Thursday, June 13, 2013

Planning 10 Assignment Idea

So one thing I am having a hard time finding is Planning 10 resources... I had a fantastic discussion with the Librarian at my school and we came up with the following idea:

Premise: For those of you that are familiar with Planning 10, you know it is an essential course for students. It's life skills people! However, feedback from students is very negative. I frequently hear students say how boring it is and when the first time I taught it I found students had a hard time handing in assignments. WHAT!? This class is the first class I've taught that I didn't have to go in to detail about how it would apply to their lives and they STILL weren't engaged.

The problem: Students who take this class in grade 10 have, most likely, not even begun their first job. Therefore, why are we teaching them money management skills like RRSPs, TFSAs, etc. when they don't even understand the value of a hard earned dollar? In my current school, Planning is usually taken in grade 11 which I agree with. However, I think it is too late to teach students about many of the PLOs in the health course as students say they 'already know' these things and/or they are already involved/overwhelmed by the issues discussed.

So I'm still not sure what the solution is (a grade 9 and 11 course, split up in to two? Where one focuses on health issues, getting a job, etc, and the grade 11 course talks more about long term finances, getting your dream job/getting in to university and family planning etc.), but that is beside the point.

My Ideas:

1. The first 2 weeks should be spent on building classroom community. Because a lot of touchy subjects are taught during this course you want students to feel safe so that they can openly ask questions/discuss important matters. Also, I believe it is important to focus on study skills and find out what the students want you to focus on. You will find that many of them have an extensive background in some areas depending on what other courses/experience they have had. There is no point in re-teaching what they already know because students won't show up for your class--end of story.

2. Have students create a personal blog. The idea of the blog is for them to write a letter to their 'future selves' at least once a week. Each post should sum up and highlight what they have learned that week during the course and provide a personal reflection on the matter. By asking them to speak to their future selves they can personalize it to what they think they may need to remember and it will demonstrate their learning to the teacher. Also, the teacher will see where the student's interests lie and if no student comments on a key PLO then the teacher can re-visit and re-teach. I would suggest that students should have 1 blog post per-week minimum but that they can always write more and keep their highest marks. This will also serve as a portfolio that they can add extra pages on their blog with their resume or other items completed in class, as well as, can be a future reference for them when things like financial planning come in to play.

I'm excited to start putting together my planning course this summer and am interested to see how this will all fit in! I also want to keep my 'Friday Fun Day' ideas but will most likely incorporate 30 minutes of writing time for students to be able to write their blog posts. What are your thoughts!?

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