Sunday, January 2, 2022

Get Started Early! Happy NEW Year!

Happy New Year! I am still on break and relaxing one more day before we head back tomorrow. We have a teacher work day and then the tiny humans are back on Tuesday. Like most of the human race I always have great intentions for the New Year. I am a person who likes to implement too many new things, so I am here to tell you choose 1-2 new things to implement in your classroom for the New Year. 

I am always thinking ahead and NOW is the time for you to be thinking about February and Black History Month. Why?! February is such a short month that if you start thinking about it now, I promise it will seem less stressful later. So this post is all about prep for February and making your life easier. 

Ok here's some ideas for you and what I will be doing, but I am going to start NOW so that I am ready. 

So if you are overwhelmed, stick to my advice and choose ONE of these activities!

1. Biography Puzzles: These are printable and you have FOUR people to research and learn about. There are 4 weeks in February... coincidence?! Study one person per week by reading aloud a picture book (yes older kids still like these) and working through the reading, writing, and puzzles as a class, partner, or individual. This is a super LOW prep option. This can also be an independent study. Have students choose maybe 2 people and then they have 2 weeks to work on them. 



2. Biography Lapbook: The great thing about this is that it can be used for ANY  person to research, so if you don't get around to this for February, you can have in your back pocket for any person! 

Tip: If you have younger kids and any parent help, have a parent cut out the shapes and help you assemble OR send this home for a project that will be ongoing. Parents can pick-up and do the prep at home for you! 

First I have students choose from a list 3-4 people they are interested in. I did NOT have them choose MLK. We do so much with him that he wasn't a choice. Once they narrow down their person, we start with the timeline. 

I use Pebble Go for my students because it is super easy to navigate. It's a research site that our school subscribes to. Most schools or libraries have a kid friendly database which is easy to use for Biography research. I would check with your Media Specialist or look online for an option that is user friendly. Your media specialist may even have some books he/she can pull for you OR ask your local library to pull them now for you! 

After students chose their person; they took notes about the character traits (I did a separate lesson on this) and chose a few vocabulary words. I used this dictionary and some picture books. Check out my other blog on Character Traits. 





Here's a picture of one of the finished products. 



I also gave my students scrapbook paper that I had laying around to use to glam this up! Don't be afraid to send home some portions of this as homework! There are a lot of parts so maybe you don't have time to do them all. You could easily pair this down to make it more manageable for you!


Check out this also for Biography Projects for Research. You have templates to assist your students in their Biography Project to present. This would be a great alternative if you don't have time for the lapbook and you are able to give students CHOICE!




3. Last is a NO PREP Digital Escape Room on Civil Rights. It has some of the same people as the above #1, so you could do both or just stick to this one. 

This has video, reading passages, and puzzles to solve. So if you are short on time- I would highly recommend using this as your resource. 




Remember this is YOUR year. I will be making a plan and trying my best to stick to it. 

Cheers for the New Year!

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