Idea #4 – Everywhere you go this summer take your classroom with you.
This one is a big one. Find some way to take your students with you, digitally, this summer.
Every life science teacher I know finds themselves in the forest or on the lake.
Every English teacher I know has a stack of books they’ve been saving for just these three months.
Every social science person scours the internet or antique malls for relics to add to their Sanford & Son classroom museum. Alternatively, they pack up the family truckster for travels with Charlie going to battlefields, museums, or visiting every cast plaque historical marker they can locate on Google Maps.
Regardless of your content, there is something you’re going to do this summer that would benefit your students. All that is required of you is taking an extra moment to include your students digitally. The example included here is from a house flip I was working on two summers ago. I was sheeting the gable end of the house and was putting slope and linear equations to work in a very real way. I always carry my cell phone, as I am sure most you you do as well, so all this required was having the guy helping me hold the cell phone while I did a quick explanation. The benefits go beyond seeing the math in action, I was able to use the construction vocabulary (pitch, 4-12, gable, etc. not the construction vocabulary you may have been thinking) in context, with clear application.
Regardless of academic subject, students would benefit from a short video from your cell phone. Alternatively how about a short diary entry or explorer’s notebook entry punctuated with pictures. What about an activity log or something you share on social media about your progress participating in that activity and use the school hashtag (with permission). The important thing here is to allow students to see you learning. In the classroom students see us modeling teaching, when we take them with us they get to see us learning and enjoying the process.
Something we as teachers take for granted so often is the lifestyle we live and the life experiences we enjoy. Not every student we have, and arguably few students in our classroom, will have experiences that allow them to put classroom learning in context. Any opportunity we have to provide them context is an opportunity we need to take advantage of.
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