About the Unit 1 Best Practices category

Use this space to share your best practices and ideas for Unit 1 in the ECS curriculum.

I think unit one is probably one of the more difficult units for the students. Especially in my class I am going to have mostly 9th graders. Since they are new to this HS they are somewhat intimidated. It is vital to reassure them that their thoughts count. In addition, during first two weeks there is a mad struggle for switching classes. New students arrive on a daily basis disrupting the process.
Nevertheless, since my class environment is not perfect, it gives me an opportunity to point out that everything we do is growth oriented. As long as we strive to do things better than the day before, we achieve.Our school shows growth by adjusting the students schedules and my students show growth by attempting to be effective communicators and collaborators as well as creative and critical thinkers.

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I think unit 1 is important because it begins with what I refer to as the ‘getting to know you phase’. It allows the students to express themselves and get comfortable with their surroundings and each other. I would begin with something like …what do you think of computers? to the entire group…then expanding with my next question…what do you think is good about computers? and then my last question…what do you think is bad about computers? and lastly have them count off 1, 2 and have the 1’s put together a list (about 5 times) of the good things that computers can be used for. Next, I would have the 2’s put together a list (about 5 items)of bad things that the computers can be used for. My goal is to observe the students in each group (to see how they are interacting) and encourage them speak to express their opinions, while being respectful and stay on track. I think this would be a great first step in getting my students to work together and become comfortable with expressing their opinions in front of each other.