From there, I could tell that they didn't really know a lot about maps. Which was good! We had almost 8 weeks for this unit so I knew we had time. We sat down together to make a list of the components we noticed in the maps we looked at for I See, I Think, I Wonder. Most of the time, they were pretty close in naming the parts of a map. For the most part, we stuck with the terms they coined throughout the unit. The only exception was that we changed "square lines" to "coordinates."
Giving them stickers to mark what the students wanted to find out about was a great strategy. It gave me a starting point for Finding Out. There weren't many surprised either. For example, Scale and Coordinates were something I knew they would have little to no idea about.
Eventually, we connected the Math and Map skills together in a T-Chart. I am still thinking about how to do this step of the cycle in a more student centred way....but then again, I suppose these methods still have a place as long as the purpose is clear to the teachers and students. It wasn't just busy work....I tried to make the objective and possible applications clear.
We thought we would Go Further by making sure we "got it" by working together to make a class map. The good old "taping the floor" trick came back again. It's fun to nudge the students with the right questions to make them think some things are their idea!
I didn't make a Sorting Out page.....I thought we were nailing that in both the Finding Out and Going Further. Also, we kept crossing off the Components of Maps list we made during Tuning in as we mastered various mapping skills. I could be wrong but I'm starting to think the Inquiry Cycle is just a guideline, not something that we have to chain ourselves to!
Before we could begin, we created our own assessment. It made sense to look at the Components of Maps list from Tuning In to base our rubric on. Also, dividing the descriptors by lines of inquiry really made sure we were hitting what we needed to hit. It led to a lot of lively debate. Think-Pair-Share was a great way to make sure everyone got to share their opinions.
I shared these questions below with the class before they began. They needed to be able to answer them in their websites once their map was complete. So, they needed to consider the answers before they got started. It helped to focus them. Also, questions such as "Why would you make a map of your bedroom? Don't you already know your way around it? Who needs that?" really made them think about the true purpose of maps.
- bringing in maps, atlases and compasses from home to share
- asking their parents how to use GPS apps on their phones and tablets
- making maps on their own, treasure maps were popular
- practicing extra measurement questions on IXL at home
- taking out atlases and map themed books from the Library
Altogether, I liked how this unit combined Math and Social Studies in a practical way. Also, combining Math into my UOI gave me loads of time to focus on reading and writing. When you integrate subjects, it really opens up your timetable! I got to do so much stuff in language that I normally wouldn't have time to do. It really sold me on the value of integrating subjects, it goes a long way towards that never-ending teacher woe of not having enough time to cover what we need to cover. A long way..but never all the way! If any of you have completely solved that problem, let me know how!