Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of an elementary school student.
LINK: Caring for the Community Home
About the Class
LINK: Watching the video
LINK: Connecting to Your Teaching
LINK: Standards
LINK: Resources
About the Class

Classroom Profile | Lesson Background

Read this information to better understand the lesson shown in the video.

Students in Ms. Lerner's class with their classroom project.Content: Identifying Needs and Resources
A community project is an opportunity for students to learn about the needs, resources, jobs, and laws in their city or town. By studying a school remodeling project, students in Ms. Lerner's class learned about the structure and role of the school district, how the school's remodeling needs were identified, the people involved in each step of the project, and the jobs those people performed. Listed below are some guiding questions to ask when studying the needs and resources of any community project:

  • What is the scope of the project?
  • Why was the project started?
  • What is the history of the project? Research the stages of the project and make a timeline.
  • Who are the people in charge of the project?
  • Who will benefit from the project and what are some of the different ways that different groups of people will benefit? (For example, students and teachers will benefit from the school remodeling project, as will the workers and head of the construction company.)
  • Will anybody be hurt by the project? (For example, is there another project that won't be funded because of the school remodeling project? Are there environmental concerns related to the project? Will anyone be displaced because of the remodeling?) How do you balance the needs of these competing groups?
  • Who might the class invite in to discuss the project?
  • What are the jobs involved in completing the project?
  • What does the project cost? How will it be paid for?
  • What are some ways that students can get involved?

You might also consider any issues and questions the project raises, background knowledge needed, and how different community resources are to be impacted. For other models and information on student involvement in the community, see Resources.

Teaching Strategy: Teaching a Multiage Class
In a multiage class, learning is promoted by taking advantage of the diversity of the learners. Units are organized thematically, and students at each grade level work on different assignments within the unit. Students are encouraged to help each other in a nurturing environment and to value differences between students of different ages and ability levels. In cooperative work, older students become role models and mentors to the younger learners.

Teachers in multiage classrooms are encouraged to use a range of teaching and assessment strategies to address the different ages of their students, implement flexible patterns of grouping, accommodate specific learning goals, engage all students in active participation, and promote a climate of respect for oneself and others.

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