Okay so after an unfulfilling year of teaching where I felt my focus was off, my focus is back.  I’ve made some changes.  First, I restructured my year into four major sections: (1) Social Studies Workshop — a skill building unit revolving around economics and South Africa, (2) Ancient Civilizations and What They Leave Behind, (3) The World in 1800 — Imperialism, and (4) The More Modern World.  I have taken the state standard and divided up everything into these four categories.

The next change involves my interactive notebook.  I’m going to four notebooks–there are some procedural changes that align a bit more with Dave Broviak. 

Next, I’m working on bringing a more visual and dynamic presentation into my class through video.  In Laurel Schmidt’s book she called it advertising your class.  So I’m working on building previews of my class–a lot of fun, but a ton of work.

Lastly, comes the part where I have accepted that my teaching style does not lend itself to the demands of testing, coverage, and common assessments.   I choose my students over the test.  I have created my own comprehension element that I will discuss later on; if it is good enough for the best prep schools in the country, it is good enough for my students.