Sunday, January 20, 2013

Still here...and Me on the Map, my New Year's Resolution to be a more involved blogger is not exactly off to a great start! I'm still here, though the startup of school after winter break has left me rather exhausted. I have a new student who started the first day back, and he has never been in school even though he's 7 (yes, also too young for my classroom) so I feel like we have spent two weeks practicing and learning basic procedures (this is how we sit in a desk...this is how we walk in the hallway...this is how we do not pull out our friends' hearing aids or unbuckle our friends' wheelchair seatbelts...this is how we have quiet mouths when someone else is talking...) - all things my students have known for years. It has kind of felt chaotic in my room!

But we have still managed to do quite a bit with our January unit on recycling. I keep meaning to take photos of the great "Trashy Snowmen" we made all from recycled materials, but I haven't yet (see: chaos, and my feeling exhausted, and any other kind of excuse you want, but really I just keep forgetting). Instead, I'll share photos that have been sitting on the camera from our November unit on travel/transportation - our culminating activity was the "Me on the Map" project!

First, we read "Me on the Map" by Joan Sweeney. I pulled up this youtube video on our iPad and put it through our projector...I muted the volume and read it myself so I could easier pause and discuss the pages as I wanted to (and because the audio is a little quiet on the video).
We loved this book - such a great, basic illustration of the various places we live. My kids definitely started to grasp the difference between city, state, country, etc.

Then, of course, we did the great "Me on the Map" activity:
I used the circles from Teach Mama and edited the text a bit (we did not cover continents, and used our school instead of home). I printed off photos of most of the locations the street photo from Google maps and took the photo of our school myself. The "me" circle got adorned with the little stickers we always get from the kids' school pictures. The kids had to decide which photo went with what circle...they did great!

(This project happened to occur during an observation with my principal...he still talks about how fun it was, how great my kids did...he assisted one of my girls with the project during the observation and told her later, to much hilarity, that he was going to take it home himself!)

Of course, we had to display these projects. We are in charge of decorating the bulletin board in our hallway...the kids did this themselves:
Their Me on the Map projects surrounding a painting of the world...yes, we are aware we have an egg-shaped world! I don't care - the kids painted it themselves (with assistance but not total guidance) and I'm so proud!
Painting the world...we put the butcher paper up on the bulletin board first so the kids had to stand (some in pacers/standers) to paint their part of the world. Some great gross motor work in the process!

The papers decorating the rest of the bulletin board are coloring pages I created from fabulous clip art from KPM Doodles and Charlotte's Clips. I made coloring pages for each section of the "Me on the Map" project - ie, To travel to a different school, you can take a bus; To travel to a different country, you can take a plane, etc...each student colored a different page and we made sure there was one of each location on our bulletin board.

Today I also added the image hover Pinterest button! I used the tutorial and button from Blogger Sentral. Hover your mouse over any image on this post and see how it will see the Pinterest button at the lower right of the image, and if you click it you will be able to pin the image! Try it out - and let me know if some reason it doesn't work.


  1. Kara, I love these ideas. I love the painting of the Earth that you did with your students while incorporating their gross motor goals. We are doing recycling this month too! I would love to see pictures of your "trashy snowmen". :)

  2. This is awesome - I did the me on the map activity earlier this year, but I never knew there was a book that went along with it! That's awesome. Clearly I missed that memo :)

    Wow about your new student! Good luck, and it sounds like you're doing great. I'm sure that must be frustrating, especially since at your level I'm sure most of your students have come in already knowing basic school rules. I also have a new student who is giving me some behavior I can sympathize with you in a small way, but I think you win. You're awesome Kara - remember that!!

    Brie @ Breezy Special Ed


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