Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Curriculum Maps for Common Core that tie to Social Studies

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever. I went to Orlando last Wednesday through Sunday to spend some time with my brother, dad, and my grandparents. It was a great trip even though it was short. I got to do relaxing and reading (which are two things I never seem to have enough time for).  On the way back, I got bumped to First Class so a family could sit together. Poor me...  It was fun! I had never sat in First Class before. I will miss the meal, the hot towels, and the glass of wine next time I have to sit in Coach.

The other day I came across a new resource for Curriculum Maps that tie to Common Core.  I had already purchased Common Core Curriculum Maps for Language Arts on Amazon this summer as a resource. I first read about this book last summer and had not gotten around to purchasing it.

The book has six different units for each grade level, which many of them are theme based and tie in to Social Studies. I plan on using some of the ideas for 4th and 5th Grade to plan out some of my read alouds, shared reads, and assigned nonfiction reading this year.  There are actually also some great suggestions of poems.

One area that is always a struggle to find great texts is Social Studies.  Actually, the problem is not finding texts but choosing the right ones. Since many of my students are gifted, it is important for my curriculum plans to include a lot of independent learning. If students work more independently and through more of an inquiry approach, the teacher becomes less of the central vehicle for the students to obtain new knowledge.  This is where the right text becomes important.  Students still need a vehicle to learn the content.  A high interest text can make all the difference. Commoncore.org is a website with curriculum maps that tie to the Common Core Standards.  (This website is different from the site where you can find copies of the standards.) 

CommonCore.org is a nonprofit organization that has worked to create curriculum maps that tie to the Common Core Standards. You can purchase a yearly subscription to access the maps.  They have maps for Language Arts.  (I did not purchase this subscription since I had already purchased the other book above). The part I was excited about is that they have Curriculum Maps for Social Studies.  It was $20 for a one year subscription.  They have curriculum maps for both World History and US History.  Each type of History has 18 topics that have maps.  For each topic, there are suggested anchor texts with other text suggestions.  They include text dependent questions, assessment ideas, and links to other resources like Primary Sources and websites.  I am excited to add these resources to my other curriculum.  I have been wanting to find more History nonfiction texts and historical fiction to incorporate into Language Arts.  I tend to spend a lot of time researching texts and going to the library.  I am hoping this will cut down on my time researching texts, so I can spend more time creating projects and activities to go with the texts and also finding engaging primary sources.  Do you have any great resources for curriculum maps for Social Studies or lists of great History nonfiction texts?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blogger Exchange Goodies and a Crazy Week

I am sorry I have been absent.  Last week was the last week of my second summer graduate course.  I had a final exam and a major project where I had to make a differentiation handbook. Did I mention I also am working full time this summer and my summer school kids started last week?  Also, we had some new teachers start this week so we are trying to get them setup and ready to go to start planning.

Anyway, I am excited to try and share some more posts with you on differentation and gifted kids.  One of the books we read in my class with really great differentiation strategies for all students is Advancing Differentiation by Richard Cash.  It is one of those books I have already decided I will have to reread a couple times.  It is packed with a lot of great ideas.

I have been trying to get on here for three days and share my goodies I got from the Back to School Blogger Exchange

I was matched up with Anisa from Creative Undertakings. The box came from the post office all wrapped up in super cute foil paper. I also got a very sweet note.
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All of the items were in an owl photo box.  I love owls and incorporate them in my classroom.
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I got lots of pens, awards for students, pencils, green crafting tape, a mini stapler, a notepad, and post-its. All super fun!

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I love school supplies.  You never can have enough. 

This past weekend I also had a super busy Saturday.  My little brother graduated from a spiritual leadership training program called The Honor Academy through Teen Mania ministries, and my sister-in-law graduated from college at the University of North Texas. I spent about 5 hours in the car on Saturday. I did put together this little gift box for my sister-in law, though.

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(My brother got gift cards.)

Now I have to go pick up this little puppy (who has my favorite face in the whole world) from doggy daycare where she played and got a bath today. Then, I am off to my bootcamp fitness class.

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After that I get to pack for Orlando (where I am flying tomorrow night to go visit my grandparents until Sunday). Hope you are having a fabulous week (and hopfully it is mor relaxing then mine has been).
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