My journalism elective is mixed grade, and the freshmen and sophomores love having older students to ask questions of, while the juniors and seniors really step up to mentor the younger students. A few other electives are mixed grade as well, like our mobile apps class. But core subject classes like English are never mixed grade. Does anyone here teach at a school with mixed grade core classes? And Brian, I'd love to hear more about the electives taught in conjunction with college professors and high school teachers!
How cool that you got to teach a weeklong emotional intelligence bootcamp. Were students chosen or nominated for that, or did they select that on their own? Was it during the school year or a summer offering? I wonder if any other schools offer this!
I used the film The Mask You Live In when I was teaching Macbeth last year. We had great conversations about gender roles (since Lady Macbeth keeps telling her husband to "man up") and this lesson would be a good next step. I do think it's harder to fit these kinds of lessons into other subject areas. Other teachers, where else could this lesson fit in your curriculum?
I agree about the ever-increasing time spent on test-taking, Christi, but it sounds like your students are getting awesome opportunities to develop their creativity. And I think teachers sometimes run out of the time to compile multiple options to offer. But I'm so interested in your list ("app smashes, learning games, posters and visual guides, etc."). Where do you find all these activities/apps/resources?