fbq('track', 'ViewContent');
Showing posts with label maps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label maps. 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!

Learn About the World with Flat Stanley!

My students learned about Flat Stanley this year. 
Learn About the World with Flat Stanley! This post contains ideas, books, information, links, and a freebie about getting Flat Stanley to help your students learn about Geography!


It's a great project. We send tagboard copies of Flat Stanley home, and the families either take Stanley someplace, or they send him to someone somewhere in the world.

In case you've never heard the story, Flat Stanley had a bulletin board fall on him. He wasn't hurt at all, but ended up quite flat. Luckily for us, he was flat enough to put himself in an envelope and send himself anywhere he wants! 

Children can make their own Flat Stanley, and send him to various places around the globe. I've seen pictures of Flat Stanley near a variety of landmarks with a variety of famous people. In fact, I've even seen Flat Stanley with the President and on the Golden Gate Bridge!


So we made our Flat Stanleys and sent them out. Stanley was due back in town by June 1st, so we started sharing stories Friday during Social Studies.


It was a great project. Children came back with pictures and notes from Stanley from a variety of places. Flat Stanley has been fishing in the Adirondacks, playing in North Carolina, touring in Disney, even exploring forts in Puerto Rico! We haven't seen all the responses yet, as we just started sharing on Friday, but there are a few more to share on Monday, and I suspect there are a few more coming in. (Rumor has it Stanley was seen somewhere in Asia, and was running late for our June 1st deadline!)
 

Being the reflective person that I am, I've been wondering how I can make the project better for next year. I started by retyping the letter I used. I added more information and attached a website with samples, ideas, and activities for the kids. I made a point to mention that this was a geography project, which I neglected the first time, and it let to a couple of "mystery adventures." Luckily, we solved the mysteries. I've attached the letter with blanks for you to fill in as a freebie here or see the image below.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0KBPcFG6hwLNVRyQ2lzeWh1cGc/view?usp=sharing
Be sure to visit this website  (www.flatstanleybooks.com/) to learn more about what you can do with Flat Stanley. You can even download your own Flat Stanley from this website! Plus, there are plenty of great photos of Flat Stanley. All images of Flat Stanley books on this page are affiliate links to Amazon.

Enjoy! 


Learn About the World with Flat Stanley! This post contains ideas, books, information, links, and a freebie about getting Flat Stanley to help your students learn about Geography!

St. Patrick's Day and Family Heritage

Believe it or not, this is my third post this week about St. Patrick's Day! I'm thinking I must really like St. Patrick's Day!




Well, I do! Can you tell by the way I dressed for school yesterday? (Pay close attention to the green toenails and the green sandals... in March!)




Well, I think the kids had a good time yesterday, and I think they learned something, too! We've spent a few days talking about how our country is made up of people from many other countries. (E Pluribus Unum means "one out of many"!) I was surprised to find that most of the children had no idea what countries their ancestors came from.




By the way, I'm Irish and Polish. My Dad's family came from Poland and my mother's family came from Ireland.  My students enjoyed hearing my family history. They loved hearing about how my grandmother left Poland at a young age, got on a boat, and came to America. They thought it was cool that the first thing she saw in America was probably the Statue of Liberty. Of course, as I was talking, I was showing them on the map where my family came from in Europe and how they crossed the Atlantic around the turn of last century before there were computers, Xbox or even many cars.


This is what my dad looked like when I was in high school!
My dad teased my mom about being Irish and teased the Irish in general. Ironically, exactly ten years ago today, he passed away on St. Patrick's Day. So this bittersweet memory is one of the other faces of St. Patrick's Day for me. But it's mostly about happy memories of my Dad.  My Dad was my hero. He was a very successful high school football coach. Not only did he win a lot, but he influenced a lot of high school boys in a very positive way. People still talk about him today, in fact, this fall, they named a street after my dad, down by the old football field where I grew up. See this post for details about that special day!



Besides talking about my family heritage, we watched videos of Irish dancing, listened to Irish music, wrote about leprechauns, played learning games with an Irish theme, and dressed in green. Oh yes, did I mention that I've been talking with an Irish accent for most of the week? (That theatrical background comes in handy in the classroom!)




We did have a little trouble with leprechauns. Somehow a leprechaun got in the classroom and changed the color of our morning letter. He also turned some of the desks around, and rearranged our class schedule. Apparently the leprechaun took the blame for a couple of other incidents I didn't even know about. We were grateful that the leprechaun stayed away from the bathroom this year, after all, last year he left glitter in the toilet. (The first grade teacher from that crew was thrilled to hear they remembered that!)




By the end of the week, one of my little ones told me that she was half Irish. She wasn't sure what the other side was. I'm still surprised that more children didn't know about their family history. Granted, after many generations, most of these children are a little bit of everything, but it's a great connection to history as well as learning about the map. (Brain research tells us that children remember better if they have a personal connection. What could be more personal than your family?)




What's your family heritage? Are you Irish, or only on St. Patrick's Day?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format