Module 5 Post

I think that motivation and engagement is one of the hardest things a teacher must overcome if they want their students to achieve. The students have no choice but to be at school so it is important to get them engaged and motivated to succeed. Obviously, one of the biggest motivators teachers use is assigning a grade to something so the students will put forth effort if they want a good grade. Woolfolk talks about the many ways to motivate a student such as providing reinforcers for good work, making it appeal to their goals to fulfill, and making a learning community to have the students motivate each other (Woolfolk, 2014. p. 479-80).

It is also important to assess your students in order to keep track of where they are at. For history, I think that exit slips and check your understandings are great ways to see if the students are understanding the material and its quick enough where I as the teacher can make changes to the lesson. I personally liked backward design because it allows me to figure out what needs to happen during a unit like what goals and key things the students will need to know by the end. I think that it is also a good way to stay on track and have the ability to change on the fly.

An article in the Wisconsin Education Association Council talks about the importance of backward design. The author highlights that students live test to test and that they don’t understand or retain the material once they are on to the next unit. He also goes on to say that backward design allows for teachers to teach the students the big picture about a topic and it helps them dig deeper into a unit and hope that they retain the information (Buehl, 2000). I agree with this because I always lived test to test and forgetting the information that I just learned. I think that backwards design focuses on the big picture rather than just important words or facts.


Buehl, Doug. (October 2000). “Backward Design; Forward Thinking”. Wisconsin Education Association Council. Retrieved from

Woolfolk, A. E. (2014). Educational Psychology: Active Learning Edition (12th ed.). Boston. Pearson



Unit Title: Interwar Period: Boom to Bust                                                                  


Established Goals: How did the interwar period foster prosperity but lead to collapse? Explain what led to depression not just in the US but the entire world. How did life in America change during the time of prosperity as well as during depression


Understandings: Students will understand that…

•        What goes up must come down

•        During the 20s, American culture and economics changed

•       Credit and Stocks are big reason for bust




Essential Questions:

•        Why was the US booming after WW1?

•        How was middle class life affected?

•        What led to depression?

•        How was life affected during depression?

•        How did the US get out of depression?



Students will know:

•        Important figures during this time

•        Key facts about the time period

•        Key vocab words


Students will be able to:

•        Use vocab words in context

•        Interpret important figures’ motivations and actions

•        Express findings orally and in writing




Performance Tasks:

•       Do a credit and stock fame & afterwards have students write about experience

•       Project about life in 20s compared to 30s



Other Evidence:

•       Have exit slips to check understanding

•       Have a test at end of unit

•       Have students present on their projects

Key Criteria:

•        Will student be able to identify different causes and consequences?

•        Explain how key figures impacted this period with explicit facts and evidence





Summary of Learning Activities:


•       Start out with end of WW1 and ask students to think about and write down what they think will happen in the coming years

•       Use primary and secondary sources to dive deeper into people, events, etc.

•       Watch short videos at start of class to review topics from previous day

•       Have mini debates/discussions to allow students to voice their opinions

•       Use worksheets to get students working together and thinking critically about the topic

•        Do stock/credit simulations


For my lesson plan I wanted to get the students to understand why the events during the interwar period occurred more than key facts. I think the essential questions allows the students to think critically and ask questions related to the topic. As I said above, exit slips and CYUs are a great way to see if the students understand the material and I have if they aren’t, I have an action plan to change that. I believe that history should be an active journey rather than through lecturing so I have activities where the students will be able to express their opinions and learn from one another rather than just from me. Overall I like using the backward design method because I could see the whole unit through and make it clear what I want the students to understand by the end of the unit.

Module 4 Post

One cool aspect of being a teacher is all the different kinds of people that I will meet when doing my job. Whether that is the students or the other teachers, there will be a mix of many cultures and beliefs that go through the halls. With this, it is important to understand the differences and be able to not have those be a problem. As a teacher, I think that having the students learn about different cultures, it will bridge the gap between them and develop a strong student body. This can be used for more than just cultural differences as well. One cultural difference that I might face in my future is a student might not be able to speak English all that well, and it is important to understand that the student is not less smart than the English-speaking students but it may seem that way because they might not be engaged in the material. For this student to succeed in the class, I will work together with the ELL teacher so that they can get the material translated as needed and complete the work.

According to Woolfolk, one aspect to develop culturally competent schools and teaching is being able to foster resilience. That the student should have a support system in place so that they can overcome their differences and succeed in the classroom. Along with this, the student should develop relationships to bridge the gap and work alongside other students (Woolfolk, 2014). I agree with this, because peer relationships are a good way to get more engaged and feel good about oneself and especially if there are cultural differences that normally get in the way of building good relationships.

An article in the Huffington Post talks about being culturally competent and how it is more crucial than ever before. The author Randy Miller explains that “Cultural competency for all teachers means recognizing and understanding the norms and tendencies of their student populations which are dictated mostly by societal, ethnic and socioeconomic influences” (Miller, 2010). This statement should be given to all future teachers because I think that it is essential to know this. That students are will learn differently depending on their culture as well and their beliefs is vital to get them to succeed. Miller also highlighted that it is important to develop relationships with students to get them engaged in the work and I can’t agree more.

Miller, Randy. (November 2010). “The importance of Culturally Competent Teachers” Huffington Post. Retrieved from

Woolfolk, A.E. (2014). Education Psychology: Active Learning Edition (12th ed.). Boston. Pearson.