Showing posts from January, 2018

NHD History Celebrations

What an exciting week! The entire 8th Grade presented their NHD projects over the course of two days (my classes on Tuesday, Mr. Leone's classes on Wednesday). Close to 300 Student Historians culminated their semester-long project presenting Websites, Documentaries, Papers, Exhibits, and Dramatic Performances centered around this year's Theme: Conflict and Compromise in History. 

One huge change this year to make the projects more interactive centered around creating Weebly QR Codes. Making and printing close to 60 QR Codes was time-consuming but such a great addition to the events. The 6th and 7th Graders that came in to see and write about the projects were able to not just view them, they were now able to easily read the code on their own iPads and interact with the sites themselves! One of my tech-savvy students created a QR Code for his Documentary, Documentary QR Codes will be an addition to our District event and next year's school Celebrations.

One team decided to …

Teaching the Whole Student

January is a tough month for many, middle school students are no exception. It's been really cold where we live so students aren't getting outside as much, the cold and flu season is peaking, the days are among the shortest of the year and lack of sunlight is impactful. Post-holiday let-down leads right into the end of the quarter/semester and a final push with projects and tests. I've had so many reminders lately of the importance of teaching to the whole student (and to try and follow my own advice).
Caring for ourselves is crucial but it's particularly essential now. I need to be flexible regarding my expectations in the classroom and more patient with my students.  They are finishing quarter/semester activities in all of their classes and studying for assessments.
Taking the "emotional temperature" of the class each hour when the bell rings has been a great guide for me. It's pretty evident whether students are relaxed or not and many class periods l…

Student History Fair Preparation

Happy New Year!
This month Student Historians will finish their National History Day projects and present their theses to peers and the school community. 
One aspect of the History Fair is the valuable feedback Historians will receive on their projects. I debated creating a digital feedback program but decided to make paper-and-pencil reflections because it will be easier for the Student Historians to receive feedback. An audience Student Interaction sheet promotes deep exploration of projects during the History Fair and makes these projects interactive for both creator and viewer. Student creators will also realize how their work has impacted others. 
Audience members will complete the following statements:
One COMPLIMENT I have about how this project was made is...One QUESTION the information in this project makes me wonder is...One CONNECTION I have with this project and something I know (or learned) in Social Studies is... These sentence starters ensure the audience will engage wi…