Making Over Third Grade!: Nat Geo Certification
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Friday, November 6, 2015

Nat Geo Certification

Last March I was lucky enough to be asked by my district (at their expense) to attend the Teaching & Learning Conference in Washington, D.C. Since visiting Washington, D.C. is on my bucket list I wasn't about to say no. In two days in the city I attended the conference all day and walked the streets of the Capital Mall in the evening/night to see all of the sights. I was even able to see the Presidential Motorcade twice in one night!

Anyway, the conference was really inspiring and I learned a lot but of all the takeaways was the National Geographic educator certification program session. National Geographic was explaining their new educator certification process that they wanted to Beta Test. Those at the seminar were asked to be part of the first certification cohort and to provide feedback about the process.

If you have read any of my previous posts you know I am all about signing up for new things to help me in my classroom and I was convinced that becoming a National Geographic Certified Educator was something I wanted to be.

In August I became part of their first cohort to pursue certification. I taught my kids what was supposed to be a single mapping lesson on latitude and longitude. As every teacher knows though not everything in the classroom always goes as planned. So this single lesson and reflection became much more than that. In the end I taught multiple lessons on mapping skills and we practiced working with latitude and longitude several times before we were able to say that we really owned that skill.

After teaching these lessons over the course of two weeks and tying it to our ELA and Social Studies standards I was able to complete my reflection piece and create a short movie to outline what we did in class and how that tied to the Nat Geo Learning Framework to what we learned.

Here is my movie:

The Nat Geo Learning Framework was developed with the global citizen in mind. Making our students understand their roles as global citizens is a key skill we must teach our students as the world gets smaller each day due via technology. Being able to have the attitude, skills, and knowledge (A.S.K.) of an explorer helps students become even more curious about the world they live in, and their place in that world. Pursuing the National Geographic Educator Certification helped me see how these learning frameworks complement the common core standards and how they can help my students learn and grow this year.

Although the program is still in a Pilot phase, National Geographic is continuing to build and test it out. If you are interested in adding your name to a list so you can find out when the program will be open to further participants, please sign up here.

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