Gone are the days of rote memorization! Don't get me wrong...it is still important to memorize things, however, putting them in a more practical, real-life situation makes learning more meaningful for students. Isn't this what CCSS is all about...practical application? It is becoming clearer to me--as I continue my eleven year journey of teaching--that students should be showing what they know, not just answering multiple choice questions on a test. That's why I absolutely love this unit that our dept has created on Spanish-speaking countries.
We assigned students a Spanish-speaking country to research. Then we had them type their info in a Google Doc that was shared with the entire class. So really, all students were entering in their info into one "living" document. I called this doc "The Matrix". You will see why below. :)
We printed "The Matrix" for the students to do some comparing/contrasting. Man, it was amazing to see the learning take place as they studied this doc! It stirred up inquiry...it made meaning...it just created a spark in some of them that I had never seen. They were finally seeing the BIG PICTURE! Those are the exciting moments in teaching.
But here comes the even bigger kicker...then we assigned them a vacation project. Who doesn't like dreaming about a vacation? Lol. The kids then got to choose five Spanish-speaking countries to visit. They have to tell different things about these countries, show us their travel route, and present their vacation to the class.
I am so excited about this project. I realize that this make take some extra time for this, but seriously...they need it! We had one kid that thought China was on the pre-test of Spanish-speaking countries! Sigh.
So check out "The Matrix below". The possibilities for this are endless! I added the link here for you! Enjoy!