Tuesday, July 17, 2012

One month out...

We're only about one month out from the start of school. The pieces are finally coming together following a couple of sleepless nights! My goal this year is to not only have solid, meaningful content for my students, but to have an over-arching piece that ties it all together. This has ended up existing in many forms. Since it's 4:30am and I've been working (and tweeting, and Facebooking) for the last... 7 hours, I'm just going to go ahead and jump right into what each class looks like at this point.

Middle School Tech: As I mentioned, this has taken on a "Create - 6th grade, Collaborate - 7th grade, and Connect - 8th grade" feel. We'll focus on different programs and apps that hit the core of these elements.

6th Grade Civics: This one is still a work in progress...

7th Grade Geography: This is my masterpiece for the summer. The one I am most proud of. It is everything I wanted it to be and more. Starting with a quarter of "geography basics" we'll use geography, science, and history sites to really analyze what geography is - physical and human. Next comes 2 quarters of digging into different regions. The students will work in 3 week periods on scrapbooks, passports, blogs, souvenirs, packing "suitcases", the Wii, etc. to really dig into what each of these regions has to offer. The final unit is geography + history: Archaeology and all it has to offer!

8th Grade US History: In addition to getting more in depth than last year by cutting out some of the "extras", I have incorporated an ongoing blogging project that focuses on not repeating history. In fact, you can follow it at http://nehrepeatinghistory.blogspot.com - later this fall, of course. Students will apply historical lessons to current events, giving us a chance to cover both!

9th Grade US History: Again, a work in progress...

10th Grade World History: I mentioned before that this will be Big History - more on this to come as I keep working on putting the pieces together, but follow #bighistory and/or #nehbighistory for more on this! Conference call at 1pm today will leave me with more info. :)

12th Grade Government: Worked with TJ Schaefer from South Hamilton and Kayla Gaskill (@kaylagaskill) from Manson Northwest Webster a few weeks ago. We outlined our government courses together to follow the Constitution instead of a textbook. Follow that adventure at #NESMGov. We're hoping to continue to collaborate throughout the year!

12th Grade Government: I anticipate Econ looking much the same, I was pretty happy with it last year. I'm hoping to shorten the financial skills unit, and do some adjusting to our reading, but I plan to stick with teaching Friedman's book.

My first two years I pushed hard, making a splash with new technologies. Last year, not wanting to be all show and no substance, I dropped many of the flashy tech pieces for rigorous content. Now, as I approach year 4, I am ready to put the pieces together. I hope you will see well-balanced, rigorous, 21st century relevant courses from me! Stay tuned...

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