In case you missed it… EdCorps launched this week! So in true LeadLocal style, we threw a party.
EdCorps Tucson founders and local supporters at the launch party!

Here in the Old Pueblo, eleven innovative teachers are starting (or continuing) EdCorps in their classrooms. First time hearing about EdCorps? Read more about how two teachers used the Business Model Canvas to kick-off the year.

We asked our Tucson EdCorps teachers what they are most excited about in the upcoming year. Josh Ruddick from Santa Rita High School said “Addressing relevant social justice issues in our community with our EdCorp Santa Rita Sprouts.” Priscilla Fischback from Apollo Middle school is excited about “changing and creating a dynamic community in the classroom.”

Gearing up for the launch this week, some of the EdCorps teachers used life maps to help students tap into their own funds of knowledge, build creative confidence, and recognize the unique contributions and strengths each student has to offer. The Life Map activity helps the students answer the question: “What do I have to contribute?”

Here’s how a few of the teachers applied the Life Map activity in their classrooms…

Katie Montgomery at Apollo Middle School shared:

The life map of a 7th grader at Apollo

We used the life map activity to engage my 7th grade students in thinking about times when they have been innovative or entrepreneurial in their lives.  I was hoping to spark their interest in the business process and help them to tap into the past to show them that they do have valuable business skills and that this is not just an adult venture.  We had a lot of fun discussions about building with Lego, selling crafts to our families, and whether building inventions in video games counts. This activity turned into a great team building activity as well and my students are eagerly anticipating moving forward with their business.

Kathy Lohse, the Project-Based Learning Coordinator at Borton Elementary used the activity with fifth graders:

“I used to build a lot with Legos”

Using the life maps, is helping to “reopen” Easy Move It Furniture for fifth graders at Borton Magnet School. I read the students the picture book What Does It Mean To Be an Entrepreneur, and then I shared my life map with the students. Then it was their turn. The students drew, wrote and diagrammed their moments of entrepreneurship and innovation. As the students shared out, they realized they all had some experiences that they could draw from to help “reopen” Easy Move It Furniture. As a final step, each student chose two experiences to add to our collective life map. It was cool to see all the experience our class has to offer.

Judi Breault at St.Michael’s School shared:

Judi Breault and a 7th grade student selling their product

Life maps helped our students (who are only 13 and have not had very long lives yet) see that they had many varied experiences.  The maps showed the students that they were all different: some kids had moved a lot, some had many pets, some came from different countries, etc. We used the life maps to highlight the fact that although the kids were similar in many ways, they were also very different and that these differences could lead to positive input to discussions and decision making on their EdCorps project.

These classrooms are ready to launch and we are excited to support them in any way we can. Want to try using Life Maps in your classroom or next team meeting? Find the activity here.

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