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Showing posts from February, 2015

When We Did Our First DBQ...

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History has been in a very interesting situation the last two years. With the introduction of Common Core and the dissolving of CSTs, history teachers have found themselves in a realm of possibility with no clear set of content standards. Maybe “realm” is too powerful of imagery for some, but for me I have found Common Core to be a blessing within my history classroom. 

Within the last year, my department has been evolving with finding the balance between old content standards and the new CCSS. Since CCSS implementation has been relatively vague for history, we have began experimenting and one of our earliest experiments was with Document Based Questions (DBQs). The very first DBQ I did with my students was:

Needless to say, the first DBQ was filled with failures, both mine and students'. The biggest failure of all was when I saw how much students struggled to critically think. The Hook Activity, for example, became a painful process when I had to slowly pull the answers of the sign…

When the I first used Chromebooks…

What I love about being a second year teacher is that I have lessons and units from the previous year. While I wish I could simply use everything exactly as I did last year, I’m constantly reflecting, rebuilding, restructuring, or simply redoing all of my materials. Recently, I came across my very first lesson where I utilized the Chromebooks and I was surprised about how much I have learned about technology in the classroom in the last year.

The lesson was a Harlem Renaissance Webquest, where students went to various websites to answer questions about different aspects of the movement. I was so excited to use the Chromebooks and present the material in a fun and interesting way, but naturally there were some major bumps along the way:

My first mistake was assuming students would remember their login information for their Google accounts. For many of my students, it was their first time signing in so they quickly forgot the passwords that they created and within a day half of them had f…