I have missed blogging! I think when I moved to 3rd Grade, I felt lost in the blogging world because all of my blogging buddies were 1st or 2nd grade teachers. Not only do I not teach first or second grade, I don't even teach reading or math...I teach 3rd grade science and social studies. I just didn't feel like I fit in anymore. But blogging I think helps me to be a better teacher, it helps me to reflect on my lessons and projects so that I can improve them for next year. So I'm going to try to jump back into the ring!
This year's class studied maps in much more depth than than my class did last year. I do a pretest and post test on all of my major skills. I don't really mind doing that except I have to remind the students over and over that the pretest IS NOT going in the grade book. Now that we are 3/4 through the school year, I think most of them understand that now. Anyway, I really like doing small projects to follow up the lessons so the students can show what they know.
I was thinking about doing a group (4 people) map, but I didn't really have any suitable paper for them to use. I was going to have them make a city map and then as a group they would add things that were important to each of them.
I started searching the Internet to see if I could find some ideas. The first thing I found was called Barefoot Island. I liked it, but I kept looking around.
Next I came across these Autobiography Islands. I really liked them!
I had to make a few adjustments since the ones I found were for middle school and I teach 3rd grade.
I'll be making a rubric for next year. This year I told the students I would be grading them in four areas: Neatness, Creativity, Spelling and Required Elements. We first discussed the definition of an autobiography. We looked at samples from the middle school students. We brainstormed what types of things could go on our maps and then the students got to work on the rough drafts of their maps. I helped to proof each one for spelling errors. After that, they got to work on their final project. The required elements for each of the maps were: 1) Map Title 2) Compass Rose 3) Map Legend 4) at least 3 Man-made objects 5) at least 3 Natural Landforms. I thought most of them turned out great. I liked the way this project kind of evened the playing field. Since I was checking the spelling on all of the projects, I got to see some of my lower students shine with creativity in their maps. Here are some examples. Probably too many, but I just loved them! Be glad I didn't post all 68! LOL
I'll be honest, when it came to grading their creativity...everyone got a 5 the max points. I don't know call me a softie, but I really thought everyone was creative on their own level. I did give a bonus point on those I thought we "extra creative".