The classroom calendar is a perennial wall hanging in almost every elementary classroom across the country. Many are decorated with seasonal pattern cut-outs such as red apple, yellow apple, green apple (can you tell I taught Kindergarten?) or fall leaves in various color patterns. Teachers use the calendar as daily tool to show holidays, school events, a way to count to the 100th day of school, and classmates' birthdays. However, for so many of us, the challenge of carving out time is an ever present battle during instruction.
A couple of years ago, while I was teaching timelines in class, I realized that I needed to be more intentional with my calendar time and could incorporate quality literature while connecting them to the classroom calendar and the larger timelines that I teach in class. I have streamlined my calendar design and added new history makers for students to learn about. I have tried to share not only my favorite grade level books, but some other strong pieces of literature for upper grades. I use these books as part of our regularly scheduled read aloud time. Additionally, I have MANY Youtube cues that I continue to add to for each month (I will share more later).
If you are interested in using this in your classroom, the August file can be found on my Teachers Pay Teachers site for FREE for the month of August. Additionally, if you are interested in any of the book recommendations, please click on the images below to go to my Amazon Affiliate store.
Be honest...when you were a kid, how many of you thought it would be cool to be an astronaut? If you didn't, you certainly had a friend who did. The picture above was taken in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's gift shop while on an adventure with my nerdy history friend Jessica. I couldn't resist. My kids are going to love it, particularly as we have a year long space theme (among other themes) going on in class this upcoming school year. I am busily researching STEAM projects we can explore in class.
So much of my social studies instruction is based upon teaching timelines that having a focused theme on space exploration will be a timely touch. I have to admit that I am a bit partial this year as I am celebrating the same number. I am still searching for the perfect t-shirt to add to my collection for teaching history. I'll keep you posted.
As always when teaching timelines, I LOVE finding new children's literature to support our studies. Whenever there is a big anniversary celebration coming out, authors are quick to think ahead and write for the event. Recently, I have become obsessed with the new line of Little Golden Books of historical events/characters. I recently picked up the new Statue of Liberty on our last visit. I was pleased to see a new one focusing on the first moon landing. Additionally, if you are unfamiliar with Chris Gall, he published a book on America The Beautiful that has incredible illustrations to use with your students and I am excited to get my hands on Go For The Moon. Admittedly, I don't have either book YET, but have added them to my Amazon cart. Please click on the images below if you would like to order from Amazon as well. I am Neil Armstrong is a new addition to Brad Meltzer's series.
As I mentioned earlier, almost all of my social studies teaching centers around teaching timelines. I have discovered over the last many years that students find great success when given the ability to organize people and events via a master timeline. I have many mini-timelines that merge into my GIANT anchor chart and the history makers from this mini timeline are then embedded into the larger. Please enjoy the images below as a small sample of the MEGA pack that can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers if you are interested.
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!
I'm extremely excited to teach in the month of February! Between Black History Month, Mardi Gras, Presidents' Day and Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday, we have a ton of great learning coming up!! I am thrilled every time I go to Google and they post one of their doodles. You never know when they will show up and they never fail to inspire me with the level of creativity in the piece.
I have been working very hard on some new products for my Teachers Pay Teachers store for Black History Month. Please take the time to look at African American History Characters Powerpoint and Timeline and Characters in African American History Timeline, Quotes and Primary Source Cards. Both products are appropriate for all elementary grades and offer information on a wide variety of people. Geography and math are easily incorporated for cross-curricular studies. Both products are on sale through February 3rd.
Below is a Youtube link to my favorite Jackie Robinson book. It is written by his daughter, Sharon, and illustrated by the talented Kadir Nelson. Enjoy!