Beth, this is a great idea. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. My first reaction is that this is big, which at first seems daunting, but after that one second of fear, I really, really like its boldness. The thematic connection to identity is a great one to work on with teenagers, especially when drawing a parallel to America as a country defining its identity, just as an individual does. I am in, and definitely will work with you to collaborate, if you want.
Could this be a lesson study project? If this is something that the group decides they would like to take part in, the lesson study piece could be one part of the greater whole - but it would have to be something consistent with all of the teachers - then everyone could break away and tackle the other larger project pieces for the unit on their own.
You've suggested a topic (expansionism to ww1 with an emphasis on immigration and progressivism), some ideas for what kind of project (personal interviews, imovies, global interviews, community interviews, political art pieces, etc.) and a goal (defining American identity through teacher to student directed learning). What specific skills would you like to highlight?
This has legs! :) Thanks! Other feedback?
This is great news! I too thought it too big to tackle but have really been working with quality questions & problem based learning this summer & thus agree with you about how this can be done. The subtopics I listed are the big themes from AL state standards 1-5 (that I have to hit) & then for specifics I was thinking about using ISTES student standards to embed throughout. Which can be found here http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students/nets-student-standa...
for me these standards bridge the gap between forced ridged state standards & 21st century/global standards. What do you think?
I really like the idea of it being a lesson-study project- How powerful to have educators from different regions, demographics, etc. all within the US defining America. I think that what we will learn within & from each other has so many possibilities in showing just how complex this question is. What were you thinking for the common ground to be? Could it just be the fact that we are all starting with the same big defining America question (which would love to hear suggestions on the best way to word that question) & then go from there as planning- bounce ideas off each other, have basic areas of discussion we all want to hit (immigration, reform, identity, privilege etc.) & then go from there?
Really excited about this!
You've got me hooked, as you know. I agree that the ISTE standards make sense. They are similar to some of the P21 standards as well. Are these standards the skills then that we want to identify? If so, then we have the bases covered.
Skills: ISTE standards (5)
Topic: Expansionism-WWI with emphasis on Immigration, Progressivism, & social issues
Goals: Defining America - What does it mean to be American? (values, identity, citizenship, role in the world, definition of democracy, global perspective, etc)
Project: Potentially creating one big story such as personal interviews, imovies, global interviews, community interviews, political art pieces, etc.
So who else is on board with this idea?
Please respond and/or offer others! :) Thanks!
I am very interested in this. We do not necessarily line up with standards at my school, but we have been talking about the big questions in American history, and American identity is one that comes up over and over. That is also a time when the students tend to gloss over a bit - the era between the Civil War and WWI. Yet, it is critically important to understanding modern US.
I am not really sure about the logistics here. I am used to collaborating with people in my building but not something like this.
Molly, first off I am very jealous that you are not lined up with standards. I am forced to use the state standards but really want to focus on embedding the iste standards into this. Nate is running the show, so I think he is handling the logistics of how this will all be ran. I would love to skype with you guys so we could discuss the possibilities of the project. Also, I am doing a de-labeling activity focused on identity in connection with this I'll post the gdoc link here and also the crazy gdoc I have been working on for this define America project- I am kind of all of over the place with it right now, I have it all written down and am in the works of getting it all typed up
also want to add that i am wanting them to carry this into second semester project which will be post WWI to present day- would love any feedback after we plan this one out on what do do for that time period I am wanting to focus on grassroots, social revolutions, something tied to "the people's story" I am thinking about bridging the better grasp of American identity to the individuals who lived it, and then of course to them.
If you guys don't mind me asking what are you class demographics? I am urban, 90 percent free and reduced lunch, vast majority is AA, small number of W & H. (this aspect just plays in so much into identity I think it is important that we know who eachother's students are or rather who society labels them to be (the purpose of the de-label is to shed all of the sterotypes, definitions etc that we are all forced into)
AND NOW I AM RAMBLING HERE ARE THE LINKS TO THE DOCS
also, have any of you read Native Son? They are reading this with the English teacher and will also be adding that in
Beth, I haven't read about Bigger in about 20 years, but I will brush up on it. I'll also check out the links. What do you all think about some scheduled Google+ Hangouts? Or maybe Skype sessions? Do weekends work best? I bet we can get a lot done in a meeting of minds vs. a meeting of posts. :)
Nate and Beth, I can make weekends work, although Saturdays tend to be better because my husband takes the kids to his mother's most weeks. On Sundays they are home with me while he works, which can mean interruptions. Once football season begins, I admit that I spend Sunday afternoons glued to the screen.
I am in a different school situation from you. I teach in an independent Quaker school in Baltimore. There are many affluent kids but also a significant number receiving financial aid. Diversity - racial and socioeconomic is a regular topic on the agenda. There are strong convictions to promoting diversity throughout the school from faculty to students.
Have not tried Google+ hangouts. Frankly, I have not really gotten much use out of it yet. I have also never Skyped, although I am planning to integrate that this year. It's funny, I fell behind the curve sometimes on #sschat, but in my building I'm ahead of it.
Are we talking about crafting one lesson plan or a set of guiding principles for a lesson? Both ways would be interesting and instructive. I wonder if we could have our students connecting in some way with one another ahead of time or answering the same set of questions ahead of time and sharing those answer. I bet they could learn a lot from each other. Of course, that may stray from the original purpose of this project.
One thing that we incorporate into the year is portfolio assessments - where the students have a menu of several different topics/projects within an area (usually a time period) and they have to choose one. I could see some follow up to our work together being an option.
Thanks for the post. How about Saturday at Aug 13 1PM? We'll find a way that works for us all to connect whether its Google+ Hangouts or Skype or chat somewhere. Typewith.me is another option.
So the goal is to actually create one lesson, or in this case, one unit. That's the task. It's to focus on the lesson, and make it the best possible, with collaborative design, single implementation, shared observation (ideally learning walks, but ours will most likely be virtual), reflection and revision.
Sounds great. My house should be blessedly silent at that time of day. I brought this to my US history team yesterday in a summer work session, and they were really excited about it. I can either have my whole team do it, or simply go off on my own a bit. I teach two sections.