Thursday, October 05, 2006

Small Pleasures

This is going to sound awfully silly but, I have just discovered the joys of color transparencies. Tomorrow I am giving a lesson on climate to a group of 4th graders. During the lesson we will be discussing weather, natural resources such as rivers and other water sources, elevation, landforms and industry. When looking for the definition of climate it surprised me to find that it was weather over a period of 30 years. So I went looking for a weather database. I found one and was delighted with all the different types of information I could gather from it. Then, because we are looking at the different regions of Texas I went looking for a map which showed them. I found wonderfully colorful maps of Texas showing all kinds of stuff. So I printed a couple to see how they looked on paper...and promptly decided they would look cool on an overhead projector. So I made copies of no less than 4 different maps all of them in color and a copy of one data chart so that I could show the kids how to pull the information we needed from it. Now I am ready to go and in glowing greens, blues, yellows and browns. I even have some pinks and grays thrown in somewhere. (g)

So what are the maps I'm taking into the classroom going to show?
1) the Texas River Basins and streams, bayous, and coastline,
2) the 7 different travel regions of Texas - these are similar to the geographic regions
3) the natural regions as well as the river basins and such.
4) the precipitation in Texas.

When I get this all put up there for the kids we will discuss them and have tons of fun as I turn two of them into imaginary rain gauges so that we can measure the rain in Texas. We will research our regions by looking up the data for one city in each region. We will then compare the weather of these areas and discuss what it might be like to live and work there. Hopefully all of this color and make believe will hold their attention long enough for the ideas to sink in. And I get graded on this so I want to do my best.

Another small pleasure today was the purchase of a microcassette recorder. I need to record a student reading to me so that was the excuse for this purchase. I figured that later I could use it for recording class lectures at college. In reality I just liked the idea of going small instead of borrowing one of those shoebox sized ones from the library. So now I get to go armed with technology and some really cool looking maps. Who said there was no fun in teaching?

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