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Showing posts from March, 2017

TouchCast Manifest Destiny Project

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Student Historians demonstrated how five events from the early-to-mid 1800s proved the idea of Manifest Destiny, the justification Americans had for land acquisition "from sea to shining sea". They used Touch Cast to create news stories demonstrating their knowledge.
My Student Teacher and I had never used it with a class before but I'm proud to say that she took a risk with this new technology and it was successful! Most of the students had never used it before, either, but all quickly learned how to navigate the site. One of the biggest tips learned was the importance of having a green screen to make the final project look more professional. We have 2 green screens in the building but Ms. Berger was resourceful and make a few more paper screens (which we will hang up and save for future projects). 

Time management for the project was very good--the few groups that finished early were given the real-life task of creating a "dos and don'ts for Touch Cast" …

Mentor Teaching in the 21st Century, Part 2

My Student Teacher is gaining momentum in the classroom this semester! My instinct was that she was going to be a strong candidate and I'm very pleased to see this is, in fact, the case. She's taking over classes and proving herself to be more than adept at the rigors of teaching. 
Even though it makes perfect sense, I am still amazed at how intensive student teaching is from when I was a candidate--she is being evaluated with the same evaluation model I am evaluated on. She must also demonstrate student growth and provide data proving this growth, like I am required to. It definitely benefits her to start with these goals even before she has a permanent placement in a district and will help her "hit the ground running" when she has her own classroom.
She is a reflective teacher, I'm very pleased to say, and is also a quick study. Her attention to detail and follow-through on those details will be invaluable in this profession. Her care and concern for students …

Growth and Change Thematic Assessment Spark Video Examples

This assessment is an excellent example of how Student Historians analyzed the events that occurred during the Early Republic. They did a thorough job of answering the questions and thought critically about the events on their graph.


This video also gives detailed answers to the questions and analyzes the events well. The two graphs  featured in these videos are different--this is due to different historical interpretations of the same events. Both groups have solid justifications for their events and those justifications were examined in class. 
I am very pleased with the results of this assessment. Many groups surprised me with their knowledge of history and their knowledge of math--some groups used the terms "independent variable" and "dependent variable" when discussing their graphs--they were able to apply mathematical concepts to this social studies assignment with success.

Math in History Education

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Students have been using math in History this week and I'm eager to hear their reflections today. We have been studying the early years of the American Republic and I created an overarching unit to tie these events together.
Using the theme of growth and change, each student began by reviewing 9 events/ideas and individually ranked them on a scale of +5 (positive change/growth) to -5 (negative change/growth). In group meetings, these historians were asked to average their findings and develop 2 justifications for their averages.
The next step was to graph their findings. I gave them graph paper (the x-axis labeled "events 1-9", the y-axis labeled "rating") and the groups created their graphs.
The final step was to create a Spark Video analyzing their data. They needed to more thoroughly explain the x-axis and y-axis (possible answers: the events show the growth and change of the country over time from Washington's Administration to the Missouri Compromise)…