Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Looking ahead...

So many exciting things will be happening at NEH next year my head has been swimming.

First, we will be a PBIS school next year! Suggestions for apps are appreciated!

I will tentatively be teaching 6-8th Social Studies, US History, World History, and Government/Econ, as well as a middle school (12 weeks of each grade) tech exploratory.

We will also be going 1:1 with iPads for grades 8-12 - the kids and teachers are very excited! I look forward to offering new opportunities for NEH students with these great devices! A few of us are taking an iPad workshop this summer to get ready!

I took a page from the fabulous Shannon Miller (@shannonmmiller) and decided that the themes for the tech exploratory will be Create, Connect, and Collaborate - one for each grade level. By the end of middle school they will have worked through all 3. What that looks like has yet to be determined. I'll also be opening each class (the first year, then in 6th grade from there on out) a digital citizenship blended learning module from the #IACoPi!

World History, as I've mentioned, will be participating in the Big History Project - this is such an amazing, exciting opportunity for the kids and the students. I have a lot to learn still, but with the University of Michigan running assessments and the amazing group of teachers that have come together to work on this project I have no doubt that it will be a phenomenal course for all of us. I look forward to working on this initiative with other #IACoPi friends!

7th grade geography is a course that I'm really excited about. I'd like to move this one to SBG too, but have yet to discuss that with our administration (which will also be changing for next year). I'm looking at running a large portion of the course as a series of blended learning/self-paced centers that incorporate writing, researching, technology, and creating at every level. This isn't your grandparents' geography class!

I also have plans to get together with 2 other #IACoPi teachers this summer to work out a blended learning style governent course! I've already made some changes to my class with the regional work, but I'm hoping to bring next year's seniors a really top notch class!

Finally, I'm looking at working with the students to create e-portfolios. I'd like this to be cross-disciplinary, but at the very least will be completed for my courses. I don't know what this looks like exactly yet, but it's an idea I've been toying with. What better way to show that all our students are meeting their standards/benchmarks than having them showcase a cumulative file of their best work over the course of their high school career? Maybe it could be a senior graduation tie-in.... Or something. This is one of those big ideas that needs staff and student buy-in that I have just started tossing around in my head.

We've reached the end

The last days of school have been crazy and wonderful! I just wanted to outline my courses with some end of the year thoughts!

8th grade Social Studies ended pretty calmly. This is one class that I will be revamping over the summer.

Our Bullying PSA turned out really great, I thought, in Street Law

We got through 3 more chapters of Friedman in Econ before the end of the year and for next year I hope to outline it better so that we can accomplish more. I thought the book was pretty meaningful in terms of conversations about our modern society and I love hearing the kids ideas!

The World History kids were troopers as we worked through the ups and downs of my attempt at SBG.  Next year, as we move forward with the Big History Project as a large part of our World History curriculum this will again take some work over the summer. Fortunately it will be fully supported by BGC3 and their fabulous staff!

The Sports History newscast was funny, I wish we'd had more time for editing!

The US History kids' newscast is excellent. Some were more dynamic personalities than others, but all of the kids worked really hard. Their video is uploading to YouTube as we speak (35 minutes!) and I'm hoping to have it available to share later today.

The 6th graders are ending the year with some mapping skills in terms of US geography. They've been working in self-paced centers, and that's something that I'm hoping to continue next year for them in 7th grade social studies. Here are the ideas that I've put together so far! I am BEYOND excited about this class for next year! I've also issued an open call for video collaborators on a project I want to begin the year with for 7th grade geography.