I begin again. Last year, fresh with the blush of a new teacher, I dove in to teaching and blogging, and hit my head squarely on the side of the pool of: Too much, too fast.
This year I’m learning something important: the practice of the reflective teacher. I have become aware of the term. I hope to gradually become one. Right now, I am simply beginning reflective practice. It is a natural part of the planning process in the IB PYP curriculum model, so it seems natural to do some reflecting publicly, to foster conversation that might help practitioners. So…without further ado, I begin again.
I am working with my students on an economics unit focused on how consumption patterns influence supply and demand. We’re looking at favorite product life-cycles, how fossil fuels are formed and used, and how their burning affects our planet. I want to go deeper, to have them begin to develop their reading skills by digging into real-life texts on the environment, to develop their science skills by looking at local water quality, and make connections to our consumption patterns. They will develop their math skills by collecting and interpreting measurements, by starting “bogus bucks” bank accounts through which they are “paid” for their work of learning, and from which they must “pay” for their consumption of school resources, plus a bit of business that seems to have spontaneously developed in the form of: “Hey, how many bogus bucks is that packet of bracelet rubber bands worth to you?”. Apparently, B$150 isn’t too much to some students. I hope they can pay their “rent”.
This is a bit overwhelming. I am looking for resources to share, ideas for how to assess understanding, and most of all a sense that I am not insane trying to tie all this together.
Thoughts? Ideas? Resources? Bring `em on. I’ll share if you will…