This week was my first one teaching lessons formally to the children. I began with Social Studies, and we were learning Geography. My cooperating teacher said that every year, her incoming fourth graders seem to still not know the difference between city, state, country, and continent. And upon introduction to the topic, if I asked what country we lived in, most said the name of our state. If I asked our continent, most said USA. It is sad, but fourth graders know the names for all of these places, and know the words continent and country...but clearly have not yet connected the two.
To emphasize the difference, I introduced a project with a youtube jingle (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g-Px4TRZgU) so they all had some basic sense of what each was. Then we began the project, which was to represent each land area on a circle corresponding to the size of that area. Here is an example of my model:
It took a half day longer than anticipated, but my kids definitely understood the differences by the end. They had to ask for the next sheet using proper terminology, and my cooperating teacher heard them helping each other and discussing directions. Each page had it's own little activity. Map skills and emphasizing the cardinal directions were emphasized as they are other skills that will be on their test this week.
Overall, I am pleased with how it turned out. This week is a pretty dull week, mostly prepping for an exam and introducing new units. I am teaching social studies and science this week. I love science, so I am really looking forward to that, but it is amazing how long the past two weeks feel. I can't believe I am only entering my third week. I can't believe in a month I will be entering my final week for this placement.