Changes to the blog

We certainly hope everyone has enjoyed their summer and found some time to relax.  As we prepare for the new school year, we will be making some changes to the blog.  The blog will now focus solely on middle school, meaning USI, USII, and Civics and Economics.  Next week we will remove the elementary and high school pages. 

We will also be updating the middle school pages with revised activities that correlate with the 2008 standards.  This will be an ongoing process as we’re working to revise those materials now.  But the games and powerpoints that we had posted previously will be uploaded in the near future.  We hope you will find these materials helpful!

MacArthur Memorial Workshop

The MacArthur Memorial and the Virginia War Memorial are offering two workshops this month focusing on MacArthur and WWII.  These workshops are aligned to VA SOL’s, have no registration fee, include lunch, and are eligible for recertification points.  The workshop on June 21st is in Richmond at the Virginia War Memorial, and on June 30th at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk.  The workshop in Norfolk will also include a behind the scenes tour of the Memorial and archives.  Both workshops are from 10am to 3pm.  Registration should be submitted by June 14th.  Check out a flyer MacArthur Teacher Institute 2011 or sign up for the workshops at  I’ve talked with the people at the Memorial and they are very helpful and I’m sure this will be a fantastic and beneficial workshop.

Voices of the Civil War from Pilotonline

The Virginian Pilot has a special section to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It began this past Sunday, and an additional section will be added each week through May 8th.  There is a timeline by year, with images, text, and letter/diary entries from various perspectives.  There are also audio readings of letters or diary entries from various people, including a Confederate soldier, an abolitionist, and a Union soldier.  There might be something here that will help out during the SOL review period, so it’s worth checking out.

New York Stock Exchange Virtual Field Trip

Discovery Education is organizing a virtual field trip to the New York Stock Exchange on April 14, 2011.  The trip is scheduled from noon to 1pm eastern time. 

Students will have the opportunity to interact with market professionals, executives, and financial experts.  There will be pre and post visit classroom connectors for teachers, as well as student activities.  For more information, and to register your class for this opportunity, visit the Discovery Education website.

Civil War at Smithsonian

My copy of Smithsonian Magazine arrived in the mail yesterday, and it focuses on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  So I decided to see what kinds of online resources they had that might be of use in a classroom.

If you visit their website, they have a timeline which is organized by year, as well as collections from the portrait gallery on various Civil War related topics.  Each topic includes a photo as well as relevant information.  There is also a link to the National Postal Gallery, which has some information on Civil War letters.  The portrait gallery collections I think would be useful to share with students, especially since it includes all of the information you’ll need for each piece.

February Giveaways

We have a few items left over to give away to our Portsmouth teachers.  With the exception of one third grade item, everything else is up for grabs by any grade level.  Please leave a comment and let us know which item you want and we’ll get it in the pony to you. 

Large Constitution (poster sized)

Desk size, laminated world map

3rd Grade Timeline

2 Jefferson Prints

5 Lincoln Magazines

Agriculture Map

Wall Map and Large Laminated World/US Map

*Update:  The Constitution, 3 of the Lincoln magazines, agriculture map and the world map have been claimed!

USII and Civics and Economics Materials

Now that second semester has begun, our Civics and Economics and US II teachers have made the switch to the new 2008 curriculum standards.  Therefore the materials on the blog on those pages are now obselete because they have not been revised to match new standards.  The USII and Civics and Economics pages will have all of their materials removed immediately to avoid any confusion and accidental use of old materials with the new standards.

Since Sarah and I now focus on grades K-6, we have unfortunately not been able to revise the USII and CE standards.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

12 days of Christmas Giveaway Day 12: K-6

Congratulations to Ms. Kelly, 4th grade at Churchland Elementary, for winning yesterday’s giveaway.

Today we have a grab bag of items.  We’ll list the items (and applicable grade levels).  The first Portsmouth teacher to comment will get the items.  Please let us know which items you’re commenting for, as some items are available for teachers across various grades, and we have several copies of some items.  Good luck, and enjoy your break!

K-1:  “It’s on the map” reader with picture/question cards and an assessment book.

4th or 6th grade:  Declaration of Independence poster

K-6:  Color print of Thomas Jefferson, suitable for framing (we have 4 available)

K-6:  Magazine about Abraham Lincoln, celebrating the bicentennial of his birth (7 available)

K-6:  Desk map and wall map (you will receive both)

*Update:  Ms. Kelly (Churchland Academy) won the copy of the Declaration of Independence.  Ms. Faulkner (Churchland Elementary) won the “It’s on the map” reader, and Ms. Wilson (Churchland Elementary) won one of the Abraham Lincoln magazines.  There are still plenty of items left!

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 11: 4th Grade

Congratulatiosn to Ms. Ingram at Simonsdale for winning yesterday’s giveaway.

Today we are giving away a lesson taught by Sarah and Lisa to a 4th grade teacher.  The same stipulation applies:  to win this lesson, you may NOT be a previous winner.  First 4th grade Portsmouth teacher (who is not a previous winner) will get to schedule a time with Sarah and Lisa to come in and teach a lesson to your class.  Good luck!