Teach U.S. geography with 6 FREE cumulative quizzes

lectureSix FREE cumulative quizzes make it easy to teach and learn US geography.  Start with easy-to-identify states, then build up until students can label all of them.

I developed this system because I noticed that most students (in any grade) do not know basic U.S. geography.  Rather than teaching geography by region, I decided to teach by ease of memorization.  Level 1 features states that are easy to pick out on the map, usually because of location or shape.  Easily mixed-up states are on higher levels, but students have no trouble learning them because they already know most of the states by then.  The tests also ask students to learn bodies of water, neighboring countries, and the Great Lakes.

The tests are cumulative.  For each level, new states are indicated by a large question mark and previously learned states by a smaller question mark.

For level 3, teach students two tricks: MIMAL is the name of the chef shown in profile on the map.  The states are Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  Minnesota is the hat, Louisiana is the boot, and Missouri is the belly.

For the Great Lakes, teach students that Super Man Helps Every One.  From left to right, the lakes are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario.

Quiz 1

Quiz 2

Quiz 3

Quiz 4

Quiz 5

Quiz 6

U.S. Geography Challenge master goes on the back of each quiz.

Copy the U.S. Geography Challenge page on the back of each map.  One page covers the whole unit.  For extra credit or a treat, students can fill in the states for upcoming lessons.  The US Geography Challenge page gives postal codes for each state.   I recommend students use those codes on the map.  It’s easier than squishing in state names and a good way to learn the postal codes.

Posted in Academics,Social Studies by Corey Green @ Apr 25, 2016

 

Offer a choice of two

I learned the “offer a choice of two” tip from a mom volunteer, who smoothly distributed about 5 flavors of popsicles with all students feeling like they had a choice in the treat they were given.  I realized that offering a choice of 2 has many classroom management applications:

— It speeds up questioning that’s intended to keep the lesson going, not spark deep thought.  “Should we put the apostrophe before or after the s?” instead of “Where should we put the apostrophe?”

— It gives students options without overwhelming them with choices: “Would you like to use markers or crayons?” instead of “What would you like to color with?”

— It offers students a pseudo-choice: “Would you like to calm down and do the activity with us, or refocus in another classroom?” instead of “Shape up or ship out.”  (also a choice of 2, actually)

— It teaches kids to make a decision, then stick with it.  Most decisions in life are not worth over-thinking.  Your mom’s birthday card will look good whether you use red paper or pink.  Just pick one!

Posted in Classroom Management,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ Apr 18, 2016

 

Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary! D.E.A.R.

bookWhat do Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Beezus and Ramona Quimby, Otis Spofford, Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse have in common?  They’re celebrating Beverly Cleary’s birthday on April 12th.

April 12th also is National Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) Day.  D.E.A.R. is a reading celebration that encourages families to make reading together on a daily basis a family priority.

Beverly Cleary’s beloved character, Ramona Quimby, is the program’s official spokesperson. Ramona is responsible for spreading the word and the love of reading.  All this came about because Beverly Cleary received many letters from readers who participated in D.E.A.R. at their schools, so she gave the same experience to Ramona in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (link to amazon, book and movie).

The goal of National D.E.A.R. Day is to show families how to make time to drop everything and read.  It’s easy to set up and host your own celebration.   The D.E.A.R. website features information and tools to promote your celebration. There’s also a list of Favorite Read-Aloud Titles for Families of D.E.A.R. Readers

Students get really excited about D.E.A.R. in the classroom: have them read any and all books by Beverly Cleary.  My parents read her books when they were in elementary school, and now Beverly Cleary’s books are published in twenty countries in fourteen languages.  Beverly Cleary’s autobiographies, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet
, fueled my dreams of writing children’s books.

Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary!  Now, I’m off to read!

Posted in Accelerated Reader (AR) by Corey Green @ Apr 11, 2016