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 →

Constitutional Game Design – Game Day!

The build up to game day has been anxiety riddled. Students have been testing their games, tweeking rules based on data, and working on design elements. I have spent the last few lunch periods at the laminator helping to create "real" game cards, while the students have been working in hallways on FaceTime with their... 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 →

Exploring Writing Skills

Writing is a large part of a humanities class. For my government class I specialize in informational and argumentative writing. Most social studies classes in America place a heavy emphasis on this type of reading and writing because our English classes cover most other forms.  Practicing these skills is not always, or lets say never,... Continue Reading →

Assessments in Distance Learning

Sitting in a meeting about authenticating assessment, my mind wanders to the overall state of education.  Here we are almost 1 year into a pandemic. Our systems have been thrown against a wall and decimated.  Pivoting in a weekend our normal flow of life came to a dead stop. Everything started spinning and it isn’t... Continue Reading →

Gamify the Constitution

With a rush of excitement, a push towards action and an explosion of intellectual growth the Analyzing Revolutions unit is over. The students have completely blown past expectations in the products they have made, the discussion they have led and the skills they have acquired. The last minute push exhausted all of us, but luckily... Continue Reading →

Sketch noting the Constitution

The 8th grade students have decided that this year we are re-writing our Constitution to intertwine it with game design. The students expressed that they wanted to learn design thinking and create games that show their mastery of the U.S. Constitution. Excitedly, I jumped into planning. Content goals first, skill goals second. Every year students... Continue Reading →

Revolutions as Infographics

A huge part of the teenage experience in 2020 is living and learning through images. Students are bombarded by images through their social media. They absorb the majority of their information through images, so it is necessary that they begin to learn the skills that drive media. The skill of synthesizing information from facts to... Continue Reading →

Declaration of Independence the Musical

When Middle School students are told they are going to engage with a primary source the feeling of the room shifts. The smiling faces disappear. The air becomes stagnant. All joy in the world has been stifled. Not even the worlds most famous break up letter brightens their faces. The Declaration of Independence is not... 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 →

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