Building off of my last post about Google Forms, I want to introduce you to an add-on called Flubaroo which can turn your form into a self-graded quiz (yay for efficiency!). The steps are very quick and simple, like most things in the Google universe, and is a great way to save some trees and implement technology in your classroom.
I love maps.
Seriously. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love maps.
I spent countless hours during my growing up summers in the cool basement, browsing through boxes of old National Geographic magazines – searching for and studying their wonderful maps. And even today, the monthly arrival of the National Geo mag means nothing gets done until I flip through all the pages checking for those very cool inserted maps. We have more than a few old geography textbooks in my house. Atlases. Gazetteers. Boxes of state maps collected during trips. Folded city maps.
When I left one particular school district, I even took the pull-down maps with me because I knew they were being replaced over the summer and would get thrown out. (That’s just between you and me, of course.)
So today when I ran across the book titled A Map of the World: The World According to Illustrators and Storytellers, my to-do list got pushed to the back burner. It’s a very cool book that captures a wide variety of map styles and tells a powerful story about how people view the world: Continue reading Maps as digital storytelling tools
On Friday, November 13 my good friend Joe Zlatnik of Basehor-Linwood Middle School and I had the honor of presenting at the NCSS national conference in New Orleans. In addition to taking every possible opportunity to eat Cajun food, we spoke with a group of about 40 teachers from across the country about strategies we have used to utilize our physical classroom wall space for instructional purposes
I am a firm believer in trying to give conference attendees as many practical ideas as possible during a session and this year we offered up four activities I have attempted at both Tonganoxie and Gardner Edgerton high schools. What follows is Part One of this presentation, with parts two through four soon to come.
Strategy I: If These Walls Could Talk: The Aurasma Concept Review
(Please note that I am in no way connected with the Aurasma app, it is simply something that was shown to me by a media specialist that I thought was cool!)
A common problem that all teachers face is the reality that there are many students who need assistance and only one teacher to go around. Worse yet, how often do students need a refresher on a topic they are studying without anyone to ask other than the almighty Google? The Aurasma app provides an innovative way for kids with smartphones to receive that refresher from the teacher him or herself in the comfort of their own home.
In an effort to improve the writing skills of my students and better prepare them for the Kansas Writing Assessment, the Multidisciplinary Performance Task, I have begun implementing the Stoplight Writing strategy. I attempted to use this strategy in my classroom last year, but as a last ditch effort before the test rather than a regular activity the students experienced throughout the entire school year.
This year however, my students are writing every unit using stoplight writing, and the dramatic difference in the finished products from last year to this year are extraordinary. Last year I feared that my 7th grade students didn’t know how to write a complete sentence, this year I am finding that my expectations for the students are too low and every unit I raise the standards for their finished work. Continue reading Stop! In the Name of…Writing?
Welcome to Scott Peavey, high school US and World history teacher at Gardner Edgerton. Scott will be writing regular posts as the newest KCSS board member.
As social studies teachers we constantly are finding little tidbits of information in our everyday “civilian” lives that create that special spark. I consider that spark to be the feeling of creativity and insight that educators get whenever they identify an opportunity to cultivate a teachable moment in their classroom. The source materials for these sparks are diverse; anything from reading the news to watching my one-year old son race across the living room floor. Over the last week I felt that spark as I was undergoing the most cost-efficient social studies professional development there is . . . reading.
I recently began H.W. Brand’s book American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism 1865-1900. Last school year was my first formally teaching 11th grade US History and I quickly found that the Gilded Age and the rise of the industrialists was a weak point in my content arsenal. My goal in reading this book Continue reading Reading as professional development and capitalism vs. democracy