Thoughts on Columbus Day

by Punita Rice Teaching

Ugh Columbus Day - picture from The Oatmeal

Teachers, how do you tackle teaching students about the actual legacy of Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Exchange? We know Columbus was not a good guy, and that it makes little to no sense that there’s such a thing as Columbus Day — but it does make for a good teaching opportunity about the role of perspective in history. When I … Read More

Thoughts on Education Policy

by Punita Rice Teaching

Thoughts on Education Policy

I wrote a brief rant/essay over at medium in which I ask: is education policy broken? Here’s an excerpt from the post: …We implement new concepts [in school systems] without even waiting to see the results of the initial intervention of the first one[s]. We ignore what the research tells us and continue doing more of the same. The trend is … Read More

Philosophy in the Classroom of the Future

by Punita Rice Teaching

philosophy in the classroom of the future

A few years ago, thanks to grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, I got to spend a summer at the University of Virginia, for a summer institute for educators to study philosophy. We got to take a deep dive into philosophical readings and concepts around philosophical thinking skills, and work together to develop resources and lessons built … Read More

Musings on Why We Study History

by Punita Rice Teaching

Why We Study History

Until recently, I taught seventh graders about the World. Early in the school year, my students would usually ask the standard when are we ever going to use this? in class. I don’t hate the question; I didn’t really get history growing up either. The history teachers I had growing up didn’t really teach history in a way that brought … Read More

Technological Singularity Lesson Plan

by Punita Rice Teaching

Technological Singularity Lesson Plan

When I was teaching, I created a technological singularity lesson plan, on how coming technological advances and changes (and the actual singularity, which I touch on at the beginning of the lesson — I’ve included an overview of the lesson at the bottom of this post) might impact the world. My seventh graders usually shared insights into what the world … Read More

Is Jane Elliott’s Lesson Relevant Today?

by Punita Rice Teaching

Is Jane Elliott's lesson still relevant today?

Do you remember Jane Elliott’s famous “A Class Divided” lesson? It’s the one where the blue-eyed children and the brown-eyed children were set up against one another. Times have changed, but maybe we still need this lesson. Is Jane Elliott’s lesson relevant today? (Here’s the original post about it.)

Assessing Students’ Ability to Defend Claims: A Trick

by Punita Rice Teaching

How do you assess your students’ ability to defend a claim or stance, without having them write out a paragraph every time? If you’re a writing, language arts, social studies, and/or humanities teacher, you know this struggle. Assessing students’ skills is really important. But is very time consuming. You’ve probably come up with a hundred different ways to do it (and … Read More