When I moved to Tennessee last year and began teaching, I was overwhelmed with the amount of social studies standards for 3rd grade! It was a ton!! I was also overwhelmed by the lack of assessments that were simple enough for an 8 year old to complete, independently, especially at the beginning of third grade.
One of the standards in social studies is for students to identify the state symbols of Tennessee. To teach this standard, I used a slide show that introduced the symbols, then we created a state symbols book, and finally I administered a short, 10 question assessment to test my students’ learning.
The assessment is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, and it is called the Tennessee State Symbols Quiz.
My district has adopted the ELA curriculum Benchmark Advance (BA) for the upcoming school year. I’ve been working through the 3rd grade curriculum, focusing on the “Review and Routines” section of the teachers edition to start. As I’ve been working through, I’ve started to create some additional resources that I plan on using with the BA curriculum in my classroom.
One of the resources that I’ve created is the “Question Jar Questions,” available for FREE in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. This resource includes a list of questions for both fiction and nonfiction texts, and is meant to be used with students following independent reading time.
Are you planning to incorporate robotics and computer coding in to your classroom, STEM Lab, or makerspace this school year? Before handing the robots over to students, I like to give them the opportunity to explore robots in the real world and to learn a little bit about the history of robotics. I feel like this gives students a little more background into the world of robotics and provides some important real-world connections, showing students how the skills gained in my classroom could be applied to their lives.
I begin my “Robot Research” project with a video that quickly outlines the history of robotics. I like this YouTube video, by SciShow. Yes, the guy in the video speaks quickly, but my students have never had difficulty understanding him, especially the older kids.
Following the video, I have students read an article about a specific type of robot, in order to discuss the steps of the engineering design process, and to think about the purpose of that robot and what problem it was invented to solve. I really love using the cockroach robot article, that can be found on NewsELA. If you have a NewsELA account, you can change the reading level of the article for your students. There is also a YouTube video, by UC Berkeley, that shows the cockroach robot in action. So gross and cool at the same time!
I then assign students to research a specific type of robot, usually with a partner or a group of 3. Students watch videos about their robot, and read an article or two. They they create a presentation (Popplet or Slides) that gives a brief overview of their robot. They share their presentations with the rest of the class.
I like incorporating a Robot Research project as an introduction to robotics for a few reasons:
I have created a resource in my teachers pay teachers store “Love-Fleck EdTech” called Robot Research, which includes all of these steps, outlined for easy implementation in the classroom. The resource includes links to several YouTube videos, so be sure that your students will be able to access those videos - either independently or whole class.
All thoughts, opinions, reflections, and ideas are that of Heather Love-Fleck, and not the school district that employs her. She reserves the right to change her thoughts, opinions, reflections, and ideas at any time. Subscribe below!