I was able to work with my data this weekend and analyze my results. I found the process very interesting because it gave me a lot of insight into my findings. Some of the results surprised me. The good news to report is all of my students’ scores increased. They did very well considering the time frame I had to work with. I am very proud of them. I am also happy that we will be able to revisit these topics throughout the year to clear up some of the confusion they may have had. There were two questions that were missed a lot on the post-test. I will need to find time to reteach these concepts because they are still missing something. I learned a lot from this process and am thrilled the students were able to make meaning out of the religions they may have not been exposed to on a regular basis.
Data collection is wrapping up this week. I hit another snag because our school wants all the Social Studies teachers to take a PD day tomorrow to analyze the new standards. I was going to teach my last religion, Judaism tomorrow. Guess that won’t be happening. I will have to postpone that until Thursday and squeeze my post-test in on Friday. I guess this weekend will be spent working. I do have all of my pre-tests graded so I have all the data I need for those. I just need to be able to compare before and after to each other. I have also concluded my interviews so I can begin analyzing those and looking for similarities. Hopefully things will fall into place soon.
I think when teachers get into a groove with a project they are working on, they forget that they are working in a real world with real people. My plans for these past two weeks have been to teach a mini unit and then re-test my students to see a score comparison. I forgot to factor in the non insruction time. These last few weeks have been full of it! Friday was shot because students were practicing their student led conferences. Monday was shot because we had a field trip and student led conferences in the evening. I didn’t even log into my school computer the whole day. Today, election day, the students and teachers were not in school. I don’t know how I am going to get all the instruction in vital to re-testing the students. It is difficult to work in the real world in a real school. Allowances have to be made when there is simply, not enough time.
I have received all of my consent forms back! Offering candy for a speedy turn around always seems to work. Today I distributed the pre-test for the students to complete. I have not had a chance to look at the results yet but I did hear a lot of the grumbling about now knowing the answers. Tomorrow we will begin our mini unit, starting with Buddhism. I have a 15 minute video from Discovery Education to show the class. I also have some guided reading passages I found on Teachers Pay Teachers. I am always careful when using this site to make sure I am provided with correct information. The source I am using this time seems to know their facts! I have been in situations where that is not the case. It makes for a headache. I think this mini unit will be a success. We have already discussed why we are studying this topic now and not in the Spring when it usually occurs. We talked about America being a salad bowl with a mix of many cultures. I think they are able to connect this idea with World Religions. They are smart cookies! :)
While waiting for IRB approval there are some things in my classroom I can do to set the students up for this unit. We have been learning about the United States and why our country is so unique. We have been talking about the United States as more of a salad bowl and not a melting pot. The salad bowl analogy lets citizens keep their own individual identities and cultures. The melting pot seems to blend everyone together.
We have also been talking about the government of the United States and the Constitution. Students have learned that as Americans, we are all entitled to certain rights. One of those rights is freedom of speech. This also includes freedom of religion. The opportunity to worship whom one pleases is a right we have as Americans. These lessons are setting students up to study some of the religions that are prevalent in our country.
Life in the United States can be quite difficult for an immigrant family. This video provides an overview of Mexican culture, the introduction of a Mexican family and, tips on how to make schools more accommodating.
As a history buff it is my personal goal in life to see all the presidential grave sites. So far, I have seen 10 of them. This book has been a constant companion on my quest.
Who doesn’t love a good Disney movie? This site explores some of the controversies of those well loved movies. Many of these deal with race and culture stereotypes.
This is a wonderful resource for anyone who wonders why some of the words we used are spelled funny.