The Home of #MNstudies & #CHCougars in the Westy Wing
Welcome to the Westy Wing! Our newly designed #FlexSeating #LearningLounge was created to provide students with a style of learning that provides comfort and sophistication
During the 2016-2017 school year, I really stareted to make plans to transform my classroom into a flex seating learning lounge. I wanted to provide my students with a place that they could come into and feel comfortable, while still enjoying the hands on experiences that I offer in the classroom. I partnered with Adopt-A-Classroom.org to raise $3,500 in an effort to transform the classroom.
Check out this video that they produced in my classroom last year to see my old classroom and students actively engaged in hands on learning.
The classroom has been completely transformed and Adopt-A-Classroom.org has already swung back to create a Part II video of what the classroom loooks like now, and will come back again in the first month of school to interview students and see them activily using the classroom.
Follow Along on Twitter
If you are on Twitter, be sure to follow our class adventures as we offer a window/door to our classroom to see what our students are doing, and to participate in their education! Our 7th grade American History and Current Events will be using the hashtag #CHCougars throughout the school year.
As we learn about all things Minnesota, we'll use the hashtag #MNstudies, so join in the conversation and to be an active part of our classroom culture.
What a rush! Each of the last two school years, more than 500 educators from around the state were nominated for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. The field was narrowed to about 115 candidates and a 25-member panel of community leaders met and selected me as one of the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Semifinalists.
I was very excited to have been nominated by former students, colleagues, past and present families and even members of the community. The nominations are not only a reflection on me, but a testament to the the wonderful colleagues that I have been privileged too work and the support my students and families have shown me. Thank you.
In February and June 2014, and again in June 2015 several of my Capitol Hill students were credentialed by the White House Press Corp to cover President Obama's visits to Minnesota and Wisconsin. Check out how we were able to meet the President at Minnehaha Falls and pictures from the experiences!
In December 2015, I applied for a $2,000 grant from the Education Minnesota Foundation CLR Grant Fund for the further development of my education learning trunks we use in our #CHCougars classroom. On February 2, 2016 I was notified that I have received the grant! This is wonderful news for our students, as they will be able to interact with more artifacts and participate in many more hands on actives. The money will help further develop our Civil War Trunk, jump start our WWII Trunk and start our Immigration Trunk.
Take a look at some of the numerous artifacts my students have been able to hold in their hands, wear and research with! https://twitter.com/search?q=%40MarkJWestpfahl%20Learning%20Trunk&src=typd
If you have artifacts that you would like to donate, please feel free to let me know!
In spring 2015, I announced that I would be spending time in Washington D.C. this summer as a Catherine B. Reynolds, Ford's Theatre Civil War Washington Teachers Fellow. The experience was simply amazing. Along with 19 of the nations best and brightest educators, we learned about the role Washington D.C. played during the Civil War and received behind the scenes looks of places likes Ford's Theatre, Lincoln's Cottage, the Fredrick Douglass House and more! As a part of the fellowship, I designed a lesson plan that will be shared with educators throughout the country. I'll continue to collaborate with my fellow fellows and will be creating several more lesson plans for Ford's Theatre and Lincoln's Cottage. If you want to see what my trip was like, check out the Twitter feed for #TeachCivilWar
How can students, especially those who were not alive at the time, understand the tragic events of September 11, 2001? check out how we used primary and secondary sources, in conjunction with social media and oral histories to gain a better appreciation of what took place on 9/11.