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Happy Summer, Global Pen fans! Forgive my scarceness, but my Global Writing Block has kind of dominated my world these days. But it’s summer now, and the livin’s eaz-ay!
I have something to add a little extra sun to your summer…The Global Pen will be pumping out plans full-time! Here’s the scoop…
So….from my earliest days as a child, I’ve always had two big dreams…
- Be a teacher.
- Be a writer.
Because I’m big on following dreams, I’ve been livin’ my creed as a writing teacher at Boca High for 12, glorious years. Best of both, right? The cup is almost full. Almost. Lately, I find myself daydreaming, though…there’s still SO much more left to do.
Therefore, the time has come for me to spread my teaching wings even further…I’ve decided to step away from the classroom for a while in order to delve more deeply into the potential of my lifelong dreams. (Yes, you read that right. Me, leaving Boca High…crazy, right?!)
Sometimes I feel like I’m a writer, hiding behind being a writing teacher. Other times, I feel like there’s so much more I can do as a teacher. So I’ve decided to simply JUMP, and let the academic universe catch me. In leaving the classroom, I’ll be writing a LOT more about education, but hopefully it will pave my path toward my true love for writing, which lies in fiction, believe it or not. Meanwhile, I’ll also be training teachers, so I won’t be straying too far from the classroom after all!
I love to teach. I love to write. It’s time to separate and expand each of these. Or so the voices in my head tell me…
For those of you Penners interested, here’s where my career path is headed (which mainly involves me working for you!):
1. I’ll be writing the textbook AND blogging full-time this school year!
I spoke with my Cambridge University Press (CUP) editor on Friday, and the General Paper textbook is back in full swing, which is GREAT news. (For those of you who don’t know, it was scheduled for publication Dec. 2015, but my deadline was delayed because the GP syllabus is getting a re-vamp. Since the textbook needs to reflect these changes, I had to hit the pause button).
There are certain things I won’t be able to put in the textbook, however. One thing I have to keep in mind, for instance, involves timeliness. If I suggest a URL for my textbook audience to visit, it could easily be gone from existence by the time the book is actually published; I’d be much better off blogging about said resource here at the Global Pen.
Also, textbook content needs to appeal to the widest audience possible, from here to Mauritius and back; I can’t rattle on about America’s minimum wage issues, for example, because this has little relevance to other people across the globe.
And one of the biggest hurdles I face in writing the textbook involves getting permission to re-print certain sources such as news articles. This is where the blog comes in…you’ll be getting the best of both worlds when it comes to General Paper resources!
The major difference? The textbook will be endorsed by CIE (#holler), but this blog-on what makes for successful and rewarding GP teaching and learning-is entirely my own opinion (I’m a credible source, darn it!).
I love to write. I love to design curriculum. Why not write about curriculum design and all things teaching?! What better way to spend my time?! #livinthedream
2. I’ll be training teachers for Cambridge!
I’ve been selected to become an accredited, Cambridge International trainer. This is SO exciting for me because part of my dream in being a teacher is not just about teaching students, but teaching teachers, too! I love offering help and guidance (hence the blog!), and I’ve always enjoyed being a facilitator for the various workshops and roundtables in our state, so this will give me the opportunity to train nation-maybe even world-wide!
By the way, if you’re an AP Capstone teacher, I’ll be co-leading a workshop with my dear friend and colleague, Beth Rubin, at the AP Annual Conference this July 16th in Anaheim, CA! Hope to see you there!
3. I’ll be rolling out my very own consulting business!
I’m goin’ rogue, people!
One of the problems I always have as a classroom teacher is that summer is just. not. long. enough. And I don’t mean R&R in the sense that most non-teachers think. I mean (R)esearch. I have so many ideas I want to whip (and nae-nae) together, but there just isn’t enough time to do it all before the year begins again.
