Resources and Reflections

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why not thematic units at AHS?

Harold is excited about creating a thematic unit complete with technology support. He writes:

Hey guys – I am trying to think outside the box, to differentiate us from
some of the other schools academically, it would be a bit of work, but I also
think that it would be a lot of fun too for us and the kids. I thought
about this a bit more this evening, while at the gym. What do you think
about the four of us about putting together an integrated class for next
The basics: Have all U.S. History students (who
are usually in Mr. Scott’s English also) and combine it into one large class
(Probably around 20 kids?). Doing some brainstorming here, so bear with
me.Have all of us be involved in teaching an Integrated U.S. History and Integrated English (or
call it something else cool and neat) (it could also incorporate higher level
students if necessary), because, I think it would concentrate more on
teaching/learning? Make it a two period class - Have it first and second periods, but not in the classroom reserve the Library exclusively those two periods for this class and have that be our classroom, Use integrated technology to enhance the teaching,
not just be another gimmick. Make it
inclusive for any special education student, with the four of us there to
support them, it would pretty cool. This would
resolve some scheduling issues, provide outstanding support for the students,
get us teachers out of the lonely classroom and lets us try something
new. It would
mean we all would have to change our teaching styles a bit to make it work??????
But would it be worth
it… We have all
been looking for a different way to teach, this would certainly be
different.It would be a great learning experience for us, if we
don’t kill each other first J
This is just really rough rough rough initial thoughts.
What do you guys think????? If you
are interested let me know and maybe we can get together to talk some more about

Anna replied with:

This was done in my son’s high school and they called it HUSH and HAL for Honors US History and Honors American Lit..
So it could be an adaptation…in that instance, there were two separate classrooms but the content was integrated…so, the readings and papers were tied to what was being covered in history.
I think you could do a lot with this, if you were really organized and planful..it is a lot of time to tie up the lab though ..I would not want to give up the opportunity for some smaller group classroom instruction..it could be fun and could be student centered and supportive.

From Craig - A thematic unit will work with support from the principal, a thorough pathway to make it work, and many weeks of planning time and relfection time. This is a great way to teach and would be a great way to experiment with the value of it at our school. But can the school accomodate this way of teaching??


At 3:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this unit idea is a great one...my only feedback is that we will resrict a significant amount of computer lab use for other students and programs. The lab is already unavailable for a certain number of periods, so I was thinking that this unit is going to take some intensive planning...so if you reserved it for 2 days a week instead of 5, just make sure your planning effectively and use regular class time for the other 3. Just my thoughts.



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