Hi everyone! I am so glad to finally be back and writing today!
My last post in September explained that I had a lot on my plate and updating the blog was just not ideal in that time. Hopefully you joined me on instagram and have kept in touch that way! If you haven't, check me out @taylorteachesinternational & lets be friends!!
Now, I want to catch you up on some major events that have taken place in the last few months and share some unit lesson plans on Sharing the Planet/conservation! Easy, low prep & fun! If you are wanting to just check out the lessons, scroll down to the bottom!
School started back and things got real busy, real fast! At school, I took on a leadership position developing a small "reading room" or library-type room for the primary students specifically. I have been working with a small group of primary students, we have developed this room from top to bottom! It's not QUITE ready (we're still getting book donations & waiting for some new furniture) but we do have some really great areas set up in the room. Kids are allowed to donate books that they don't read or want anymore. We are also hoping that this will help to connect our students to conservation and reusing or donating to good causes instead of throwing them away!
You can see here our "respond to your reading" area! Students just pick which type of reading response paper they want to do and complete it after reading. Once they are done, they can turn it in and receive "house chips" which is just our schools whole school reward system. Our goal here is to pump the kids up for some reading! We really want to encourage choice reading and are using this room as a space for those kids who may need a break as necessary. We've got English books, Chinese books, bilingual books, and an international section for kids to donate books in other languages then just our two school languages (we are a bilingual Chinese/English school).
Next, in October I went to China to present at a curriculum summit! I presented on using Cooperative Discipline in a Confucian Heritage Classroom. It's based on the research that I did for a grad school project, using a behavior tracking system and a Cooperative Discipline approach in my classroom. It went REALLY well and I am super happy about it! I am currently in the process of typing up a blog post on that!
The entire summit actually went really well, and honestly might have been the best one I have gone to in a long time! I was super impressed and hope to attend another one soon! I even applied to be on the planning committee for the next summit! (Fingers crossed!!!)
Now that you're caught up, I want to share some lessons that I have planned with you! I work at an IB school, so my class learns through transdisciplinary themes. We are working on Sharing The Planet now. I have two fun, engaging, and easy lessons for teachers to take and implement into their class! I found these ideas through some internet research and have linked the website below, as well! You can use these over a few days or just take one and modify it for a small lesson you want to discuss, your choice!
This first lesson is a great engager! You only really NEED one thing... a ball of string!
Everyone takes the ball and tosses it across to each other until there is a huge web. Then you can tell a story about climate change with each of your students being a character in your story.
For mine, I was the planet's water, and my kids were different storms or catastrophic events or animals or humans. Each time something would begin to affect our natural resources, that student would pull lightly on their string. The students began to notice the strain that we all began to feel as the string was pulling us across or to the middle of our web.
Finally, you should discuss with your students what they were thinking or feeling as this activity went on. Talk about how it felt when they were being pulled on. Then introduce some vocabulary like climate change, natural resources, human impact, etc. You can make a KWL chart at the end of this and write some different questions or inquiries the class wants to investigate and learn more about in relation to human and environmental impacts. You can even pull up some pictures on the internet and talk about what you see.
I got this activity idea from an Australian global education website. You can check it out and others like it here. There are 7 activities on this website that you can use to help engage students. These are specifically lower primary activities, but the entire website has other activities more geared towards older students.
Another great activity that you can use for environmentalism OR other topics is the Collage of Concerns by Teaching Tolerance. I LOVE this activity, because I use it as a formative assessment to see what my students have learned or are most interested in since we started our investigations into conservation. I haven't used it in other topics, yet, but I am planning a lesson on how I can implement it within a global education topic or a character education class discussion.
I don't have pictures of these activities, yet, but once I do... I will post them!
Finally, I want to give some PROPS to @missfairchildsmuggles and @its_mr.mcgowen for their Teachers Are Humans movement! Teachers deserve to be seen as more than just teachers.... To close my intro back into my blog, I am attaching my #teachersarehumans photo. Did you participate?! Leave me your pics in the comments or tag me so I can see them, too!
Thanks for your patience & I am so glad you are here. Chat again soon!!!