You know how it goes…First you gotta Google it. Then you find yourself printing a stack of cool materials a mile high. Then you have to piece them together in a way that makes sense for your world, target your objectives. Then you have to actually craft the synthesis of your materials found. Then you have to scaffold the plans, pace ’em, prep the execution of ’em…oh, and don’t forget about creating a valid and reliable assessment to determine whether or not your kiddos ‘got it.’ With all this work, I’m lucky to get three projects off the ground before August hits!
As 21st century technology takes flight, I want to explore innovative ways to use this technology WELL in my classroom (and I’m not just talkin’ doc cameras and TED Talks); but who has time to learn it all, then design it, too?
So the point of my business adventure, I suppose, is to do all this work for you. Good deal, right? I quit my job to research it all, then share it with you! At the same time, this is deepening my dream because I’m not just enriching the learning experience of my own students, but for those of you who come along with me, I’ll be reaching out to your students as well. And that makes me happy. #goforhappy
Therefore, this fall, I’m challenging my entrepreneurial edge by dipping into the world of consulting. I’ll be offering a range of workshops, training, materials, and other classroom support options (including student support) to help you navigate this brave, new, 21st century world of learning. Though my expertise lies in the AICE and AP Capstone programs, my work will focus more on navigating 21st century learning altogether, featuring tons of innovative ways to make learning matter for your students, AICE and/or AP or not!
Launch: September 2016
4. And last but not least, I’m rethinking high school education altogether!
Yep, you read that right also…I’m building a school, people. Currently, I’m part of the core team for the School of Leadership, Innovation, Creativity, & Entrepreneurship (S.L.I.C.E.). We are a school, think-tank, and start-up incubator that focuses on content creation as opposed to content consumption. In fact, a lot of what I’m learning will surface in the innovative plans I have up my sleeve for your 2016-2017 school year. I simply can’t wait to share! And I’ll be sharing FULL-time! Woot woot!
We are piloting our program for the first time next summer in Dublin, Ireland. More to come on this awesome, international adventure!
If you want to know more about S.L.I.C.E., visit our website or check out the awesome trailer I made for us. You can also follow my @edupavich Twitter handle, where I tweet a lot about rethinking high school education 😉
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I suppose these are tall orders. A teacher-slash-writer can dream, right?! I hope you’ll join me on this awesome, new adventure.
To show how much I value your support, I have a little something extra special to celebrate the blog’s FOURTH birthday this June 18th…it’s a real doosey for those lovers of global writing. Be sure to check in this Saturday for a special gift from your favorite education blogger 🙂
Taking time away from the classroom gives me more time with you, and I’m looking forward to it. (Oh, and I get to spend more time with my two, amazing, darling, good-eatin’, sound-sleepin’ little ones, too! Sweet!).
Many of you are new to these curriculums and just as many of you are seasoned in the ways of AICE and AP Capstone. I can’t wait to collaborate with you. All of you. I don’t care if you’ve never taught a day in your life…send me your ideas and I’ll feature ya on the blog.
COMMUNITY, Y’ALL!! COLLABORATE! 🙂
Jill Pavich, NBCT
A post I made this morning has sparked the curiosity of several blog followers, so I just want to take a minute to update you on this mysterious, password-protected piece 🙂
In the AP Seminar course, students are required to tackle a number of research tasks, one of them being a Team Research Project. During the course of this project, they do two reports (one individual, one team-based), and a presentation. This is somewhat similar to the Team Task that AICE: Global Perspectives & Research 9239 requires.
As this is AP Seminar’s debut year, my classes have been working hard to turn the abstract learning goals of this pioneering, new curriculum into concrete accomplishments. Most recently, my student engaged in an official simulation of the Team Project component. I casually filmed all presentations on my smart phone, but to my dismay, I couldn’t get the videos OFF my phone and onto any other medium (in part because my iPhone 6Plus is a sham, lol). I tried it all…I iClouded, I compressed, I emailed, I, I, I…I couldn’t muster the tech geek in me to figure it out. BUT…the blog was my saving 21st century grace, indeed, because the WordPress plan I have allows me to embed videos…yippeee!
Long story short, I will be uploading about 15 student presentation videos to the blog over the course of this week so I can share these with my classes. Each group will have their own, password-protected link where they can both review their video and see their rubric score.
