Director of Teaching & Learning Miles Azzeh's Academic Spotlight: George Shannon
This week's academic spotlight goes to LHS social studies teacher George Shannon, and his junior American History class. I was fortunate enough to pop in and see his classroom engaging in their "layer" project over the Progressive Era, which asks them to work through three different layers of learning by choosing one of two assignments to learn from and respond to. The culminating activity will be presenting their knowledge to the rest of the class.
"I'm really hoping that students get both a solid understanding of the issues and individuals of the Progressive Era as well as the ability to express their creative side through the various "layers" of the project," said Mr. Shannon.
One significant aspect of the activity is the need for students to cite reputable sources they discover independently. Tony Wagner calls this "Accessing and Analyzing Information" and is one of his Seven Survival Skills. It's extremely vital for our students to be able to think critically about the validity of information they read or hear, and this activity directly improves their skills to do so.
"Students will have to find and cite reputable sources, which will benefit them as they progress through their academic careers," said Mr. Shannon.
As mentioned above, the summative assessment of the project asks the students to present their learning to the rest of the class, which is another crucial skill that Lansing works diligently to make our students comfortable with. Kudos to Mr. Shannon for understanding the importance of this skill:
"This project will also help students develop presentation/public speaking skills as they will have to present one of the three parts of the project to the class next week."
I always asked students what they thought of the project and overall class. Unsurprisingly, they loved both:
"I really like how Mr. Shannon's assignments give us a lot of creative freedom. It's a very enjoyable environment and I actually look forward to coming to this class," said Madie Cunning and Deziree Gonzales.
"Mr. Shannon's class is the BEST history class in high school because he teaches in a way that we understand." - said Braden Jackson, Beau Linaweaver, Makhi Butler.
Students also highlighted how much they love Mr. Shannon's teaching style and how much they are learning.
"I enjoy Mr. Shannon's class because he keeps his lectures short and sweet but provides us with all the information we need to know." - Carson Zimmerman.
"I really like how Mr. Shannon's assignments are short and easy," said Xavier Harmon.
It was wonderful to come and watch Mr. Shannon and his students engage in learning about an important era in our country's history. Students were reading, writing, and discussing important topics while also enjoying the environment that Mr. Shannon created.
Way to go, Mr. Shannon!