A little bit of Social Studies

I apologize for not blogging yesterday...I said I was going to, but I was just too tired!

So, it's all about social studies today.

When I got into my room in August, the teacher who was in the room before me (for a long time) was showing where he kept everything...like the textbooks and teacher's editions and so forth. He told me had only 1 student copy of the social studies text book. He told me that he simply put the book under the Elmo and read it to the class that way. He told me he knew this wasn't best practice, but it was what it was. (gotta do what ya gotta do) Well. I thought I'd try it the way he did. MAJOR FAIL! My kiddos NEED to be engaged at all times. So, we started looking at maps. I used my class iPad and we played with Google Earth a lot. We also discussed communities (1st unit from book) and did some great comparing and contrasting. To tie the two together, we made maps (see this post) of our school grounds. Well, that's all over with now, and I finally figured out how I am going to do the rest of the year!

I present to you...Social Studies Groups. You know those leveled readers that come with most social studies series? Well, I'm gonna use them. There were only 6 of each in my room, but another teacher isn't using hers, so I snatched them up! I'm going to break up my kiddos into groups and assign them different MEANINGFUL activities, including a lot of writing and use of technology.

Tomorrow, I plan on having us a class talk about how these groups should work and what the expectations should be. I will then break them up into their groups and give them their books.

Below: We Live in Communities
On: Sister Cities
Above: Future Communities

The first task will be to complete a KWL(KW) chart on their topic. We'll see how we are with time, and if we have some to spare, they will start diving into their books. I will also be pulling books from our library, the public library, and AEA to help supplement the leveled readers. I think it will be a great way for students to work in groups and be exposed to expository texts. We will do different tasks, varied based on the groups, and will always present with the whole class so everyone gets all the information. I would LOVE to have the kiddos make some Prezis or something to present to their class, and maybe even to OTHER classes!? Wouldn't that be spiffy!

Well, I'm off to make a cutesy KWL chart for tomorrow. Got any advice on my "crazy" idea?

The only thing I don't  like about Iowa Core is the very broad standards for Science and Social Studies.

Anywho...hope you had a great HUMP DAYYYYYY!
 Ya know how I was complaining venting about my roster changing 5 times since school started? Make that 6, because I recieved another new student today. He's from South Carolina and I said, "Hi! Are you Austin?" and he replied "Yes, mam" in his cute little accent. Made my heart melt! I'll keep ya!

Now gosh darn it, I better not lose any more of my kiddos! It's too hard to see them leave! :(


  1. Oh, that sounds like an awesome idea! I'm glad you're taking social studies and making it interesting and fun for them!! I teach 7th grade social studies, and I'm dealing with all my kiddos hating the class because it's been so boring for them their whole life! So it's a struggle to get middle school aged students to buy into some of the fun activities I want to do!

    I hear ya on the being tired thing! I'm a first year teacher too, and some nights I just want to go home and sleep for 15 hours! One of the mentor teachers in my building said it right the other day "If you're not tired, you're not doing it right." Which is so true! I think I'm so exhausted because I'm doing everything I can for the kids and teaching them all I can, which just is EXHAUSTING! Either that, or 7th graders and their drama/issues/immaturity just tires me! I can't decide which one! haha!

    Love your blog! and Good Luck!



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