Sunday, August 25, 2013

How to craft a writing prompt

Mrs. Fairchild’s Prompt:       

How did the Industrial Revolution impact the lives of women, children, and the family?

This correlates to WHII.9c. 

The first thing I am going to do is go to that specific SOL.  There are a few bullet points that will point me in the right direction:

·    Family-based cottage industries displaced by the factory system
·    Harsh working conditions with men competing with women and children for wages
·    Child labor that kept costs of production low and profits high
·    Owners of mines and factories who exercised considerable control over the lives of their laborers

·    Women and children entering the workplace as cheap labor
·    Introduction of reforms to end child labor
·    Expansion of education
·    Women’s increased demands for suffrage

This particular SOL has a fair amount of points.  I would want to narrow my focus.  Since I am a teacher, I am going to focus my research on child labor, reforms of child labor and education.  One suggestion I would make is that your prompt should also have a location and a specific time.  There was an Industrial Revolution in both England and the United States.  I am going to pick the United States.  If you look closely at the SOL it states that the time period is the 19th Century. 

My reworded prompt is going to be:

How did the American Industrial Revolution impact the lives of children during 19th Century America? 

My prompt has now narrowed my research focus.  I am only interested in the American Industrial Revolution, during the 19th century and I am only interested in how it affected children. 

Once you have your prompt written your research scope should be narrowed to a manageable point. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Information Wall

This year I have tried another room management tool.  I used to divide the far end of my board with tape or borders.  In those divisions I would put the date, whether it was an "A" or "B" day (those determine which classes we see that day), homework, the SOL number/letter and reminders.

I decided to try a system that a few of my friends use; I added a twist.  My friends have laminated papers, glue them on the wall and then write their homework on the laminated paper.

Earlier in the summer I bought decorated half posters and then laminated them.  I hot glued them to the wall.  I used punch-out letters to signal the day of the week.  In the top left corner, I write the date and the SOL number/letter in the top right.  I also write their homework on the poster board.  To let the students know which day it is I have different colored punch-out letters to designate "A" days or "B" days.

My Information Wall
Each Monday they write their homework for the week.  Right now I verify agendas by signing them.  As the year goes on I will change the verification process and check them less often.  My hope is that this will lead to independence.  In the end...isn't that what we want?

Happy Teaching!

Fire Demonstration

I love it when teachers share!  Today was a sharing kind of day and my kids and I were on the receiving end of the sharing.

This week we have been discussing archaeologists and Paleolithic and Neolithic Eras.  One of the big "inventions" we've talked about this week is fire.  We discussed that it provided heat, light, protection and means to cook food.

One of the other World History I teachers offered to show my classes how to make fire.  As always, the kids really liked the hands on demonstration.

Mr. Parker even dressed for the occasion.  You can't see it but he had his flint in his hands ready to catch the fiber on fire.

See the fire?!  
Happy Teaching!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Artifact Interpretation

I have really enjoyed teaching World History.  I've enjoyed it for two reasons.  One reason is the students.  I am teaching about 30 of my former students.  It is fun seeing them and already knowing them.  I also like getting to know my new students.  However, with over 100 kids I'm not sure I'll know their names by interims.  The second reason I am really enjoying World History (keep in mind I'm a Civics kind of gal- so much so, I have an entire blog about that subject- click here to see that blog.).  I like learning new things and planning new lessons.

Today was one of those new lessons.  We learned about archaeology yesterday and today my kids were archaeologists.  I thought about having them dig in shoeboxes filled with sand but my more practical side got the better of me.  So I borrowed artifacts (foreign coins) from friends.

We watched a short video that showed archaeologists in the field and it discussed what the archaeologists do with their findings. We picked it up from there.  The students were to analyze and interpret their artifact.  They were to write down things that they observed, descriptions, some did rubbings of the coins and wrote down questions they were unable to answer.  Then they were to get another "artifact" and do the same thing.  Their goal was to analyze three artifacts and write their findings.

I found the original idea from this website.

Here are some pictures from today's lesson.
One of my archaeologists analyzing their artifact.

The artifacts.
Happy Teaching!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Envelope System I Snagged from Pinterest!

Well, tomorrow is the first day of school and I have been busily (that may be an understatement) running around to put on the finishing touches.

Today, I made my envelope collection system.  I used Excel to make a simple roster/assignment organizer.  The names are down the side of the paper and then I made blank boxes to write the assignments in.  I used duct tape to reinforce the edges and to differentiate the different classes.

The procedure (should go) is I will send the envelope around the room.  The student will put their paper in the envelope and initial or check off.  Once it gets back to me I will have a quick way to see who has turned in their papers and who hasn't.

Hope it goes as planned!

Happy Teaching!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013


To start the year off I was asked to give a professional development for the 4th - 7th grade teachers in my county.  I had the pleasure of working with a friend of mine.   We discussed differentiation and collaboration.  To take a look at the differentiation click here.  To take a look at the collaboration presentation click here

 If you do not have a Prezi account sign up and take the tour.  Click here to go directly to the website.  I really hope you like it!