Thursday, April 16, 2015

Notebook Evolution ~ Social Studies

As I went to do a new notebook entry with my kids, I pulled our the previous year's notebook to check what notes we had done.

I was doing it a little different this year, and me, being somewhat of a teacher hoarder, also had the notebook from the year before last.

I took a look through all the notebooks, and was interested to see how my approach to notebooks have changed, as well as what entries I've kept, modified or just changed all together.

I thought you would enjoy the process! :)

So, welcome to notebook evolution! 
Here are the table of contents-in the same order they're in above!
As you can see, we didn't get very far in year 1. We got a lot further in year 2, and even though we aren't quite done year 3, we'll go just as far or further.
We'll be on the back soon, and will probably go a little further this year-I've added in some entries!
One thing I changed was that this year, I explicitly taught the differences between human and physical features-where in previous years, we had talked about it and mentioned it-this year we did something with it!
That was part of my government unit, which has changed since the first year. We've done a lot more with state maps, characteristics of the state, counties, state symbols and more.

The first year, we used our state text book, and I didn't spend a lot of time on explorers.
Last year, I created an explorer unit, which I changed up a little for this year!

Before, I fit everything about the explorer them onto a two (or three or four) page spread with the students having to fill out a foldable.

This year, I made it a two page spread, with the article on  one side and a graphic organizer on the other.

I combined sets of maps, and we moved those to behind (or in front of in some cases) the articles. The kids still had them, but they were able to have the articles and questions side by side.

You can see the same sort of evolution in the colonial unit.

The first year, we used out textbook again as a resource.
Last year, I incorporated some interactive elements (from which the students had to take notes from), as well as talking about the first settlements.

This year, we started talking about reasons why, moved onto the first settlements, and will start talking about the different colonial roles.
I've also started some doodle notes, where I've had the students draw a picture-that has made sense to them-to represent the written notes we've taken.

You can clearly see the difference between last year and this below-and was the inspiration for the post!
They both have the same information, but I think the kids will remember better this year since we doodled it too.

Next, is my American Revolution unit.

I created the fill in the blank foldables three years ago, and I'll probably use them another year or two (we recertify every three years, and since I have a SS endorsement, I need 30 hours in SS. I'll probably recreate for my next cycle, since that will be easier than trying to find 30 hours of workshops.)

I did make some changes last year-I added a vocab sheet.
And we started coloring in the maps.
Those are my units!

We also complete an Abenaki Lapbooks, and this year I offered the option to the kids (they picked the lapbook.). I kill a few birds with this stone, finding important information, setting a purpose for reading, taking notes, main idea. This is something I will probably keep, because it scaffolds those skills that they'll need for later in their school career.

Smiles and Sunshine,

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