This summer is my final summer with my sweet two-year old boy without our newborn so I am trying to soak in all the business and excitement I can get with him. I created two "calendars" to help us have a purposeful summer and I thought I'd share them with you! I realize that this forum has been created for high school teachers but I definitely think these could help with my classroom and I will share with you how I plan to use them. The first one pictured above is a weekly guide for us to follow. I don't know about you, but I crave stability when I take a class. I like to know what is coming and have a routine to follow. It makes it easier as a student and definitely as a teacher planning each week. This summer with my busy little man, on Mondays we will make a craft or recipe pertaining to the letters of the alphabet we are working on that week. On Tuesdays, we will visit our local library and Wednesday we will do more home schooling and chores around the house. Our local movie theater also has $1 movies throughout the summer that we will probably try on a Wednesday. Thursday is pool day and Friday is field trip day where we go try something local (or if mom is tired, the grocery store). I know it's hokey!
This is how I would incorporate it into my U.S. History class: Memorial Monday (highlight a person from the unit to either have a memorial service for or allow students to write obituaries on), Tie-it-Together Tuesday (review the unit and fill in any gaps in learning), With-it Wednesday (a unit quiz followed by a current events discussion of the previous unit), Turbulent Thursday (discussion or activity of how difficult life was during that unit...or war) and Fix-it Friday (present a problem to the class and ask them, through research, to come up with a solution). For example, during our unit on the Spanish-American War, on Monday I could have a Memorial Service for Theodore Roosevelt asking students to write or act in character of a Rough Rider assigning groups to chronicle different stages of Roosevelt's life. On Tuesday, we could review imperialism and make maps of the American empire using various mediums. On Wednesday, a brief quiz with an article to read and discuss on current American imperialism. We could have a classroom debate as to whether we think President Obama is a jingoist or an imperialist. On Thursday, we could do activities on Yellow Fever, Yellow Journalism & the Panama Canal. On Friday, I would present them a question. "What if the U.S. still wanted to be an imperial power?" "What if we owned Central America and Canada?" or "What if Spain won the Spanish-American War?" "How would the U.S. look today?" "What would Cuba look like?" This allows students in groups to present information based on research using critical thinking skills.
I also made the toddler and I a "bucket list" based on activities surrounding learning how to write the alphabet. What if at the beginning of the year/semester, you worked with your students to come up with a "bucket list" for the curriculum? What would they want to do when talking about World War II? What do they want to do when talking about Vietnam? This would allow you to measure previous knowledge and get some fun ideas for what to do with them throughout the semester. We had a re-creation of the major 6 battles of the American Revolution in my Dual Enrollment class this past spring. They acted out the entire battle using marshmallows or water balloons (whatever they chose). They brought drums and downloaded bugle music to play. It was amazing. That was definitely on their "bucket list" and I think everyone enjoyed being able to visually understand the battles. I will work on a sample bucket list for my class for the semester to share with you!