Skip to main content

Social Studies Brackets, Word Walls, and Interactive Notebooks....oh my!

Another great couple of weeks in the book!  The hubs, kiddos and I got our third bout of strep throat but we weathered through it and we can finally see the other side.  School wise... knock on wood... everything has been bliss.  The kids have hit a sweet spot, academically, where I can continually ask for more and a greater percentage rise to the challenge.  Here's a breakdown of what I've been doing:

1. Civilization Madness
We finallllllllyyyyyyy finished Mesopotamia and I wanted to finish it up in an engaging way but not too engaging because the kids had just finished their Hammurabi plays.  I had been reading about using a bracket system in social studies.  You take multiple THINGS (people, events, etc.) and you have the "compete" in a March Madness type bracket system.  We had Sumer, Babylon, Assyria, Chaldeans, Phoenicians and Hebrew compete against each other for "best" civilization.  I told the kids they were able to choose what made them the "best".  I launched with this....
...and then the fun began...






The kids loved the whole activity and it was a great way to summarize the whole unit.  If you are interested, click here to grab some of the resources so you can do this on your own!

2. Egypt!!!
Egypt is always fun and I decided to combine the spirit of genius hour with a Common Core research activity. I decided at the end of this unit, the kids would be able to choose any topic they found interesting and research it.  Instead of just a simple research and report, the kiddos need to make a claim and support it through research (i.e. "Mummification was disgusting." or "A woman's life was tough in Ancient Egypt.")  The kids will be able to support this claim with evidence and I'm going to have them present in a variety of ways.  I'm going to allow Go Animate, the Zimmer Twins, Google Presentation and basically whatever they want.  We just started our Egypt unit bit I wanted my early finishers to have a chance to start thinking about the project.  When I moved into my new classroom, I was amazed at the amount of nonfiction was there but I wasn't sure how to use singular books on a single topic.  I figured it out though...


When kids are done with class activities, they are able to peruse the books looking for possible topics.  So far, my early finishers love it.  By the way... isn't my word wall fabulous....


3. Rejuvenation of Interactive Notebooks!!!!
I love my interactive notebooks, but being my first year with new curriculum, I lost my path around November.  I really started to plan and document with the notebook and I see the buy in from the students increasing every day.


 It's so funny, the more I focus on the notebooks, the more invested the students become.  It really shows that what a teachers feels can go a long way.  We did a pretty amazing Constitutional Convention unit where the kids did text mapping while I worked with six kids at a time on the Great Compromise and the 3/5 Compromise.  I looooove when I get to figure out how to work small group teaching into a class of 27!  After we completed our unit, the kids had to pretend they were a member of the Constitutional Convention and were Tweeting at the scene.  I gave them an example......
Then they amazed me......



All in all... an amazing week!

If you are interested in some of the foldables, head on over to Teachers Pay Teachers and check out my newest activity.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Grudgeball.. a Review Game Where Kids Attack!

I have long been a huge fan of using games in the classroom.  Much like sneaking broccoli into the pizza sauce, I have always felt that games were that perfect balance of teaching and engagement.  When I first started, my consummate go to was Jeaopardy but..... Holy work Batman! Setting that all up was extremely time consuming.  I wanted to find a way to have a quick go to game I could use with any set of questions.  I bought myself a Nerf hoop and did a straight game of answer the question, get it right, shoot the ball and earn points.  For a majority of the kids this was enough but for one of my classes, nothing could get them excited.  For them, this game was accompanied by the sound of crickets, followed by awkward silence, followed again by crickets.
I came up with the solution one night while watching Survivor.  The contestant competed in a challenge where they answered trivia questions about their teammates.  For every question they got correct they got to put a coconut in the…

250 Virtual Field Trips.... most of them are free!

If you have been following my blog lately, you will know that I am absolutely (and probably ridiculously!!! ) obsessed with virtual field trips.  I promise I will blog about something different soon but I have one last thing.  I have been working on organizing all the field trips I find into one sheet and I was just able to make it into a searchable database!   So search away and make some connections!  Let me know if you take any of these field trips!  I would love to hear how others are using them in their classrooms!!! This list is ever growing so bookmark this and keep coming back when you are planning next year!




Crime Scene In The Classroom!!!!

*** I have updated the resources and website for this activity.  Access the resources here and the website here!
*** If you would like to see how the simulation evolved, click here!
I had such an amazing class today I just couldn't wait to blog about it! I've been doing decent teaching since I started at my new school but every time I chat with my Teach Like A Pirate peeps (#tlap Mondays at 9 eastern and #sstlap at Thursdays at 9 eastern) I feel really inadequate. I knew I had to try to do a lesson I could sell a ticket to and even though I almost decided to scrap it five different times I finally made myself do it and it was fabulous!

I decided to create a detective agency where we were going to determine if the British soldiers at the Boston Massacre were guilt of murder or simply acted in self defense. I borrowed very heavily from this website and got a lot of inspiration from a video that I now can't find but I'll post it as soon as I find it. In the video, th…