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Showing posts from 2015

A Big Bucket of Fabric

Do you know what makes my students really, really, really happy?

Nothing makes my students happier than a big bucket of fabric!  If you have a bucket of fabric you have unlimited costumes and imagination!
I have been having kids make plays or videos for all of my 18 years but I never saw the power of the fabric bucket till I went to my new school.  The fabric bucket does not belong to me but is actually shared among teachers and used for Hammurabi plays, Greek God skits, and vocabulary videos.  I have the biggest classroom so I get physical ownership of it and I am lucky!
The fabric is old sheets, drapes, sashes, and rope.  It has turned my kids into Babylonians, women on the Oregon Trail, and the red fabric can be wrapped to become a Redcoat.  When I mention the use of the bucket the kiddos start frothing at the mouth so I often have to hold off on costumes until plays and videos are written and rehearsed.  Once they get their hands on it, though, they become giggly little kids agai…

Google Earth, Maps, and most importantly CARDBOARD!!!!

Okay, so when I get a thought in my head I am all in and it becomes a passion.  This week my passion was immersive geography.  In our Language Arts classes we are reading a fabulous book called The Years of Zero by Seng Ty.


It is a wonderful story about life in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge and was written by a guidance counselor in my district.  About 20% of the students in my district are Cambodian so this book is an important memoir for us.  Many of the parents, of my students, grew up in refugee camps in Thailand so the families never go back to Cambodia.
I wanted them to see the natural beauty of that country so first I created a Google Earth field trip.  I then decided that I was going to test the field on ancient Mesopotamia since we were launching that unit in class.  It was wonderful!  I used Google Earth, Google Maps and Google Cardboard to tour Iraq.  As students were on their field trip they had to take notes on what their senses might experience.  The culmination was c…

Cyber Monday and Tuesday!!!

Thankful for Vocabulary

Hello all and Happy Thanksgiving! As a show of thanks to all my readers and customers I am sharing:)  Last year I wrote this post about teaching vocabulary to my ELL students. Now I'm sharing all my lessons for both ancient and American history.  Here is an example:

I've also included a link to the Quizlet I created to go with the vocabulary.  In Quizlet you can make differentiated quizzes for assessment by choosing the "test" option.  You will need access to Google Drive to access these.  Enjoy!




Ancient History

Early Man Vocab - Quizlet

Mesopotamia Vocab 1 - Quizlet
Mesopotamia Vocab 2 - Quizlet
Mesopotamia Vocab 3 - Quizlet

Egypt Vocab 1 - Quizlet
Egypt Vocab 2 - Quizlet

Greek Vocab 1 - Quizlet
Greek Vocab 2 - Quizlet

Rome Vocab 1 - Quizlet
Rome Vocab 2 - Quizlet

American History

Steps to the Revolution 1 - Quizlet
Steps to the Revolution 2 - Quizlet
Steps to the Revolution Vocab  3- Quizlet

Government Vocab 1- Quizlet
Government Vocab 2 - Quizlet
Government Vocab 3 - Quizlet

Mani…

I am thankful for all of you!

I am so thankful for all of my followers and customers! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week and take this small gift of 20% off my store from today till Black Friday. Spend some time with your family, eat too much, and relax too much! Click here to go to my store:)

Back to School!!!!

I looked at my blog the other day and couldn't believe that I haven't updated since July!  The start to the year has been fabulous!  My seventh graders are adorable and witty.  They make me laugh every day.  My eighth grade is a wonderful group to loop with.  We are already having so much fun.  So, how did I start my year?
#1  Yoga Balls!!! I have been doing tons of research on sensory integration lately and realized that although I make room for movement breaks and try to plan hands on lessons, some of my kiddos need more.  We tried a couple of yoga balls in the class and the next thing I know EVERY one of my kids wants to sit on one.  I did a GoFund me and through the generosity of my amazing family, was able to buy a classroom set of balls and an air pump.  I bought them at 5 Below for 5 bucks and the kids and I couldn't be happier!


I got a new couch too.  I'm becoming quite the lounge!

#2 Over the summer I read this amazing book called learn Like a Pirate.  It was …

Back to School.... in 4 weeks!

So I'm taking a break from readying my store for the big Teachers Pay Teachers sale on August 3rd and 4th.

I just wanted to remind all of you fabulous followers that there are so many ways to connect with me!
I'm new to Periscope and Instagram so bear with me!  My facebook page is very active and I am an AVID (or rabid!) Twitter user.
For those of you that follow my teachers Pay teachers Store, I have a bunch of new products that differentiate for all learners in the middle school social studies classroom.  Head on over and take a look!!!


I'm Getting STEMmy: Building Aqueducts

At the end of the year I decided to build my entire Rome unit as a huge challenge (I'll blog on that later!).  I tried to come up with different tasks that would engage the kids and teach them about Rome all the while trying to push through the end of the year AND 8 snow days to make up.
We did a brief but thorough study on aqueducts and I racked my head for a week on how I could create an aqueduct building challenge.  I found some great ones on the internet but most of them included water (I love my 7th graders but I don't trust them with any liquids) or they required some very expensive supplies.  I finally came up with this simple but really fun challenge as I was driving to pick up my little one from daycare.

Supplies:
3 pieces of posterboard
roll of masking tape
access to as many books and boxes the classroom had to offer
1 ping pong ball
1 dessert plate

I'm kind of lucky because my classroom is an old chorus room.  I already had the height built in but I'm sure …

Hands on Industrial Museum: Part 2

Our first annual Industrial Revolution Museum was an AMAZING success. If you haven't read about it and checked out the plans click here and catch up!

We cleared out the room and organized it to look like a convention center or a museum.  The fifth and sixth grade came in waves and engaged with the "installations" by completing a scavenger hunt that my students had created for them.  The best thing that I happened, that I really hadn't planned for, was the amazing sense of pride my 8th graders felt about sharing their knowledge.  They became amazing experts and really wanted to share their expertise with their visitors.  Although, I have to tweak it for next year (the creation of the project was sooooooo long) I will definitely do it again!



The best part, though, about studying the industrial Revolution, is that we live smack dab in the middle of its history.  Shortly after our museum, my kiddos and I got to spend the day weaving away at the Lowell Mills.


My favorite …

Hands on Industrial Museum: Part 1

The Industrial Revolution is one of my favorite units and I think I have probably taught it 15 different ways in 15 different years! I'm teaching in a former industrial town now, son really feel like I have to give the mills a lot of cred and with testing coming up, I wanted the kids moving and grooving while learning to make up for those days spent in silence:( I decided that they were going to create a museum and we were going to have the 5th and 6th grade visit after testing was all done.
Each group was given different inventors and inventions and a series of questions they needed to answer.
They had to create A Thinglink page We used an awesome website called HSTRY. And they had to create a trifold board. I got an amazing deal at the Dollar Tree. 30 boards for 30 bucks! They also used Google Maps to identify which region of the country most benefitted from each invention and used Google Classroom to create a collaborative scavenger hunt for the 5th and 6th graders when they come…