“can i go to the lav?”Posted: October 25, 2011
You want to go where?
“The lav. The lavatory. THE BATHROOM.”
Sheesh. Transfer students.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the drama and “other” stuff about school that I forget to talk about the most important parts – the curriculum and the students. And man do I love them.
Last class I introduced students to the structure of our Federal government by giving them a Constitution Scavenger Hunt. They were a little disappointed when they realized they didn’t get to leave their seats, but I think it proved to be more interesting than originally anticipated. I am constantly amazed at how different my classes and students are, but how similar their thought process is. For example, when we came to Article 2 of the Constitution (the Executive Branch), the hands started shooting up:
“But Mrs. Russ, what if the president dies, and the vice president becomes president. Is he still only allowed to serve 8 years?”
“What if Obama didn’t want to run for re-election now, but then he changed his mind 20 years from now. Could he run again?”
“What if most citizens really wanted a president to serve more than 2 terms?”
I am amazed at their curiosity and I get so excited when I see these sparks. I am happy to answer these same questions all day, because it tells me they’re thinking.
We’ve also been working on their 1st marking period project. Instead of assigning one cookie-cutter topic, I gave them a menu of options to choose from. In addition to selecting their own topic and creating a research question, students have to incorporate two elements of technology. I gave them a list of suggestions that included Prezi, Voki, Zooburst, Glogster, Myths and Legends, and others. I am amazed to see the final products coming together. One student is making a commercial about the citizenship process using Windows Movie Maker. Another student has decided to write a rap song and create a Voki to sing it. Others are making electronic scrapbooks, Prezis, graphic novels, and pop-up books to illustrate concepts like the 1st Amendment, democracy, rule of law, the legislative process, and citizenship.
I also came across this article today. It’s about the importance of Civic education at the secondary level. It says things that I could have told you over a cup of coffee, and that my colleagues and I have known for years. I’m not really sure why it took so many researchers with so many letters after their names to tell us in such a decisive way that we do, in fact, need to keep teaching Civics and social studies.
Was that ever in question?