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Students and teachers create the curriculum

With this understanding, it is up to teachers as well as students to create the

curriculum for a class. While teachers organize the curriculum and are qualified to
create it, it is vital for students to have a voice in what they learn. Students are the
ones who come to school to learn so giving them some power over what they
learn can help them focus or relate to the topics better. An example of this
understanding I used in class was when I taught a lesson on 1950s culture.
During this activity, there were 6 stations placed around the room for students to
look at different aspects of social life in the 1950s. This included music, dancing,
comics, literature, clothing, and sports. There were options at each station the
students could choose from so students could have the ability to look over which
literature pieces they wanted or what songs they would listen to. Each group of
students was given a certain amount of time at each station to make observations
and write their thoughts about what they saw. Having an engaging activity like
this not only adds a strong layer to the curriculum it adds enough space for
students to find what they like to help them learn the information more
effectively. Classroom run effectively when students and teachers are on the same
page, and having a curriculum that both can agree on is important.

2. Teachers value the cultural, social, and intellectual funds that students bring to

It can be easy for teachers to forget the valuable information each student brings
into the classroom. Each student is raised in a different environment and has had
different experiences that have shaped the way they think. These experiences
combined together into one classroom can be special. An example of valuing
students experiences in the classroom would be a poster assignment I gave to my
U.S. History students. They were required to make a poster that represented
entertainment during the 1920s. Students were given the creative freedom to draw
whatever they wanted to as long as it related to 1920s entertainment, so it allowed
students to bring their previous experiences into the poster. One poster in
particular caught my eye from this assignment and I decided to use it as my
artifact. It was drawn by a foreign exchange student from Germany who was an
exceptional student in the classroom. What really interested me about her poster
was that she had a limited knowledge of American history and culture so much of
her knowledge on the subject came from the classroom or whatever she had herd
prior to coming to the U.S. Her poster allowed me to see how the information she
learned in the class combined with her prior knowledge of U.S. History to express
what she saw as 1920s entertainment. It was great to see what her view on the
topic and the valuable experience she was able to bring to the assignment.

3. Teaching is a learning profession.

Since students are expected to learn from teachers, it should be expected that
teachers are constantly learning themselves in order to constantly improve. There
is no such thing as a perfect teacher and there is always room for improvement.
Old ideas are constantly challenged with new ideas replacing them, so teachers
cant afford to sit back and do nothing. This involves not only reading and
searching for new ideas, but also improving on old ideas. In my classroom I
learned from a project in my first semester and changed it up in order to make it
more successful the next semester, and this is a strong example of learning and
growing as a teacher. The project involved students researching a public policy so
they could take a stand on it. During the first semester, students needed to finish a
PowerPoint Presentation as well as a five paragraph argumentative essay over the
project length. They were also given a homework grade each day to track their
progress on the project. While implementing this project I experienced many
problems. The printer in the computer lab was broken so students couldnt print
information they needed, some directions were unclear, and many students had
trouble turning in the essay on time. I thought over the issues I experienced the
first time and refined the project for the next semester. The next time I assigned it
the objective was still to research and take a stand on a public policy but I cut out
the argumentative essay. I also refined the daily homework point they received
and wrote out a calendar and worksheet that clearly stated what students needed
each day of the project. It was a great learning experience for me to learn from the

mistakes I had made the first time I tried it. I wish all of my lessons went they
way I want them to but when they dont it is important as a teacher to learn from
my experiences and use it to become a better teacher.

4. Social Studies teaching is interdisciplinary and connects students to the world

around them.

Social studies is the most broad ranging topic taught in schools. There are several
different disciplines that fall under the social studies category and they are all
connected to each other. An economics lesson can simultaneously involve history,
political science, and geography at the same time depending on what is taught. A
PowerPoint I recently gave my students on a few current events connect with this
enduring understanding well. The PowerPoint focused on the protests happening
in Baltimore as well as information on the terrorist group ISIS. I presented this
information to them because I want them to be informed on these important
current issues happening around the world. This PowerPoint alone covers a
variety of social studies disciplines such as History, Geography, and Political
Science and the lesson was taught in an Economics class. It goes to show how
connected these disciplines are and they meld together seamlessly. The important
part is the students are more connected to the world around them and are able to
see how different topics they learn in school can come together. For as connected
as our world is it seems that most people are too busy to learn about the issues
happening around the world. Students need to learn about these issues in school to
better prepare them for the world they will enter.

5. Teachers and students are citizens

The main goal of a social studies teacher is to teach their students how to become
productive and informed citizens that will integrate into society well. Students
should have an idea of how the world works as they progress through high school
and by the time they graduate they are prepared to handle the responsibilities that
citizens of a nation have. My current events PowerPoint is a great example of
teaching students to be citizens. While the PowerPoint has a variety of social
studies disciplines it covers, the main idea I wanted student to take away from the
lesson was to be an informed citizen. To know about the current events and issues
that affect out society and be able to have an opinion on the matter backed by
credible information and research. I made sure to give a full explanation of the
Freddie Gray incident and the history of ISIS to give my students as much
information as possible about the topics. I had asked how many of my students
had known about the Baltimore incident before the lesson and not a single student
raised their hand. Only a few knew anything about ISIS. My students are future
citizens of this country that will have the power to change the direction our
country is going. They need to know how to be citizens but more importantly;
informed citizens. It is one thing to simply be a citizen of this country, but it is
another thing to be informed. Students need to make rational thoughts and use
critical thinking skills to analyze the information that is presented to them before
jumping to conclusions.