Posts Tagged With: social science education

three days in second grade

I was in second grade three days this week.
Y’all, I absolutely adored it!

They just started a new social studies unit about transportation and communication.
These kids were on it!
They were so enthusiastic about brainstorming and exploring transportation. I even brought them photos of our trip through the canal. They were awed by the sheer size of the container ships.
We read books about the history of transportation, even one of my favorites, The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton.

I missed being at school.
Surrounded by small people who are quick with a giggle or hug.
Surrounded by adult people who are fun, kind, and supportive.

January is a hard month in a school building. After November, when we’re almost out of school more than we’re in, and December when we’re out for two weeks straight, January looms large and long. Everyone is either getting or recovering from being sick, and the flu ran (and continues to run) rampant through my school this year. Teachers and students are tired and need a bit of a break.
But as tricky as January tends to be, my time at school last week was absolutely lovely.

I had the realization that even though I miss it, I know it’s not the right fit for me in the long run. I know that being a substitute teacher is an excellent choice for me. I can participate in my passion for education without the life-drain of doing it every day.
I made the right choice not to get certified to teach.
I made the right choice to leave being in the school building every day.
I made the right choice to pick and choose which classrooms to spend my time, energy, and love.

Elementary school teachers are some of the hardest working humans I know. But the rewards are even more than the work. They have such joy teaching and learning with their students.
I’m grateful and honored to occasionally be among them.

Next week I’ll be in the school library for three days. Checking books in and out, helping students find what they’re looking for, organizing and shelving books. I’m looking forward to spending that library time, but not being exposed to the myriad of germs attached to each book. I’m loading up on the On Guard and black elderberries in preparation.

I’m ready for smiles and hugs, I’m ready for bad attitudes and complaining.
I’m ready to be passionate about education on my own terms.

Categories: education | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

performing arts + diverse learning styles = enhanced social studies lessons

I’m writing an essay for my Social Science Pedagogy course. It’s about how the introduction of visual and performing arts into social studies curriculum can impact and/or enhance the diverse learning styles of students.
This directly links to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence(s).

Truthfully, I’m fascinated by the theory of multiple intelligence(s), and I knew I’m an intrapersonal, linguistic, and spatial learner even before I understood this concept.
As a mom, and teacher, by simply paying attention, I discovered and studied the way children learn. Meeting a child where they are is one of the most critical aspects of teaching, and if you understand the way a child learns based on their unique intelligence/learning style, you can provide information in a way they can readily and eagerly receive it.

Social studies educators have the unique task of making geographical, chronological, and cultural content from the past relevant and meaningful to students. There is absolutely nothing simple about this process. History can be nothing but the dullest list events and dates. Finding a way to make it interesting takes mad skills. Therefore, it seems only natural to me that visual and performing art can be incorporated into curriculum to impact so many diverse learning types.
Especially when you consider that in 2015 Lin-Manuel Miranda gave every USH teacher in America one of the most diverse and extraordinary teaching aids in the history of, well, American History.

How does a Broadway hit in a social studies classroom impact diverse young learners perhaps musical and linguistic?
(My sad attempt to mimic the beginning of ‘Alexander Hamilton’ clearly I’m not a musical learner.)

But did you see what I did there?
I used my obsession with the Hamilton soundtrack to make a valid pop culture – education connection.

Y’all! This freaking musical was born to be a social studies aid.
By incorporating Hamilton into a social science curriculum, you’re directly impacting at least five of the nine intelligence(s) straight away. Not to mention presenting to young people one of the most important times in American history in an entirely modern and relevant way. There is no end to how using this show in social studies is applicable!

I have nothing to prove to y’all, but I’m enthusiastic.
I’m also sick of writing this essay, and instead of getting sucked into something ridiculous and random, (for example: youtube or social media) I chose to channel my excitement into something somewhat constructive in a place I can use my regular voice instead of my boring paper writing voice.

Thanks for indulging me, here’s a little something to stimulate whatever kind of learner you are.
It’s time I get back to work, cause I am not throwing away my shot!

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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