The following is a reflection from our planning day with Kevin Studdard (@kevin_studdard) and Darren Denney (@DenneyPBL). The guys have it going on and are ready to move mountains with their collaborative ELA/History classes.
Students are expected to collaborate together in today’s classrooms on a near-daily basis. This is reflective of the kinds of jobs our students will more than likely find themselves in when they eventually join the workforce when they leave high school. How better to show
students what successful collaboration looks like then by modeling it through a cross-curricular, collaboratively taught classroom?
Two subjects that are ideal for this type of teaching and learning are English Language Arts and history. History provides a context or lens through which students can evaluate primary texts or other ideas and reflect on them through discussion and writing. Students may also read novels that share thematic elements with events from differing time periods to gain a broader understanding of the world around them.
Though this is a new partnership for both of us involved, we agree that our collaborative ELA/History classrooms should help students to develop analytical mindsets to apply to everyday life through exploring content, evaluating ideas, and expressing beliefs. By following through with these points, we hope that students will develop an analytical mindset that will follow them for years to come.
To begin the year, we have developed some attainable goals that we believe will set us on the path to developing the classroom that both of us know will be suitable to the needs of our students:
- Students will have a clear understanding of classroom procedures and expectations.
- Teachers will explicitly address learning targets daily.
- Teachers will engage students via technology regularly during the learning process.
By faithfully striving to achieve these goals, we should be able to create a classroom that will be manageable and open to the task of combining two very rich content areas into a seamless learning experience for our students.