Over the years, I’ve written a lot of letters of recommendation for my students as I’m sure many of you have. Most of the time I had to either probe them for more information about their involvement in both in school and community activities or ask the guidance office for more information. When I started teaching my Career and Consumer Science class (similar to Adulting 101), I decided to include this assignment. Once students completed their digital activities resume, they could easily share it with perspective teachers, coaches, bosses, etc who would write them letters and it could be updated quickly as their activities changed. It’s also beneficial when filling out college applications as it’s a snapshot of their high school career. So, if you’re tired of tracking down background information on students who ask for recommendations, give this assignment a try!
I spent time this past summer browsing on the internet and reading teacher comments on Twitter. One of my favorite things is to watch TedTalk videos. I kept coming across ideas that what we teach students will be obsolete in 40 years, many future careers have not been invented, how fast knowledge doubles, advances in artificial intelligence, brain research, etc. So, what’s a teacher to teach? Or more importantly, what is it that students must be able to know and do to thrive in a future world full of unknowns? You may have additional thoughts but some of mine are students must be literate, be adaptive, be problem solvers, be able to think-outside-of-the-box, use technology, communicate effectively with others, work with others, and re-invent themselves in the workplace. Then, for the first time in my long career, my school adopted a partial block schedule with the first 2 days of the school year being block days. Students need to have positive experiences so they want to come back the next day plus I didn’t want to bore them. So, I wrote the Gidgee Gadget lesson. Take a look below to see what it’s all about!
Shopping for a dorm is a necessary task if you are heading to college, and can be quite a daunting experience if you’ve never done it before! It seems like college students today need a lot more as incoming freshman than what I ever needed in four years of college (many moons ago)! I discovered this when preparing to send my first born off to college a few years ago and as we look forward to repeating it with child number two next summer. Having that experience prompted me to create this project to help students see what colleges suggest they bring and the cost involved. It also allows them to discern between what they will truly use and need versus what they don’t, eliminating a lot of excess spending! This is a real eye-opener for students as they prepare for moving into dormitory living!
Being randomly assigned a college roommate is akin to opening a box of chocolates! To quote Forrest Gump, “You never know what you’re gonna get!” I like to “try” to prepare my students for this because it can make or break their college experience. The saying that “you really don’t know someone until you live with them” is completely true. I was fortunate in my college experience to have great roommates, whom I got along well with, but not everyone is so lucky! This lesson tries to prepare them for the various types of “roomies” they could encounter and how to deal with each in a constructive way.
During my unit titled “Off to College”, we talk about a variety of topics related to college living and dorm life. One of these topics includes the “Freshmen 15”. Students always wonder if it’s true and if so, how does it happen. Since students were curious, I decided to let them figure out the answers by having them research the topic and create a game board that incorporated all of the information they learned in a fun, creative and competitive way. Students took turns playing each others games, providing feedback and learning something about the “Freshman 15”!
Students spend a lot of time researching and making comparisons on various colleges from location to majors offered and cost, so it only makes sense to spend some time looking at options of financing their ambitions. While I am no expert, going through this process with my daughter last year has at least upped my comfort level with the material and terms (at least a little bit). Because of this I wanted a simple way for students to learn what options were out there to help them afford college so they could at least have a starting point. This assignment asks students to take an article on college loans and not only read it, but create a graphic organizer around the theme to help them become more familiar with the information. While students often have additional questions specific to their circumstances, our school also offers a financial aid night for students and their parents which allows them to ask those questions and get the answers that I cannot afford them.
While listening to the news on the radio, it was announced that in Pennsylvania 1 in every 5 children lives below the poverty level. I’m sure this number varies from one state to the next but I thought it to be a rather scary statistic. This lesson and the included activities has students learning about poverty, what causes it, and an engaging simulation to see how easy it could be for some to live in poverty no matter how hard they try to avoid it.
Famous chefs can be great role models for students who have an interest in the culinary arts field. Because of television,alton.brown shows like The Food Network, PBS and The Cooking Channel, students have access to culinary information, competitions and cooking personalities at the click of the remote. The goal of this project is to help inspire students and advance their culinary skills and knowledge by learning more about these famous chefs.
In today’s society, with the abundance of electronic devices that keep students and adults ever so occupied and isolated, communication skills have never been more important and necessary. This lesson and activities strive to teach students the characteristics necessary for effective communication skills in various aspects of their lives in a fun and interactive way, using a variety of techniques. I’m sure there are many other activities that could be used in addition to what you will find here so, if you have a great way to teach communication skills, please share at feedback@familyconsumersciences.
Are you totally in love with Abc’s Shark Tank? Chances are your students are! What I love about Shark Tank and The Profit are that students get a real glimpse into entrepreneurship and get a chance to see what is possible. Many times young teens are pitching their business ideas on the show and it is inspiring. Being confident, clearly conveying an idea, defending one’s position, and business savvy are all life skills that can be learned through this show with intentional viewing.