Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone a most 
Happy Thanksgiving and family happiness 
today and the rest of the year.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Salt and Flour Landform Maps

           The 4th graders at St. Michael Catholic School work on salt and flour land form maps.  This is usually a project  that the students work on at home with their parents.  This year my friend decided to have her 4th graders work on these maps entirely in school.  Three classes of students working on these in one classroom was quiet an undertaking. 
      These kids did a great job designing their land form map, making the  label flags, painting the cardboard, placing the salt flour mixture on the cardboard, and then adding all the land forms. Here are some examples.


       Again, Great Job 4th graders!   You can accomplish amazing things!

Please lease a comment if you have a minute.  I'd love to read your ideas.  Enjoy these days before Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Early Exploration Flip Chart

                      This is the time of year my 5th graders learn about early exploration of Europeans.     We started our unit by drawing a 1400's sailing ship.  You can read about this in my last blog post.

       We discussed the reasons for exploration, read a few pages in out text book, and took notes.  A flip chart is a more visual way for my students to get a better grip on the information presented.  I did find this type of project on Pinterest, so I can not take credit for thinking it up myself. Some other amazing teacher had the idea first!
Motivation, Obstacles, and Achievements

      This is the information I guided my students to add under each flap.  I say "guided" because  I draw each illustration, one at a time,  in the correct location so the kiddos have an idea what to draw.  If I left it up to their imagination, Lord only knows what they would have inside their flip chart.

    I always tell my students, "A picture is worth a thousand words" when you are studying.  I know some people might think that coloring is for the primary grades and busy work.  I say, "NO!"  When my students take their time to complete their work in color, they are spending additional time on the material, thus more time studying.  Color stimulates the brain.  I say, "Let them color", not on coloring pages to fill up excess time, but work with purpose.

Here are some examples of student work. 

This student wrote the definitions on the front cover of the flaps.

Love the giant sea monster!

Another purple sea monster!


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I hope this post was beneficial in some way for use in someone's class.   

 Please leave a comment if have have a spare moment in your busy day. Enjoy the fall weather!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Plymouth Colony Flip Chart

             I love to make flip charts with my 5th graders.
The Great thing is they love it too!

     So, when we are working on the Pilgrims and Plymouth, my kiddos work on a Plymouth Colony flip chart.

        This is a shot of the outside flaps of the flip chart.  I always have my students glue their flip charts on to loose leaf paper.  The the flip chart can be stored in their subject duo-tang.  It won't get lost and can be used whenever necessary. 
        The chart is glued under the narrow section on the left side.  Next the kiddos cut along the black lines to make the flaps.

          On the loose leaf lines, the children write bullet points to list any important information. 

            After my 5th graders have written their information, they discuss with their neighbors any additional information that should be added to make the flip chart more complete.  Discussing and sharing information is a huge part of learning in my classes.  The kiddos learn so much from each other during this part of class.  By reading another child's work and telling them what you think solidifies knowledge of the material.
       Another step is to have the kids go home and teach their parents what they have learned.  The parents are pleasantly surprised how much knowledge their child has.  Hopefully, the parents learn some history, too.
       Lastly, we used these flip charts to review before a test or quiz.  They make a great base for "Do you know...?" "Yes, I do know..." review sessions.
I blogged about this technique on October 11, 2015.  Check it out if you get the chance.

I hope another 5th grade class can use this idea in their unit of study on Plymouth Colony.

Please leave a short comment if you get a chance.

Enjoy the beautiful month of November.

This post is linked to Teaching blog addict.  Go check out all the great ideas this week!