We The People : James Madison Legacy Project

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We the People: James Madison Legacy Project

In January, 2016, I participated in the James Madison Legacy Project. Little did I know it would alter the way that I would then teach my 8th grade curriculum. It was something that I was not sure I could do, it was something I was not sure I wanted to do, but it was something that I felt I must do and for that I am extremely grateful. I am grateful to have participated in the James Madison Legacy Project not only for what it has done for me in the classroom, but for my students who just completed their First Congressional hearings. When I first started attending the James Madison project in January, I was immediately excited as I was learning things at a deeper level than I had known. In my
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Lo and behold it worked! I listened to the training, I trusted it, and leaned on those that have done it, and my students were amazing. The story of how it all happened was actually fun. As in most things, the journey is sometimes as rewarding as the destination. Here is the journey. Often I tend to work backward and this was the case. I decided that right before Spring Break would be the ideal time for our Congressional Hearings. It fit the schedule, it kept me in line with the curriculum that our entire district follows, and it was a great way to keep things steady right to the end. During the trainings I was constantly aware that a plan needed to be in place for the students, a daily set of goals. Borrowing quite heavily from Karen Rouse and some of her handouts, I started a timeline and worked backward. I set the time for the hearings, a day for final practice and a day for only working on possible questions and details. That was my final week. A teacher work day on Monday, meant there were only four days, but it also meant the bulk of the work needed to be done the previous Friday. I partitioned out the first week based on getting the bulk of the information done. Also, it meant a bit of a quiz on the Friday just to verify who was and was not on track, for myself and them as well. Each day they needed to add certain details. That trick I had been thinking about during our training, and Susie then mentioned as well. So, with the plan in
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