Some days you're so proud you just want to video tape your students! The lesson I did today really let the students shine and there are so many ways I could do even more with it. Sometimes I think it should be shorter, because how long do we actually have to spend on the first amendment- but this lesson is so much more. The students argue historical first amendment cases in lawyer teams of four( from TCI- highly recommend)). Everyone has a role and a chance to speak, while the other students are the 9 supreme court justices and the remainder the gallery/media. I think it is the black robes that really help them step up their game. I borrow graduation gowns and make the justices wear them. This year we have a new discussion room and we used that, which stepped their game up even more. 2nd period, my smallest class- killed it today and the lawyers wanted to continue arguing their cases. We have another day of cases to present and some ways to improve the outcomes and performance will be 1) to have the justices write down questions for the lawyers before we begin 2) double check with the Chief Counsels that precedent cases are presented as evidence and 3) bring a gavel.
They got a taste of academic professionalism today. I was impressed and realized I must push them more with these multi leveled assignments.
A-HA: Atmosphere can really impact students expectations for themselves.
Reminder: DO the "hard", time consuming lessons.