Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Drugs are Wicked

It is Red Ribbon Week at our school this week. We are having a door decorating contest on Thursday. Here is my door. My favorite Broadway show is Wicked! I chose to incorporate it into my door decorating. I used butcher paper and oil pastels to draw the poster. I traced from a picture online on my Promethean board.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Primary Sources Center

I have been working through an online course lately that focuses on the use of Primary Sources in the classroom. After looking at a variety of primary sources for this class myself, I was inspired to open that up to my students as well. I know how valuable a primary source can be to children. They loved to look at, feel, and study "old" things. They want to know where it came from, who it belonged to, what it was used for, and how I got it. My class this year has been especially curious about the primary sources we have studied so far. They have even asked for copies of them to take home so they can look it it more closely. Some of the items I have used so far are a list of colonists aboard the Susan Constant, a map of Virginia drawn by John Smith, and directions given to the first colonists in Jamestown. In order to fit this into my already CRAZY packed-full schedule. 

The result.... a center for studying the objects. I keep my centers or stations in lime green tubs that were purchased form the Dollar Tree. Inside, I have the primary source (this week is a quill pen, wax, and seal.)

Some other primary source choices are picture cards:

Documents from history (I purchased mine at places like Mount Vernon, Williamsburg, Deer Field.)

Books from history (purchased from the same places).

Money from the past (also purchased from Williamsburg.)

Here is my printable center I created with the analysis sheet and "I Can" list for the center.
 I have the complete center available in printable form on Teachers pay Teachers. 

Some other primary source ideas are:
Newspapers from a past date

I also have a primary versus secondary sources cheat sheet freebie for you and your students!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

OU Wreath

Here is a little craft for you today! I have been seeing wreaths all over Pinterest lately! I decided to try and make one of my own. After one two trips to Hobby Lobby, I was ready to craft it up!

I decided to make an OU wreath since that is my alma mater and during football season, that is all my household talks about. I started with a basic wreath form. I bought the one made of straw-like stuff because the foam ones weren't big enough at my local HL, but whichever you prefer would work. I also bought two rolls of wired ribbon in my favorite burlap and chevron print. (I bought one and it wasn't enough, hence the two trips to the store.) I also used a hot glue gun, straight pins, twine, acrylic paint, and wooden letters.

1. Start on the back side of your wreath. I tried hot-gluing down the ribbon and even stuck a few straight pins into the starting place to make sure it wouldn't come undone. Then run some hot glue around the next few inches and wrap the ribbon around it tightly.

2. Continue adding hot glue and wrapping tightly as you go around the wreath. If you run out of ribbon, glue the end down and add a couple of straight pins to keep it down tight along the end. Start the next roll of ribbon the same way as above.

3.  Continue gluing and wrapping until you get to the very end. Make sure you keep it held really tight and try to wrap it with even amounts of ribbon showing at each wrap.

4. To finish, glue the end down on the back and pin it in place as well. You can then paint some wooded letters and hot glue those wherever you would like. I tied some twine around the top to make a loop of string to hang it from.

The possibilities are endless on this project. I think it cost me about $20 and an hour to make. Not too shabby. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Jamestown Ship Build

Hello Blog World! Today I am sharing one of my favorite projects of the year. I got the idea from a friend who does it at her school. I loved it so much that I recreated it, and added a few aspects too. This is something that students look forward to for weeks and talk about for years to come!

We build the 3 ships that came to America to start the settlement of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America. We build them out of dowel rods, streamers, and masking tape. Once built, students get into the ships and do some journaling and a reader's theater that I wrote based on the book "Blood on the River" (a must-read for any Jamestown unit!)

So here's how we do it...

1. I don't have a picture, but the day before, I go out and step off the measurements for the ships and spray paint on the grass roughly an outline for the ships. The measurements are included in my lesson pack.

2. Assign students the name of an actual passenger on board one of the ships headed to America. This can be found online or in my lesson pack.

3. Break students into groups of 3-4 students and give them dowel rods, yard stick, and a hammer.

4. Let students lightly hammer the dowel rods into the ground about a yard apart.

5. Students then run paper streamers between the dowel rods, attaching the streamers with masking tape. This is especially important if it is windy!

6. Continue adding streamers until it is as full as you would like, or you run out.

7. Build all 3 ships and let students get "inside" the ships to do some activities. 

8. We do a journal prompt, asking students to put themselves in the place of the person on their name tag. They are asked to create a few journal entries telling about their journey to the New World.

9. We also do a reader's theater, assigning parts and reading it aloud. There is one based on the book "Blood on the River" in my lesson pack or you could find one online.

We let the kids dress "colonial" and so the teachers do too! This was my team last year: Mrs. Cejda, myself, and Mrs. Grace.

The kids created signs to label our ships too.

We build them in the morning, spend most of the morning out in them, eat lunch in them, then leave them up for other grade levels to come visit and see.

I make "Hardtack" or ship biscuits for the kids to eat onboard too. You can find the recipe here. 

Some helpful hints I have found after doing this a couple times:
-You need about 150 dowel rods (we got them donated from Home Depot)
-About 80 rolls of streamers is needed
-Spray painting the outline helps in controlling the chaos
-Invite other classes and grade levels to visit (our whole 5th grade does it together)

**This lesson pack does NOT have directions for building the ships with dowel rods and streamers. That is for my blog only. It suggests using chalk on concrete.**