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Monday, February 20, 2017

The DynamicDuo101 on TpT: Who We Are

One of the biggest challenges that teachers face in a Common Core-aligned setting is designing, creating, and organizing material that all aligns to the standards (not to mention the time and effort that it takes to do so).  Done correctly through proper planning and organization, a Common Core thematic unit can ultimately help and enrich students of all ages and abilities in ways that you may have never thought of. 

Typically, teachers assign projects (common core-aligned or not) on one topic, for one period of time.  Yet, what if we took it upon ourselves to raise the bar and not only focus on just one topic, but rather to integrate research-based information with multiple subject areas like technology, social studies, visual art, music, and even physical education into one thematic unit that not only challenges students, but enriches what they are learning?  In effect, expanding a topic to reach more students with more options and more intrigue.

The 21st Century Student

Let’s face it, today’s 21 century student is more connected to information because of online and digital sources than ever before.  Students have access to a multitude of resources that can enhance nearly every facet of educational material that you can throw at them.  They are technologically savvy and can do magic with computers...effortlessly.  They learn how to use Google for online searches, design websites, and even master social media faster than a speeding train.  Moreover, they can learn techniques by seeing it demonstrated just once so effectively that sometimes teachers and parents say, “If only they could pay that kind of attention in math!”

Therein lies part of the problem.

Today’s student is hard-wired to utilize technology from birth and there’s no getting around it.  I like to use the horse and blinders comparison...when a computer, or some sort of computer device is placed in front of them, it’s all they see.  Nothing else matters.  So why not marry that effect to the Common Core State Standards and ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Standards to enhance learning to levels, which until now, have been uncharted?  Why not use technology to our advantage?  After all, this is what students desire...what they long to use...what they almost “need” to use in order to do what curriculums around the world are asking of them. 

Our Teachers Pay Teachers products assists you in effectively designing and creating Common Core aligned thematic units for your students that will enhance what they are learning by applying concepts that they have previously been exposed to.  The best part: when you realize that magic moment when your students are learning material in ways that you never thought could possibly happen -- and occasionally -- without even realizing it’s happening in the first place.  

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