Thank you to everyone for a fun class session! I appreciated your thoughts on what it means to “think historically” and loved looking at the Hands On History artifacts! Here’s a link the Colonial Williamsburg site. You’ll see that they have lots of other resources for teachers.
In a couple of weeks we’ll be talking to a master teacher who uses the Hands On History materials with her fifth grade students. Here’s a draft of the questions you would like to ask her. Please read it and add comments if you want to revise the list, add to it, etc.
- What grade/class/unit do you use these materials in? Where does it fall in the course of the year? For example, have students already done inquiry? Have they already studied Colonial America? Do you have students work with artifacts at the beginning of the unit? How much background do they have as they work with the materials? How long does the unit take?
- Why do you teach with this type of curriculum? What do students learn from it?
- Who tends to benefit most from this type of curriculum? How do you adapt the lessons for English Language Learners, gifted students, or students with other special needs? What do you see different students learning?
- What strategies do you use to increase student engagement and learning? Do students ever get frustrated when they find out their hypotheses are wrong or struggle to make sense of artifacts? How do you avoid having students feel upset?
- What are some of the challenges of teaching inquiry in Social Studies and/or using the Hands-on History materials? What tips do you have for us to avoid or respond to problems?
- How do you assess learning with these materials?
- Where did you get the idea and the money to get the Hands-on History kits?
- How long does it take to prep these types of activities?
- We’re teacher candidates. What was the most challenging part of your first year of teaching? What advice do you have for us as beginning teachers?
How do these look! Write me a comment to check in!