ICivics.... Loved by all!

Saturday, September 21, 2013
This week was a roller coaster week. Nothing was horrible but I spent a lot of time adjusting my lessons to create more engagement for student success. Some things worked out and others are yet to be seen. Mostly, I felt like a failure and success all in one week. Welcome to the wonderful world of teaching!!!!

Tuesday was Constitution Day and I thought it would be a perfect day to introduce the kids to iCivics and computer use in my classroom. I gave the kids the entire period to just play with all the offerings on iCivics. I instructed them to play at least one game for at least ten minutes and they had to write a review on that game.

Both my seventh and eighth graders looooooooved iCivics! I have never heard so much excitement over the games. Kids were yelling at the people on the screens and verbally getting excited to sell cupcakes at a bake sale.

They begged me to play it for the rest of the week and some kids even come in during lunch to play it now:). The overwhelming favorite was Counties Work. The kids had to manage local government and many kids wrote in their reviews that it was addicting.

For the rest of the week, my seventh graders finished up their Create a Place projects for the five themes of and they are coming out amazing. Wait till I get a picture of the island that has Bieber heads for coconuts.

I had to switch gears in eighth grade this week. We're doing a colonial review and instead of focusing on the individual assignments, I decided that I needed to abandon whole group instruction and activity for now. I took my activities (most of them are geared to the interactive notebooks and pretty hands on) and set up three stations. My team members (there are 6 of us) share a Mac cart, so I was able to grab a handful of computers and add a BrainPop Station. So far, I think it has been successful. I was looking to create more on task behavior and I think it has given me that. I'll let you know more next week.

I am very blessed to be working with an amazing team. Every time I felt like a failure this week, I had a fabulous group of professionals that offered advice and support. I love working on a small team and can't wait to see what we can accomplish this year.

I do need to throw a question out there. The ability groups in my class are many and widespread. I have a lot of kids that finish a task and have to wait quite awhile before we move on, even in a station situation. Does anyone have any ideas for "When You Are Done?" Tasks. I don't want to give them extra work but I do want to keep them engaged and challenge them. Right now I'm going to try giving them some primary source work from Read Like A Historian, but I would love some suggestions of things that have been successful!

Lastly, I put all my geography activities in a covenient and affordable mega bundle....

Click here to check it out!!!


  1. Ya sucked me in again! I've spent the last hour checking out your link to Read Like a Historian... Saturday night SNATCHED from my grasp!!! ;-)

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