Monday, November 30, 2020

izzit Civics Blog – Blog 6 – Alternative to Screen Time

Back in the 1980s, Cyndi Lauper sang a song, “Time after time” which has become (in the COVID-19 world,) screen time after screen time as a result of remote learning classrooms. While my Civics class utilizes technology, I prepped this week for the culminating class which is a program titled Win-Win and devoid of technology (screen time).

Win-Win is a hands-on classroom trading game that gets every student involved. Through the experience of actually trading items, students will learn important lessons about economics and trade. The real-life dimension of the game (that students get to keep traded items) engages them in a way few classroom exercises can match. After they play the game, you can debrief them on their experience and share important lessons. We've suggested some possible points for discussion. Even the most disinterested student will be drawn into the excitement of Win-Win. (In fact, you may be surprised to find that the student who is often most disengaged may be the shining star in this game!)
Removed from screen time, this simulation is a hands-on student interaction activity (in a socially distanced, safe environment!) Note, once back to in-class education, this is a great way to have students learn away from the computer and focusing on key topics - free enterprise, capitalism, globalization, and property rights!

I began the class with my opening discussion point, what is bartering, and have you ever bartered anything? Quick responses involved bartering with a sibling/family member. Others shared talents they possess and how they "bartered” for expertise by others. I then showed the Teachable Moment, "Barter and Entrepreneurship" which illustrated the rudimentary theme that providing a service is beneficial to both sides - actually stated by one of my students!

The worksheet was distributed prior, and asked students to answer - Have you ever had to barter for something? Most people have, even if they don’t realize it. Think of any time you have exchanged something other than money for another object or service. Moving to educational video, The Foundations of Wealth, which is designed to help students understand what the subject of Economics is all about. Economic decisions are made every day, even though students may not be aware of them. For example, all of us think about: How will I choose to spend my time today? How will I choose to spend my money? Who made the things I use? How were they made? This video will help explain a great deal about the way in which these decisions are made.

I focused on segments 1, 2, & 6, for a total of a half hour of video time and proposed the following:
  1. What is the “secret” which enables a society to start improving its way of life?        
  2. What happens when you spend all your time at one job? 
The class will culminate next week with the hands-on simulation on bartering and trade, both open and restricted!
Pictures and follow-up next week!
Want to learn how to use Win/Win with your class? Watch this instructional video.

Dean Graziano is the Vice-President of He is a multi-state, award-winning educator and former Curriculum Specialist Teacher grades 6-12 Social Studies, with over 25 years in education. He served on the Massachusetts MCAS Standard Setting Panel, and also selected by the College Board to be an Advanced Placement Reader for U.S. History. He worked on the historical inquiry model and a national presenter for ABC-Clio, a Social Studies data base company.

In 2007, in a surprise visit to his school, he was awarded the United States Department of Educations' American Star of Teaching Award. Dean was selected as the 2017 State of New Hampshire's Extended Learning Opportunity Coordinator- of -the Year. Dean’s pilot program in Rochester, NH was singled out by NH Governor, Chris Sununu as the model for the State of N.H. Career Academies. In 2019, he developed and implemented a proposal to purchase a Mobile Classroom ( a new & remodeled 36’ RV, aka M.A.P.s) utilizing Perkins V funding, to bring CTE/WBL programming - leveling the playing field/equity for ALL NH students and spoke nationally at several ACTE Conferences on this model.