Showing posts from January, 2017

Entering the National History Day Homestretch

My Student Historians are putting the finishing touches on their National History Day projects in preparation for Tuesday's presentations. The projects will be in the Media Center all day and other classes will be coming in to analyze their work.
I wanted to find a Genius Hour activity for my History classes this year--NHD has turned out to be exactly what we needed. The students were working on research-based, open-ended questions. They were studying a topic that interested them and completed an intensive project, working within the parameters of a multitude of competition guidelines. They will also be achieving the third tenet of Genius Hour during our Presentation Day--sharing their finished work with the world (they are Middle Schoolers--their world consists of their peers). 
I am excited for them and proud of all that they have accomplished! On to Tuesday!

Persuasive Analysis Spark Video

Students created a persuasive analysis and used primary source documents to prove George Washington was or wasn't our nation's greatest president by creating a Spark Video. These Historians researched the Mount Vernon archives as well as the National Archives to locate letters, documents, and other items that should explain why he was or wasn't the greatest president. We have used this technology once before and it's clear students knew the ins and outs of this app much better this time. Here are two excellent examples:

Mentor Teaching for the 21st Century

My Student Teacher completed her first week in my classroom yesterday and it's already clear she will be a great addition to the teaching profession. This got me thinking about how much has changed in Education since my student teaching experience. 
I was fortunate to work with the person who is, to this day, the best History teacher I've ever known. She co-taught and co-planned with me and her vision helped to shape how I teach. I hope to think I would've found success in the classroom but without her tutelage the journey would certainly have been rockier.
A sixteen week placement may seem like a long time but there's so much for my student teacher to experience and reflect upon while working with me and my students (our students). I must maximize our time together and make sure I give her exposure to as many best practices as possible. This is the time for her to try new ideas and utilize 1:1 technology. I will continuously reflect and seek ideas from my peers and m…