Saturday, August 27, 2011

Social Studies Unit 1: Geography

Sorry I have been such a slacker on the posting but I have been soooo busy! I wanted to share an idea a fellow teacher had for teaching the geographical understandings required for our students in the fourth grade.

My United States Scrapbook:

Materials: Construction paper (about 2 per student), index cards, small maps of the United States, crayons, glue, scissors

My colleague had previously made a Powerpoint presentation last year as a way to study for the CRCT and we used it to teach from this year. Each student has their book already put together, blank and ready to be filled. I cut the index cards in half so I wouldn't have to a) give so many and b) they would fit on the folded construction paper

1) Have students fold construction paper in half (hamburger style)
2) As we talked about these places, I showed the students the area on the map and they were to color in the area as well.
3) After finding the areas on the map, we took out our "imaginary" cameras and took polaroid pictures of what we had seen. While part of this was from pictures and some from imagination, they turned out surprisingly accurate!
4) Here's the fun part - kids today don't know about polaroids and the fun they used to provide. So we taught them to "shake" the polaroid to help the picture come out faster! THEY LOVED IT!
We pointed out cool, imaginary things that we saw, snapped our picture *CLICK*, shook the polaroid, and quickly drew the picture on the index card.
5) After visiting all the places in the United States, we glue our books together placing the pictures and the maps with each other on the pages. The student were able to decorate and place other exciting things they learned on empty pages as well.

I felt like this was an amazing way of teaching geography rather than simply coloring a map and hoping they remember. I'll have to snap a picture of them because they turned out simply adorable! So check back for a visual!
And the best part was, "Ms. _____, that's the Liberty Bell that we took our trip to see!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Organization is Key

Every school teacher knows that organizing your room can be both beneficial not only for you but for your students as well. It was when all these wonderful students came in with their bags and bags full of school supplies did I go into a panic. Has that happened to anyone else?

After I was finished having a slight panic attack, I remembered an idea I heard from another teacher. I'm not really a big fan of the community supplies - some things I understand (paper, crayons, pencils, ziploc bags) but things like dry erase markers and special items like folders adorned with cute singers and fluffy puppies belong to that student.

I gave every student a gallon size bag with their number on it (keep me from labeling everything with a name) and told them every supply they needed to have at their desk - a couple of pencils, a few dry erase markers, glue, scissors, etc. The rest went into this bag and into the closet. That way the supplies are within reach if a student needs extra of anything but out of the way so the desk isn't overflowing with supplies.

How do you organize your school supplies?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

First Few Days

WOW! I haven't been able to sit down and actually blog since last week! Things have been sort of crazy but I'm loving it. I am enjoying my class and getting to know them more and more everyday. We're going to have a great year :-)

I'm excited about some of the upcoming things in my classroom and can't wait to show them off to you very soon! Check back for updates!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Open House - Check!

Just finished open house and it was so nice to meet all my students! I'm so glad that I have an extra day to work on some things before they come on Monday. Here are a couple of pictures of what my classroom looks like :-)
this is the view from the door

my classroom library complete with stuffed animals thanks to Kohl's!

Reading corner with my new stools - thanks for the help from my dad!

My board and awesome chair that a lady who retired gave to me :-) I love it!

More exciting things to come!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Welcome to the Wide World of Blogging!

Since I am probably writing this to just myself, I can't really say "hello everyone" but who cares? Hey Everybody! I've been inspired by a lot of the blogs that I follow to create my own. When looking around the blogosphere, there weren't very many (or at least that I could find) that related to the grade I was teaching. So the light bulb turned on and I decided that I would add to the Fourth Grade blogging world!

Here's a little about me:
  • This is my second year of teaching - my first year started about October after long-term subbing in a fourth grade classroom. So you could say this is my first full year :)
  • I love teaching and couldn't imagine myself doing anything but teaching
  • I'm deathly afraid of needles
  • I am the baby in the family
  • I would love to learn how to Photoshop more and create some of the cool digital things I see on the internet - I love to increase my technology knowledge and would love to implement those things in my classroom
Cheers to a new adventure :)