Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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  Workshop 8: Rights and Responsibilities of Students  
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Workshop 7

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Teacher Perspectives
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Teacher Perspectives: Using various methodologies

Matt Johnson: This lesson incorporates many different methodologies. I have students doing individual work, writing, and analyzing primary sources. I have cooperative learning [and] oral advocacy skills. A more traditional final skill is taking a final exam.

I chose to use a simulation for this activity, in part because it just lends itself perfectly. There are so many different hypotheticals that you could come up with and it gives a chance for these kids to really play with this material and be creative. It is a law class, so we might as well have a moot court. The students in this class have all participated in a citywide moot court competition, but the kids still need to understand how to brief a case--what's important to look for--so there have been some lectures, some direct teaching, to get kids focused on how you read a Supreme Court decision.

I'd like to think that kids are learning more with the approaches I've used. Not just in test scores but in questions and answers a couple of weeks later because they've done more than just study for a test. They've actually used the material in creating an op-ed piece or drawing a political cartoon. Whatever we've done, their hands were involved in the final outcome.


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