Shannon Shabanaj is a 21-year veteran teacher from Southlake, Texas. These days, she teachers sixth grade GTSS/SS – Contemporary World Cultures and Geography, and she has found that rather than piling on “just one more thing” to keep track of in her classroom, the EMC² Learning approach to student-centered instruction has actually been a perfect pairing with a number of other systems and strategies that she has put in place to keep her instruction engaging and full of all sorts of creativity from bell to bell.
From Shutdown to Standout
During the Covid Shutdown in the Spring of 2020, I discovered the Adam Moler’s blog. Adam was in the process of publishing his first book, The EduProtocol Field Guide Social Studies Edition. And he shared all of the amazing successes he had in his classroom using Eduprotocols he had tailored to his social studies lessons in conjunction with a number of activities he had adapted from EMC² Learning. I loved the different approaches in the classroom. The two systems really seemed to fit together seamlessly, and it was awesome seeing his classes use the protocols and then shift to a Resource Rumble for review! I bought the Eduprotocols books first and then November 2021, I got my first subscription to EMC² Learning.
With all of these different instructional techniques at play at once, there was definitely a lot to take in as I tried to synthesize all of the resources from EMC² Learning with the systems I’d learned from Adam’s book! I’ll be honest – I had the same hang ups when I first started using Eduprotocols. But I committed to working through all of the logistics of setting up groups, pushing out templates, and organizing materials. In time, I discovered that the resources from EMC² Learning actually had something of a compounding effect built right into how they all sort of worked together by helping to encourage student creativity through playful pedagogy and game-based learning. I simply had to develop systems and procedures for how my students would go about making use of this new mindset in our classroom. And now I have that done so it’s much easier to run group activities!
A New Mindset Creates a New Skill Set
One of the things that I love so much about this site is that the structure of EMC² Learning very closely aligns to the mindset I’d already started to develop by reading Adam Moler’s work and exploring the Eduprotocols approach. In each lesson, the class is challenged to make use of a particular frame in different ways but it is gamified (which the kids love!). I quickly found that since my students were so used to the structure of the Eduprotocols, they very easily adapted to the EMC² Learning approaches. I really liked the gamified way of approaching textual evidence in particular. The activities were similar to ones I had designed in the past, but EMC² Learning took it to the next level with all sorts of engaging extras like immersive themes and in-game surprises, which really helped to draw my students into the lesson plan. I am continuing to work on engagement plus up the Reading and Writing skills within my Social Studies classroom. It’s so great having a variety of activities to change up the tasks.
Racing for text evidence in this #EMC2learning Dead Man’s Chest Chase! Teams are competing to see who can recover the most valuable info! It was even more fun using the ancient text 📜(textbooks) I pulled from the bookshelf 🤣@durham_dragon #InspireExcellence pic.twitter.com/QBRmQ4ZH8p— Shannon Shabanaj (@shanshab10) March 28, 2023
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