Ancient Greece 3 Ways – for Second Graders

So last week, I wrote about how my second graders made passports to keep track of their time-traveling through ancient cultures. This week, I’d like to talk about how we tackled Ancient Greece. On the first day, after making the passports, we still had about 20 minutes, so we flew very briefly to Ancient Greece, read … More Ancient Greece 3 Ways – for Second Graders

Passports to History – Time Traveling in Second Grade

I’m a lover of history. I love it so much I have a degree in it. But it can be hard to bring it down to a kid’s level without losing a lot, including the kid’s interest. This is a problem compounded by sometimes apparently arbitrary decisions by policy makers about what is grade-appropriate. Two … More Passports to History – Time Traveling in Second Grade

Food Doesn’t Grow In Grocery Stores: A Harvest Lesson

Fall, fall, wonderful fall. The time for field trips to the farm (for us city folk at least) and lots of hard work for kids actually growing up in farm country. But with fewer and fewer kids growing up with access to the growing process, many in the new generation are experiencing a serious disconnect … More Food Doesn’t Grow In Grocery Stores: A Harvest Lesson

A Halloween Sequencing Lesson in Dance.

Halloween is nearly upon us! How did that happen?! I’m usually much better prepared – I haven’t even started costume shopping yet! Fortunately this Halloween-themed sequencing lesson takes next to zero ahead-of-time prep. That’s what I love about dance-integrated lessons. You don’t have to cut anything out. For this lesson, I’ve always used Inside a … More A Halloween Sequencing Lesson in Dance.

Seasons, Cycles, and Worms: A Less Obvious Fall Science Unit

Fall is my favorite season. Gorgeous temperatures (usually), gorgeous foliage (almost always), crunchy leaves underfoot (I don’t have to rake them), cozy sweaters, the beginning of hot chocolate season, and pumpkin everything! There are a gazillion great fall lesson compilations out there, like here, and here, and here (especially love the one at that last link … More Seasons, Cycles, and Worms: A Less Obvious Fall Science Unit

Turning Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples Day.

Columbus Was Not A Nice Guy In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…. If you grew up anywhere in the US in the last hundred years, chances are good that you learned this little jingle, and can probably call up a few other words associated with Christopher Columbus. Explorer. Voyage. New World. … More Turning Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples Day.

Arts Integration and that Viral Check Written in “Common Core Math.”

Pardon the super-lateness of this post. The baby Would. Not. Nap. So, you may have seen this image making the social media rounds last week: And if you were lucky, you saw one of many excellent rebuttals, like this one, explaining why 1) this check is nonsense and 2) common core math is not nonsense. … More Arts Integration and that Viral Check Written in “Common Core Math.”

Bonus Post – Arts Integrated Activities for World Water Week

What Is It? You might not realize, especially if you’re from the US where it doesn’t get a lot of press, but it’s World Water Week next week (8/24-8/28). It tends to get lost in the back-to-school frenzy (and many schools haven’t even started yet), but it’s a worthwhile cause, and a good learning opportunity … More Bonus Post – Arts Integrated Activities for World Water Week

Arts Integration & the ABCs – 6 Ways to Make the ABCs Artistic, Beautiful, & Creative

It’s back to school time, which, for early elementary teachers, and sometimes for upper elementary teachers, means back to the ABCs. That’s 26 letters times 2 (for upper and lower case), to be matched in various combinations with 44 separate phonemes. That’s 96 distinct factoids necessary for reading, not counting the skills needed to put … More Arts Integration & the ABCs – 6 Ways to Make the ABCs Artistic, Beautiful, & Creative