Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Matrix

Gone are the days of rote memorization! Don't get me 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 made 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!

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