Sunday, March 20, 2016

Not enough time and too much to do!

Life is soooooo hectic but great right now!  I'm teaching a grad class to help teachers integrate technology in their own classrooms and it is so fun!  It is also very time consuming and I have so much to blog about.  That will have to wait for another time.  I did want to show you all some of the items I made lately.  I am really trying to make my units accessible to all learners so please stop by and take a look whether you need to accommodate for children with learning disabilities, attention difficulties, or English language learners.



Beginnings of Ancient Greece



Declaration of Independence



Ancient Civilization of Mesopotamia WAR! - My kids looooooooved this!




Important Egyptian Pharaohs Interactive Notebook




Beginnings of Mesopotamia: Sumerian Game and Problems Solving - The kids had no idea they were learning when we played this.  They thought it was a big game and surprised themselves at what they actually had retained and understood by the end!


Sorry for the gratuitous plug!  I promise I will be back to chronicling my adventures with middle schoolers soon!

Kara

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Big Bucket of Fabric


Do you know what makes my students really, really, really happy?


Nothing makes my students happier than a big bucket of fabric!  If you have a bucket of fabric you have unlimited costumes and imagination!

I have been having kids make plays or videos for all of my 18 years but I never saw the power of the fabric bucket till I went to my new school.  The fabric bucket does not belong to me but is actually shared among teachers and used for Hammurabi plays, Greek God skits, and vocabulary videos.  I have the biggest classroom so I get physical ownership of it and I am lucky!

The fabric is old sheets, drapes, sashes, and rope.  It has turned my kids into Babylonians, women on the Oregon Trail, and the red fabric can be wrapped to become a Redcoat.  When I mention the use of the bucket the kiddos start frothing at the mouth so I often have to hold off on costumes until plays and videos are written and rehearsed.  Once they get their hands on it, though, they become giggly little kids again and that makes me happy.  Middle school kids should be excited about pretend play.  It means they are still kids.  Get yourself a bucket a bucket of fabric and watch your students become creative!!!












Friday, December 4, 2015

Google Earth, Maps, and most importantly CARDBOARD!!!!

Okay, so when I get a thought in my head I am all in and it becomes a passion.  This week my passion was immersive geography.  In our Language Arts classes we are reading a fabulous book called The Years of Zero by Seng Ty.



It is a wonderful story about life in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge and was written by a guidance counselor in my district.  About 20% of the students in my district are Cambodian so this book is an important memoir for us.  Many of the parents, of my students, grew up in refugee camps in Thailand so the families never go back to Cambodia.
I wanted them to see the natural beauty of that country so first I created a Google Earth field trip.  I then decided that I was going to test the field on ancient Mesopotamia since we were launching that unit in class.  It was wonderful!  I used Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Cardboard to tour Iraq.  As students were on their field trip they had to take notes on what their senses might experience.  The culmination was creating a sensory poem.










They love it all but the definitely love Google Cardboard the most!



We went to the Grand Bazaar in Turkey, Baghdad, the Tigris River, and then we threw in the Eiffel Tower, Great Barrier Reef, and Macchu Pichu because they are AMAZING in Google Cardboard.
If you haven't used Google Cardboard yet, it is a game changer!  All you need is a smartphone, one of these...


and some fabulous apps like Cardboard and Google Street View.  The box allows your students to feel like they are immersed in the environment!  My kiddos loved it sooooooo much they now have a list of places we need to "visit".

If you are interested in the above field trip, click here for the resources!  I will also put them on my Freebie page.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankful for Vocabulary

Hello all and Happy Thanksgiving! As a show of thanks to all my readers and customers I am sharing:)  Last year I wrote this post about teaching vocabulary to my ELL students. Now I'm sharing all my lessons for both ancient and American history.  Here is an example:

I've also included a link to the Quizlet I created to go with the vocabulary.  In Quizlet you can make differentiated quizzes for assessment by choosing the "test" option.  You will need access to Google Drive to access these.  Enjoy!




Ancient History

Early Man Vocab - Quizlet

Mesopotamia Vocab 1 - Quizlet
Mesopotamia Vocab 2 - Quizlet
Mesopotamia Vocab 3 - Quizlet

Egypt Vocab 1 - Quizlet
Egypt Vocab 2 - Quizlet

Greek Vocab 1 - Quizlet
Greek Vocab 2 - Quizlet

Rome Vocab 1 - Quizlet
Rome Vocab 2 - Quizlet

American History

Steps to the Revolution 1 - Quizlet
Steps to the Revolution 2 - Quizlet
Steps to the Revolution Vocab  3- Quizlet

Government Vocab 1- Quizlet
Government Vocab 2 - Quizlet
Government Vocab 3 - Quizlet

Manifest Destiny Vocab - Quizlet

Industrial Revolution Vocab - Quizlet
The South Vocab - Quizlet

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I am thankful for all of you!

I am so thankful for all of my followers and customers! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week and take this small gift of 20% off my store from today till Black Friday. Spend some time with your family, eat too much, and relax too much! Click here to go to my store:)