Tuesday, October 8, 2013

South Carolina Elevation Maps

We are writing to you from dreary Charleston.  Normally we have beautiful sunshine, but it has been dark, gray, and rainy the last few days.  Our Headmaster always says that rain is "liquid sunshine" but I'm having a hard time agreeing to that when I'm outside for carpool!

Our third graders study South Carolina history, but our first chapter delves into the geography of our state.  We focus on the regions, the rivers, and South Carolina's natural environment.  For some reason, the kids are so good at memorizing the regions of the state.  They love it!  We did some fun foldables to keep them engaged.

After learning the regions and the different elevations found in our state, we made an elevation map using food.  Each region's elevation was depicted by a type of food that can be found in South Carolina.  We used grits for the Coastal Zone, rice for the Inner/Outer Coast Plain, split peas for the Sandhills, beans for the Piedmont, and marshmallows for the Blue Ridge. 

 The idea is that the Blue Ridge Region has the highest elevation (about 3,000 feet) so the marshmallows stand up higher than any other part of the map.

Despite being covered in glue and exhausted after this activity, I'm so glad we did it.  Our kids love it and it brings Social Studies to life. :) Do any of you do something similar with your state?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Five for Friday!

Well, hello there!  We have been SERIOUSLY neglecting this little ol' blog.  Maybe there will be a year when we don't reinvent every lesson plan the wheel?!  Maybe there will be a year when we don't re-do 75% of our stuff to make it better whilst blogging?!  Nah.  That'd make things way too boring!!  :)

We've had a wild week!!!  Read on to hear how we raised 10K in one week and download a new freebie we put on TpT today!!  Link up with Kacey so we can see what you've been up to!

1.  South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital Fundraiser
The third grade at our school has a class mascot and since we live in the Lowcountry, we chose our state reptile.  We are the Loggerhead Sea Turtles!  A few years ago, we got the idea to raise money for the Sea Turtles at the South Carolina Aquarium.  Our students participate in a week-long Read-A-Thon and ask sponsors to donate money for every minute they read.  For example, 200 minutes at 10 cents a minute = $20.  Our class donated OVER $10,000 last Friday!  From one week of reading!  The Aquarium Staff cried their eyes out!  We cried!  It was an amazing moment!!!


Do your kids love Scoot as much as ours?  Are they obsessed?  Do they beg to play?  Will they play instead of Recess?  Okay, maybe that last one is a stretch.  ;)  Check out our latest {Rounding Scoot} game that we added to TpT today for FREE.  If you like it, please leave feedback.  It makes our day!  I swear.  :)

3.  Smiley Faces 
Who would have thought 3 little smiley faces would make such a big difference!!!  A few weeks ago, while brainstorming how I was going to start rewarding all my perfect little girls angels amongst a large group of boys I quickly thought of 3 strikes and you're out!   After remembering a pinterest idea about writing on the desk with dry erase markers, I quickly came up with the idea of each kid drawing 3 smiley faces on their desk each morning when they get to school.  Throughout the day they can lose one for not paying attention, blurting out, going ahead and not following directions, etc.  I simply just walk past their desk and wipe a smiley off.  If they end the day with all 3 smileys, they receive a "turtle tap" for their behavior chart.  20 turtle taps and they get to pick a prize.  If they lose all 3 they have to sign our Turtle Log, which is a note home.  I was amazed at how well this works.  Not only are my superstars racking up turtle taps, but my wild monkeys have calmed down.  At the end of the day, I walk around each desk with a Clorox wipe and wipe them all off.  The only down side I have found is at the end of the day my hands look like the good ole days when we were using Vis a Vis pens.  Their desks also look super cute with 3 smileys smiling at them all day!!!

4.   Emily found her A/C remote from school in her purse this afternoon.  She'd been looking for it all week.  Nothing says back to school like this....
5.  I live here?!
I had one of those moments last night.  Check out the gorgeous sunset off the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina.  Not a bad place to call home!

Have a great weekend!  Thanks for reading!