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Showing posts with label learning targets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label learning targets. Show all posts

The Brain, Baseball, and Geography

I read a lot about how the brain learns and remembers. Why? Because I find it absolutely fascinating. I also want my students to learn, so I'm always searching for ways to help them remember what I've taught.

The Brain, Baseball and Geography! Do you want to teach some geography skills in a way children will remember? Here are some brain based ideas to help!

I've found that kids learn best when they get a little bit at a time, frequently, rather than one big lesson all at once, then never to see it again. (Unfortunately, our present Math program does the latter.)

There's plenty of evidence out there to prove that frequent review and practice is the best way for children to remember what they're learning.

There's also plenty of evidence to prove that connecting the learning to the passions of the children help the learning process as well.

So, what does this have to do with baseball?  That's the passion that I connect to learning geography!

I write a letter every morning to the children, letting them know of anything special happening that day. I also post the learning targets of the day. Then I usually put in some fun little question and/ or graphics:  you know, to motivate the kids to read the letter!

The Brain, Baseball and Geography! Do you want to teach some geography skills in a way children will remember? Here are some brain based ideas to help!
This movie shows the
insane loyalty of Red Sox fans!

Here in New Hampshire, we are die hard Red Sox fans.  Those of us who grew up in the Boston area have developed a loyalty that we just can't shake. Since the official start of  baseball season a couple of weeks ago, I've been writing a little "Red Sox Geography" question in the morning letter, complete with a map and labels.



It might look like this:
The Brain, Baseball and Geography! Do you want to teach some geography skills in a way children will remember? Here are some brain based ideas to help!

or like this:

The Brain, Baseball and Geography! Do you want to teach some geography skills in a way children will remember? Here are some brain based ideas to help!

I admit, I'm as almost as passionate about geography as I am about the Red Sox. If the little ones aren't baseball fans when they come into my class, they certainly are by the time they leave!


I make sure we have plenty of maps around, and the children scramble to be the first one with the answer! It's just a little bit every day, but they become familiar with the names of the states, the bodies of water, and the cardinal directions. 

The timing is good, since their reading skills and their mapping skills are strong enough for these activities by April, and since we won't get out until the last week of June, they'll be getting almost daily practice!

Want to know more about brain based learning? See Ten Brain Based Learning Strategies or 10 Key Brainy Points.

See also this resource with Geography Baseball Task Cards!
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Baseball-Geography-Learning-About-Places-with-Baseball-Teams-1809419?utm_source=brain%2C%20baseball%2C%20and%20geography%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Baseball%20Geography

 How do you use their passions to get them interested in schoolwork?

 
The Brain, Baseball and Geography! Do you want to teach some geography skills in a way children will remember? Here are some brain based ideas to help!

Getting to the Fun, Not the Tedious


Almost empty!
Well, I'm making progress! I spent several hours in my classroom again yesterday, and I'm beginning to see my actual classroom unearthing itself from the "explosion" it's been!

I've emptied out most of the stuff from the cubbies and coat rack area that was stuffed there last June, and found a home for most of that stuff. 
Matching baskets!


I've rearranged my class Library so that all the books are organized in coordinating baskets!  This was no easy task, but I'm feeling mighty proud of this!  There are still a few labels in the laminating process, but it will be ready for Open House. 
I even have my calendar bulletin board up, and the large group area set aside.  Once a long time ago, I remember young teachers (I was one at the time) making fun of older teachers because they put the same furniture in the same place every year.  I vowed then that I wouldn't be one of "those teachers." 
This year's change:  Large group area to the right
I understand now how, after being in a classroom for a few years, there are certain arrangements that work.  My computers have to be on a certain wall.  My desks need to be near the whiteboard, since we do so much board work in Reading Street and Everyday Mathematics.  I like my reading table near a bulletin board, since I usually post vocabulary and learning targets on that bulletin board.  But I try to "shake it up" every year by putting different things in different places.  This year, I've moved my whole group area to the area right behind the computer table.  I'm excited about this change!

Today's tasks:  find the classroom!
Today's plan:  put up the rest of my bulletin board, put down the "mat" (sort of like a rug, but rubber), and start sorting the supplies for the students.  I have a ton of laminated stuff to cut out, and folders to put together for homework, classwork, math tools, and writing.  Whew!
But at least my classroom is starting to look like my classroom.  The stuff I have left is the fun stuff, the most tedious stuff is complete, whoooo hoooo!
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