I was hoping we could get a general group here listing our goals for summer so we can all support each other -- you never know what your PLN has experience in without putting it out there. I'll start:
General: I want to read "Understanding by Design" by Wiggins & McTigue and "Never Work Harder than Your Students" by Robyn Jackson. It will be my third year teaching and I hope things get a lot tighter and well paced with a clear progression of understanding that is planned a head of time -- not just a miraculous occurrence. I'll be participating in the Inspired Teaching Seminar which I hopes really shakes up what I think teaching should look and feel like and makes me more "inspired" (though they'll have a tough road w/my #sschat crew who keep me on my toes already!).
For AP US History: I'd REALLY love to work on a crowd-sourced US history class i.e. Angela Cunningham's work she started last summer. I'm also going to the Gilder Lehrman Institute at Yale in June to get spiffied up on my colonial history which is a real weak point.
For World History: I'm going to re-pace my class to include India and make sure we get more time with the Age of Exploration, the Revolutions and as much post- Medieval as possible with at least one current event tie in for each unit.
How about you?
General: I am going to finish my Masters. This will take most of the summer, so after that I would like to take some time for myself and relax. It has been a long process.
U.S. History: My school just adopted a new textbook, so I want to get familiar with that. It is a Understanding by Design model, so I am interested to hear what Jamie has to say about it.
World History: I just got new materials called Hungry Planet and Material World. It is a poster set that shows how different cultures all over the world eat and live in a typical family in different countries. I would like to come up with lessons about these posters.
Woo! Congratulations on your Masters. What is it in? I'm starting the Graduate school search with my GRE class beginning on Thursday. Would love to hear about your experiences.
Those posters sound awesome. Do you have a link?
My Masters will be in Curriculum and Instruction. With the program I am in, I am doing a action research project on top of classes. My research focus is on how secondary social studies teachers teach citizenship, especially global citizenship. Do they teach about world issues, students' places in the world, responsibilities as a world citizen, teach with multiple perspectives, etc. I did a lot of change with how I taught my social studies classes, especially U.S. History, tracked my own experience, interviewed my students, and interviewed teachers in Idaho. I wanted to interview all over the U.S., and in other countries, but it was getting too big, especially since I only had one year to finish. I am saving that for my doctorate.
I have had an amazing experience in grad school. It has inspired me to be a better teacher, to actually read journals about teaching, and to become more aware of teaching as a profession. I am already planning a new research project for next year.
Good luck with your GRE, and your search for a grad school. You will have to let me know how you do. What do you want to get your Masters in?
Here is the link to the posters: http://www.catalog.socialstudies.com/c/product.html?record@TF39905+... The Material World is on the same site. The poster set came with books, videos, and curriculum guides. I took them home so I can figure out how I want to use them in class. I teach a variety of classes, and I can see me using them in all of my classes in some way.
My goals are also to finish my masters, and to get prepared for my first year teaching 7th grade U.S. History. Specifically, that means:
- Brush up on my own content knowledge (movie & book suggestions welcome!)
- Develop my technology approach (blackboard? pbworks? edmodo?) by researching and figuring out what will work best for my classroom
- Practice my Spanish!
- Study and pass my comp exam - last hurdle in my MEd
I'm so excited to have found this community and hope you all will be able to help me with the first two on my list.
Jamie, how exciting you're starting to think about school again - let me know if there's anything I can do to help. I'd be happy to tell you about my program (GWU) and my sister went through Stanford's program, if that's helpful.
For content knowledge, I highly recommend using iTunes University for free podcasts from lots of great college lecturers. You can get full courses on podcast and vodcast from UC Berkeley, Yale, UCLA, and a whole bunch of others. I just love it! I burn them to disc and listen as I drive to and from work. It has helped me organize my courses (Anc Civ and Modern World) as well as give me better understanding of the Intro to Psych course I had to do this semester.
This is a great idea - setting goals for summer:
General goals: Travel, travel. First stop is going to the Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo, DR to meet all the educators I collaborated with all year as well as the students that my students worked with on Google Docs groups, Skyping, and Moodle. We participated in NAIS Challenge 20/20 and hope to find another school for Digitteen CoolCatTeacher, Vicki. The global collaboration bug has bitten me big time and it keeps me going. Next trip is with my daughters, my best friend and her daughters to Mexico for R&R.
Jamie, have been to Understanding By Design workshops several times and it guides the way I teach - I think you'll embrace it. It makes sense when you decide what you want students to learn at the end and work backwards in getting them there - it makes is more student centered (at least I have adapted it that way). I have also read Don't Work Harder Than Your Students.
