By Mark Heintz
Last year I attempted to blog about my class and a newborn thwarted those attempts. He is adorable and it was totally worth the failed endeavor. However, I am attempting it again! To help, I tweet once a day from my AP World class to capture the essence of the class and a few pictures to visually record the day. Then once a week, I will add more context through the blog. You can follow me on twitter with the hashtag #1YearAP. Furthermore, Linda Ashida is coming into my classroom at least once a week to visit, observe, and help in the reflection process. She visited my class on the first day of school we sat down to reflect on the week.
Getting to Know the Students
For the students, school started on a Wednesday this year. I make the attempt to learn all of my students name on the first day. I am terrible at pronouncing student’s name and a few years ago I starting purposefully saying all the names wrong like Key and Peele’s substitute teacher. It really helps me remember all the names and helps build relationships with the kids. They keep whispering to each other if I am doing it on purpose. I am pretty good and being dead pan, which goes a long way with keeping up the performance.
Interpreting History from the Start
Once I go through the names, I want the students to start interpreting history themselves. I use images of the Venus statue and Taylor Swift. I have the students come up comparisons of the two and then we start to guess what life was like when the Venus was created.
Day two started with a 32 word summary of a short reading on the Paleolithic Era. The students struggled with the word restriction which gets them to think about what words are the most important. Then students moved to other groups and provided feedback on the evidence they used and word choice. The students read another quick excerpt, I hope you are seeing a pattern with the class. We read a lot in class. After reading they pulled out evidence to support a claim about how the Neolithic Era was a significant turning point in human history.