A few weeks ago I was looking for something new to try with my students in our 1920's Unit. I think a critical part of teaching is to change things up -- to keep your teaching and in turn, student learning fresh and vibrant. Gretchen mentioned that her son Charlie was doing a Wax Museum Project in his 7th grade history class. Yes! This was the answer. I have to give a shout out to his history teacher (and my friend): Carrie Guild of Rachel Carson Middle School. Carrie -- If you're reading this know that learning about your project inspired me: thanks! I took the idea of a wax museum and ran with it. My students presented last week and it was a great success. This project has it all: collaboration, research, communication, creativity, learning, public speaking and technology. Plus, it is versatile and really will work for any unit involving a variety of influential people. I'm going to give you a little run down of what I did (with the help of our fantastic librarians: Gretchen and Susanna). I've also linked to a few resources and handouts. I hope the idea helps you in your lesson development -- when teachers share, great ideas BubbleUp!
BubbleUp Take5: Mental Health, Restorative Conversations, Capturing Student Voices, Discussion Strategies and Dogs!
This week's Take5 is full of strategies to promote student engagement and even more important, student well-being. From a new teaching practice -- Restorative Conversations -- to giving students a bigger voice in schools to the use of therapy dogs in classrooms across the country, we're focused on students' ability to communicate and to feel a sense of belonging at school. Together, we can all take steps -- big and small -- to help our students thrive not only academically but also emotionally.
Amy, an English teacher, facing the 8th grade Writing SOL (Virignia's standards of learning tests) in the upcoming weeks, came into the library with an idea to help her students review. She was armed with data from assessments showing the specific skills on which her students needed extra support and was hoping we could help her build a lesson. After some planning with Amy, Susanna (my co-librarian) and I delved into the 8th grade writing standards to figure out exactly what we needed to teach. What evolved was a review activity that surprised even us with the level of student engagement.
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