In a recent post, Sarah Cooper wrote about her fears surrounding a new current-events project – her 8th graders creating spoken poetry videos on issues of interest to them. Here she reviews the experience and its power to create community as it engaged her students.
Category: Future of History
There’s no perfect teaching recipe that balances patriotism and civic responsibility, says middle school history teacher Lauren Brown. But if educators attempt to ignore the low points in America’s past, they’ll insult students’ intelligence and lose their trust.
History teacher Sarah Cooper is enthusiastically barreling into the year with a totally untried project. It asks eighth graders to research a current issue in the news that they’re passionate about, then write and film their own spoken word poem. What could go wrong?
A history teacher’s role is to transmute history into stories and lessons that engage and inform students. Sarah Cooper shares a think-aloud “wondering” about ways to incorporate some of her summer professional reading into middle school history classes this year.
We all want our students to contribute more to class by doing more of the talking. But getting kids to participate effectively is easier said than done. Lauren Brown applies Erik Palmer’s PVLEGS and Dave Stuart Jr.’s pop-up debates to help students grow as speakers.
Amid a near-universal celebration of collaborative, interactive work as a 21st century reality and ideal, teacher Sarah Cooper investigates something we so often forget in our classrooms and our schools: the need for quiet space and the challenges of achieving it.
Showing short video clips to her history students is easy for Sarah Cooper to justify, but with full-length movies she is more cautious about the time investment. Here she shares three films that make the cut: Iron Jawed Angels, Glory, and All the President’s Men.
Bit by bit, during each Friday’s 43-minute current events session, Sarah Cooper’s eighth graders come closer to a democratic classroom culture that students really own – through their ideas, through their questions, through their wondering how the world works.
Social studies teacher Sarah Cooper improved classroom conversation and debate when she let students select and then rate current events articles as “super,” “okay,” or “not that great for discussion.” Cooper shares her process and some samples from each category.
Discussing political news in class continues to feel like “walking on glass barefoot,” says Sarah Cooper. She’s drawn toward humorous interpretations of current events to reduce tensions. After some trial and error, Cooper uses four criteria for video selection.