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Tip of the Week: Kansas social studies conference is gonna be awesome

For some of you, this post may not be that relevant. You don’t live close to Kansas. Or maybe you’re not a social studies teacher. But if you live in Kansas, or close to Kansas, or don’t mind making a trip to Kansas and you’re a social studies teacher, have I got a deal for you.

For the last two years, the Kansas Department of Education, the Kansas Council for History Education, and the Kansas Council for the Social Studies has co-hosted a one day conference focused on best practices and instructional resources. It’s always a great time. You make new friends. You meet old friends. You eat great food. You walk away with door prizes. And you always learn a ton.

The Kansas Geographic Alliance, the Kansas Council for Economic Education, and the Kansas Historical Society all show up as well. Basically, if you have a question about social studies, this conference is the place to be. And it really is for anyone who wants to be a part of an awesome learning opportunity.

This school year, the conference is scheduled for February 23 and will be in McPherson, Kansas. We’re still working on some of the specific details but you need to save the date. Let others in your department know. Talk to your admin folks. And plan on heading to McPherson.

A few teasers:

  • The focus will be on high-quality formative and summative assessments. Don Gifford, KSDE social studies consultant, will share the latest on the state social studies assessment field test. We’ll have all sorts of classroom teachers and specialist sharing the best ways to measure historical thinking.
  • There will be two tracks during the day – one concentrating on grades K-5 and another on 6-12. So you can pick and choose whatever sessions best fit your needs.
  • A new feature this year will Un-Conference sessions. The idea of an Un-Conference session is pretty simple – people show up in a space and talk and ask questions and answer questions and solve problems specifically about stuff that they need right then. This type of just-in-time learning is perfect if our conference session lineup doesn’t have exactly what you’re looking for. So . . . maybe you want to learn more about how Google Classroom can support collaborative document analysis. The conference doesn’t have any sessions on Classroom. Head over to the Un-Conference room and find someone who has the answer. We’ll be staffing that area with all sorts of folks from the different organizations who can help.
  • We are also planning to have a few longer pre-conference sessions on Sunday February 22. So if you’re traveling in for Monday, you might has well sign for some Sunday pre-con goodness. And if you’re not staying overnight, you can drive back and forth and should sign up anyway.
  • As always, college credit will be available.

All the info you need or will need can be found at the conference web site. Like I said, we’re busy tweaking the details so right now you’ll just find the basics. But bookmark the page and be sure to check back in a few weeks. We’ll have the registration up and going, hotel details, and location specifics.

One thing you can do right now is to submit a session proposal. We’re committed to having as many classroom teachers as possible share their best stuff. So if you have a lesson, strategy, tool, web site, resource, or activity that supports best practices in instruction or assessment, we want you. And trust me. You’ve good the goods – you can do this!

Submit a proposal online here. We’re getting a lot of buzz about the conference so you want to get your proposal in soon.

Let me or Kori Green know if you have any questions!

Your homework?

  • Save the date.
  • Talk to your admin.
  • Bookmark the website.
  • Submit a session proposal.

See you in February!


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