The Great Debate – Pt.1

So my husband and I have been teaching the same grade and the same curriculum for around 8 years.  Do you know how much planning we’ve done together?  Zip!

That’s right….zero.

What the heck is wrong with us?

Well, we’re fixing that, starting with a Social Studies unit we are both teaching in which our students compare Edo Japan and Meiji Japan and make a “recommendation” to a new emperor on which time period Japan should stick with…..

So we have this great plan….we think.

Step 1)  Decide which class will make which recommendation.  So in otherwords….which class will debate what.

Step 2)  Pick our verbal “debate panel.”  We each have large classes and not everyone will be able to take part with the verbal debate but….

Step 3)  Decide on our twitter “debate panel”.  These students will debate the same issue but over a twitter feed connected to my class hashtag #crem8.  This can encompass several more students than the verbal debate – but this group will take into account not only their own arguments but the arguments of the panel as well!

Step 4)  Connect our classes with Skype to host the debate using myself as moderator for the Twitter debate and my husband as moderator for the Skype debate.

Step 5)  For those not connected via Skype or Twitter…..there job will be to watch the entire debate (both Skype and Twitter) and make a judgement on who one according to a set of defined criteria.  These are the “government” officials that are supposed to be non-biased.  We’ll see how that part goes later I guess.

So for now….this is the plan.  If you have any advice before this is carried out, we’d welcome it!  The Great Debate takes place in approximately two weeks as the culminating activity to our unit.

Stay tuned to see how it goes!


About Cherra-Lynne Olthof

I've been a middle school teacher for my entire career (which began in 2001). Like my students, I too am a life long learner. My goals include helping my students to achieve their goals, support them in their learning, and to encourage them to think "beyond the grade".
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