The pandemic has spurred me to look at my child’s academic progress in a new light. I’m asking myself, “What has he learned up to this point? What does he need to learn?”
I know that state testing usually drives instruction. There’s a ton of pressure on administration, teachers, and students to perform well on the test. Unfortunately, this laser focus on test scores often drowns out other important subjects that are not found on these state tests.
My son’s knowledge of geography stood out as lacking. As an incoming 6th grader, he could only identify five of the fifty United States. I might be dating myself here, but the segments of late night TV hosts asking people on the street basic information like this only for them to have NO idea flashed through my mind!!
We might consider it general knowledge, but learning U.S. geography is not as simple as handing someone a map. So, I created a three pronged approach and straightforward U.S. geography resources.
First, we look at the 5 regions of the United States. We study one region at a time and work on state identification within that region. After completing the flip book page, I have him use an atlas to complete the states & capitals crossword puzzle. When he feels confident, he takes the state identification quiz for that region.
Once we have completed the flipbook, states and capitals crossword puzzles, and region quiz, I give the U.S. map fluency test. I have him graph his progress each time he takes the test. This provides multiple opportunities for him to practice and motivation.
**Although some teachers zero in on the tested subjects of math and language, great teachers aim for delivering a more well rounded education . They regularly include geography, the arts, history, life skills, and social emotional lessons in their yearlong plan.
If you are interested in checking out the U.S. geography unit I use, click here!
You might also be interested in my post How to Teach Main Idea.
(Peas in a Pod)
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