I want to use this summer to re-focus on some ways to teach World Geography- incorporate more current events in my class, more reading fiction related to cultures, help students find their voice in opinions, and organize their work/groups in better ways (thinking edmodo). I always have too many ideas and not enough time - need to find a couple of things and focus.
I got my Masters in '06 as my own were graduating HS from George Mason Univ and loved the cohort way. Now thinking about the next step in career - Doctorate? New job? ??? My colleague went to GWU and loved it too! Good luck to you, Jamie.
Have a wonderful, re-energizing summer and look forward to learning from all of you this summer. Go #sschat! :)
I loved reading about everyone's goals. I pretty much start every summer by sitting down and thinking deeply about where I want to be when the summer is over. I have found that I am most happy if I grow and plan during the summer. Also, I find that we are in a unique position as teachers to really spend time with our loved ones in the summer. The school year can get crazy and I tend to be uber involved in one thing or another. Summer is a chance to reconnect and invest in my family. So most of the school work here is going to hapen late at night after my kids go to sleep. Here is my list.
Take my kids to the bookstore every two weeks: The library is nice, but getting to buy a book of your choice was always exciting to me. The kids love it and talk about it for days in advance.
Spend individual time with my kids: We do adventure days. Each one chooses a destination and we go spend the day. My dughter is thinking the Illinois Holocaust museum (history nerd in the making) and my son is DYING to go to the Legoland store. The whole day with just us two. Awesome.
Focus on World History: In college it is most of what I studied, then I spent 15 years becoming a US expert. Now I need to refresh and renew my knowledge here.
Pilot new methods in my summer class: I keep saying "I should try this" or "That is a great idea." It's time to give them all a try. Summer school is a long day and perfect to try new things for the first time. So I am going to try new tech, new methods and finally a test free classroom. Why not?
Work on my family history: I want to hand this over to my kids one day when they will be able to appreciate it and where they have come from. Plus what I have learned blows my mind. My family was in Jamestown, and used to own slaves in MS. They were nobles in Scotland and built ships and submarines in both world wars. Who knew. I didn't but my kids will.
Read, alot: I want to read the required reading books for the students at school. I want to be able to discuss it so that their time seems worthwhile. I also have a pile of books I have been saving for the summer. Daniel Pink, Neil Postman, Several World History books. If I lay off of the video games I can usually read two week.
Seems like a lot. But I am really excited to get started.
My goal this summer is to rest and rejuvenate and rethink - I'm changing schools and my teaching situation will be quite different. I'll be teaching longer block classes of SS and LA, and my access to technology in school as well as my students' access outside of school will be much greater.
I want to create a livebinder of student resources and practice for each unit. I'd like to include a google form in each one to check for understanding.
I'm also changing the structure of my interactive notebooks. I want to make them more student choice orientated, and give them their choices at the beginning of the unit.
I want to think through how to make my classtime about the learning - not, ok we're doing reading, now we're doing grammar/vocabulary, now it is social studies time. In a perfect world everything would be integrated and just flow. My Sci/Math partner and I want to integrate as well.
I want to read every day - I'm catching up on my YA lit, which is actually quite good! I'm also reading as many teaching books as I can get my hands on. In some ways this is like starting from scratch.
I have a lot of goals for this summer. Most of them center around activities associated with #sschat. Getting ready for our NCSS presentations will be at the top of my list along with the following:
1. Planning for NCSS #sschat and video presentations
2. Transfer archives from PBWorks to the SSChat Ning.
3. At the end of July I will be attending virtually #RSCON11. Three days of mind blowing PD.
4. Writing a proposal with @Becky_Ellis_ and @Mollybmom for CUE12 next March.
5. Reading books like "Amusing Ourselves to Death" as part of the SSChat book club.
6. Lastly, I am working on writing curriculum for a Gilder-Lehrman funded class I'm teaching in the fall.
I'm sure I will be doing a lot more than this. Convincing my Principal to support the purchase of Stratalogica for my classroom would bring additional PD to my plate.:)
My professional goals for the summer are:
1) Find another Social Studies teacher in LA to collaborate with.
2) Connect with a teacher/classroom in another country.
3) Find a civic action program to connect my classroom with.
(I am going to Mexico and San Diego for teacher trainings, which will help out greatly with 1-3)
4) Find more films on Netflix that connect with my curriculum, and research ways of integrating film into the classroom in meaningful ways that enhance learning.
5) Do A LOT of planning and curriculum development, because I am starting my Ed.D. program in mid-August and will have less free time during the school year.
6) Based on your suggestions, I now want to check out the iTunes U podcasts!
7) Be active in online communities to learn from other teachers!!!