Sunday, April 3, 2016

Interactive Notebook BUNDLE!!

It's finally HERE!! After a year of tears, sweat and joy, my interactive notebook bundle is READY!!!















After you teach the basics, travel the world putting those basics to good use!!

GET THIS INB HERE!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Teaching about the Soviet Union!



Get this activity HERE!!
I really enjoyed teaching about the U.S.S.R. and what it looks like now.
My kids found it really interesting because of  the high school drama conflict  between U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. and the Cold War. We really got into a fun discussion that lead them to ask questions that I had no clue what the answers were (the very best kind) and we looked them up together.

We started off looking at Russia/U.S.S.R.'s timeline (you can see the slideshow on my tackk board and all my other lessons are there also by week if you want to check it out!) creating a timeline together as we went. Then we looked at the Soviet Union looked like then and now, labeling a map of what countries use to be apart of the Soviet Union.


DISCLAIMER: 
Yes, I know it says "1898" when it should say '1989"... Totally already fixed it. 

The next day we took a closer look at Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine by creating a Fact Book. Students explored and discovered more about these places and were all all about the interesting facts (ie. there are 9 million more women than men in Russia, so if you are looking for a husband don't move there... you will have a lot of competition!)



I did Russia with them and then they completed the other 2 on their own. 

Inside the Fact Book. 

CAUTION: WORKERS HARD AT WORK.

Teaching about the Soviet Union? 
Head over to my TpT store and pick up this awesome activity that is ready to go!
 Just press PRINT! :)

What the final pages look like!

Happy Teaching FRIENDS!! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Tiered Classroom

A conversation I had with one of our academic coaches several weeks ago has really stuck with me. 
I had asked her what some of the best things she has seen in classrooms this year and she told me about an elementary teacher who tiered her desks.
I had read about this idea and seen in on Pinterest so many times, I was excited to hear about a teacher in my district doing it.
This teacher surveyed her students to see how they learn best: on the floor, sitting at a desk, or standing up. She then took that information and altered her desks to meet her kiddos learning style. 

I was beyond impressed with the idea, but had so many uncertainties about how I could make it work in my classroom...
how would that look for 6th grade? 
I teach 6 classes, I can't please them all... what if one class has 3 students that want to sit on the floor and another has 12 that want to sit on the floor. 

After watching some of my kids in each class choose to work standing up at the back counter while others always move to the floor to sprawl out, I finally decided to take a chance and just ask my 160+ students how they learn best. 
Their responses were shocking. 
The overwhelming majority said they would rather sit on the floor. 
Amazingly enough, 8-10 kids from each class said they would rather stand up and only 4 or less students from each class said they like sitting at a desk. 
(Of course I had a few in each class say they could sit, stand or whatever. So thankful for their flexibility to help my numbers!) 

During my conference I dashed home to get my hubby's drill, a few screwdrivers and back to school I came to get to work. I enlisted the help of a couple of men on my campus to help me right away (you could say I am a little bit crazy eager) and then finished up the desks after school when I bossed asked my hubby to come help. 

What we did was remove the legs off most the desks so it would make the perfect lap desk, while raising the legs of 8 other desks to make it the idea standing height.  I left 2 desks and a table normal height so 4 people could sit down. 

 I am in LOVE with how it turned out. 

 I have a row of 8 desks standing up in the back. 
(that pink rug is where backpacks will be dropped off. The white tape outlines it so no one can cross into backpack territory!)




I had some desks already lowered on the ground for our collaboration today and the kids LOVED it. Many of the ones who said they would rather sit or stand changed their minds to sitting on the floor. 

I am very anxious and excited to see how it work tomorrow with my kiddos...
 I really think it will be a great success since it is how THEY LEARN BEST.
... but I still have my chairs stacked up... just in case. ;)

Moral of this blog: Don't be afraid to try something that seems elementary just because you are teaching older students. Best practice is just best practice. No matter the age. 

I encourage you all to try the same!
Adjusting your classroom to meet your kiddo's learning styles could be as simple as removing some desk legs or raising them up higher.

HAPPY TEACHING FRIENDS!!



UPDATE:


HUGE SUCCESS!

The students LOVED it. I even allowed them to choose their own seats, and we had zero issues... which is shocking since this was the day before we got for our Thanksgiving break!! 


