be reached at:
@thewarsnack
@coachshutte

I Was in the Room Where it Happened!

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 2.54.13 PMThis week’s post comes from Dr. Robyn Kelso. Robyn teaches senior American Government, American National Government, and International Relations at Eudora High School in Eudora, KS. Robyn enjoys learning across social studies and am curious about the world as a whole.  Robyn also enjoys reading and working on her hobby cattle farm.


Those who are familiar with the headline . . . yes, it is a shameless steal from Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. I was lucky enough to have stars align and enable me to take three different professional development fellowships this summer. I felt this lyric particularly applied for my first trip as part of the Supreme Court Summer Institute through Street Law in Washington DC.  From content learning to lesson plans and a visit to the Supreme Court to hear opinions announced during the last days of the term, this was a terrific opportunity all the way around.

My takeaways from this experience included several things:

Continue reading I Was in the Room Where it Happened!

Teacher’s Deserve More Than An Apple! KCSS Teacher of the Year Award

all winners

Nominations for the 2018 KCSS Teacher of the Year are now being accepted at both the elementary (K-6) and secondary (7-12) levels. Winners will be announced at the fall state social studies conference and are awarded $250, conference registration, and travel expenses. Both winners are automatically considered for the Kansas State Combined Teaching Award and are also eligible for the National Council of the Social Studies Teacher of the Year.

Continue reading Teacher’s Deserve More Than An Apple! KCSS Teacher of the Year Award

Summer Professional Development . . . on Instagram?

barefoot beach blur break

Teacher Perks: “You get summers off.”

How many times have you had someone outside the education profession say this to you? If you are reading this blog post, chances are you know that it’s really not true. You probably know that teachers use these precious summer months to recharge, refuel, and LEARN. We strive to find ways to perfect our craft and answer questions that came up over the past school year.

This is the first summer that I did not physically attend multiple professional development conferences or workshops in June and July. I say “physically” because looking back on the past few months, I do feel that I attended professional development in a new and different way. Over the past year, I have found a new community on Instagram.

access blur close up colorful

This community is filled with educators from all different content areas and age ranges. Educators are posting lesson plan ideas, classroom management strategies, classroom organization tips, and even personal stories and experiences. Many of them have stores on Teachers Pay Teachers, blogs, or vlogs and are sharing content / pedagogical strategies for the world to access at our finger tips.

How to Get Started

I first started by creating a separate account just for my education world. I tried to Continue reading Summer Professional Development . . . on Instagram?

How do we help students compete in this global economy? A professional development opportunity.

Angela headThis pre-holiday week post is from 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.


How do today’s students become more competitive in this ever-changing global economy?  One of the best ways is to increase the level of understanding in regards to economic issues.  As citizens of this great Nation, we should all strive to be better consumers, producers, workers, investors, voters and all around better decision makers in everything we do.  This makes the case for economic literacy in the classroom.   Kansas and the entire Nation will gain when we increase the level of economic education in Kansas.

Many people think that economics is rather abstract and difficult to teach to our youth.  While we might be a little biased in the Council for Economic Education network of states councils, we very strongly disagree.  Economic education must have priority in our K-12 school system just like we teach math, language arts and history.  Economic education should have foundations laid as students progress in their level of understanding.  At the age of 18, students can vote but we know that many lack the most basic understanding of economics.

Economics concepts are easy to integrate across the curriculum into language arts, math, science and social studies since economics is everywhere.  While many say economics is boring, most teachers introduced to great resources are very excited to go back and teach economics in their classroom.  Economics is practical and it definitely relates to the real world.  Students will instinctively recognize the relationship when teachers bring them engaging lessons.

Schools and teachers will also find that teaching economics can also be easy on the ol’ budget.  Free educational resources and professional development opportunities are readily available in most states, including Kansas.  The Kansas Council for Economic Education (KCEE) is here to help Kansas schools.  KCEE has partnered with the Foundation for Teaching Economics to bring Kansas teachers a special one-day training:

July 25Understanding Global Economic Issues – an event offered in partnership with the Foundation for Teaching Economics for 6th-12th grade teachers incorporating global economic concepts into classes.  Focus of program is on current global economic issues with a variety of lecture/discussion sessions and case studies/simulations adapted for classroom use.

  • FREE one day professional development event
  • Location – Lake Quivira Country Club, south of the Kansas Speedway off Hwy 435
  • $50 stipend if accepted by 10th
  • Optional: One hour graduate credit in economics from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (approximately $122).  Assignment to be given during program seminar.

Why do people trade – across city lines, state lines, or national borders?  Are we better off with or without trade?  Will trade hurt or benefit certain groups of people?  How do some nations try to distort trade patterns?

These questions and many more are incorporated into the various lecture/discussion sessions and case studies that serve as the basis for the FTE One Day seminar on Understanding Global Economic Issues.

Presented in a non-biased manner, issues that face nations throughout the world will be explored and discussed.  Case studies and simulations may be adapted to variety of classes and disciplines.

The primary economics concepts emphasized throughout the sessions will be those related to the role of trade in raising standards of living and how policies can be developed to accomplish this goal.

Sessions will focus on current global trade patterns, trade alliances, impact of changes in exchange rates, and trade-offs that occur as trade patterns change over time.

REGISTER ONLINE:  http://bit.ly/UGEIapplication Seating is limited so apply ASAP.

4C_CEE_Horiz_CMYK

KCEE also offers other ways to help schools.  Webinars will be available in August for some programs and events.    Most states have a Council affiliated with the Council for Economic Education is a non-profit education organization with a great network of state Councils.

Register online or find out more about these workshop on the KCEE website at www.kcee.wichita.edu.  Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KCEE1959.