If you are currently teaching AP Seminar or are interested in teaching it next year, this tool may prove most useful to you! One ethical snag, however…
Until I obtain permission/signatures from parent/guardians to post this information online, I will need to password-protect these precious artifacts of student work. I plan to send out the permission form this evening and require parent/guardian yea-or-neah signatures by Friday. Following that, I will be able to unlock passcodes, etc. Until then, I appreciate your patience and enthusiasm!
PS…have you checked out Facebook yet? Did you happen to get the Global Pen newsletter in your inbox? Get in the loop with these two new Pen features 🙂
Jill Pavich, NBCT
Psssst…rumor has it, the Global Pen is inking back into action…
Notice the magical expansion taking place before your very eyes…tab titles are changing, new courses are appearing, dated links disappearing…
BUT NEVER FEAR! More valuable material will soon be here!
First of all, THANK YOU for bearing with me through this unbelievably busy school year. A much lengthier, (and rather personal!) post to follow this weekend as I beg for your forgiveness, but here are the hints and highlights as to why the Pen has been so sadly MIA…
- New AP Capstone Seminar curriculum is eating GP blogger for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nasty appetite on that one, I tell ya…
- FSA evil is afoot (I jest, I jest)
- Pipe dreams of GP publication slowly becoming a reality for blogger/writer/teacher/mommy 🙂 🙂 🙂
- And perhaps the most cryptic update of them all…a new muse is in our midst…
I’ll let you ponder that last one for a while, but a very clear update on this bloggie is in the wing.
What else should you expect in the next 7 days? Let’s put it this way, friends…
CLEAR YOUR LESSON PLANS FOR THE NEXT 4 WEEKS because I have a whopper of a unit for you!!
Learning Target? It’s a GP Content Meets Common Core Writing Standards type of task, and it’s sure to shine up your kids’ essay content while simultaneously preparing them for the upcoming, state-standardized exams!
Can’t wait to share once again with each of you! Stay tuned throughout the week as the Global Pen transforms in size and shakes out a little ink in the process!
Happy Friday, all!
Jill Pavich, NBCT
As faithful followers of the news, we know the 2013 summer headlines…but how do we teach them?!
Here are a few renditions of the “Hot Seat” I explored in each of my classes yesterday as we informally chatted about the summer’s news. Feel free to chime in with different ways you approach current events discussions/ideas-sharing/student engagement with your teen population…we’d love to hear a variety of these approaches for use on future current events projects!
- LOW TEMPERATURE…Try the “Boy v. Girl” Game-Style Challenge…inspired by my fellow colleague (props to Ms. Lisa Maultasch!), I split the class into boys versus girls. I wrote each of the ‘Hot Seat: Summer Sizzle’ issues on index cards to start. If it was the girls’ turn to go, they would send a representative up to sit in the Seat. That girl would select a card, doing her best to give “sufficient” evidence of her understanding on the topic. If she could not, the floor would be given to the boys’ team, who would collaborate as one, collective voice to determine a proper response. Any boy could then step up as the spokesperson to relay the answer. If they were correct in their knowledge of the issue, the boys got to take the index card from the Hot Seater girl who could not provide sufficient enough input. Then, this same scenario happened in reverse: a boy would approach the Hot Seat individually; if he could not provide sufficient knowledge on the selected summer headline, the girls could formulate a response collectively and the best team won the index card. Tally up the cards won at the end, and voila! Credit, extra credit, homework passes, participation points, or what-have-you in the way of incentives. More importantly, a baseline awareness was created regarding local, national, and international news.
- MEDIUM TEMPERATURE…Try the “Groups” approach…students organize into teams of 4. The Summer Sizzle Headlines are hanging via index card on the board. First, groups discussed what they know and/or what they learned via interview about the headlined topics. Then, as a group, they determine THREE issues they’d like to present to the class when in the Hot Seat. (It’s amazing how a single group might pick all environmental issues, or all political issues, or all entertainment issues…showing interest in and paying automatic tribute to the General Paper THEMES without even realizing it!). Put groups in the Hot Seat and have them ‘school’ the class on the issues they chose while audience members draft one-sentence summaries in their notes for each of the issues discussed.
