Thursday, September 20, 2012

Content Overload and a Mini Giveaway!

Tomorrow is Friday! Wooooohoo!

This has been a long week.

There's a lot of negativity going on around me, but I'm really trying to stay out of it and keep positive.  I have a wonderful class.  I love what I'm teaching.  I have lots of support from my bloggy friends.  So I have lots of reasons to keep it positive!

To all my NC friends out there, what about all of these Content Standards we have to teach???

You see we have 8 science units & 8 social studies units. That's right! EIGHT!  Isn't the point of Common Core to teach less, but teach better?  Yeah, well I digress....

So, with so much content, we basically have two weeks to teach each concept.  We are supposed to be integrating each unit into shared reading & guided reading.  It's a little hard with a lack of resources, so I felt like I was floundering.  Our first SS Unit was about Map Skills &  Location.  Kinda boring, right?  So, foldables to the rescue!!  

Last year my kiddos LOVED making lapbooks.  This year, I'm doing the same concept, but we are keeping a Content Notebook so we are keeping all of our foldables in our notebooks.  I liked the idea of keeping all of our units in one notebook, so we can refer back to it throughout the year.  Plus, since our standards build on each other from year to year, hopefully they can use it next year.

Here are some pictures of our foldables in our notebook.

Here is what a completed lapbook would look like!
Here's a closer look at the different foldables

One of my students told me, "I never liked Social Studies until third grade!" That made my heart happy!

If you're interested, check it out at TPT or TN.  

What else did we do during this mini unit?  

We watched some cute BrainPop Jr. Videos.

We read some fun books. 
You can watch online here.
We used our Vis a Vis Markers to find different places on laminated maps. 

We created treasure maps (I wish I had some pictures, but I completely forgot! Let's pretend they looked this awesome)
During this little activity I found out that ninjas, alligators, and zombies can all be in a map key. 

If you'd like my Map Skills Lapbook, leave a comment with your email below telling me what content concept you like teaching most! I'll randomly pick three people to receive the lapbook!


  1. I totally understand what you're feeling!! We have all new SS & Sci units and I am missing all of our old fun units already. Thanks Common Core :( Your foldables look awesome- I heart your other foldables, so I know these have got to be great :)

    Sending you lots of positive thoughts for the rest of this week! TGIF, right?! :)

    3rd Grade Thoughts

  2. I am with you... we are in the transition to the CCSS... and right now it feels like a LOT!

    I think my favorite content to teach is math... specifically algebra. I like the black/white nature of it...and how easy it is to tell if a kid gets it or doesn't!

    Would love this lapbook for 6th grade geography study!

  3. Great idea to integrate everything! We are implementing Common Core next year and I am getting ready for it. It looks like you've got a handle on it already!

    Heather at TeachItToday

  4. Would love to win a copy! I love teaching about landforms!

  5. I came across this post and love all of your ideas on the lap board! I usually make foldables, but not this cute! You're right, mapping can be pretty boring. For my third grade class, they always create their own island maps complete with all geographic features, key, and scale. They love it! It's my favorite lesson and I know they would enjoy what you've created.

  6. Sounds like you have a good attitude...stay strong! Guess I cannot complain when we have four of each (SS & Science) to cover...but then again, our time is less than half an hour and not even daily!

    I like teaching writing, since it allows for so much individual difference.

    Hope I win...we start Maps/Globes Monday!

    tokyoshoes (at) hotmail (dot) com

  7. I like teaching cardinal and intermediate directions. We take a compass and go outside and label directions on landmarks around our school. We also make a foldable for our notebooks and design our own compass rose making it look ancient.

  8. We have integrated all of our content areas this year and it is very overwhelming. The thing that scares me the most is that they are not all finished but we are still implementing them. I LOVE your foldable map unit and it would fit into my lessons for next week. I have to read the book "Where I Live." So I would have to say the concept I look forward to teaching is Social Studies!!!

  9. So cute! I'm really looking forward to teaching the American Revolution this year!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  10. I love your foldables. I teach the US regions and the kiddos really struggle with the book's activities. Maybe bc they purchased a 4th grade book just because it fits regions. Now i digress. I love teaching animal adaptations. Webbed feet and nocturnal!

  11. I am loving this labpook and all of the foldables, Amber. It's amazing how difficult it is to get in all of the content. Right? Sending positive vibes your way, chick!

    Fun in Room 4B

  12. I love teaching map skills! I am kind of a geography nerd. This unit is making me drool.

    When we do cardinal directions, I label the walls of our room and start referring to tables as NW, SE, etc. The hardest thing has been transferring the concept of directions on a compass rose on a flat paper map to directions in the world around us.

    1. What a great idea! I am teaching cardinal and intermediate directions next week. Love this!

  13. Wow, these lapbooks would have made my Social Studies instruction so much more exciting last year! We do similar units, it looks like, though my school is not yet Common Core-d out. I would so love to have an activity like this to drive my students' learning!

  14. I love teaching map skills. I think reading maps ANC drawing them are my favorite!

  15. You have made map skills look fun and exciting with the foldables and lapbook. I started lapbooking with the Solar System last year. I noticed that my students seemed to learn more when we created the lapbook. Love all the ideas.

  16. I love your lapbook! I can't wait to use this with my students.


  17. I love this cute and creative and covers so much content! I love teaching map skills with my third graders! We also make our own treasure maps (then we write a story about a character trying to use the directions to find the to get in as much writing as possible!

  18. I love teaching map skills and your lapbook looks fabulous! We did a me on the map flip book last year but it was so much work for me to prepare, this would be so much easier! Thanks for the link to the book!
    I've also had a similar week so let's think positive that next week will be better! :)

    Second Grade Spots and Dots

  19. I love science although common core science is stressing me out some.


  20. Love these foldables! I need to do a better job at foldables. We are still somewhat new to notebooking. We are doing a notebook for all subjects this year. I LOVE it, but need to spice them up some!

  21. Oh my gosh I just finished map skills yesterday! Hope to win so I can use your lap book and foldables next year! We just finished making town maps out of animal shapes!

  22. I will be teaching map skills soon and would love to win your lapbook. It would be a fantastic addition to this unit.

  23. I love teaching both science & social studies, but it sure is overwhelming! Where do we find the time to do it justice? I love your lapbook. Thanks!

  24. Love this! My favorite content to teach is math. We are doing math common core strands this year an fully implementing next year. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Forgot to leave my email

  26. I started using lapbooks last our reading language arts curriculum students do an inquiry project every month or so. It's usually centered around a social studies or science theme...this was one more option they could create after choosing a question, making a conjecture and finishing their research. They loved presenting these to the class. I have interactive notebooks for reading and math, and science...I haven't added one for social studies yet :( I have your economics lapbook on y wish list and now I will have to add this one also :)

  27. This is awesome! I would love to see more of your ideas! I have never done a lapbook before, so would love some resources!


  28. I've never done a lap book either, but I'm trying to gather ideas for s.s this year and thought it would be fun to try one !

  29. I would LOVE to see more info on your lapbooks and foldables. I teach 3rd grade in CO and we also integrate as much as possible due to lack of time. Looking desperately for new ideas for geography! Thanks!!

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