****************************
As you can see from the pictures, the standing desks are still too low for my big 6th graders, so over Thanksgiving break I added some bed risers that I got from target for only 5 bucks!! They are now the perfect height...

 I also dug out my son's old floor alphabet mat for the floor spots! Best part, they fit in the desks.

Monday, November 16, 2015

THANKSGIVING around the WORLD

This year for Thanksgiving, I am having my students create their own
 "Thanksgiving Around the World Research Book"
Everything else we have done this year has been so heavily research, and "self exploring" based, why stop now just because it is the holidays?? 


In this book students will research different ways Thanksgiving is celebrated around the world. 


I created a slide for the kids to help guide them in what they need to research. 

Students will be able to record what they have learned about the celebration in any way they would like!! 
Want to do this project also?? 


Happy Teaching FRIENDS!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Culture Activities GALORE!!

One reason I LOVE my new teaching position as a 6th grade World Cultures teacher is because I get to explore the world with my students. It is naturally engaging and the students and I both really get into it! 

SO, since we are constantly traveling to new locations and studying their culture, I figured I would create several culture interactive notebook templates that could be ready for the students to use to record their research. 

While these activities were designed with my World Cultures class in mind, I got to thinking about how versatile these activities really are! 

When I was teaching 3rd grade ELA, these would of been PERFECT for my higher small groups to use as mini research projects. They could be used for GT/early finishers to work on when they complete their work. You could use one template to direct teach the culture of one region on a continent and allow the students to use a different template to research a different region on that continent. So many reading standards are used during these activities, from researching, reading about it, summarizing information, cause and effect of migration on the culture of a region, comparing and contrasting two regions... the list goes on!!

These activities are truly made for student self discovery. 
Just hand them a template, and let them discover about the world for themselves. 

The possibilities are endless, just like our student's curiosity about the way people live. 

Get this activity HERE!!
The first thing I created was a reference sheet for students who are doing a "self discovery" research project. This includes the terms they will be seeing on the different templates along with the definitions, guiding questions and real world examples. 

Use this template over and over again! Just write down the new location on the line!
Students can record their research on the back of the "sticks". 

Get these activities HERE!!
Next I added a few different types of recording foldables that students can use in their interactive notebooks or on a piece of construction paper and turn it into a mini project! 

The "Learning Diamond" is always a big hit with the kiddos! 

Get these activities HERE!!
I love this learning diamond that folds out to reveal the different cultural traits! Perfect for the kids to illustrate or record their discoveries of the new place they are at.

Students can create mini books of culture over different regions of the world to record their research in.
They can also keep a interesting facts list! 

Get these HERE!!
I am addicted to creating these little books in my classroom. They are so perfect for what I am teaching, since it is so heavily based on research!! 


I also created 4 Venn diagrams so students can compare and contrast two different regions. It is always fun to see just how different 2 cultures can be! The students are always shocked that not everyone is living like us!!

ALSO INCLUDED IN THE BUNDLE:


A "My Culture Traits" activity for students just learning the culture traits and how they relate to their own life. 


AND one of my top sellers, the Cultural Traits and Terms activities to use to first teach the vocabulary. This set also includes posters! 

Get this amazing bundle HERE while it is on SALE!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I am expected to hang up what??

If your district is like mine, you are probably expected to have certain things displayed in your classroom like your objects, I Can or We will statements, ELPS and a ticket out the door or closing question. 


On one board I display each days focus with the students objectives. In the middle I have their "I Can" statements (which are basically their TEKS written in a language they can understand). On the other side I have my ELPS objective and my "Closing Thought" which is just like "Ticket Out the Door" but what I felt was more open ended and can just be a question they answer verbally, an opinion they share with a neighbor or something they physically turn in. 

I truly like having this information on the board. I am constantly go back to it and referring to it during my lessons, explaining why it is important for the students to learn whatever it is we are discussing that day. 

P.S. - If you don't have that ELPS flipbook, you need to get it ASAP! 

Happy Teaching Friends!!

6th Grade World Cultures Vocabulary Cards


These vocabulary cards are perfect if you are teaching world cultures, geography, government or social studies of any upper level content! 

They aren't too big and are broken up by TEKS Resource 6th Grade Contemporary World Cultures units. 

Check out these vocab cards HERE!