Monday, March 19, 2012


There are many different ways, as a teacher, that you can teach your class about different countries throughout the world and one way by making salt dough maps. In class we divided up into groups and picked a country that we wanted to do research on and my group chose Brazil. This was a three day projects and the first day we did research on our country so we could present the information to our class. The information included climate, popular animals, plants, festivals, and how many people live there. On the second day we made a salt dough map of the country and put food coloring in it to represent mountains and flat land as well as the ocean to the east of the country. We had extra dough left over so we also made the flag and a mask that the people wear during the carnival that happens every year in Brazil. One the third day we presented our maps and information to the class. Students could use this project to study about a country but they could also study about a state and make a salt dough map of a state of their choice. They would do research on the state, or country, and present their findings to the class, or they could write a paper about what they found.


In class we did a project in which everyone brought in a picture of what they see when they look out of their front door. In my picture there is a field that I see when I look out my front door but this was not the case for other people in the class. In some pictures there were parking lots, houses, sidewalks, etc. Each student took their picture and compared it to another one that was brought in. In each picture there were similarities but also differences when comparing them to your own picture. After comparing the images, each person put their picture up on the wall and we all looked at them and discussed what we saw and what we could gather from each picture. This can be used in an elementary class when learning about communities and explaining that there are some similarities and differences in each type of community. We can all relate something in each picture even if we do not live around it ourselves.

Monday, February 27, 2012


For one class we were to bring in a shoebox and act as if you had only ten minutes to put objects in to take with you if you had to leave to go somewhere or if your house was on fire. In my shoebox I had a Bible, some pictures, a letter from my dad, a picture of a knife, a picture of a gun, and some bullet casings. I picked these objects because they all mean something to me. The Bible is everything that I live by and the pictures would help me remember my family and what they looked like. I would take the knife, gun, and bullets for protection. During class we got into groups and showed other people what was in our boxes. It was interesting to see what people would bring and what was important to them. For some it was pictures and objects from their childhood. For others they packed survival things such as medicine, food, and bandages. Everyone's shoebox contained something different and showed what people value, possession wise, and what they would bring with them if they only had a few minutes to pack.

There are many different ways to teach history to students that are creative and fun. One way to help students understand what you are trying to teach to them is through an anchor char. Anchor charts can be very helpful because they can have quick facts about a topic that the students may have trouble remembering. This way they can look at the chart and get the information they need whenever they need it. For the class, our group decided to make an anchor chart for the fifth grade about the Boston Tea Party. This was fun because we did researched and found out information about the Boston Tea Party that I did not know about before doing this project. I also liked the fact that we could make our chart as colorful and fun as we wanted. I love color, and coloring the anchor chart so that even the pictures resembled what happened during the Boston Tea Party was fun. I could definitely see myself using the idea of an anchor chart in my classroom for any grade and not only to help teach history, but also for other subjects that my students may need a reference for.


In class we did a project called the "Trade Fair" and during this class everyone brought in something in that they made, bought, or found around their house to trade for something else. I made two lizard key chains but not everyone made something. Some people brought in books, white boards, and chocolate. There were many people that brought food, and I traded one of my key chains for two Russian pastry's with poppy seeds in the the middle. They were very good and I had never tasted anything like them before. I traded the other key chain for painting of a picture of an elephant. I personally love elephants, and am so happy that I was able to get the picture. The purpose of this activity was to show how people in history may have traded things they had for what they needed or wanted. Though most of the things we traded were materialistic objects, in the past people may have traded for things such as flour, cloth the make clothes, soap, and other things people needed to live their lives. I thought this project was very beneficial and I would love to do this with my students when I become a teacher.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


A new semester has begun and it feels as though I never left school. Last semester was challenging but very beneficial. I learned a lot about the many different ways you can teach social studies lessons with out using the book as the main guide line. In block one we would play games and do many group activities that we could use in our classrooms. This allowed us to think outside the box, and be able to teach lessons in a way that gets the students active and learning in a hands on environment, instead of just doing a worksheet. One class activity I particularly enjoyed was the day we made our class flag and played Apples to Apples. I had so much fun and it allowed our class to collaborate on the same task so that we were all able to contribute to the flag. I am looking forward to this semester and the group activities that we will do to help us to become more effective teachers for our future classroom.  :)