I had a grand time in Colonial Williamsburg this summer as a participant in the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute. We were treated like royalty.
However, one of my most cherished moments was on my last day there when I noticed the Marquis de Lafayette on his horse and approached him for a photo. Before I even got up to ask, he motioned to me and said, "Is that the famous traveling rabbit I have heard about?"
Thanks Marquis de Lafayette. You made my day! Hope yours was a good one!!!
As the National Park Service is celebrating their 100th birthday, we are just getting back to school. I can't think of a better way to kick off the new year with a grand celebration to open the door to new learning for my young students. We enjoyed S'More style birthday cupcakes to compliment the Junior Rangers we made in class.
Youtube is such a wonderful addition to the classroom as we were able to enjoy the very creative birthday song as well as an overview by Finley Holiday. Many of the students were familiar with some of the more prominent National Parks, which led to a very engaging conversation about the parks. One of my students even brought in her collection of Junior Ranger badges (I had mine to show off as well).
Over the years, I have grown to LOVE the National Parks (my husband thinks I am crazy for the Park Rangers). I was not exposed to the NPS as a child and feel like I am making up for it now. The diversity of the system leads to learning about science and social studies and can be differentiated for any grade level. Many of the parks have well developed lesson plans online that can be used for extended learning. My biggest challenge is going to be to limit the number of parks that I share with my students. I want to create a balance between the beauty and conservation efforts of the National Parks with the historic value of the memorials, battlefields and monuments. It is impossible to go wrong with any of my choices.
I am looking forward to the new year for many reasons. It excites me to bring the NPS into my classroom as an educational tool and I am looking forward to more travels to National Parks that I have yet to enjoy. Our studies will be a fun-filled adventure that I am excited to embark upon! More updates down the road!
It was so much fun to spend time with a great colleague planning for the NPS's Centennial Celebration. I am really looking forward to Thursday and the beginning of the activities for the next several weeks in conjunction with the 100th birthday.
It is hard to decide which parks to highlight and share with the students as the choices are so exciting. I am thankful for the collection of NPS brochures that I have collected over the years to share with the students. I do think that is important to highlight the diversity of the park system and the many sites that the NPS protects.
The stories that come from the NPS are inspiring for students of all ages. These stories and the wealth of online resources are going to be an inspiration for learning in our classroom for the upcoming year. Because of the diversity of the park system, the cross-curricular opportunities are a teacher's dream. In my grade, I focus on the social studies and my teammate focuses on the science. The diversity of the NPS offers a fantastic umbrella to focus on both subjects, not to mention art and writing opportunities.
If you have not already seen the NPS WebRangers Program online, please take the time to explore the website. This site offers a great variety fun learning activities applicable to all ages and abilities.
Can't wait until Thursday!!!
It is hard to put into words how much joy this picture brings me! School has been over for a month and I still find myself telling people about this special day when one of my grandparent volunteers surprised our class by dressing up as the TR depicted by our classroom goals. You would have thought that a major movie star walked into first grade!!! Not even joking!!
This particular student has become an TR expert (as much as a first grader can). His parents gave him a presidential book for his birthday and he proudly shows it to anyone that visits our class and will listen. I even had to scold him to put it away as we had other assignments. He proudly presented me with a TR book that he had written.
My point in all this is that history and the stories involved, does impact all kids, you just don't know when and where. I am so proud of this student and his desire to learn more! I hope that his interests in the field carry him far and I am thankful that we took to the time in class to learn about TR!!! BULLY!!
This is one of my favorite times of the year (ok, I have many)! My first graders are now independent enough that we have projects going on all over the classroom. In honor of Poetry Month and National Haiku Poetry Day, we will begin our class book of Moffat USA haikus. Above is a sampling of some of the pages in years past created by the students.
I will be formatting the planning pages and accompanying Moffat images soon for my TeachersPayTeachers store so that others may join in in creating one in their classroom. For a very professional look, I then upload my images to Shutterfly and make the book available to my students' parents to purchase. It's a great end of year project! Enjoy!
It's that time of year when I look forward to the Annual Lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Oddly, Moffat has hitched a ride to see the amazing site THREE times and I have yet to go! It is very high on my bucket list. In 2011, The Carpenter's Gift by David Rubel was published.. This is the story of 8-year-old Henry, who works alongside his father during the Depression selling Christmas trees. Henry dreams of living in a home other than the drafty shack they currently have and the kindness of others, brings Henry's wish to life.
David Rubel wrote this book in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. Today, deserving families now call the magical wood from a Rockefeller Christmas Tree their home! Enjoy the video links below to learn more about this wonderful partnership and giving back to the community!
November is Native American Heritage Month and I wanted to post a few resources to help in teacher planning. We were fortunate enough to visit the National Museum of the American Indian while in Washington, DC this past spring. The museum is overwhelming with the artifacts that it contains. Below is a link from the museum that will be helpful for planning for the month.