Monday, January 26, 2009

The World Around Us

Today was my first lesson at Janney Elementary School. The lesson was to teach the second grade how to read maps. We began the lesson by reading a "How-To" book about maps. This was relevant because it relates to their current Writers Workshop project which is writing a How-To. We then discussed types of maps and their uses. I made a bulletin board that showed a map of the world and the students were asked what it was representing. All of them knew it was a map of the world. We created a word bank as a class of the different continents and oceans and then applied these to the board. I had the students come up to the bulletin board and label them. We also labeled Washington, DC and the directions on the compass rose.

For homework the students were asked to make a map of their room using the cardinal directions. After they draw their own map, they have to write five sentences about the objects in their room. Example: My bed is WEST of my bookshelf. The students seemed very eager to share their thoughts and travel experiences. I noticed their knowledge of continents was right on point, but they have trouble deciphering between cities and countries. Most of them have traveled abroad, but couldn't really tell me which continent they traveled to.

Ms. Miller discussed the lesson with me after school and said I did great job. She said the students were excited, but certain students tried to test me by acting out. She said I should try and implement some kind of reward system for the students that are behaving.  I think I will try to use the current credit system that Ms. Miller uses for Millertown. 

Our next lesson will be about various landforms and where they can be found in the world. We will be making our own physical maps out of salt dough.

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