Featured Post

If It Were My Home: Compare Countries Visually

What it is: We are just heading into a new inquiry block at Anastasis Academy.  The kids are exploring world communities and our interdependence on each other.  If it Were My Home is a fascinating website that asks students to consider what their life would be like if they were born in a different country.  Would they be the same person?  If it Were My Home is a country comparison tool where students can compare living conditions in their own country to those of another.  When students select a country, there is a visual overlay comparison of maps.  Students can easily visualize relative size of another country based on their own state or country.  Students will also see a break down of death rates, HIV/AIDS, birth rate, electricity availability, oil consumption, economic comparison, health care, and class divide.  Students have the ability to compare the country they selected with another country of interest.  Students can learn additional information about the country and vote to show if they would rather live in the chosen country.  Additionally, most countries offer a recommended reading list with books about the selected country.  When students click on the mini-facts, they get a full description of the fact along with the original source.  SO stinking cool! How to integrate If it Were My Home into the classroom: If it Were My Home is an outstanding way for students to visualize and compare other countries to their own.  I love that this site helps students with geography, but also reveals that there is a real world community that is interdependent and diverse.  This site helps students recognize the unique place they are in the world and how it relates to other countries.  I love the added awareness of human rights and social justice issues that this site encourages.  In our inquiry unit, we are looking at what the facts listed on the site mean about the government, belief systems, human rights, equality, social justice and landscape of the countries they represent. This is a site that can be used to help students ask bigger questions.  To see a fact about another country, and ask what bigger problems might be revealed, what we can learn from other countries, and break down some stereotypes that students may have about other countries. Ask each student to choose a country to compare to their country of origin.  Have students pair up with a partner and compare their chosen countries to the country of origin. Choose “Disasters” from the menu at the top of the screen to view some natural and man-made disasters that affected the lives of millions of people.  Students can view the scope of the disaster in relation to where they live, helping them to better visualize the impact that man-made and natural disasters can have on a population. Tie in a creative writing project and have students imagine that they are moving from their country of origin to their chosen country.  Students can use the information and comparison as inspiration for their fictional story about what life would be like in their new home.   Students could also write a short autobiographical story about growing up in their country of origin, followed by a short “autobiographical” type story about their life growing up in a different country. Use the statistical data in If it Were My Home for some real world mathematical comparison between countries.  If Rwanda has a 10.7 times higher chance of dying in infancy, how many infant deaths does it expect on average per year?  If Rwandans make 98.06% less than Americans, what would you expect an average salary to be? I used Rwanda as my example because Rwanda is where we started our first Anastasis sister school.  Our 2nd-3rd grade class has been absolutely fascinated with Rwanda and poured over this site to learn more. Tips: Encourage your students to read one of the recommended books about the country they chose. This will help them understand more about the country they chose, and give the people in that country voice beyond the facts listed. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  If it Were My Home in your classroom.

Read More

Beyond Lockdown: Invitation for #Colorado educators to join for FREE

Posted by admin | Posted in General | Posted on 02-01-2014

Tags: , , , , , ,

1

I’ve been radio silent in the blogging world since the shooting at Arapahoe high school. It hurts. I hate that this has happened again. I hate that the waiting to hear from former students felt so familiar. I ache that all kids live in a world where school isn’t always a safe place. The week before the shooting at Arapahoe, the kids at Anastasis were creating bracelets, paper airplanes, and a video for the Sandy Hook community and I wrote this post on our school blog.

It’s hard to write about new technology finds and educational tools when you ache for your community, when lives have been forever altered and two families have to learn how to exist differently. Despite the pain and sadness, there is also a time of healing. I’ve been incredibly proud of the Arapahoe community who IS warrior strong. The Colorado community has once again rallied and has come with an outpouring of love, support for one another, and healing together.

One of my friends on Twitter, @LauraScheer, contacted me following the shooting at Arapahoe, and extended an amazing gift through a friend of hers.  A private “Beyond Lockdown” training for the Anastasis staff and 15 of our Colorado friends.  TAC ONE consulting is providing their “Beyond Lockdown” training course for free.  This training has been designed to help prepare school faculty with an aggressive response to an active gunman. During this course, we will learn to: understand the “active shooter” and identify active shooter incidents/trends, identify current mainstream practices and shortfalls, acquire basic understanding of firearms, understand new aggressive action plans, and receive training and recommendations.

The class is being held on Saturday Jan. 11, 2014 from 12:30-4:30 in Centennial.  We want to invite 15 of our Colorado teaching friends to join us for FREE.  If you are interested, please contact me in the comments below OR on Twitter @ktenkely and I will get you complete details.  This training is typically costly, this is an amazing gift from TAC Consulting trainer Joe Deedon!

It makes me sad that we live in a world where this type of training is becoming a necessity. I’m thankful for people like Laura and Joe who make it available in a time of need and prepare us accordingly. I hope that you won’t assume that this could never happen at your school.  I hope our Colorado friends will take us up on this offer. I pray that none of us will ever need to put this training to use.

Comments (1)

I read your blog and saw the invitation for “Beyond Lockdown”. I would be very interested in attending.

Thanks for sharing your blog!

Write a comment

*