Meaningful Map Facts

April 19, 2014

Meaningful Map Facts

April 19, 2014
Hello! I wanted to share a little activity that has helped in a big way in our class this year. This activity complements one I shared back in February, Utilizing Those Nonfiction Text Features.
During our unit on explorers, our class encountered numerous helpful maps. The only problem? With so much information on the textbook pages, I wasn’t sure my students were really analyzing the maps carefully.

So we devoted one whole lesson to strictly analyzing a map.
Doesn’t that always feel nerve-wracking? Like you should be covering more in a lesson? But I’ve learned that these really focused lessons are the ones with the biggest payoff in the end.
taking a look
At first glance, it looked at though it showed a bunch of famous explorers and their routes (I’m thinking like a 5th grader here…you can tell, right??):
then a closer look..
But upon closer analysis, we noticed so much more. We began with a turn and talk. The partners identified tons of additional information to what we had already known so far. Explorers who had chosen similar paths. Others who claimed lands. Treaties that had to be drawn up. Unique routes to Asia. The list went on and on.
taking note
We then turned to a simple template to record a bulleted list of facts we could pull from the map. Meaningful facts…ones that tied into our prior knowledge of these explorers.
Soon the pencils were flying, filling the page up with all the things they had learned from this one map.
After sharing our findings as a whole class, we were amazed to see all we had learned from this map. 
And it gets even better!

 unexpected benefits
We had accomplished what I had hoped for in this lesson…my students had analyzed the maps collaboratively and independently. They made and noted key observations, extending their understanding of this topic.
However, I didn’t realize at the time how much the information would stick!
Weeks later, as we were working on our informational texts (all about explorers!) I conferenced with student after student who recalled details for their research from this map. “Remember how Magellan found that waterway in South America to get to the Pacific Ocean? It was on that map we looked at,” they told me.
I couldn’t have been any happier!
These connections and understandings are the kind I’m always striving to achieve with all of my students, especially my newcomer English Language Learners. Knowing that the information had stayed with my students proved how meaningful the lesson was.
I do have some more to share about using maps in Social Studies, but I will save that for next time. In the meantime…
would you like to try it out?
If you would like to grab a copy of the fact template, please click on the preview image below:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2ARzMSbNzXNTG1ZcW1SbmZUTzg/edit?usp=sharing
I hope it is as helpful in your classroom as it has been in ours! Thanks for visiting! 🙂

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  • I’ve been reading, watching, listening, and trying to learn. I realize this alone is not enough. I want to speak but I am always afraid my words are not the right ones. But even if speaking is not my strength, I know I can take more action and this is what I will do. I'm grateful for everyone who is sharing actions we can take right away.
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Thank you to @thedesignerteacher for sharing this image...Sarah has shirts with the same design and all proceeds go to @aclu_nationwide. #blacklivesmatter
  • How’s it going with your classroom cleanup? I had a two hour block the other day and will have a whole day next week to do more. It’s surreal. Hope you are all doing well ❤️
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#distancelearning #remotelearning #missmystudents #missmyclassroom #iteachfourth #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • Not one thing worked today. Not zoom. Not google meet. Two weeks to go and I am missing my classroom more than ever!!!
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How much distance learning do you have left??
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#distancelearning #remotelearning #notmyfavorite #missmystudents #andmyclassroom
  • Google drive shortcuts at a glance!
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I know I shared these in a pdf the other day but I wanted to show another way to display these little time-savers.
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I split them into two files and resized them so they could stay at the top of my drive as a reference point...no need to open anything, just a couple of mini reference charts!
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If you would like to try the same, please click the link in my profile to grab a copy or visit: bit.ly/shortcutsataglance
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They are in one google slide together. To view them separately, make a second copy of the file and delete the first slide. Now you will have two google slides you can keep at the top of your drive.
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I hope you can use them! I can't get enough of them!!
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#googledrive #distancelearning #distanceteaching #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • I'm LOVING these time-saving shortcuts for google drive!
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I compiled some of my favorite shortcuts that have eliminated a lot of double-clicking on items...as well as right-clicking and selecting from a drop down menu. These things can get pretty tedious when you are trying to move quickly, right? Especially with the amount of time we are working in google drive during distance learning!
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The first set of shortcuts will work on anything you have selected in your drive. So if you select a doc, you can simply click one of these letters/symbols and be on your way.
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The second set features a faster way to open up new docs, slides, sheets, and more. For these shortcuts, simply click the shift key along with the letter shown in the chart. So much faster than the traditional way!
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I made a pdf of these shortcuts...you can save the file in your drive or even print a copy if you would like. Please see the link in my profile or visit: bit.ly/googledriveshortcutschart
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I hope they help save you some time during distance learning!
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Which one do you think will be the most handy? My two favorites right now are the renaming shortcut and the share shortcut!!
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#googledrive #googledocs #distancelearning #distanceteaching #iteachfourth #iteach456 #iteach4th #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • Who else loves a good shortcut??
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I seriously LOVE shortcuts. It may sound like such a small thing, but a one-click shortcut saves SO much time rather than double-clicking or right-clicking and selecting from a drop down menu.
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But just one little click? Then you are on your way in an instant!
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And these google shortcuts are just that...lovely, one-click shortcuts!
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These are some of my favorites I started using last year...and now with all this distance learning I have found them to be so valuable as I navigate my google drive:
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Open a folder or document: click letter o
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Rename a folder or document: click letter n
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Preview a document: click letter p
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Share a document: click the dot symbol
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And that's all! Select any folder or document you are working on, click on of these letters/symbols, and you are on your way to the next step in your work!
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I have a few more shortcuts to share and would love to put them together in a document that can be saved/printed...can anyone use this? Let me know and I will share it tomorrow!
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Happy shortcutting!! And, more importantly, happy weekend my friends!
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#googledrive #googledocs #teachertimesaver #distancelearning #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram

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