Make no assumptions and be pleasantly surprised


Front and Center - 1986

Make no assumptions and be pleasantly surprised was my first of many mantras as a special education teacher. I remember the disappointment and surprise as a rookie teacher when one of my third graders pointed at a bird on the playground and said,"look at the duck!" It was really a seagull, and the community we resided in was surrounded by beaches. How could she have not known that? You quickly learn that nurture vs. nature both play a huge role in who a kid is. That incident was 28 years ago.

Long story short, today we were reviewing map skills in the resource room, and lo and behold, one of my sixth graders actually thought Hawaii and Alaska were south of the continental USA! Well, she thanked me for showing her that both states are quite a distance away and not south of Texas. She said no oimage-1ne ever told her that before. She just assumed that since that was how she had always seen them placed on the map. Turns out, my next class didn't fair much better and even some eighth graders had difficulty placing Alaska on the proper continent. Bingo, back to the seven continents and one of my favorite oldies but goodies, Owl & Mouse, “Great, I suggested,  we can use our iPads everyone please pull up this URL.” Then we stopped dead in our tracks - Smoothwall: another site blocked...

The good news is we were able to pull up this wonderful interactive map website on our trusty PC’s (that we are lucky enough to have four of). We played away; this time around the kids was asking me the name of the site rather than the app, so they could play at home. If you DO have access to iPads, here are two great apps to learn about USA Geography:

State Bingo and US Roadtrip by Niyaa Apps

Geography Drive USA by Spinlight Studios



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