Learning about the counties within Minnesota

As a native of Minnesota, I’m always interested in learning more about my home state. It was this that led me to create a new project for middle and junior high students (or younger if you want a challenge). Through a written report, poster, presentation, or brochure, your students will enjoy learning about Minnesota’s 87 counties via this new PBA (project-based assessment) and learning guide (found via the menu above). This PBA is multi-disciplinary as it involves reading, researching, writing, about a Minnesota county (and therefore includes social studies). Dependent on your needs and interests this project can easily be worked on independently or in a group setting. Each county has been formatted into the form of a bookmark.Simply print these pages and cut (there are four per page). To cut down on total pages, the listing of all 87 counties (designed to be the back of all bookmarks) precedes the individual pages. After learners have selected their county (via taking a bookmark or you have handed one to them), they will need to locate where their county is in the state of Minnesota. Have a Minnesota county map available at this time. You will see through the learner handout […]

Book Reports / Book Projects / PBAs

I’m happy to let you know that I’ve been working through many of the book reports and performance-based assessments / project-based assessments I’ve created since my undergraduate degree in order to update and reformat them. All of the PBAs include student choice as well as a range of activities designed to meet the interests of diverse groups of students. Enough are now revised that I’m ready to share a few with you! All of these projects are aimed at middle school and/or high school students. Please download what you find useful and share with anyone else who may be interested. I’ve provided you with three free below however funds are always appreciated as this work is done on my own time. Please consider purchasing through Teachers Pay Teachers or making a donation via the button provided at the end of this post. Amaryllis by Craig Crist-Evans Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett Sold by Patricia McCormick Finally, many of these projects would be suitable in a public library environment as a reading challenge for youth in middle or high school. If you have a book you’d like projects for or you simply want something reformatted, please email me! I’m happy to contract out my time and efforts. Happy […]

Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy

I wrote about Countdown by Deborah Wiles back in February of 2017 and am pleased to share a few resources for Revolution, the 2nd in the Sixties Trilogy by Deborah Wiles. While this documentary novel took me a bit longer to finish, I enjoyed it almost as much as the first in the series. I found the middle of the novel to be a bit slow however the storyline picked up once I reached the third part of the book. Revolution also steps it up a notch in terms of the maturity of the content included. I appreciated this as most of the readers of this novel would be older than they were for the first in the series and they would be building off of their prior knowledge. Just as the first novel did, this one includes a variety of primary documents throughout the text. This is one of the things I liked most as it asks readers to look into the time period and seek out information about the actual events of the time. I believe these novels would fit in well in any middle school or high school library collection. Additionally, these would be a great addition to a course […]

Countdown: The Sixties Trilogy

Having recently finished Countdown by Deborah Wiles, I wanted to share that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this documentary novel. It is the first of The Sixties Trilogy and is so fascinating because though the story is fictional, there are primary documents including photos, advertisements, song lyrics, and speeches interspersed throughout the book. I’m anxious to read Revolutionary (the second) next once my library hold arrives! I believe these novels would fit in well in any middle school or high school library collection. Additionally, these would be a great addition to a course on the 1960s. Have you created a course like this for middle or high school? Email me, I’m working on one! To the resources: Scholastic Book Discussion Guide – includes discussion questions, post-reading activities, an author interview, and websites for additional learning. Countdown PBA (performance-based assessment) – This PBA was created to give students a choice of activities to complete after reading Countdown. There are three different set-ups for this PBA. The first uses the tic-tac-to method of project choices (requires students to complete 3 activities), the second utilizes lists (requires students to complete 2 activities), and the third gives students a choice between all the […]

ReadyGen PBA Resources for Grade 4

I’ve been working with a great colleague from my last position as a school librarian / media specialist to develop materials to assist in implementing the ReadyGen curriculum in her classroom. She teaches fourth grade; therefore, the materials linked below are to be used with ReadyGen4Unit1ModuleA in connection with the first performance-based assessment. This PBA requires students to create a biographical spotlight. The reason I decided to create these materials is because the handouts and other materials directly from the curriculum are not as student-focused as I would like. As a teacher, I want to provide my students with some excitement and drive to complete projects, assignments, and other happenings. Because of this, I find it extremely important for any paper handouts and/or projected images to connect with students in some way. I find the use of fonts, icons, and the organization of the page to be essential with this. I also want every activity related to research to include the act of citing sources. This is an essential component that is all-too-often left out yet a necessary element of being a responsible citizen. ReadyGen4Unit1ModuleA Biographical Spotlight (scientist or researcher) ReadyGen4Unit1ModuleA Biographical Spotlight (on a famous person who has made a difference) ReadyGen4Unit1ModuleA Rubric and […]