I know, I know, a lot of teachers love a snow day every once in a while. The problem is that I had a bunch of awesome things planned for today that kind of won't make sense when we get back in December since half of them are Thanksgiving related. And I was hoping to wrap up some ongoing projects today that have to be pushed back too.
Of course, tomorrow is a "Records Day" here, so the students stay home but the teachers report to work on progress reports and catch up on planning and classroom things. (But we may have that day canceled now!) Most of our teacher planning days are taken up by planned professional development, so I was looking forward to a planning day that I could actually use for planning. Plus, if we get called off tomorrow I STILL have to do the progress reports and the planning...just on my own time! Sigh!
And we have to make this day up on December 20th too. So, yeah...not a fan of snow days. But I digress...
I thought I'd share a little about the research projects my kids have been doing. In my district in 3rd/4th we've had the same social studies and science units for nearly 20 years. With the push for math and language arts, our units just haven't been updated. So it often falls on the teachers to take the basic theme of the unit and update the activities from our old units to match the current standards. One of the units we study is Africa. Africa can be a really daunting subject to take on due to size of the continent and the dramatic differences in culture from one side of it to another. It's really hard to teach kids generically about "Africa" because of those differences.
So, along with another teacher on my team, I decided to break the continent up into 8 pieces, assign triads of kids one of the regions each, and provide them with materials to do research on that region. Having another teacher onboard was great because we could divvy up the responsibility of finding the different research resources. Kids have taken the last several weeks to do their research, and the last week preparing their presentations.
|One kiddo brought in this |
homemade smashed banana
treat from Madagascar!
Media types ranged from iMovies, Google Presentations, and ComicLife comics to homemade food, dance routines, reader's theatres, illustrated folktales, travel brochures, and posters.
|Couscous (from Morocco) lovingly made, |
but unfortunately smashed on the way to
school...it SMELLED delicious at least.
|Not the prettiest lady...|
Enjoy your Thanksgiving!