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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Global Awareness?

Today was the first day back at school, and I must say, it was a really good day!  I was expecting craziness and non-stop talking, but it didn't happen; however, by no means were they asleep!  Well, I take that back, I did have two sleepers today.  Miss R. definitely wasn't ready to come back to school today.  I couldn't read correctly, write correctly, spell correctly, or speak correctly.  The kids had several laughs at my expense today. :)

We started our gigantic science unit on weather today.  I prefaced it by letting my students know how much and deep the content goes with this unit.  I think I scared a few of them, but I need their attention!  :)  Besides, after the crazy easy unit on genetics, they can put forth the effort.  While I'm thinking about it, I never shared anything about the genetics unit.  Basically, what it focused on was inherited vs. learned traits.  I had them make "Trait Trees" and they turned out pretty cute... I think.  We (teachers) did this activity at one of the County Office meetings last year.  They traced their hands to make the "leaves" of the tree.  On their left hand, they wrote their inherited traits, and on their right hand, they wrote their learned traits.  (One per thumb/finger)  I had to laugh at my hall display, though.  It reminded me (because of the handwritten "title") of 1990s hall displays.

New this year with the NC Teacher Evaluation (I think or it might have been new last year), is a "Global Awareness" standard.  I was lucky in that I met this standard in my first observation, but a lot of teachers have been stressing about it.  How exactly are we supposed to get Global Awareness in every lesson?  (Well, that's irrational.  I can't always happen and be genuine.)  What are we supposed to do if the principal doesn't see it in the particular lesson he/she observes, but the teacher does it on a regular basis?  Those were just a few concerns that were vocalized.  Our principal suggested to us that we have examples of global awareness on our walls... Maybe keep a folder with examples throughout the year.  One of the first year teachers took her suggestions and went into action.  He came up with the idea of recording whatever global awareness (I prefer to say global connections because we're connecting it to our lesson) that come up on the whiteboard, taking a picture of what is written, marking it on a map, and printing everything out.  It was a great idea, but a lot of extra work, I thought.  I took his idea of writing it on the whiteboard, but I decided to have a poster of the world printed/laminated so I can record the locations of the connections.  This map stays up all the time.  I also made a folder where I can store the articles or slide of the connection that was made.  We're not quite sure this is what NC wanted when they added the Global Awareness/Connection standard to our evaluation, but my principal/assistant principal are happy with it, and it works for my classroom.

Next week is going to be a full week!  That hasn't happened in a while.  I will need to rest up this weekend.  :)

Until next time...

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