Early Exploration Continued

This will be a hodge-podge post as I find time to write here and there.

I just finished and uploaded (it is currently Thursday) a QR code review that I'm doing with my kids tomorrow. We are about a third of the way through our explorers unit, and I usually do some review and/or a test at this point. After the success of my Native American one, I knew that I had to do this again. This time, I uploaded this particular activity as a freebie. Click below to grab it.
Aaaaaand Monday is here and I still haven't finished this post. Guh.

Anyway, early last week, we studied Prince Henry, Dias (did you know that no two resources seem to spell his name the same way?!), and da Gama. My students always confuse the latter two, so I tried to think of some way to keep them distinct this year. In the past, I've had them color a map and trace the two routes on the map in different colors. Under the flip book, we collectively wrote summaries for each of them.

This year I remembered that the students should be working harder than the teacher, or maybe I was just feeling a little lazy. So the first thing that I did was create this:

We started with filling it out with Ericson and Polo so they could get the hang of it. Then we applied it to Prince Henry, Dias, and da Gama. Prince Henry was a little tricky since he didn't actually sail on an expedition of his own.

THEN, I gave them a half-sheet of paper with key words and several lines. I asked them to write a summary of Dias using the key words somewhere in it. Then they paired with another student and decided which one to use. Then two pairs got together and chose one between them. Then two sets of quads together settled on one. I quickly typed up the three remaining summaries and those became the three choices that they could copy into their flip book. All students handed in their summaries to make them accountable, yet we ended up with three great choices that I didn't have to write myself.

We did the same with da Gama, and our flip book was finally done!


Thanksgiving Ideas

Last year, I assigned a turkey in disguise activity. I got the idea from Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6. Students had to disguise a turkey so that it wouldn't be Thanksgiving dinner. Then we wrote persuasive paragraphs stating three reasons that they weren't turkeys. I didn't think to keep copies of the paragraphs, but I still have the pictures of the not-a-turkeys :)

One of the new things that I'm doing this year will be my Thanksgiving Common "Core"ses ELA centers. There are five centers for activities including point of view, Latin and Greek roots, author's purpose, verb tense, and figurative language. Click on the picture to check them out!

I'm also thinking of trying this cute little class craft with my students. It goes with the book The Night Before Thanksgiving. Each student creates a feather to help disguise the turkey. The pin doesn't go to the source of this picture, so I'm not sure why the original pinner didn't link it to her blog. If you know the original source of this picture, please let me know so I can update the pin.

Here is a cute little turkey that a student gave my neighbor teacher. It is two rolled up pieces of construction paper with a few handprints attached to the back. I don't have specific instructions, but I'm sure that you crafty teachers can figure it out :)


Thanksgiving ELA Centers - Pin It to Win It

I finally finished some Thanksgiving ELA centers that I've been working on for a while. I'm really excited about them, but finding time to get them done was a bit of a challenge.

So may I introduce to you... Thanksgiving Common "Core"ses!

And for those of you on a budget or those who plan to recycle the papers instead of saving them...

I would love to give away three copies, so if you would like a set, pin the top image (the title page) and enter the Rafflecopter below. I will pick three winners Friday night/Saturday morning!

And don't forget about my Educents freebie!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Five for Friday - Nov. 1

It's Friday again - thank goodness! What a week! I just seems that things are getting busier and busier at school and at home. I'm sure that I'm not alone in feeling that way.

Since I'm not currently on my home computer, I guess that I'll have to use Doodle Bugs' cute numbers :)

This week we wrapped up the Vikings and started with Marco Polo. If I never hear "Marco!...Polo!" again, it will be too soon.

Instead of students doing individual timelines this year, I'm going a different route. I used to have a long, vertical timeline made with strips of notebook paper to record all of the different explorers. The purpose was to show that they bunch up around the late 1400s and early 1500s, thus creating the Age of Exploration. Since the students would either lose the timeline or make it a crumpled mess, I decided to hang centuries from the ceiling and then hang the explorers where they belong. I think that the clumping will be very evident with that as well. Here it is so far.

Along the lines of timelines, we always did an accordion timeline where we wrote specific details on each explorer. Although the kids loved playing with them, they were a challenge to assemble correctly and keep together.

I found an idea on {Ginger Snaps} using explorer trading cards. She has a freebie for her template, and even includes an editable version. I decided to try this project this year, but then there was a question of storage. I stapled a baggie inside the front cover of their interactive folders so (hopefully) they won't get lost. I'm not holding my breath...


We finally got our Walking Classroom program going this week. Unfortunately, it rained, so we had to do it inside. I'm hoping that next week will be nicer outside.

Here's {fun freebie} that we did this morning. The students really enjoyed roll a die to find their number and then crossing out words. Students used the words that were left to create sentences. They had a good time finding ways to use the seemingly unrelated words in a sentence or two. I know it's too late for this year, but maybe file away for next year. Or, you could cut off the top pictures and use it for any topic.

Guess who has a freebie included in this Monday's Educents deals?! ME!!! Starting on Monday, you will be able to download my Apple for the Teacher ELA Centers as a freebie!! Doesn't the promo look all professional and exciting?!

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