Idea #5 Share your summer with your students live or in retrospect
I have a new informal geometry class next year. For those not in familiar with math nomenclature, informal geometry is a geometry class without proofs. You know the paragraphs or two column grids filled with postulates, theorems, and corollaries? Now that we have reopened a few repressed memories from high school, the goal of this class is to create a geometry course for students who are not necessarily “math awesome” and will likely pursue careers rather than four academic university. This is an opportunity for students to be successful, but also requires me to be pretty creative in developing the course. Serendipitously, I am building a shed at my house this summer, and it provides me an ideal opportunity to include my students in the process.
“Idea #5 Sharing your summer”, centers on including students in an ongoing project or conversation that allows them to see progress, frustration, setbacks, problem solving, learning, etc.
To differentiate what I am talking about in this entry from the last entry, idea 4 was taking pictures, video, etc of isolated events you experience this summer. What we are talking about in this entry is a longer term project that will happen over a larger time frame. Think Game of Thrones story arcs rather than Big Bang Theory episodes.
For me I am going to document the building process from planning, estimating cost, construction, etc. to use next year in class.
If you are a person that enjoys reading why not read a book you either will use or have used in class and either keep a paper journal or a digital journal of your thoughts, questions, process, etc. This could be something you do for a non-fiction book you have never read and either do a full book walk through or just do a series of 4-6 blog or vlog entries about impressions, difficulties, or surprises and how that affected your experience of reading.
If you are a life science teacher, make a list of plants, animals, processes, etc to find over the course of the summer and make a series of smartphone videos, picture scrapbook, explorer’s notebook, etc that puts those items in an environment, ecosystem, or some type of context.
Social science folks, keep a running record of your YouTube viewing and maybe a reaction to selected videos. Likewise you could also help our ELA folks out and log your progress and non-fiction skills as you read through your pile of summer books. If you are a teacher who is researching something this summer, either formally or informally, in some way create a means of following your progress. It may be something as simple as tweeting on your professional twitter account your 240 character thoughts and encourage students to follow that account.
If you blog, blog.
If you Vlog, Vlog.
If you are a writer, write.
It doesn’t matter what your passion is, share it with students. It may be something you will use for curriculum, it may just be something that makes you more human to your students. I have no interest in blacksmithing but I subscribe to Essential Craftsman’s video’s because his passion is infectious. I stopped “gaming” when Nintendo added more than two buttons, but I watch every Gamer’s Nexus video testing computer hardware. The list goes on, but the lesson is that passion transcends topic and by sharing our interests with students there is something to be gained, and if you can’t find a way to apply your interests to your classroom you are not being creative enough.
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