Standard #5: Application of Content.The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
5(a) The teacher develops and implements projects that guide learners in analyzing the complexities of an issue or question using perspectives from varied disciplines and cross-disciplinary skills (e.g., a water quality study that draws upon biology and chemistry to look at factual information and social studies to examine policy implications). (Performances)
5(i) The teacher understands the ways of knowing in his/her discipline, how it relates to other disciplinary approaches to inquiry, and the strengths and limitations of each approach in addressing problems, issues, and concerns. (Essential Knowledge)
5(s) The teacher values flexible learning environments that encourage learner exploration, discovery, and expression across content areas. (Critical Dispositions)
In my words: I know how to teach effectively by linking central concepts, using connected learning, and teaching both creative and critical thinking to connect classroom content to outside/real world lessons and issues.
Gallery of Artifacts:
Relating Lesson to Real-Life, Video & several ways to introduce the story and main themes
Journal #1 – Student Example
ALS Web Quest – connecting characters to real-life.
A few of my students’ Bucket Lists. Some serious, some goofy, but a wonderful way for them to connect to Tuesdays with Morrie.
The Scarlet Letter Intro: post-it notes with ‘ostracized’ or ‘community member.’
Global issue – “Nightline” Interview – is putting someone with a terminal illness on TV positive or negative?
Writing from the perspective of a character — looking at literature and connecting it in a new, personal way.
Comparing and contrasting the book and movie version of Tuesdays with Morrie.
Exploring the theme of ‘growing up’ and connecting to their personal lives.
Connecting contemporary music to reading in Book Club
8th grade extension activities
My Family Crests – connecting to House on Mango Street
List of Artifacts:
Themes in House on Mango Street-Themes are so important in House on Mango Street. From identity, home, and family to growing up, friendship, and culture, the book is filled with themes and it's essential that students understand them. Thus I created a notes sheet and lesson designed to help students grasp the main ideas of each vignette.
Theme of Growing Up – Notes-One of the major themes in House on Mango Street is growing up. As Esperanza grows up, she starts to realize things about herself and the adult world--hence why this is called a 'coming of age' novel!
Contemporary Music & Reading-“Hey, can I talk to you for a minute?” I pulled one of my Book Club students aside after class. He had been dozing on and off the entire thirty minutes (yes, Book Club is only thirty minutes) and I wanted to see what was up. “Look,” I said, “I know you’re tired, but it hurts my feelings when you fall asleep during my class."
“Darius & the Clouds” Activity-My students finish assessments at different points--this is a given--but it makes it essential to create extension activities and keep them busy and focused on the classroom curriculum.
“My Name/My Family Crest”-How can I connect students and their home lives to House on Mango Street? The answer is a family crest, giving students the opportunity to learn more about their unique cultures and connecting their lives to the life of the main character, Esperanza.
Compare & Contrast – Tuesdays with Morrie Movie-My kids finished reading Tuesdays with Morrie! Yay! To complete the unit, I wanted the students to watch the movie and to compare the book and the movie--understanding literature through multiple lenses.
Journal – Community and Justice System-My sophomore Honors English students had just finished reading Part I of To Kill a Mockingbird, and as a transition activity, I had them journal for the first 10-15 minutes of class about these two topics: community influence and the country's justice system.
Point of View Paper-To change up activities for To Kill a Mockingbird, I had the students write the scene at the Radley House (where Jem, Scout, and Dill try to peer through the window and Jem loses his pants) through the eyes of one of the characters.
Journal 4 – The “Nightline” Show-As I begin to wrap up Tuesdays with Morrie in my English 10 classes, I wanted to give students the opportunity to form an opinion. Some of my students love the book. Some don't. I wanted to get them working on opinion-based narrative writing, dip into persuasive writing, and most importantly, make arguments and back them up with support!
The Scarlet Letter Final Essay-Every good unit ends with a paper (says every English teacher in the world!). And for The Scarlet Letter, I couldn't agree more!
Finishing The Scarlet Letter-As my American Seminar students read The Scarlet Letter, we had some great whole-class discussions. Wrapping up the book was no different.
Journal 3 – Family-To help my students connect their lives to the story, Tuesdays with Morrie, I wanted them to write about themselves--right now, in this moment.
ALS Web Quest-Sometimes to understand a concept fully, students need to research and learn about the concept outside of the classroom discussion. This I've learned with Tuesdays with Morrie and his condition ALS [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis].