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The Importance of Using Current Content in your Classroom


Posted Date: 02/25/2021

confused child

How many times has a student asked you “why do I need to know this?” or “when will I ever use this?”.  If you had a dollar for every time, you could probably retire tomorrow.  In reality, these questions are legitimate.  Why do students need to learn certain content that to them may seem irrelevant?  Even if our teacher’s answer is “because that is part of our curriculum”, it is up to us as educators to make our content relevant to our students. 

 

When planning lessons, we need to ask ourselves a few questions:

  • When my students leave my classroom (regardless of modality – face to face or online), what do I want them to know or be able to do?  What is the BIG idea?‚Äč
  • How can I help my students apply this content to real-life situations?  

Once you can answer these questions, the importance of your curriculum will fall in place for your students and leave them with a sense of relevance and with that, a deeper understanding of the content.

Current content can also be used to teach reading strategies across all curriculum areas from ELA to Physical Education.  Try sites like NEWSELA that provide current event articles in every subject area.  Adjustable Lexile levels on each article make the content accessible for all students.  Quizzes are provided with many of the articles to ensure comprehension and understanding.

So, as we approach the end of the year, be sure to leave your students with the “why behind the what” of your curriculum.  By providing relevant and current, meaningful content, you will be encouraging understanding for years to come.

The Big Idea is understanding!