- HOT, HOT HEAT!…Try the true-to-form, HOT Seat…students elect to approach the Hot Seat on their own accord; they are there individually, as opposed to group support. Since it’s the beginning of the year, I allow them to pick the Summer Headline they are most comfortable with to discuss. They begin by explaining the issue in its obvious form
Once they finish up their basic summary, however, I bring the heat: I delve deeper into the issue by asking them questions that span beyond the obvious. Specifically, I encourage students to look at a single issue from a variety of lenses (political, environmental, social, etc.), and from multiple levels (local, national, international).
Want to know what I mean by this rather abstract bit of advice?! Well, you’re in luck because I love a good model…
But, patience is a virtue! Take the extra time to observe the dialogue string below, which models HOW to probe students on the issues, and how to guide them toward GP connections:
So GP Student A walks into the classroom…
Teacher: Student A, what issue do you elect to explore?
Student A: I’d like to talk about the recent WILDFIRES occurring in the U.S.
Teacher: Ok, super! Tell me everything you know.
Student A: Well, there are lots of wildfires breaking out in dry states in the West like in Arizona, and California, particularly near important landmarks like Yosemite National Park in the Sierra mountain-chain region. There was also the Beaver Creek fire in Idaho, I think it was.
Teacher: So how does this impact us on a national level?
Student A: Basically it destroys our environment. Like, when the wildfires hit places like Yosemite, it’s destroying entire habitats and animals and plants unique to this environment. My mom mentioned the Sequoias native to the region. Also, I remember reading that the wildfires are posing a threat to the water supplies in California and the Bay Area. Since water is our most basic and essential need, if we don’t have it–well–people in this area could die.
Teacher: Wow, amazing observations about the wildfire’s impact on our environment. Points earned for knowing your stuff!
Student A: Whew! Awesome! (smiles, and relief at surviving the Hot Seat)
Teacher: But wait a minute, let me approach the same topic from a different angle for a minute…
Student A: (uh-ooooh-face)…
Teacher: It makes sense that the wildfires are destroying our environment, but how might they be hurting our economy? Consider that for a minute. Take your time and think about the connection between fire and $$$$…
Student A: (puzzled face, followed by light-bulb)…oh, wait, yeah…soooo…if the wildfires destroy parks like Yosemite, it hurts the economy because then tourists don’t get to visit this site, which is pretty popular otherwise. If the fires destroy what there is to see, no one is going to come to visit it. Our economy takes a hit because that means less tourists spending money there, whether it be on food or hotel or admission tickets.
Teacher: Brilliant connections made between wildfires and our economy. Ok, now that we have a foundation of knowledge, let’s talk about how it can be woven into a GP essay. In essence, what is the “GP Relevance” of this information we’ve studied? Well, there are lots of SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY prompts on the GP exam. A lot of the times, Section 2 of the GP exam will ask you to write essays that cater to the following style of essay prompt: To what extent can we rely on modern technology to control otherwise unpredictable events? So, Student A, let me ask you this…is it possible to beat Mother Nature with modern tools, i.e Technology VERSUS Earth, Air/Wind, Fire, Water…?
Student A: Yeah…totally…I mean, we can use technology to fix pretty much anything today.
Teacher: Prove it 😉
Student A: Ummm…well, hmmm…like hurricanes, we can tell when a hurricane is coming. That’d be technology trumping an unpredictable event, right?!
Teacher: That’s definitely a start, Student A, but you seem unsure. Let’s put our heads together to make sure. Audience, what do you think? To what extent can technology control unpredictable events like natural disasters?
Audience 1: Oooh, I know. Like how Student A said, when it’s a hurricane, we can use technology to predict the path of the hurricane before it harms us. We have the option to evacuate in advance. A couple of years ago, during Hurricane Willow, my family and I drove north to my Grandma’s in Tallahassee to avoid the storm. We boarded up and left.
