Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tool #7: Reaching Beyond The Classroom

I really like the idea of "flattening" the classroom. I'd like to start by setting up collaboration between my two classes and between the social studies classroom upstairs. I'm in Civil War mode since it is what we are about to start. One of the main objectives of our Civil War unit is the kids looking at the war from different perspectives and I think by following & commenting on each other's blogs they will get to see that soldier's experiences in both the Union and the Confederacy were really not all that different. I think I am going to ask them to follow the blogs of at least two regiments in the other class and 2 from upstairs.

Another tool that I think we could use during this next unit would be Today's Meet. The unit is very student-centered with very little direct teaching involved so the kids have various things on which they are working on any given day. They are also competing for regiment points. Mrs. England and I could set up a Today's Meet board that is active throughout the day. The kids could post about what their regiment is experiencing that day and recieve battle points for each post. They could see what the upstairs classes are experiencing as well.

Looking into the future, I'd love to use Skype to bring in historic experts and let the kids interview them. There is an actor named Bill Barker who plays Thomas Jefferson at Colonial Williamsburg with whom I would love to set up a Skype session.

There are so many possibilities!   

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