KCSS is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Judy Cromwell Excellence in Teaching Awards. This award is intended to reward and encourage high quality instruction in the social studies. Winners of the award exhibit innovative and effective instructional strategies, utilize state and national standards, foster a spirit of inquiry, develop democratic beliefs and values, and participate in professional organizations. Nominees for the award must be presently serving as a social studies educator (K-12) with at least a half-time appointment and have taught a minimum of three years at the designated grade level. Awards will be given at K-6 and 7-12 grade levels.
If you are interested in nominating a social studies teacher, or you would like to nominate yourself, please complete and submit the nomination form. Complete nomination packets (1-2 page letter from nominee, professional resume, and 2 letters of recommendation) can then be submitted to either the email or mailing address listed at the top of the nomination form.
Complete nomination packets must be submitted by September 15th, winners will be notified by October 1st, and are expected to attend the Kansas Social Studies Conference in Wichita on November 5th & 6th. Winners will be announced during a reception at the conference on Sunday night 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 Award.
Download the information sheet for additional details about the award.
Guest Post: This month we have a guest post from Anne Wilson, Map Program Coordinator for the Flint Hills Map and Education Program.
As teachers, we often hear students lament: “What does this have to do with me?” We know if our kids believe an idea actually affects them, it all of a sudden really matters. However, actually relating learning to students’ own lives and local environment takes time and background knowledge we don’t always have.
Now a grass-roots team of teachers in the Flint Hills region has developed a new “place-based education” program – designed to connect learning to students’ own heritage, culture, landscapes, ecology, economy, and experiences as a foundation for the study of core subjects.
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How important is place? Bio-regionalist author Wendell Berry writes, “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.” Many of our students think they’re from nowhere. They are connected to everywhere but where they are. This program gives them the gift of pride, understanding and commitment to their place.
The bonus is: Continue reading Increasing student engagement through place-based education: The Flint Hills Maps & Education program
Don Gifford is the Educational Program Consultant for History, Government, and Social Studies Career Standards and Assessment Services for the Kansas State Department of Education
Over the past two years, the Kansas State Department of Education has focused on improving the civic engagement opportunities provided to the children of our state.
Step one toward this goal is the creation of the Civic Advocacy Network Award Program that will launch this fall.
The Civic Advocacy Network Award will be given to Kansas elementary, middle, and high schools who demonstrate that they are providing outstanding civic engagement opportunities to their students. The criteria for the award is based on the “Six Proven Practices for Effective Civic Learning” identified by the Educational Commission for the States and their National Center for Learning and Civic Engagement. These six practices, when implemented, will encourage the development of Continue reading Civic Advocacy Network Award
The latest KCSS newsletter is now available. Head over to get the latest updates:
This week’s blogger is Adam Topliff: I teach 8th Grade Social Studies & Civics at Wamego Middle School in Wamego, KS. I love all things Hamilton!
It’s that time again! Teachers and kids across the nation are preparing to head back to school. As we prepare to kick-off the new school year, it might be important to start considering the ways you are working to develop more civic engagement with your students. For the past couple of years, Education Commissioner Watson has stressed the importance of an education that develops the 21st century student. One key element of that is having our kids understand their role in the world around them and how they can impact it. In short, we are talking about civic engagement. Check out the KSDE HGSS site to learn more about the initiatives to bring more civics to classroom.
A key aspect of the civic engagement initiative is Civic Knowledge: Continue reading Civic Engagement In The Classroom . . . We The People