Professional Portfolio April McDonough, 11 th Grade Virginia and United States History

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Professional Portfolio April McDonough, 11 th Grade Virginia and United States History Slide 2 Promoting appreciation for all American history. Organized, promoted, and sponsored a Civil War Reenactment in honor of the 150 th Anniversary of the Civil War at Hopewell High School in the Spring of 2011. This was in partnership with Petersburg National Battlefield. Slide 3 This year I decided to weave the theme of superheroes into each history unit. Slide 4 Real American Heroes When discussing World War I, we viewed videos and discussed the graphic novel Harlem Hellfighters, by Max Brooks, about an infantry regiment that stood out for the courage in the trenches. These are real life American military heroes. During our unit on World War II, we talked about United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone and his contributions to World War II. Slide 5 Inspiring Superheroes The students seem to connect to the action packed adventures of the superheroes as they journey through American History. Slide 6 There are many ways to connect superheroes and heroes to historical content. Slide 7 For instance, Superman was an immigrant and his culture contributes to the Melting Pot of America. Slide 8 Graphic Novels in the classroom. I use graphic novels, comic books, brief video clips, and historic memorabilia that focuses on events in history through superheroes. Slide 9 The nitty gritty of the classroom. The classroom is set up as an interactive vocabulary word wall AND pictorial timeline. The objective is for students and teachers to build the wall with images and new vocabulary terms as the year progresses so that history can come alive as we learn the topic. Slide 10 Student projects are added to the word wall and tier one, two, and three terms are added in the appropriate time era as well. Appropriate student art and eye catching posters are added as necessary. Slide 11 However, as the objective is for the students to create the wall, I am eventually able to supplement 80% of the material on the wall from student created material only. One example of a student project is when students are given primary and secondary sources and are required to sort through the material and categorize the sources into different lesson pieces that we had previously learned. Students are then required to briefly summarize what they learned as if they were preparing the primary/secondary sources to be displayed in a museum. Slide 12 As a result of the ongoing and living word wall/timeline, I have been able to do additional assignments such as gallery walks or scavenger hunts where students search the classroom for information to complete their assignment or to use for their own group presentations. Slide 13 I believe it is certainly a student friendly classroom where learning is encouraged at every level. Slide 14 In addition to our living word wall/timeline, I constantly update and refresh our text set to reflect what we are currently learning. Slide 15 Students are given an opportunity to check out the text set after assessments, before/after class, or before/after school. In the few instances that we have down time, such as a few minutes in between stations during a carousel activity, students are required to do an additional activity such as take a look at a book from the text set. Slide 16 I also strive to emphasize higher level thinking of all types whenever possible. One such method is to have students transfer what they are learning into a graphic organizer such as a concept map. Slide 17 Concept maps can often take student thinking down pathways that traditional learning methods may leave unexplored. My students were able to compare inventions from the late 1800s and early 1900s all the way to modern day cell phones by making the connections that a concept map force students to trace. Slide 18 One unique way to combine a traditional matching activity with innovation and color is to make the matching pieces into a jigsaw puzzle. Slide 19 When students are struggling in a particular area, a lap book that highlights their weak areas is a strong study tool. In this activity, students create the book by pairing the title with the definition of the terms (i.e. Missouri Compromise is matched up with its appropriate definition). The students then make flaps over the definition so that they have to lift it up in order to read the definition. Slide 20 Students can quiz themselves on the major terms theyre reviewing by checking the answer by lifting up the flaps. Slide 21 Student centered carousel activities are a major tool used in this classroom. There are dozens of variations of the types of activities I use for carousel and only a few are highlighted here. In carousel, students work in groups for a limited amount of time, for example 10-15 minutes, before they switch from one station to the next for a different activity. At this station, students are matching cards up with their appropriate definitions. A key is provided for them to check their answers when they are ready. Slide 22 At this carousel station, a Promethean Board is being used as part of an initiative to use 21 st century technology in the classroom. An interactive geography quiz game from the class website mcdonoughtime.weeb ly.com is being played by students. Slide 23 At this carousel station, students are taking separate cards with information describing events leading up to the American Revolution and cards with images of these same events and matching them up before putting the events in chronological order. When students have completed this activity, they will need to sort the characteristics between Federalists and Anti- Federalists and group them accordingly in another foldable. Slide 24 Here students are required to analyze information in the foldablesincluding written information and visualsand write down their responses to the information as well as answer the accompanying questions. This activity employs higher level strategic questions.