History In Halstead

Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

US History

Poster Website:


Thursday, January 11, 2007

US History Discussion Question #6

Mr. Warsnak loves quotes!

Find a quotation from the World War II Era. Post it to this blog, tell who said the quote and write a sentence why you think the quote is important or significant.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

US History Discussion Question #5

What was the biggest tragedy of World War II? Why?

US History Discussion Question #4

What were some of the positive and negative changes that occurred in the US during World War II?

US History Discussion Question #2

Which country had the best leader in World War II?

US History Discussion Question #3

What is the most important thing to learn about World War II and why?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

US History Discussion Question #1

Could anything have been done differently to prevent the outbreak of Wolrd War II?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Poem of the Day

You have no enemies, you say?
Alas, my friend, the boast is poor.
He who has mingled in the fray of duty
that the brave endure, must have made foes.
If you have none, small is the work that you have done.
You've hit no traitor on the hip.
You've dashed no cup from perjured lip.
You've never turned the wrong to right.
You've been a coward in the fight.

Charles McKay

I think too often in the spirit of the moment that we do not say the right things and then later on when we have had time to think through the problems we lose the courage to go back and make them right. I am going to have to do a better job of having the courage to go back and make things right.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A great comment from a former student

First, I can not say this often enough, I am so proud of my former students. I think many of them are going to be outstanding in their chosen career paths. In fact I believe that some them will make substantive changes to our world. It is my deepest hope that I had some small influence that might have helped them in their pursuit of greatness. To that accord I received a comment from a former student concerning the lack of understanding of history. She said:

I think the researchers hit on a very important fact, but it's not just limited to the field of history. I don't think people know how to learn. In all honesty, the things I remember from high school aren't study habits or the mechanisms for comprehending challenging information, but a few facts scattered about that I managed to lock away in my memory and then throw back out on the tests. Now that I am in college, I have had to spend time learning the process I have to go through to actually understand what is going on. This may go back to what you have always said about the education system and how it trains us for a factory setting. When, in that situation, would someone need to know the reasoning or logic behind what happens? There are three types of intelligent people, as anyone would tell you. Book smart, street smart, and both. I'm not saying that it is up to schools to teach people common sense, but it flies in the face of logic to give some people such a high recommendation over the rest when in reality they are just better at taking tests. Then again, students are by nature resistant to learning. So the root of the problem isn't necessarily in the way information is taught, but in the way students are taught to accept it.

Her post leads me to more questions:

Brittany says that schools teach knowledge instead of habits or the mechanisms for comprehending challenging information. I agree with her but I wonder if schools could teach the habits for comprehension that she speaks of without first teaching knowledge. Maybe it is better to teach knowledge at the secondary levels and then expect students at the college level to do something with that knowledge. Part of the issue could be the importance of tests which Brittany makes reference to but I also think that there are other issues. It is easier to teach knowledge and since their are few monetary incentives for teachers to innovate their units so why bother? Also, since their is pressure to get through certain material teachers have very few built in structures to help students if they fail on tests. Typically, if you do not get the information, then you simply move on to the next unit. Lastly, I am dying to know more about her last comment:

So the root of the problem isn't necessarily in the way information is taught, but in the way students are taught to accept it.

Any ideas?

Sunday, October 29, 2006



Leadership Quote

I found this quote from an article on yahoo finance. It was from an article named Overlooked Risks Great Leaders Take

An often-overlooked trait of great leaders is that while they grow their business, they also grow their business' future leaders. They are always on the lookout for leadership talent, and when they find it they give those talented people opportunities to develop, finding ways to test them and expand the breadth and depth of their capabilities.

FOR DISCUSSION: Based on your educational career what are some overlooked that great teachers have?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fall is upon us and Football is going well

A good weekend of football:

Pittsburg State won their Homecoming game
Notre Dame won is a wonderful comback
the Kansas City Chiefs won a thriller with a last second field goal
and best of all...

Halstead High School won their district game versus Hutch Trinity.

also we had three runners qualify for the state cross country meet so good luck Emma, Travis and David.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

World War I Links

The following sites can be beneficial in finding information relating to the US entering World War I. Remember the quiz is open notes not 'open stuff that you copied from the internet!'

US enters the war!
The Lusitania
The US enters WWI

Feel free to leave other links in the comment section.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I read an interesting article by David Shirbman discussing history and children in our nation. Here are some of the highlights:

I was not exactly stunned when I read that a perfectly reputable group, using perfectly simplistic methodology, came to the perfectly predictable conclusion that college freshmen were basically historically illiterate and that college seniors were little better

the temptation is there -- you think it's their fault. It's not. It's ours. They don't have historical amnesia, because you have to know something to be able to forget it. They have historical ignorance, and we gave it to them.

here is more to understanding history than merely knowing facts. Facts are the raw material of history. But, just as coke is not steel, facts are not history. And truly the best way to understand history -- and here the words know and understand do not mean the same thing -- is to study it.

In showing how governments were created or overthrown, how movements began and faded away, how historical forces gathered strength and then petered out, history provides few lessons but much perspective. Your grandfather had a word for perspective, and if you were lucky he personified it: wisdom.

Personally, I try very hard to get students in my classroom to get students to ask the question why? this is not an easy thing to do because people naturally economize and often will not exert effort if they do not see the benefit. It is difficult to see the benefit of knowing and understanding history often times. Still, I enjoy the challenge and will keep working at it.

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