It's going to be awhile before I call myself an expert in anything, let alone Economics, but as I educate myself about the concepts I'll be teaching next school year, I'm realizing how the concepts relate and intertwine. I'm actually making connections that I never made when I was learning the same concepts yeeeeears ago.
This helps me build a cohesive Economics unit and challenges me to find ways for my students to make connections, too. Although Economics is only 1 of 6 units in my curriculum next school year, the concepts relate to units that will precede and follow it. The line-up of units is:
The curriculum writing team that I joined a week ago decided on the scope and sequence of the 7th Grade Geography course, and I'm already falling in love with it. I see how important the work will be for us to design units that flow one into the other and connect like chain links. I want my students to walk out of class everyday feeling like we're making connections, one lesson at a time.
So I've done some self-directed professional development and have learned some key things about my future content area. I've discovered that Geography has 2 major components: the physical and the human. Under the umbrella of physical geography, we find things like maps, landforms, bodies of water, natural resources, etc. Human geography encompasses things like culture, types of government, economics, etc.
As I gradually start to wrap my brain around how to teach both sides of Geography, I also grapple with these essential questions:
This last question is easy to plan for compared to the first two. Without even knowing what my future classroom looks like, I plan to create an inviting and student-friendly learning space by incorporating the following:
The aesthetics will hopefully be appreciated by my students and will cultivate an academic setting that is truly welcoming and worldly. I don't expect 7th graders to care much for cutesy bulletin board displays, so my focus will be on providing a more mature palette of art, photography, and music for them to enjoy and to enhance our learning. As for the other two essential questions, I think more research and PD are what the doctor ordered.
My name isn't Dorothy. I don't own Ruby slippers. And I don't have a dog named Toto. But one thing is certain: I have a new professional home come August.
A week ago, I found out that I was joining the staff at Antonia Middle School, and that I would be teaching 6th Grade Social Studies. I've taught the content in that subject area (and that grade level) for the past 14 years, so my placement news was something to celebrate. Just a couple of days ago, though, my future principal offered me a change of grade level and subject--and I took it. I'll now be teaching 7th Grade Geography!
Now, truth be told, I am probably one of the most navigationally-challenged women on the planet. I'm a landmark driver, not a compass-direction follower. Anyone who knows me well understands this (and laughs heartily at me for it). The thought of teaching Middle Schoolers map skills is ironic and hilarious.
But teach them I shall. Until my district is finished writing my subject area's curriculum for the upcoming school year, I plan to study the Geography curricula of other school districts. I'll also connect with my future 7th Grade teammate to get an idea of how she has concepts organized and paced out. I love, love, LOVE putting together units and finding just-right resources to use with students, so really, the fun has only just begun!
My name is