Sunday, June 21, 2015

Back to where it Started

Years ago, while sitting in a UNLV grad class, I got the idea to teach the fifty states using post cards.  I started a blog and utilized social media to ask for post cards from around the world.

My previous PE coach was amazing enough to give me a massive velcro map of the United States to use for the year.  After he saw how great it worked in my classroom, he refused to take it back and ordered me a slightly smaller world version so I could extend their learning beyond US borders.

I used the map for two years before pausing.  My previous school made some instructional changes and social studies, sadly, was not a priority.

When I moved schools, I left the map in my garage, unsure of if it would be welcomed or deemed appropriate at my new environment.

However, I quickly learned that any activity that engaged students and fit standards was more than welcomed.  Mid year, I brought in the map.  

Over the course of the second semester, my students learned state by state about our country.  Mrs. H, my work bestie, helped on a daily basis to create the ppt that would accompany the post cards.  She reached out to her network too and together, we had enough for all the states.

We had fun learning fun facts about the other states in our country.  More importantly, our students had a wonderful time and got very excited about geography, which is always a win!

Here is the completed map:

Next year, we'll start the map much earlier.  We'll do more smaller quizzes and practice labeling regions more frequently.  We'll tweak the ppt so it has a consistent format and has more imbedded formative assessments.

One of the great things about teaching is the opportunity to continually reflect and improve upon my craft.  I tried the ppt for the first time this year in conjunction with the map and it went much better.  Next year, I'll make more tweaks and it will be better still.  

However, I still need some help completing the map.  I want to emphasize colleges, so if you are able to send one from your local university or alma mater, it would be greatly appreciated!  I am also in need of a Mount Rushmore post card as well as any international ones.  

Post cards can be sent to:
Ms. Vice
Iverson Elementary
1575 S. Hollywood Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89142

Thank you for the help!

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