Teacher: Good point. Technology is definitely a friend to us in Florida, where we are hurricane-prone.
Audience 2: Yeah but in other parts of the U.S., natural disasters like tornadoes aren’t as easy to predict no matter what technology we have available to us. Sometimes natural disasters just kind of drop out of the sky without warning.
Teacher: A valid argument, but where–SPECIFICALLY–have we seen this? Can you provide a concrete example to further support your logic?
Audience 3: I know! How about the Moore, Oklahoma, issue from the summer…didn’t they have, like 10 minutes to evacuate, or something like that?
Teacher: 16. They had 16 minutes. Props for the concrete support, (Audience 3)!
Audience 4: Well what about the sinkholes we looked up? You don’t even get a minute’s warning on that one. The one that happened in Orlando came out of nowhere! One minute you’re standing there, and the next…well, the earth gives way and just kind of swallows you up…
Audience 5: My family and I go to Orlando every year for New Year’s…
Audience 1: Yeah, so that’s GP relevance on the LOCAL level, right?!
Teacher: Exactly. So you’d agree that sometimes we can predict and prevent Mother Nature’s wrath whereas other times we cannot…
Audience 3: Yes, it just depends on where you are and which natural disaster your area is prone to.
Audience 4: Yeah, it’s based on the circumstances.
Teacher (smiles)…thinks to self: ‘mission accomplished….’
This is the best case scenario because students are listening to one another and benefiting from each other’s contributions. Listening to one another probes further thought. The teacher takes a back-seat, merely guiding, as the conversation unfolds. The students draw upon the task that was their homework to fuel the challenge that is their classwork. The highest levels of critical thinking are tested as they discuss the issue together!
What else can you do to immerse your students in the headlines of summer? Submit your experiences here! Who wouldn’t benefit from a fresh approach to common practice?! Pay it Forward!
Happy last-Friday-of-Freedom, GP Teachers!
In honor of THIS special Friday, I’m going to share with you what I’ll be giving my students NEXT Friday…just smile and think, oh hey, there’s still THIS Friday, which means I’m still off!
Back to next Friday, I’m going to give my students the “Hot Seat: Summer Sizzle” handout, linked here. They will have a weekend to take the list of people/places/events home and interview at least 3 people concerning the information on it.
The list on said-handout’s reverse side represents some of the current events/hot topics that took place this past summer, 2013. I am asking my students to INTERVIEW, as opposed to GOOGLE, these ideas because it will get them comfortable with talking about the issues, which is what a great deal of our class is all about 🙂
They will take the weekend to ‘research’ (aka, talk!) about as many of these people/places/events as possible. Then we will engage in a “Hot Seat” activity on Monday following. The Hot Seat can go down in a number of ways, but I usually ask for a few eager volunteers to start; I have them take a seat (5-7 max) in the chairs in the front of the room. The audience and I ask them the Hot Seat questions and they compete for points. If a panelist/Hot-Seater gets a question wrong and an audience member wants to take a stab at it, that audience member can replace the panelist/Hot Seater if the answer is right!
This is the first of TWO documents for this activity. As this is my first time running the ‘show,’ I still need to drum up a solid set of Hot Seat questions now that I have the working list of issues.
Speaking of which, am I missing a Sizzly Summer Headline? PLEASE submit! I was wracking (?!) my brain today between the many pre-school meetings, so it was–I admit–a bit of a scattered process as I tied my Hot Seat all up for bloggie submission.
Tout your expertise here by commenting below on summer issues not on the list!
One word to the wise…keep a close lid on outbursted answers and whispered ones during the actual Hot Seat…answers from panelists gotta (yep, ‘gotta’) be genuine for you to run the show authentically; and there also has to be enough focus from the audience so answers can be both heard and absorbed from the activity.
Otherwise, you’ll be in HOT water, Teach!
Adopt, Adapt, or Entirely Alter…Go Forth and let your classes (Academically) Prosper!
Props to Sunnie Petric (and her hubs) for inspiring this post, fellow teacher and Croatian 😉