Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Monday, March 28, 2005

More Ideas to Share

Here are a couple more ideas I'll share about what I do in my classroom to try to help my kids learn.

supplemental materials: Over the years, I have built up quite a collection of supplimental materials for teaching social studies and science. Much of it is sitting in boxes in my garage, because right now I am not teaching US History or Science and I am one of those people who find it hard to 'get rid' of stuff I think I might someday need. Anyhow, some of the supplimental materials I use for teaching World History include the "Choosing Your Way Through World History" stories, published by the Walch Publishing Co.. Many of these interactive stories fit in well with the California Soc. St. Standards and help students realize the decisions they make may have a very real impact on their lives. In many of these stories, if the student makes the 'wrong' decision, they can end up dead. I assign my students to explain why they are making the choice they decide upon, take notes as they read as to the real history found in the story and analyze the overall effect/impact of their decisions on the outcome of "their" story. There are sets of stories for both World History and US History. I also use some of the Interact activities for Medieval Europe (CHRISTENDOM) and Japan (WARLORDS OF JAPAN). These activities are varied and can provide both core material and fun activities for students.

Maps and Geography. Here is a shortened version of one activity I assign when we begin a new unit. I give my students a blank sheet of paper with a blank outline world map on the back. The instructions are simply to create a map of 'A' (such as The Major Physical Geographic Features of China, Saudi Arabia, Europe, etc). On the blank outline world map, they simply need to color in the region we are studying and label it.

For my mainstreamed and EEL kids, I provide a list of the geographic features that should be included and text page numbers where they can find maps that contain the data they need to put on their map. Many students turn in some very nice (and geographically accurate) or at least adequate maps. Of course, some of them turn in maps that more resemble a Picasso painting than a map of the region we are studying. (Those students then get the outline map with lines to label the important geographic features).

I hope you are enjoying your Spring Break. I am, although I didn't sleep in very late this morning. Thanks for reading my blog and Your comments are always welcome here!