I recently ran into a guy named Michael following a session at a social studies conference. Michael teaches history in a large, urban high school with a ton of low SES and ELL kids. His situation seemed so desperate to me that I had to ask him what strategies he used to convey content and meaning, how he got kids to makes sense of historical information.
He began sharing some of ideas and I realized that his situation wasn’t desperate. The kids in his classes – the low SES kids, the ELL kids – are learning and they’re learning at high levels. And it’s because of Michael.
I’ve read the ton of research out there documenting the importance of quality teachers. But it was fun to actually sit down and talk with someone who knows the content, who understands what works, and spends time honing his craft. To talk with someone whose actions suggest that the research is right.
A few of his ideas? Continue reading Simple things, really. But with huge impact.
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.
As 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.
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
(Several years ago, I wrote a quick post on strategies that can be used during the first week of school. I updated the content and posted it below.)
We have two very simple unbendable, unbreakable rules in our house. No Christmas music allowed before Thanksgiving. No talking about school before August.
It’s August. So . . . we’re talking about school.
If you’re not already at school, you’re heading there soon.
And you probably already have some idea of what you and your students will be doing during the first few days of school. But it’s always nice to have a few extra tips and tricks in your bookbag to start off the school year.
So today? Five great ideas that can be adapted for just about any grade level or content. Use what you can. Adapt what you can’t. Add your own ideas in the comments.
What not to do
Before we get to the good stuff, it’s probably a good idea to think about what doesn’t work. Continue reading Five great back to school ideas for social studies teachers
The digital landscape that you and your kids have to navigate has exploded. Mobile technology, apps, instant access, digital content. The stuff is everywhere. And all of that stuff is changing how we do school.
But sometimes it feels like there is just too much. Sometimes it’s easier to just throw up our hands and try to ignore everything out there. How do we sort through all of it? We need unbiased and relevant information that can help us find the best of what we’re looking for.
And now there’s help. Enter Graphite, a free tool designed just for educators.
Graphite is a service Continue reading Find the best apps, games, and sites with Graphite