Saturday, September 10, 2011

Veteran's Day

YEA!!!!!!! I just read a book that sparked so many ideas my brain is in warp speed.  A couple of weeks ago, I went down to our public library to see if they had a book I was looking for to teach Point of View.  They didn't... but said they would order it.  You've got to love that kind of support. 

While I was there I browsed the shelves and found a book called America's White Table  by
Margot Theis Raven.

I just had the time to read it today, and I was inspired to change the way our school celebrates  Veteran's Day.  I thought I would go ahead and post because you might want to have time to get the book before Veteran's Day.  I'll keep you posted as I make my plans.  If you have used this book please let me know how it went with your class.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Student Demonstrators

Okay, here goes my first attempt at blogging. I started my blog this summer when my partner teacher shared the blogging lemonade. I drank the lemonade for stalking other blogs, but I was too scared to try my own. After 21 days of school behind me (Wow!!  21 days has flown by) I've decided that my schedule is slowing down, and it's time to give this a try.  

I am one of 4 fourth grade teachers at my school. I teach Social Studies to my class and my partner teacher's class. She teaches Science to both of our classes. You can visit her blog called Fourth Grade Fanatic. She has this blogging under control. The other two teachers teach Science and Social Studies to their classes. Then all four of us flex group our students for reading and math. More on that later.

I began the year introducing 4 Social Scientist. I taught the Economist, Geographer, Historian, and the Political Scientist. This is from the Social Studies Alive curriculum. When talking about the political scientist we discussed how they study the rules and laws of groups. To make this more powerful for the kids, I had them make a list of their home, school, and community rules. 

Then each student had to choose one rule they felt was unfair and write how they would change the rule. Most of them chose to change school rules. They don't like "Walking on the second tile in the hall", "no talking in the hall" or "sitting with their homeroom in the cafeteria" They want to be able to choose where to sit. The next assignment was to design a poster showing the rule change.

Then we went demonstrating outside the Principal's office. (Yes, I got her permission first) It was great.

We taped the posters to rulers and we were chanting " No second tile..... Get more books...   The prinicipal called a couple of students up to her window to listen to their complaints.    
Since she didn't have time to listen to them all, we are following up with a persuasive letter. (writing connection) Another cross curricular connection was the reading of " My Brother Martin" from the Journeys textbook. We read several other books about MLK comparing the Point of View in which each book was written.

This was a great way to show my students they have a voice and can work peacefully to make changes.

Protesting in Action