Have your students participate in the upcoming election using this ballot created by Francie Kugelman, frequent web site contributor….
Download Election Ballot
Tomorrow, members of the Los Angeles teachers’ union, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) will be starting work an hour late to protest proposed state budget cuts to education. With education funding tied largely to property values in California, the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. On the table, if not today then in the near future, is the firing of probationary teachers, increases in class sizes, and cuts to teacher salaries.
For elementary teachers participating in the job action and wondering how to explain what they are doing to their students, I recommend the book, Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type in which the cows go on strike to protest poor working conditions from the farmer. I’ve used this as an introduction to Ceser Chavez and Martin Luther King and to explain previous job actions by teachers.
Whether teachers are right or wrong, the lesson for students can be that sometimes it’s important to peacefully stand up for what you believe in.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere teachers who have used blogging as a modern day platform for their Concept/Question Board.
Alice Mercer has now re-imagined the Concept/Question Board using VoiceThread, an online digital storytelling platform. Here, students record their voices asking questions and telling what they know about the coming unit.
See VoiceThread Online Concept/Question Boards:
Having completed the City Wildlife unit for the first time, these are my thoughts on what the unit is about and how I would approach teaching it next time.
Students already know a little bit about animals. They’ve had the animal unit and the camouflage unit prior to coming to third grade. But this is not just an animals unit…The trick here is in categorizing animals as living in the city or not and talking about the unique challenges that city animals face versus animals living elsewhere.
Graphic organizers which categorize animals by habitat would be helpful (perhaps a tree map) and organizers that compare and contrast living in the city or in rural areas (like a Venn Diagram or Double Bubble) would be helpful.