Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kansas Monopoly - State Research Projects

I'm so excited to share about our Kansas Day projects.  Every year we celebrate Kansas' Birthday by doing a fun project! So, this year I had my kids create a Kansas Monopoly game!  They have been having so much fun and love learning about the history of Kansas.

We started with a blank sheet of poster board.  Then, we measured out the board with a meter stick which was much more challenging than you might think. I would love to share the dimensions with you, however, I didn't write them down and we had to make some spaces smaller to fit more spaces.   To get this entire board measured for 24 kids, it took us a full hour!

The next day, we started filling in the spaces with Kansas facts and people.  Here is an example of what our boards looked like after day 2.

On Day 3, we kept working together to make our board similar to the Monopoly game. Here is an outline of our colors and what facts are located on the spaces. 

Purple: Basic Kansas Facts
Gray:  Forts located in Kansas 
Blue:  Famous Kansans  
Pink: Kansas Universities  
Orange: Cities in Kansas  
Red: Numbers that represent Kansas; January 29, 1861 
Yellow:  cattle towns in Kansas 
Green:  Famous Bleeding Kansas Battles 
Blue: Wizard of Oz and The Capital of Kansas* 
White: Oregon Trail and Santa Fe Trail  

*(most Kansans hate the Wizard of Oz references, but I was running out of ideas, so it had to work)

My kids were so creative with this project.  Instead of the jail, my kids decided to have Leavenworth Penitentiary and instead of a free space we created "Free State." Showing how proud they are that Kansas was brought into the union as a free state. 

Here is our finished product!

Here is an example of the property cards with their research.

What do you do to celebrate your state's birthday?  I'd love to hear what happens all over the county!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reading Journal

I don't know about everyone else, but I have the hardest time making sure my kids are reading during independent times throughout the day.  I mean, who knows that they are actually doing during silent reading or during read to partner time.  We all have that 1 or 10 kids that they just glare at the page and end up reading like 2 pages during a 20 minute silent reading time.  So, I created this reading journal to hold them accountable for their own learning!

I started using them this past week.  I printed off the pages, made them into individual books.  The best part, is that all kids can use the organizer for ANY chapter book they are reading.  I like how kids are required to write down the page they started on before reading and the page they finish on after their reading.  They are also required to answer one or two questions with a variety of reading skills.

Here is this link to this journal  

 Reading Journal

Here are the skills addressed in these journals:
Main Idea
Text to Self Connection
Text to Text Connection
Character Traits
Ask a character a question
Ask the author a question

 How do you hold your kids accountable for learning?  I'd love to hear ideas.  The first 3 people to leave a comment on my blog, I will send you this product for free! Make sure to leave your email address in your post.