Welcome to the 21st Century!

I’m trying something new this year.  PowerPoint.  Yeah…I’ve really only made a few of these in my life, nearly all for my jeopardy review games in class so I’m not that great at it yet.  However, some of our teachers have gotten SmartBoards in their classrooms, and the kids are responding really well to lessons that use the projections.  I mean, it’s not surprising, I’ve just never had access to those types of resources.  In any case, I do have a projector, so I figured I’ll give this power point thing a try with my first unit – Mapping! 

I have a class sets of atlases but the skill levels of my students are all over the place.  Many of them have a basic grasp on how to read a map, and others are totally clueless.  I usually do some kind of whole class activity meant to help them understand the map features, but it’s never worked as well as I’d have liked.  They need some sort of actual direct instruction on how to read maps, so I’ve spent the last 3 hours (jeez it’s taking forever!) putting together an interactive power point that shows the different parts of a map (title! scale! key/legend! latitude and longitude lines! compass rose!) and then has the kids practice some of the skills in the atlas all along the way. 

I am fairly impressed with my efforts but 7th graders can be a tough crowd, so we’ll see how it goes this week.

Speaking of tough crowds, have you seen the previews for a new show on A&E about…wait for it….Tony Danza as an English Teacher?  Apparently he taught two sections of an English class for an entire year.  I can only imagine.

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