Saturday, May 15, 2010

My PLN and The Butter Battle Book

I have a confession to make, my lesson plans don't always go as I planned or hoped they would. In fact, sometimes they collapse like a cake taken out of the oven too early. Yesterday, that is exactly what happened in my first class of the day.

My original plan was to have my students do an online KWL activity about the Cold War. We haven't discussed the Cold War in class this year so this was going to be an introductory activity. The only problem with this plan was that I made the fatal (to my lesson plan) assumption that my students had some prior knowledge about the Cold War. They had very little prior knowledge about the Cold War. Fortunately, my PLN came to my rescue.

When I realized that my plan wasn't going as I hoped, I jumped on Twitter and asked,
"Doing an intro to Cold War w/ my class, can you help? Which event(s) of the Cold War were most significant/ memorable in your lifetime?"
My hope was that the responses would lead my students investigate some of the events mentioned in the responses, it did. But, I also got some unexpected responses of "read them the Butter Battle Book." I didn't have the book available, but I did have YouTube available. Sure enough I found a video of the Butter Battle Book on YouTube. So we stopped the KWL activity and watched the video. It turned out to be a great introduction to Cold War concepts. Thank you to everyone in my PLN that helped me out yesterday. As Angela Maiers says, together we are smarter.

How has your PLN made you a better teacher? Has your PLN salvaged a lesson plan or made your lessons better? Please share.