learning to "blum"

A blog about my time in the education department at Luther College.

TCI – What is it?

Our assignment for this week is to blog about what we would do if we were on a committee looking at TCI. We are to share our feelings on what we would share as a member of the committee and why we would share it. To be honest, I had no clue what TCI was when first looking at what our blog was supposed to be on. After being on the website, I found many things I could include as a member of a committee looking into TCI. TCI is a publishing company dedicated to social studies. They provide interactive curriculums as well as textbooks for schools to use as their social studies curriculum. It is clear that they have an emphasis on making learning engaging for students. The materials provided by TCI also are aligned with the Common Core. This is comforting, as much of what I do as an educator will have to fit in with the Common Core standards. 

For our class, we are focusing on the Social Studies Alive! feature of TCI. We are working with the program titled “Our Community and Beyond.” There are several things I would share about TCI and the Social Studies Alive! curriculum based on my research of TCI. First, I would share that there are numerous teacher resources found throughout the site. Teachers can see connections to standards, look at differentiation ideas, and view lesson procedures. I feel this is important to share because there is a growing demand for teachers to share lesson plans and make sure they are connecting classroom work to the state/national standards. I also think the emphasis on differentiation is important to share because we all have many individual learners in our classrooms that we must make sure are getting the learning. I would also share that there are assessments provided because these assessments are specifically written for the use of Social Studies Alive! It can sometimes be difficult to make sure assessments are addressing all they need to, and this can serve as a template to make sure that objectives are being addressed. These assessments are tools and can be edited and used to create your own personalized assessment for your students. Finally, I would share the idea of student site vs. teacher site. First and foremost, this is a site that caters to students as well. There is a student site in which they can interact with the materials, presentations, assessments, etc. that the teacher has created. This makes the units engaging for students as they are using technology as well as working hands-on with social studies. Students can create notes in their notebook as well as participate in “challenges” with a lesson. They can also read chapters that have both a spanish and audio option as well. Overall, I feel this is a beneficial curriculum that would be worthwhile to try to implement for several units in social studies throughout the year.

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Educators and Politics

It is no secret that education is often debated in politics. This is seen with No Child Left Behind, the Common Core Standards, and many other laws and government policies. Recently, there has been much debate on early childhood education in the political realm. This week, we were asked to blog about our own personal opinion on legislative changes in education and the involvement of educators. I personally believe that there should be a large amount of contribution with regard to ideas on education from educators themselves. This is because we as educators have knowledge with regard to children’s development and teacher/administrator/community roles. Do teachers know everything? No. However, if teachers are able to work with legislators the outcome will be much more positive than it would without them. Obviously those involved in the government also have much more knowledge on legislation as well. This shows that there must be great teamwork when it comes to legislative changes in education. Legislators should look to educators for ideas and knowledge with regard to the educational realm and educators should look to legislators for help in development of educational changes. 

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