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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Library of Congress Professional Development

My friend and coworker, Andrea, from One Teacher's Take recently shared with me that she has been completing online modules from the Library of Congress, so I thought I'd check them out.  I'm so glad I did!

Among my favorite things that I learned:
  • How to use primary sources to support inquiry-based learning
  • How to respect copyrights
  • How to teach students to analyze primary sources and create "I wonder..." statements to extend learning
  • How to use the thousands of online primary sources at the Library of Congress

At the end of each module, you can print the certificate of completion, which is great.  However, the information I gained from the experience would have been plenty for me!

Get started on your own journey through primary sources by clicking here

What online professional development opportunities have you taken part in and loved?  I'm looking for more!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Major Virginia Battles of the Civil War

The Civil War had SOOOO many battles, generals, winners, and losers.  This can be a bit of information overload for students.  So I created...

This PowerPoint shows the three major Civil War battles that happened in Virginia: 1st Battle of Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Hampton Roads.  It also gives details such as leaders, winners, and losers of each battle.  There is a chart with the organized information included.

We drew icons on the map for people like Stonewall Jackson (a bull busting through a stone wall to help them remember who the general was and where the battle occured).  It might look something like this:

Students can draw any icons they want, so long as it helps them connect to the information.  Actually, it seems like the sillier, the better :)

You can pick up a free copy by clicking here.

What strategies do you use to organize nonfiction information and increase metacognition?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mentor Text Linky--Language Arts/Social Studies

I'm joining Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Texts linky.

 Last week's focus was Language Arts mentor texts, but I'm not focusing on Reading or Writing.  One of my goals this year was to incorporate more mentor texts into my Science, Math, and Social Studies curriculum.

I've always felt that Social Studies requires quite a bit of reading comprehension strategies, and it just so happens that we're focusing on the skill of compare and contrast at the moment.  So, what better book to review our Founding Fathers AND apply comparing and contrasting than...

John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith.  This book lends itself well to compare the characters by making a chart and listing each Founding Father's character traits.  A triple-Venn Diagram also works well.

We also compare and contrast the settings for each character, such as  when and where they were born and where they lived when they were adults.

This book also helps to review the American Revolution and Documents of Freedom that were written before, during, and after the war.

How about you?  Do you have any great books that support reading comprehension AND bridge the gap between core curriculum subjects? 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Getting to Know Virginia Abolitionists

One of my goals this year was to incorporate short video clips into my Virginia Studies curriculum as Anticipatory Sets.  I found a great one about Nat Turner's Rebellion, and it's even created by a fellow teacher! 

He introduces/narrates the video and even adds a bit of humor to it.

I created a PowerPoint and Cloze activity to help review other abolitionists and give a sneak peek into the creation of West Virginia.

This PowerPoint discusses abolitionists Nat Turner and John Brown and the formation of West Virginia.  It includes a Cloze activity for students to complete as they follow along.

You can pick up your free copy by clicking here.

Do you do a unit on abolitionists or the Civil War?  Care to share any great resources?