My students are highly motivated, high achieving AP students who attend an underfunded school in an underfunded district. One anecdote that stands out is that I survived the 2018-2019 school year (my third year in the classroom) teaching a period over the full time number.
If that doesn't speak to the caliber of student and human being of the young adults in my classroom I don't know what does.
My students' intellectual curiosity often pushes me past my content knowledge in an effort to keep up. They love to debate one another and their teacher.
The best part about teaching AP Government and Honors Comparative Government are the "wow" moments where a student's mind is blown or the lightbulb goes off above their head when they make a connection. Discussing Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, and others in small groups gets them started in the year and then they build up to structured debates and group research projects about current events as the year progresses. My students ravenously eat everything I place in front of them.
The easel pads allow me to visually track conversations while returning to the notes later to recap or review for an exam. Students also use them to make posters summarizing a political theorist's views, for example, or the journey of an almond joy from idea to store shelf to look at the factors of production for economics.
In short, easel pads are invaluable for my classroom.
I have a sink and small kitchen area in my classroom so the paper towels and dish soap are crucial. Students make tea and eat snacks between classes; it keeps them focused but makes a mess!
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