By Laurie Chapman

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The reality of teaching today is that there are bound to be stacked classes. Some teachers choose to flip the classroom and have students watch a video they have either found or created for themselves to prepare for class. Some teachers choose to find common curriculum expectations to teach around. Some teachers choose to teach each course separately giving time to each course throughout the day or week.

My experience with stacked classes is level differences but the most challenging is teaching two very different courses in one period (HSB4U and HHG4M). Students may be independent learners and self starters versus those students who are dependent and need much support. My love of teaching is the discussions in the classroom when I raise a controversial topic to encourage critical thinking from a variety of perspectives so that is something that I have had to adjust to in a stacked classroom.

By Risa Gluskin

 

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Photo by Risa Gluskin

 

October is a month of change. Outside, the leaves become brilliant. Inside, we are getting to know our students - hopefully they are getting brilliant, too. It is also the month for municipal elections in Ontario. On that note, Rapport has a bit of an election theme for you this October.

November is conference month! Be sure to register for OHASSTA’s annual conference. This year it’s being held on Thursday Nov. 15 and Friday Nov. 16 in Toronto. Here’s the link to the registration page if you haven’t been there yet.

I urge you to attend. My own personal journey began at the OHASSTA conference. Before that, I was rather stuck in my own school and my own ways. I have met so many wonderful people through OHASSTA.

We all know that teaching is a very tough job – why not network and learn from others!

Risa

By Zoe Flatman

EC logo

Imagine a suite of free, inquiry-based, teacher-tested, comprehensively researched lesson plans with all of the components needed to use immediately in your English, French, or Language-Learner classes. Imagine resources designed for your Civics, History, Geography or Social Science classroom; including Indigenous history and perspectives to meet the revised curriculum.  Now imagine an experienced teacher coach who is there to work with you in using those resources with your students.  It may sound too good to be true, but Elections Canada has done just that.  EC has developed the resources, with clear Teacher Guides, all of the background information for teachers, and hands-on materials needed for a complete classroom, and is piloting a new program with an educational consultant in the GTA. 

By Risa Gluskin

balance

Students have to balance their current views on democracy and their historical perspectives on ancient Athenian democracy. Pepples were used to vote.

 

In the open-ended world of inquiry-based learning, “historical perspectives” is often the most open to debate, I find. In my current grade 11 world history class, which I’ve only known for about a month, we’ve had some pretty fierce discussions about it already. My yellow “presentism” card has come out frequently with students often challenging me on its use. I love that!

In grade 11 history I introduce one historical thinking concept (HTC) at a time. First, we do significance with Mesopotamian innovations, then we do continuity and change with Egyptian case studies of Hatshepsut and Akhenaton. Causes and consequences are introduced next with Egypt’s decline and the decline of the Indus Valley civilization. Primary source evidence is woven throughout.

Where does that leave historical perspectives? Over the years, I have found it harder and harder to keep it separate (not that I see HTCs as separate silos – I just introduce them separately for the sake of not overloading the students with all of the HTCs at once in the mixed level course). Historical perspectives may be the lynchpin that holds all the HTCs together.

By John Myers

 Assessment Process

In Part 1 my students (teacher candidates) identified issues in assessment based on their experiences as students and teacher candidates. Part 2 presents some of their findings. How well do you as experienced teachers recognize the challenges of improving assessment and evaluation practices we identify?  Taking nearly 1000 pages of their research and distilling it was easier than grading (already did that) as certain ideas were common to several to the questions investigated.

What in the following is familiar to you? What issues have you resolved to your satisfaction and that of the your students? Whet seems novel and worth a try?