Monday morning I was fortunate to observe students in Mr. Lepore’s eighth grade social studies class as they worked on the immigration project. This class session was significantly different than many traditional class sessions; the students did almost all the work and reported back to each other.
Students used a variety of web resources to find information (the coolest of which was Ngram Viewer) and tools such as Google Docs and and Presentation to capture and information and effectively collaborate with each other. These students were not “alone together” but rather fully engaged in their research. Mr. Lepore brought the class together several times during the period by asking students to share out what they were learning. Students also used the online tool Today’s Meet as a backchannel where they posted questions and served as resources to each other! It was exciting to see such engaged learning and sharing, and these students are clearly becoming experts on immigration as a result of such a progressively designed unit!