Friday, May 22, 2015

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Evans 8th Grade ELA/Social Studies

Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Evans
8th Grade ELA/Social Studies

  Today's spotlight shows the great work happening in Ms. Evans' room.  She is always thinking of how to make work exciting and engaging.  You'll definitely want to learn from this work she did to help students create Infographics and a Weebly site.  

Part One - ELA Infographics

What are the students doing?  

The students participated in a unit of study on revolutionary and world changers.  Students were then encouraged to pic a world changer of their choice and develop an argument supported with research to support and prove how this individual has changed the world.  Students then created an infographic to visually represent their information; the infographic was designed to align with their purpose while incorporating text features to create a structure that also aligned with their purpose.  After creating their infograhic, the students and I discussed public speaking and strategies to implement to speak well to an audience.  Although we have incorporated speaking and listening in our classroom all year, these presentations were more structured.  Students presented to their peers and received feedback.  The student chose the presenters, and we held an event for parents to attend and hear their student present. 

What do you hope students accomplish by completing this activity?  See above.

How did this activity tie to your standards?

According to our standards 8th graders are asked to write arguments and support them with clear claims and relevant evidence.  They are also asked to present claims and findings in a coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details while using appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.  They are also expected to integrate multimedia and visual displays to clarify and enhance their claims, reasons, and evidence.

How did this activity promote student learning?
This lesson promoted student learning through student choice, integration of technology, and parental involvement. I found that students took their work seriously as they knew there would be an audience to present their work; 98% of the students completed the assignment. The students from my ELA classes even came and presented to one of my Social Studies class to prepare for their final presentation; it was a learning experience for my Social Studies class because they provided constructive feedback to my ELA students that I then used when they presented for another assignment.  Although all parents could not attend the presentation, I was informed of parents who helped their student at home--creating a connection between school and home.  

Part Two - Reconstruction Social Studies 

What are the students doing?  
The students created a wiki to publish a reconstruction plan to help heal the United States after the Civil War.

What do you hope students accomplish by completing this activity? 
I hope students were able to improve working collaboratively, improve integrating multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interests.  This assignment also encouraged critical thinking and problem solving. 

How did this activity tie to your standards?
Eighth grade Social Studies is South Carolina History and students have studied South Carolina's role in the development of the United States throughout history.  This assignment in particular asked students to consider the differing impact of the Civil War on various groups of people in South Carolina, the development of Reconstruction policy and its impact on South Carolina, the economic impact of Reconstruction on South Carolina, and the successes and failures of Reconstruction in South Carolina.  Taking all these standards into consideration, the students created a Reconstruction Plan taking on the role of cabinet members while studying historical acts and events to make informed decisions in terms of their plan.

How did this activity promote student learning?
This activity promoted student learning by challenging students to think critically, work collaboratively, and use technology to deliver their product.  Based on student reflections, many students learned something new about contributing to a group and creating a wiki all while extending their understanding of Reconstruction and that time period.
Creative Commons License
Make Common Sense Common (MCSC) by Tyler Abernathy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.