My students come from a variety of backgrounds. Everything from traditional homes to families where they are "the man of the house" or the caretaker for younger siblings. The one goal I have is that when they come to my class they are all equal. They all have the same opportunity to learn and engage in hands-on investigations and builds, as well as rich content that is relevant and engaging. This year, I added a literature component with reading Andy Weir's The Martian. The students spent six weeks reading and examining the science in the book.
Students learn best when their teacher is excited and passionate about what they are teaching.
As I continue teaching middle school, each year I work to improve my knowledge and the students' engagement in the topics I teach. There is nothing more rewarding than a student coming back a year or two later and tell me they miss the way I teach, and they appreciate that they actually learned, rather than memorized.
After reading The Martian in class, students are excited about the topic of space exploration and how we will achieve these goals in the future. We read and discussed the science behind The Martian in class. Because space exploration is not an eighth-grade standard, I am not able to continue to explore the topic in class.
The purpose of the book club is to allow interested students to continue to discuss and hypothesize about how future solar system exploration might be achieved.
My hope is to develop interest and support for future programs, as well as inspire students to pursue future careers in these fields.
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