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Showing posts from March, 2013

High/Low Linky Party

I am tired and ready to go to bed but its 6:56.  Maybe I'll convince the boy that we should cuddle in bed and watch TV.... and maybe Mommy will close her eyes..... and snore just a little bit.  Here is my High/Low contribution for the month.  Click on the picture to link on up!
http://www.teachertothecore.blogspot.com/2013/03/hi-low-linky-party.html

Fine.... I'll Make My Own Professional Development!

Being in education as long as I have I know that one of the biggest complaints is professional development opportunities. As a social studies teacher I have had to sit through hours of district wide professional development and none of it was geared for the social studies specifically. Don't get me wrong, I have learned invaluable tools from workshops on behavior management, dealing with difficult parents and writing across the curriculum but sometimes I would love to listen to someone talk about teaching social studies. We do have state social studies conferences but with shrinking budgets we can't afford to send nine social studies teachers and provided them with substitutes. I have started sending my people in pairs and rotating by grade but this means that a whopping two people get to see best practices in action.

 Next year, I think I'm going to present at our local conference just so I can get free admission. It is never below me to sell my wares for a free seat. T…

Shameless Pitch :)

So...... I really hate when people start to fill their perfectly fabulous blogs with what amounts to daily advertisements for their Teachers Pay Teachers Store. I promise I will never do that..... But.......I've been really delving into the topic of claim and counterclaim as I build a new AndrewJackson unit that is so Common Core Aligned the Common Core better step back... I mean it!To help my kiddos build a strong argument I created, what I think, is a pretty good interactive notebook foldable for claim and counterclaim. Pretty cover, eh? So... Mosey on over to my TPT store and check it out. It might be a wonderful gift for Easter baskets or at least as part of your egg hunt. I heard the kids are really loving the Common Core these days.... You may want to pick this up early for Christmas :)Posted with Blogsy

Leveling Up! My Hand At Gameification

Ha!!!! i was writing a new blog post about small group instruction (i know, the excitement!!!!!) and I went to link to this post and realized i had never moved it over from my old blog on Weebly. Enjoy!!!!
Although our Constituional Convention simulation was successful, my kiddos lost interest about three quarters of the way through. Some days I really wish we had a block schedule because these simulations really benefit from not being split into multiple parts. I tend to lose the kiddos' interest after two periods.I left school after the third day knowing that I had to plow through the 3/5 Compromise, choosing an executive, the Bill of Rights and Federalists and AntiFederalists. I really didn't think the kiddos were up for whole group instruction but I had some pretty good resources from History Alive that focused on HOT questions. I promised myself that I was going to get my daughter and drive home with the cell phone and radio off until I could come up with a game plan. Ho…

Making A Large Group Small

Yup! Another snow day. And as you can see, it's not just a little snow. I absolutely love snow days, but even I'm not happy about this one. We build five days into our schedule and we've hit that mark. At this point it is going to be a looooong June. I've used the day off to the best of my ability. I have chicken masala in the crockpot and ground turkey enchiladas made for tomorrow night. The hub and I are watching the last two episodes of House of Cards. If you haven't seen it you MUST. Now, as you can tell, I am a big political nerd so this is right up my alley. Netflix recently dropped all 156 episodes of West Wing and I've been watching them again. Again.......political nerd.In my last post, I told you about my big foreign affairs unit, which I will probably delve into over multiple posts. At the launch, the History Alive! materials have you begin with a map activity where the kids get to see and understand that although America had its "fre…

Text Talk and Nonfiction Summary

For those of you keeping count, I'm on the eve of yet another snow day. The Weather Channel is predicting 8 to 12 inches and the number keeps climbing. Don't forget..... spring is on Wednesday!!!!
Last week I had one of those weeks where I'm just so happy I am a teacher. I launched one of my favorite units on the foreign affairs of America under the first five presidents and again, the kids loved it. To better align myself to state standards, last year I started organizing my curriculum thematically as opposed to chronologically and it has really freed me up to accomplish the things kids really need to be successful. To help me organize myself, I first started to to use the History Alive! Series from TCI. I had the old resources from a teachers pack ( they actually don't offer the plans I use in the newest textbook and resources) and they do a great job of organizing these problems by giving students the information and then asking what they would do if the were…

Edcanvas, PD and the Common Core

First off, I need to send a shout out to the snow gods because I got my snow day.  It was a day later than expected, but I got it and it was major.  We got about a foot of snow.
 It was actually pretty productive as well.  I played with the kiddos, corrected some projects, did some planning, made pizza with the midgets and then in kicked the ADD, but it was a good kick.
Myself and a team of my colleagues attended a Common Core workshop the other day that was supposed to help the non math and ELA teacher navigate how and when to incorporate the CCSS in their classrooms. The workshop was .........eeeehhhhh.  I've been really studying the CCSS for a couple years now and she really didn't teach me anything I didn't know.  I'm not saying that from a place of I know a lot, either.  Everyone at the table felt the same way.  On top of teaching three fabulous 8th grade social studies classes, I am also the department chair for social studies at the middle school and I'm rea…

Text Mapping Again and Still Loving It!

So, I am throwing caution to the wind and blogging even though I really have tons of other things to do. I'm in a mood because I get to go to a workshop tomorrow on Common Core for the "other" subjects. I'm really excited to see what they offer in the way of suggestions on how us non core subjects can help support the standards. Also, there is a possibility for a big snow storm here in New England so I have snow brain.
I know I have already been working hard to integrate the CCSS and one of my favorite new things is Text Mapping! (Click to see some great resources that some fabulous Pinners have gathered) I recently implemented it for my second and third time and the honeymoon is not over. The kids still love it and I have found different ways to change it up to keep it fresh.












I did this activity with a section of my textbook, which I don't use. After I have the students do all the work of mapping for nonfiction elements, I finish it with a multiple choice or…

Currently March

Vacation was fabulous and I certainly didn't do half of the stuff that I needs to be completed.  Life is good though, because progress reports got moved up a week and that gives me even more time to procrastinate.  I have two blog posts I want to do on Text Mapping and notebook foldables but those are going to have to week till this weekend.  For now, I was able to sneak in five minutes to do my March Currently.  If you want  to know more about it, mosey on over to Oh' Boy Fourth Grade and see what the fabulous Farley is doing?