Today in American Cultures we busted out the “Week” magazines and read an article on the current possibilities for a recession. The students answered questions that went along with the two articles. The questions are located on page 8 of the chapter 15 packet. Students seemed to have very little idea about economic concepts such as the value of the dollar and inflation. So much of our discussion time at the end of the lesson was taken up by me explaining this terminology.
We looked at the current stimulus package going through Congress and discussed the merit of giving tax rebates. Many students liked the idea of people getting their money back but didn’t really connect this with the need for more consumer spending. So it was good that I could make that connection for them through a brief lecture.
As with most of these current events days, it would be nice to have even more time to cover the material. When I have my own classroom I will incorporate a current events day once per week. I’ll make sure that the current event relates to whatever social topic that we are covering.
Today in Navigating, I picked up teaching the 4th period class as well. I had been teaching it quite often already and it seemed pretty natural to have picked it up. We discussed car insurance and then read an article on it. The students were supposed to read quietly and take notes. A quiz about the reading was assigned for Wednesday. We’ll see how they do on that. 7th period read and took notes just fine. But 4th has some disruptive characters in the cast. I told them at first that I would discuss the article with them at the end of class so that they would know what would be on the quiz. But I figured that that would have only rewarded the students who had not taken notes. So I publicly announced that I would not discuss the article with them and that this was the punishment for the students who did not take notes. That made things a bit awkward, but oh well. The students who took notes didn’t mind.