Graduation Standards Workshop : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Tim Mellstrom Grad Standards Workshop Grand Rapids, MN December 15, 1999 I recently had the opportunity to attend a workshop conference in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The workshop was held at the Sawmill Inn and the themes were United States Citizenship and the themes in United States History.

There were teachers from all over northern Minnesota with their main focus in civics and government and the history of the United States. I was grouped with several teachers from Grand Rapids school district.

The facilitators explained some of the philosophy of the Minnesota grad packages and how they relate to some of the national standards that are currently in place. The minnesota and national standards documnets stress development and application of social science skills. The Minnesota People and Cultures Framework refers primarily to the social science content for Civics and Government but also makes references to the other areas with the social science disciplines such as economics, psychology, sociology and anthropolgy.

The Minnesota Graduation Standards focus is historical thinking and spatial organization when dealing with the content and learning facts. The standards also works to enchance skill mastery as well as learning the content.

The facilitators mentioned three basic components necessary for the success of any social studies curriculum that are linked to national and minnesota standards. The first component is a grid showing the link between state and national standards. The second is a break down on how each standard could be placed within a social studies curriculum. The third component explains what and how much students should know proir to engaging in a particular standard.

While in our groups we had the chance to share with each other what we were doing in our class. What was going good and what had not been going very good at all. We brought different work from our various classes and I was able to get some good ideas to utilize in my classroom.

Some other interesting information about the graduation standards was that we could essentially average the scores on a task rather than taking the lowest score. The workshop was a very interesting and informitive session that allowed myself to find new teaching materials and share materials that I have created. The sharing of student work was a good measurning stick for the quiality of work students in International Falls were doing compared with students from the Iron Range and other northern minnesota schools. It also told me what I was doing right and what I needed to revise and change.

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