We’re giving away money! Apply for KCSS Mini-Grants

Are budget cuts hampering your creative ideas? If so, a KCSS classroom mini-grant just might be the answer to helping you put those ideas into practice.  This year KCSS will award two $250 grants – one each to a K-6 and a 7-12 social studies teacher.

Projects that are eligible for the grant include materials and resources needed to improve instruction or to carry out special projects.  We’re especially looking for mini-grant proposals that will act like a Kickstarter campaign – funding projects and instruction that can be used multiple times with multiple classes rather than a one-time project or event. And while we believe in the power of field trips, KCSS mini-grants are not designed for that type of teaching activity.

(Not a Kansas social studies teacher? Sorry. Jayhawkers only.)

Structure strips. Seriously . . . where have you been hiding?

(Glenn posted the original version of Structure Strips on his History Tech site several months ago. He loves the idea of Structure Strips so much, he’s sharing it with us here at Doing Social Studies. Enjoy!)


Over the last few months, I’ve had the chance to be part of several teacher conversations focused on the integration of social studies and literacy. And for the last few years, I’ve had the chance to work with the Kansas Department of Education and Kansas teachers as we rolled out our revised state standards and assessments – both of which concentrate on finding ways for kids to read, write, and communicate in the discipline.

So while I am not some super duper ELA expert, I did think that I knew a little something about literacy tools. But I recently got a great wake-up call that let me know that there is always something new to learn.

I was doing some internet browsing for literacy activities and ran across references to something I had never heard of before. And it looks like an awesome tool to slip into your bag of tricks.

Structure strips. Continue reading Structure strips. Seriously . . . where have you been hiding?

Under Contract: Blended Learning in the Social Studies Classroom

downloadTechnology integration, individualized learning, differentiation, data based decision making, standards driven content . . . the list of expectations in any given lesson could go on and on, but how do teachers go about efficiently meeting all of these demands in their classrooms?

Blended Learning is a great solution that many teachers are turning to, and one model frequently used is Learning Contracts.  These contracts are agreements between the teacher and their students, which allows students some choice in their learning while requiring students to meet conditions set by the teacher.  Contracts outline an entire lesson or unit for students before they begin learning the content, providing them with what they will be learning, how they will learn it, due dates, and assessments.

Continue reading Under Contract: Blended Learning in the Social Studies Classroom