Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mapping Centres

Second of week of school and it was time to introduce social studies centres. I have a small enough class that I was able to do this early. Despite a smaller class (22), the class make up made me decide to keep the groups small, especially as it is September.  When I do centres I almost always have one if not two technology centres.


I wanted to address a variety of different learning styles/multiple intelligences. 

  1. Video - On Discovery Education there is a 15 minute video called Maps: Keys to Everywhere. (logic smarts)
  2. Books - I have a number of books on mapping at the grade 1-3 level. As well, I raided the balanced literacy leveled book supply for six copies of Where Do We Live, Really. (word smarts)
  3. Puzzles - I have a floor puzzle that is a map of Canada and a few 100 piece map of Canada puzzles. (people smarts)
  4. I created a worksheet where students had to follow instructions and draw a map. (picture smarts)
  5. I had a worksheet on file called Another Close Call - where students have to follow directions and answer questions about a map based on the story the Three Little Pigs. (word smarts)
  6. Internet games - I have a collection of online activities that support the topics for mapping in grade two. I put these on my class website along with embedding a video/song about the provinces/territories of Canada we have be watching in class. (music smarts and logic smarts)
  7. I broke students up into six groups, making sure there was someone who was a stronger reader in each group to support their peers if I was not nearby. I put these on the Smartboard so students could see which centre they were to be in. 


It worked really well. We did four rotations, so will do the last two rotations this week. The small groups minimized problems and those that came up I was able to problem solve. Most of the work was at a level where students were challenged but did not need a great deal of assistance, so I was able to circulate and support as necessary. Students in the book and worksheet groups had the option of working on their own (self smarts) or with their peers (people smarts). 

The task that students were the least on task for was the book centre. I have a large number of students not yet reading at a grade one level. Originally I had planned on making it partner reading however many of my groups had only three students. 

I realized that I had titled one of the worksheets "Make a Map" on the Smartboard but the actual sheet was Draw a Map. That caused a bit of confusion. A few students finished the worksheets about 4 - 5 min. before we switched centres. So I gave them the option of adding details and colouring to their work or they could work on a mapping vocabulary word search in their booklets. All the other centres had built in extensions. The book centre had enough books that students just kept choosing new books. The puzzle centre had the big puzzle and a small puzzle. Once students were done the big puzzle, they could then try the small one (only one group actually made it to the small puzzle). On my class website I put a number of mapping links that students could work on and revisit if they completed them all. The video centre was my timer. I kept an eye on how much time the students had left in that centre and when there was only 5 minutes left, I put a timer up on the Smartboard. 

Internet Resources

Canada Map Puzzle
CG Kids Map of Canada Puzzle
Map Skills – Compass Skills
Interactive Map: Use a Compass Rose