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Inventions that Changed the World

This week in Social Studies and Science, we are learning about inventions that changed the world! These are inventions that have made our lives so much easier. The inventions that we are studying include:
  • Wheel
  •   Plow
  •   Printing press
  • Refrigeration
  •  Telegraph
  • Steam engine
  • Automobile
  •  Light bulb

We started our unit by cutting out our “Invention Trifolds.” These were glued down into our interactive notebooks for reference during the week. 

The trifolds are a great way to start our conversations about the inventions because they cover what life was like BEFORE and AFTER the invention. Change is such a large component of Social Studies – these trifolds are a great way to show how the world and life changed as a result of their invention.

We will be continuing this unit throughout the week. The link for this complete unit can be found below!

Encouraging Curiosity in Science

My boys have always been naturally curious about things in the environment. Since we live in the country, we spend a good part of our time outside and in the middle of nature. I learned when they were young that it was a cheap form of entertainment. It has also spurred on some interesting questions! I can’t count how many times my boys have seen something outside that required further research (I still encourage them to use encyclopedias, I’m old school that way).

            One of my oldest boy’s favorite memories from kindergarten was the day that his teacher decided to take the class outside after a heavy rain. Even though it was too wet to have recess on the playground, she turned their recess time into a learning experience. She gathered yarn (about 1 yard in length each) for each kid and some sandwich meat from the lunch room. She tied a small piece of the sandwich meat to the end of the strings for each kid. They then proceeded to go outside and into the ditch to teach them all how to fish for crawfish (crawdads)! I can only imagine the questions that it inspired of her kiddos. What do they eat? Where are they when it’s dry? Are they always in the ground? She even called ahead to some of the parents and let the kids take them home with them!

            Ever since that day, my son has LOVED to go crawfishing! As a matter of fact, all of my boys do. It just goes to show you how much of an impact your small lessons can have on your students.

            We spent the afternoon crawfishing today.  Is it my favorite thing to do? No. Do my kids love it? – Yes. Did we have some great conversations about animals and nature along the way? Absolutely!

            My youngest was not too interested in the fishing. He was more fascinated with the tracks in the mud made from worms and other critters. He also conducted a mini “Sink or Float” lesson off a small bridge down our road while his brothers were fishing.

            Below I have attached my Animal Habitats FREEBIE research form. It can be used for students of all ages to complete their own research on whatever animal they are curious about – enjoy!

Interview With the Teacher's Kid

            Since it is Spring Break for us, I decided to change things up a bit. I decided that I would interview my middle son, Riley, to get his perspective on having his mom for his teacher. I am currently teaching him this year. My district is small – I am the only second grade teacher. I taught my oldest son two years ago and have Riley in my class this year. Here is how the interview went down…

Me: OK, let’s start with an easy question. What’s your favorite color?
Riley: Blue
Me: What’s your favorite thing to do?
Riley: Ride go-carts – have you seen how dirty the little one is right now?!

Me: Yes, it’s lovely. What’s your favorite subject?
Riley: Like in school?
Me: Yes
Riley: Recess, duh
Me: What’s been your favorite thing we’ve done so far in school this year?
Riley: Can I pick two things?
Me: Sure
Riley: Well, I really liked learning about the moon because we did that Oreo experiment (we made the phases of the moon with Oreos). But I really like what we’re learning about right now – you know the weather stuff. I really like learning about hurricanes.
Me: What’s the best thing about having your mom for a teacher?
Riley: (long pause, contemplative look) Getting hugs during the day (cheesy smile)
Me: What’s the worst thing about having your mom for a teacher?
Riley: (answers immediately) Your dirty looks

The link for Riley’s favorite Weather Unit is below. We’ll be finishing it after Spring Break. Happy Spring Break! - Kara

Weather Foldables for Interactive Notebooks and Lapbooks

Interactive notebooks are an awesome way to introduce or reinforce information. These Weather foldables serve as a source of information for the students. When printed regular size, the foldables fit perfectly into notebooks.


                However, there are some times when I would rather have a lapbook for my students. Lapbooks can serve as a quick and easy reference when studying a topic. I really like them for units of study that make take more than a week to cover. We simply add a little to them each day. For instance...WEATHER!

 I have found that I can accomplish this by simply adjusting the way that I print them. It’s really easier than you think.

Step 1
Select the pages that you want to print.

Step 2
Decide how many to print per page. You may want to experiment with this to see what size works best for you.  I have found that 2 or 4 per page works really well. Any more than 4 is really just too small.

All of these weather foldables (and more) are available in my Weather Foldables for Interactive Notebooks and Journals!

Duct Tape to the Rescue!

DUCT TAPE … Who doesn’t love duct tape? This year I’ve been having a problem of my dry erase markers disappearing. We do lots of activities with white boards and my markers have “wandered” away. I decided to solve this problem by wrapping them with decorative duct tape. Why not? It can fix just about everything else!