Is anyone else suffering from end of the month exhaustion? January is the month that goes on FOOOOOREEEEVEEEERR! My goodness! Friday's paycheck could not come soon enough! I am such a broke joke. The good news is we all survived and it is time to kick back Saturday style and enjoy some yummy classroom sprinkles. What was going on in your classroom this week? Feel free to Link Up anytime! The Link Up information is at the end of the blog post.
I will kick off State Reports next week with my 5th graders! To tap into the student's prior knowledge and to start the State Study, I created an art project, which turned out fantastic! First, I played Tony Bennett's I Left My Heart In San Francisco. We discussed how cities and states become special and memorable. Students chose four states (some students wanted to pick countries that had meaning to them instead) that had special meaning for them or their family.
When deciding on the four states, students turned to their family for ideas. A student shared a story about a favorite jacket. She wore the jacket until it was torn and worn out. She learned that it was sewn by her grandmother. She chose the state where her grandmother lived and where she visited when she was much younger. The state took on special meaning because of the beloved jacket that was lovingly sewn by her grandmother.
All of the work was completed in class, which gave me an opportunity to guide students to do their very best work, such as…… use a ruler to ensure straight lines when writing on unlined paper, checking for spelling errors before tracing in black Sharpie, clearly indicate the importance of the state to one's family. In many cases, the students experienced a number of do-overs before the project was ready for all the world to see (posted on the window for others to enjoy).
When they worked collaboratively to check one another's work, students learned about each other and about the states. Often students used an atlas or maps to accurately represent the information. I learned a wealth of information about my students. Some had never traveled out of California. We spread the work over a week. It is a great project that can be taken out at any time. The enthusiasm and engagement never waned. Magical.