Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Best 2015 Recaps You Really Should Show Your Students

Faucet Image by Steve Johnson adapted using Canva
Happy New Year!  As the winter break winds to a close, you may find yourself wondering how to kick off the semester and get your students back into the groove.  I always love the start of a new year and the opportunity for reflection and resolutions.  In fact, one of my personal goals is to blog more in 2016. Blogging has been on the back burner over the past year; as I tackled my Ed Specialist degree, my posts have been leaking out at a slow and unsteady drip. As I only have one class left this spring, I'm planning to crank up the faucet a bit.  Hold me to it!

I've been scavenging the 2015 recaps and have a few favorites that could be perfect conversation starters with students as we launch into 2016.  It's an opportune time to challenge students to consider our place at this moment in history.  Of all the times and places we could have existed, we are in the here and now.  Take a moment and think about it using these recaps as a catalyst; be sure to preview as some of the content may be too mature for the age of your students.

If you have only 5 - 10 minutes of class time to spare, here are my two favorites:

"Google Year in Search 2015"

"Facebook 2015 Year in Review"

If you can devote 15 or more minutes to the inquiry, there are two standout recaps worth exploring. The "Year in Pictures 2015" from The New York Times is a phenomenal collection of photos and captions that somehow creates a thorough, yet concise recollection of poignant moments throughout the year.  "A Year in Graphics" from The Washington Post is a treasure of information that tells the story of 2015 in a unique way; it's so intriguing you will find yourself lost down the rabbit holes of unexpectedly intriguing infographics. 

Launch into conversation by challenging students to compare the recaps.  Do the sources present the same events or different? Why? Which events will have the most significance 1 year, 10 years, or 100 years from now?  What do the events say about our overall values as a society?  What worries you? What inspires you?  The possibilities are endless. 

I'd love to know your ideas for including these recaps in your lessons. In my next post, I'm sharing a few ways to get students going with some goal setting in ways that hopefully have a new twist.  

Happy New Year! Wishing you the best for 2016. 

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