This multi-disciplinary career exploration unit builds on lesson plans available through the Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom website. Students will spend a week investigating different aspects of agriculture careers, while incorporating skills from math, English, and social studies. The unit culminates in a "Day in the Life" summative writing assignment.
A specific need that was shared during the teacher externship experience was new hires’ inability to read a tape measure and measure accurately. In this lesson, students will gain experience in problem solving and teamwork as they practice using a tape measure by measuring a variety of objects.
In his books Teaching Adolescent Writers and Write Like This, author Kelly Gallagher suggests growing adolescent writers by providing them with real-world writing practice. If we want to work to develop our students as authentic, lifelong writers, we should help them to see that there is value in writing and that there are types of writing that we do for various purposes outside of school. This professional development was shared with middle school teachers to show how to turn 1 topic into 18 topics using Gallagher's 1 Topic = 18 Topics template. Specifically, we looked at writing to inform or explain in this training.
In the fall and spring of each school year, students in the Baraboo School District are assessed on their academic writing skills. We pre-assess to determine skill-level as students come into the year, and we post-assess to determine growth. See the attached presentation to see our process along with examples of the writing assessments, rubrics, and student writing samples from K-8.