Game Design – Sprint Retrospective

How reflection creates student agency. Game day was an overwhelming success. The students spent one day playing each others games and offering evaluations. Students then had time to review the feedback from their peers and make changes before their work was graded. Throughout the project students prototyped their games and collected data to make sure... Continue Reading →

Applying our knowledge

As we round the circle at the end of our Constitution unit the room is buzzing with energy. Students are out of their seats, holding their laptops like busy waiters during dinner service while chatting away to their peers on zoom, and pulling through the junk drawer of creative supplies. The time to put all... Continue Reading →

Student Voice Drives Curriculum

Reading the U.S. Constitution is not a priority of my 8th grade students. At this point in the year their genuine interest has built about the Constitution, but the actual want to read a document written in 1787 is not on this "Must Do" list. This year we have the extra challenge of students transitioning... Continue Reading →

Boston Massacre Trial

SET THE STAGE One of the major skills I teach is argumentative writing. One would think that taking naturally argumentative pre-teens and harnessing that energy with be easy, unfortunately it is not. Students that can argue over grades, the pros and cons of wearing leggings at school and which football team will reach the Super... Continue Reading →

Analyzing Revolutions

The new unit on revolutions is content heavy. We are exploring the American road to revolution and the Revolutionary War. In the past students have created timelines that are a reference that will be used in the next unit when learning the U.S. Constitution. This year changed the project to involve a larger world view. ... Continue Reading →

Reflection and Rebuilding

Flying high off the success of our last project,  8th grade U.S. Government students are excited to start their new adventure.  They have been working with the same groups for the entire quarter and are ready to move forward with a dynamic new group. They enjoyed self-selecting their groups based on diverse qualities and skills... Continue Reading →

Visual Thinking in Government

The learning goal is for students to explore the power distribution and relationship between people and their governments. The hook is a lightning project. To hook students into this lesson time was used to up the level of anticipation. This project could be larger and could take more time, but the same learning goals can... Continue Reading →

Economics through Experience

Learning complex systems through simulations. Exploration of social contract theory raises the questions of why we have governments.  Analyzing different types of governments is the next step towards understanding the world around us.  Before launching into American history and government it is critical to define economic systems and types of governments that exist around the... Continue Reading →

Where are the systems?

This morning I was out on my daily run listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear. I am usually listening to books or podcasts as I run since it gives me the space to let new ideas bounce around my head. This morning the information was more thought provoking than usual. James Clear was introducing... Continue Reading →

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