Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Review of The Oklahoma Land Run

The Oklahoma Land Run by Una Belle Townsend. Illustrated by Emile Henriquez.

One of the best ways to get children interested in studying history is to read them age-appropriate, historical fiction. This gives children a context through which they can better understand historical events.

The Oklahoma Land Run by Una Belle Townsend provides such a context for a study of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. The book is about nine-year-old boy, Jesse, who must drive the family's wagon in the big Land Run race because his father has injured his arm. Children will relate to Jesse's courage, fears, and resourcefulness as he undertakes a tough mission for the good of the family. Throughout the story, readers are introduced to just enough facts about the Land Run and Oklahoma to excite interest in learning more. Best of all, the illustrations are absolutely delightful, making this book a joy to read for both young and old. A must-have book for those of you teaching Oklahoma HIstory, as well as for parents who are looking for enjoyable children's literature that also teaches.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Great Depression Lesson Plans

Use the material available from the Library of Congress to create a unit on The Great Depression. Includes links to primary documents.

ABC Letter Templates

Thanks to Laura on OKHSMoms-INFO group for this source: ABC Letter Templates.

While you're at it, here's a worksheet to practice converting fractions, decimals and percentages.

Friday, July 10, 2009

FREE Trial Offer for My Readers:

Teacher Created Resources has given me permission to offer my readers a 15-day FREE Trial to Classroom Zoom. You will NOT have to set up a credit card account to take advantage of this trial subscription. Simply:

1) Go to www.classroomzoom.com/register

2) Create a user name and password

3) Enter code: 62MZE6C

4) Then click continue

Now you can try it for yourself. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Classroom Zoom by Teacher Created Resources

Teacher Created Resources has released a new service for educators and homeschooling parents called, Classroom Zoom.

This is a subscription-based service that provides lessons and activities from Teacher Created Resources, in addition to lessons and activities available only to members. Here is an overview of the resources available and my take on them:

Lessons – You can search the lessons by subject, keyword or grade level. There are many to choose from in all subject areas including science, math, history, geography, and language arts. The history lessons are not quite as extensive as the other subjects, partly because lessons for K-3rd grade tend to be social studies instead of history. This is my only complaint about the whole service. I would like to see more history lessons for K-3rd graders. You can save the lessons you like as favorites for easy access later, or you can print them for use in your home or classroom. The science and language arts lessons include lots of excellent worksheets such as completing diagrams, labeling maps, matching, writing short answers or paragraphs and more.

Math Wizard5 Stars! I love this. You can create all types of math worksheets with this handy tool, including addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, fractions, money, conversion and time. They look professional, too!

Word Wizard. Create a word list to use in a variety of ways: Make Bingo cards, pocket charts, fill-in missing letters, flash cards, word bank (use for definitions or sorting into categories), word cube (this would be great for literature topics), scrambled letters and Venn diagrams.

Crossword Puzzle Creator – super easy! It looks professional, too!

Word Search Creator: another easy-to-use tool.

Clip Art – not a lot here, but helpful.

Multimedia Collections – 5 Stars! This is my favorite tool on the site and is worth the subscription all by itself. Your kids can use this tool to create multimedia projects - an excellent exercise to demonstrate what they have learned. Each collection includes audio sound bytes, videos, clip art, primary documents and photos. Topics include: Explorers, American Revolution, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, California Missions, Civil War, Cold War, Colonial America, Immigration and Ellis Island, Industrial Revolution, Medieval Times, Renaissance, 20s and 30s, 50 states, US Constitution, Westward Expansion, World War I and World War II.

The $49.99 per year subscription price is not a lot to pay for all the tools available here. For those of you who like multi-level teaching, unit studies and other eclectic homeschooling styles, you will find this resource worth the money. This is also an excellent tool to use along with The Checklist!

NOTE: Since I posted this, I have been informed by the creators that they are "furiously working" to make history worksheets available for K-3rd. They hope to have them available in a month or two.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kahri Lynn is the Winner!

Kahri Lynn is the winner of my June Giveaway - Hands-On Heritage Africa Activity Book. Congratulations Kahri!