Many years ago, I was given a definition while taking a graduate course about the family. Through the years, I have often used it as a poster project lead-in to my family unit. However, since going 1:1, I decided to try this assignment a new way, using technology…aka iMovie! While I’m not an expert with this app, my students are and they were eager to assist their peers when necessary. I even surprised myself by creating a YouTube channel so I could share a couple of student samples with you! Not a 1:1 school or have access to technology–no worries! I’ve included my original poster assignment (see attachments), which by the way could be easily modified for the differentiated classroom. I loved seeing how each student interpreted the family definition and how unique and diverse each movie was…just like families!
Seems like quotation posters are everywhere on social media! These posters often contain very important and inspirational or motivational quotes that can be used in a variety of ways in the classroom. Below you will find a way to use them with your students in an interactive way, using the graphic design Canva App or website. A big thank you goes out to Linda Hayes, a FACS teacher from Pennsylvania, for her time and efforts spent collecting the running quotes for various FACS topics that you will find below and sharing them with us!
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!
Independence or singlehood is the most critical stage of the family life cycle. During this stage, one strives to become fully able to support himself or herself emotionally, physically, socially and financially. Utilizing Sharon Lipinski’s “7 Generosity Habits” and Learning to Breathe: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents , Sasha Roble, a FACS teacher from Pennsylvania, created this lesson which encourages students to strive for a healthy body, mind and spirit. Keeping in mind throughout the lesson, that taking care of oneself means that you have a solid, strong foundation from which you can give to others throughout the family life cycle. After spending some time on managing one’s physical health, students in this lesson focus on the concept of mindfulness. Scientific studies show that mindfulness boosts your immune system, increases positive emotions, decreases depression and anxiety, grows additional gray matter in the brain, fosters compassion and enhances relationships.
Occasionally, in my classes, I like to throw out little dilemma or problem situations that students must research and learn more about in order to make an informed decision. I’ve done this with baby sign language when teaching about infant language development in child development two different ways. Prior to going 1:1, I assigned this as an informational interactive foldable project, which could easily be used with interactive notebooks. I’ve also had my students use their iPads to learn more about the topic and then complete a writing assignment, applying their new-found knowledge. I also like my students to learn and share some easy signs with the class in an engaging and fun manner, where students have to use their brains and memory in addition to their hands!
Sometimes the non-school related blogs I follow do a blog hopping where they share other people’s blogs. I thought that would be a great idea to do this with Family & Consumer Science teachers who write their own blogs. The featured blog in this post belongs to Kayla Pins, a Health and Family & Consumer Sciences teacher, who hails from Iowa and teaches grades 7-12 at Cascade Jr.-Sr. High School. I email interviewed Kayla some questions about her blog…so read on to learn more and see some of the impressive lessons she has to offer!
Recently, I mentioned that my school was now 1:1 and I have been updating some of my lessons as time permits, to make them more student directed, as well as incorporate technology. Teen pregnancy, in my opinion, can be difficult to teach. I’ve tried teaching it in so many ways over the years, with success, but nothing I would really write about. This lesson was different, not only because it was self-directed, but because students really cooperated, collaborated and communicated in a way that produced a creative A to Z project. The way they worked both individually and collectively as a group made me super proud of them! So much so, that I couldn’t wait to share this update with all of you!
I’ve been trying to update some of my lesson plans and activities to make them more student directed, as well as incorporate technology since we are now a 1:1 school. While I liked the large group decision making activity I did in this post, I wanted to build on the decision making process and use I-messages as a way to reinforce what students learned in previous lessons, but also make it a smaller group activity to encourage more discussion from all students and include technology. So, as a way to introduce teen pregnancy, I came up with a new way to meet all of the criteria mentioned above and the results were amazing! As I circulated the room while students were completing this assignment, I couldn’t believe the levels of discussion I was hearing about each of the options, including the process of actually deciding on the best option and reasons to support it. Students really got into this assignment and told me how much they liked it compared to the original format. So, give it a try and let me know if you get similar results from your students!
Breakout games are so much fun! It’s hard to imagine that something so fun can also be educational! Breakout games encourage students to work together, against the clock to complete challenges associated with a topic you are covering in class. Breakout games can be used as a way to introduce a lesson or unit or it can be a culminating review activity before a test. Either way, students love them! I tried my hand at creating one for reviewing manners, calculating tips and how to set the common table. Give it a try and I hope your students like it as much as mine did! Warning: This can get extremely competitive!
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.