I agree with your comments about less motivated students. Simulations
and other lessons that include active student learning seem to reduce
disruptions, not encourage them. While some students may become
disruptive if overly stimulated, especially younger students, my
experience has been that passive sit-and-get lectures are, more often
than not, the cause of behavior problems. Kids with shorter attention
spans or a need to seek attention simply become bored and act out.
Have any of us found ourselves checking our watches and fidgeting in
our chairs during a teacher inservice lecture late in the afternoon?
Recently, our district sponsored an inservice on active student
learning techniques. Instead of talking at us, we role played some of
the activities. Many of my colleagues commented about how fast the day
passed, and that it was a refreshing change of pace.
Like you, I'm looking forward to implementing these and some of the
Civics activities next year (I'm also in Making Civics Real). I know
that the biggest challenge for me will be the depth vs. breadth
conflict that always arises when I keep one eye on the calendar while
still trying to engage the kids.
On Jul 15, 2006, at 10:35 AM, Alicia Ross wrote:
> Bill, Dave, and Renee,
> I too liked the cartel lesson plan. I have heard about it from a few
> economics teachers from other schools and just didn't get around to
> doing this year. I am definitely going to make that a
> priority--especially with how confusing the oil market is and how it
> directly impacts seniors.
> I also wanted to comment on the lesson plan "Why People Trade?" ( with
> the paper bags) I did this with my students for the first time this
> year after doing it at a teacher inservice. They loved it. I got a lot
> of stuff from the Oriental Trading Company. Cheap goofy stuff like
> little toys and stickers. i also used post it notes and fun pencils.
> You have stay pretty cheap or teaching economics gets expensive! I
> also tried to keep the items pretty similar until you opened it up to
> the whole class for trading. I used numbered paper bags so I passed
> them out in order so that students with bags #1-10 had limited variety
> and I had some different stuff in bags #11-20 (just as example). This
> took a fair amount time to set up, so I asked student to turn in the
> bags so that I could use them next year. I also used one color pen to
> mark the first half of the bags and then second half. I set up all 5
> classes the day before. I expect it to take less of my labor next
> year. The kids really got it. I also had definitions on the board for
> NAFTA and the WTO and we connected the first step of the game
> represented trade within a country; the second was NAFTA or regional
> trade and when you could trade with the whole class, that was
> connected to the WTO.
> I would just suggest that some of your least motivated students might
> benefit the most from these activities. Having said that, I know this
> year I had a student who could get disruptive and so on days of
> simulations, I needed to secure a promise from him that he would not
> disrupt the activity for others and if he couldn't he would have to
> leave. He did well after I employed the pull aside and give the
> warning strategy. I think he did like the lessons enough not to want
> to leave. There is always some risk to these lesson plans, but have
> found the disruptions are few and far between and often it is other
> students who will redirect that student!
> Let me know what you think!
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Received on Mon Jul 17 09:08:00 2006