Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This Post Will Blow Your Mind

We'll get to mind blowing in a little bit. The majority of this post is going to come from my methods course instead of student teaching, but we actually learned some interesting stuff today. Well, more than usual. I forgot to mention something yesterday which was the words of advice my MT gave me. He said, "If you take away anything from this experience let it be that you should ALWAYS drink coffee on field trip days." I cannot tell you how true that is. I didn't drink any caffeine yesterday and I crashed. Plus, field trips make the day seem so much longer, so that extra caffeine is so necessary. He also told me that I need to get coffee from where ever I like to get it on the go because I don't want to be carrying a cup around all day. Good advice. Some advice I would give is DON'T wear a book bag. It KILLS your back. I was in so much pain and I barely had anything in it! Haha

Today, for intercession, the students were split up into groups and went to different stations related to college. My MT decided that instead of him taking a group he would just run one of the stations so that the teachers on our team could get a planning bell. In our station they watched a film from ESPN about two Cleveland teens. Yes, Cleveland Ohio! Represent! The video is below. It's actually pretty good and a tear jerker. I won't give it away because I want you to watch it, but one of the guys has a degenerative eye disorder which makes him legally blind. I forget what it's called, but one of my students actually has the same disorder. It was so cute because when it was mentioned on the video the student goes, "Hey! I have that!" He was so proud, and this student plays basketball. It was encouraging for me to see that in this video the one boy didn't let his disability label him just like my student.

I also saw this yesterday and it made me chuckle. Kind of true, and by kind of I mean really true.

Now onto today's methods class. Usually this class is super boring and I feel like it's a waste of my time (and money) but today the second half of class was really fun. First, our professor asked us to draw a map of the world. Yeah, my drawing was awful. I didn't even leave enough room for Asia! HAHAHA! After he put up a picture and asked us to compare our maps and why when people said there's wasn't "accurate."

This is the map he showed us. It's called a "Mercator map," and it is the map most readily depicted in the northern hemisphere.

Then he showed us this map and asked us to compare our maps. It is known as a Peter's Projection Map, and this map is actually more accurate to the earth's land than the Mercator map. Yes, it blew our minds in my social studies class. Note, Africa is almost as big, if not as big, as Asia. Mexico is actually bigger than Alaska. Look how small Greenland really is. I was so shocked.

The discussion of the two maps above eventually led us to talk about the map below. It's social studies, and social studies has a lot to do with perspective!

Our professor then showed us this video to tie it all together. It's from West Wing and is pretty good!

In talking about perspectives he gave us another assignment that he modeled with a historical fiction piece. He assigned us a character on a small piece of paper with the instructions: "Take notes based on what 'you' see and experience. Before class meets next week, make your notes into a typed 'diary' account of the events. Your account is very unlikely to be longer than 1 page. Your role - Walter Donovan (male German civilian)."

Then he showed us Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade starting at 1 hour 41 minutes. He doesn't believe in showing a whole movie so it's cool to see what you can do with a movie and not have it be similar to a lecture. While we watched that clip we took notes as if we were the character in that scene. I'm definitely using a lesson similar to this in my classes. My philosophy on history is that it's not about learning content, it's about perspectives and ideas. Which means this lesson definitely fits into my philosophy. I love being creative, whether it's in writing or art, so I cannot wait to write this diary entry!

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