ST Blog – Week 8

Some important resources:

  • Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt
  • Pandemic (Virus Outbreak Game)
  • Population Demographic Pyramids –

Lessons Taught:

  • Sovereign State Challenge #2: Code Red Virus Outbreak
  • Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt Activity
  • Planet Money Group Discussion

Thoughts I had during the week:

  • I got to see some really great examples of student work and creativity in the Planet Money assignment – very cool to see.
  • In one situation my cooperating teacher had to call out a student (Justin) in a pretty public manner – “Is this who you’re gonna be?” “Coming back from break, if you keep this behavior it won’t be good”.  Justin holds a lot of power in the class, so this was necessary to send the message to both Justin and the rest of the class.
  • I switched seats with my cooperating teacher – I now sit in the front of the room and he sits in the back – helping students get used to me being the authority figure.
  • In our Sovereign State Challenge, we had to dial it back a bit because students were going to crazy extremes (burning dead bodies before they even knew if anyone had died from the virus, or executing infected citizens).  Have to reign it in before it becomes a whole class wide thing.
  • Group Discussion format – Individuals come up with “best idea”, then split into groups and come up with “best idea” among the group.  Then, the whole class discusses. A spokesperson is picked for each group, and then each of those spokespeople share their “best idea”. Then, the spokespeople can respond to each other by raising their hands. Other group members aren’t talking to the whole group, but can tell their spokesperson what they want them to say.
  • Interesting pattern with the eighth grade group – one class is really great at small group discussions, but not great at whole class discussions; and the other class is the complete opposite. It’s important to keep this in mind when structuring discussions with this grade.

Teacher Meme of the Week:


Image result for teacher memes



ST Blog – Week 8

Day 20 – “Milkshake”

In today’s practicum, we had Advisory time – continuing to work on personal poems and setting goals for the year (and as usual including some sort of musical/dance movement) – and also class blocks – two seventh grade groups.  In the social studies block, students began to write out questions to guide their research on their Revolutionary War topic.  The teacher asked that they consider the complexity of their questions (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3) and advised them to use the assignment guidelines to help form their questions.


Today’s big takeaway: Providing students with a way to get their fidgeting out. My cooperating teacher purchased some wobbly pads for students to put on their chairs.  She figured that these would make the chairs a bit more comfortable, and would also help some students who need to let their “fidgets” out be able to focus in a less distracting way.  This is just one example of how teachers can make their classrooms a more productive and supportive environment for students.  Although it’s not “traditional”, it is an easy and effective way to promote student achievement.  Interestingly enough, I had a conversation about fidget toys with my father the other week. He, being older and having a more traditional educational background, didn’t quite understand the purpose and worth of such devices, so it was intriguing to reflect on the generational differences of viewpoints on education in this particular area.

Day 20 – “Milkshake”