I teach World History to a culturally diverse group of students at a rural high school. Many of our families struggle to make ends meet. Our district has embraced the concept of a flex-mod schedule this year, which allows students to fit anywhere from six to eight classes in their schedule. My students meet with me three times a week in the classroom and can use their personal learning time to work in groups and meet with me during "office hours". This schedule is also allowing more students to take advanced as well as certification courses.
Making history meaningful to my students is the only way to help them to see why history matters.
I am constantly trying to think of ways to think outside of the box in order to get (and keep) them interested and enhance their learning experience.
Without paper, we cannot create! Since moving into our current high school building six years ago, money has been very tight. We have had to search for other ways to fund our activities or simply do without. One of the things we have had to abandon is the purchase of large butcher paper. This has left our walls quite barren without being able to express ourselves through visual projects. Last year, we were able to replenish some of our paper but our rolls are now running low and our students are having to scale back on some of their projects again.
One of our favorite activities is to host a door decorating or wall decorating contest between advisory groups incorporating back to school, holidays and spirit related events.
This visual expression of art turns our plain halls into works of art that have students anxiously waiting to see what the other groups are going to create. The planning and bonding between group members that is a part of these activities is inspiring to see at a time when most students don't care a lot about their surroundings. Since we are again running low on paper, our teachers are having to dig back into their pockets to purchase paper from local supply stores. In addition, our teachers have had to cut back on visual presentation requirements on their assignments because we do not have the supplies to offer the students. This project will allow the creativity of our students and faculty to again fill our halls with art and student work!
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