My class does monthly thematic units related to social studies. As you read yesterday, we are finishing up Geography and gearing up to start our election unit. I organize this curriculum a little bit different than my other subject areas. It’s a little less structured and more flexible (I know, how crazy of me!). Honestly, our afternoons get pretty chaotic. Most of my students do inclusion for specials during in the afternoon and between having 3 grade levels with 3 specials each (gym, music, and library) – it seems like my classroom literally has a revolving door. I wanted to set up social studies so it could be done with the help of an adult but could also be done independently if needed (since half the time my aides are at inclusion during this time).
About 3-4 kids have social studies at a time. It’s not in a set time period like my morning rotations – it’s a little more fluid. This has worked out so far! We do this after Guided Reading in the afternoon. Most my kids have this station after their independent work so since they don’t all finish at the same time, the spacing has worked out.
I make a ‘high’ packet of worksheets that includes comprehension, vocabulary, and writing worksheets. Then I also make a ‘low’ packet of worksheets with matching and tracing worksheets. I use the ‘low’ packet for my students who do not write. We use this packet for the whole month. In each packet I usually have 2 or 3 of each worksheet so students will have a chance to work on each worksheet more than once. Each student has a folder with their packet.
My coworker and I share social studies and science planning. Best idea ever – such a time saver! I highly recommend trying this if you can. She plans and preps science for both of our classrooms and I do social studies. This works out SUPER well! Why double your workload if you don’t need to? So I have a bin for each of our class’s folders.
Students do one worksheet from their packet each day. Some days when an adult is there they also do an activity such as Bingo, I have Who has?, color pictures, practice flashcards, or read an adapted book. I store all social studies materials in a drawer right beneath the folders.
I was going to make a schedule for the week of when to do each activity (ie. Monday is bingo, Tuesday is books, etc.) but I decided to leave it up to the aide that is in charge of this station. She has done an awesome job improvising and organizing the activities. However, some paraprofessionals work better when given a structured routine. Think about what would work best for your assistants.
Happy Monday everyone 🙂 Hope you all have a great week!
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