I’ve got three tasks to do this week:
1. Teach a lesson today at San Rafael.
2. Teach a lesson Wednesday at Saint Mark’s.
3. Finally send in my DI TPA.
And, as life would have it, I’m sick again. On one hand, the coughing started up and I’m hoping I don’t loose my voice again just in time for lessons. That would be fantastic. On the other hand, I have discovered the wonder that is the Breathe Right nasal strips. The things work surprisingly well. I can not convey how well they actually work, suffice it to say if you are sick, or planning exercise and are congested, as so many of us are from allergies this time of year, the little beauties are worth a try.
Anyways, today’s lesson is for Geography class. I had the wonderfully free-form instructions of “do something on global warming.” First I must say that I feel very lucky that we found a time where I can actually get a lesson in, though my supervisor is teaching today and cannot come. Despite that happiness I’m rather nervous and feel like my lesson is a little boring and lack luster because I couldn’t put as energy into crafting it because of illness. But that’s life, that happens. I’ve created a mini-lesson in keynote to go over the big picture, and have a jigsaw set up using short, recently published articles on climate change around the world: Russia, the Maldives, Australia, and an article from the Chron on our most recent political e vents. I was looking for an article on Sierra snowpack, but couldn’t find one that sat right with me. The Chron article was in the paper last week, so I felt it a fair substitute.
Since the students have to work on a project, the block was cut in half, giving me 45 minutes instead of 90. I found that out last week. I made sure the articles all fit onto two pages (a little shortened) and took out some of the bigger questions, reserving stuff that would be done in group for a short class discussion and chopped down (sadly) most of my mini-lecture. I hope the changes work.
Meanwhile, the lesson for Saint Mark’s is taken out of this wonderful global studies unit thing. It’s got great activities in it, but the way the lessons are presented, they never feel like enough. Last lesson, for a lesson on life expectancy, I actually combined two of their lessons and added in the following: a group smart board activity, a 3 minute video, and an internet activity using the school’s laptops. It’s a deficiency of the lessons, but it’s also a bonus: don’t treat them as lessons, treat them as activities and discussion question sets and use them to your benefit.
Anyways, Wednesday’s lesson will involve a simulation to show how the choices we make to meet our needs have both environmental and social effects. Students “purchase” items like fuel, drinking water, and education out of a “global mall” using very different dollar amounts to represent the poor distribution of wealth across the world. There are various choices for each category, each with different monetary costs. After an initial run, I’ll ask them if they considered the environmental or social impacts and have them brainstorm what those might be and let them run the simulation again to “fix” choices. After any changes are shared, as a class we will brainstorm what happened and any ways to relieve the problems. Students come up with a way to run the simulation again, and then do it to test their hypothesis. I felt that last step was important because so often they will offer suggestions for how things could be better, or what could be sacrificed, or just good theories but have no way to see if it works. By running it again, they get the final impact as to what good their theory had, and what questions it might raise.
Fortunately, I get the full block for that one!
And somewhere in this, I will both try to recover from illness and finish my gosh darn TPA. I’ve got a goal though. I’m going to Yosemite on Friday and I want to be done by then. Hell, I will get on the Wi-Fi in the lodge to turn it in if it means I can be done- officially done- to better enjoy a weekend in the Valley. After our snowstorms, the waterfalls should be epic. Hmm… maybe I should take my bicycle…
Either way, the camera and equipment will come and I hereby promise photographs of the day of epic proportions!