Photo Dumping or What? American Revolution and more

Sorry in advance.
I haven't been on in a while so I decided to do a little photo dumping tonight.  You're welcome:)
 This is our pre and post assessment for the American Revolution.  There is a wooden box of tea, crown, lantern, Declaration, Constiution, sugar, lobster, coins, Thomas Paine's Common Sense and more.  Students are able to take an assessment on 5 items they can write about that deal with the American Revolution.  It makes a great pretest because students don't know much about these items beforehand.  I love this kind of probe because students really have to dig into more than a simple fact to explain an object and it's significance to the Revolution.

Oh, and a quill.
 Here's a glimpse into our interactive notebook.  This is available on my TPT store, or you can find plenty of great ideas and resources out there.  I have really enjoyed creating materials that fit perfectly into my style of teaching and allow multiple ways for students to learn.
 Yes, I'm the horrible teacher they talk about that taxed the children to sit in chairs.  But, let's be fair, shall we? They only have me for 70 minutes and they get their money back in the end.... after they rebel.  I have put a decree on my door for the last two years about taxes as we are learning about the French and Indian War and the beginning of taxes.  Somehow, those smart little whipper-snappers learn about the Sons of Liberty really quick and fashion their own petition.  I love it!!  Taxes, chairs, students saying "Long live the King" and me with my crown on.  The kids collected 50 signatures on the petition in a half day.  I could go on and on about this, but it truly is a great learning experience! They secretly love the chance to rebel while having a little fun.
 A closer look into our notebook.
Again, have a great night! Tara

Boston Massacre Crime Scene Take II

Here's how we set up the crime scene and how it played out with the children.
Here are a few more pictures to share with you about our crime scene.  Students were just beginning to settle in class.  It was a dreaded MONDAY, yikes and oiiii.  It was a dreaded MONDAY before Thanksgiving break... even more groans and squalls.  Anyhow, I was trying to think of something that would be a meaningful, memorable experience (since, let's face it... I have to be at school and some of them are taking an early vacation). Not to mention the barometric pressure was LOW and it was raining outside.  Raining like CATS and DOGS!!  Not a chance of letting them run off their red dye infused candy off during recess (don't blame me, I didn't give it to them)!! Anyhow...
So I wandered onto Pinterest where alas, did I find an amazing teacher who talked about setting up this simulation.  But, as you know, that's all I had to go on.  So for the entire Sunday afternoon, I began thinking of different items or symbolic representations that might have been around at the time.  I also, being a science Olympiad coach, had a roll of crime scene tape! Waaah- lah!
I jazzied up some printables, evidence bag labels, FBI envelope top secret cover, top secret letter from the president, made FBI Agent badges, and so much more.....
Labored intensely for an hour prior to block 1.
Block one entered.  I could tell they were excited to learn them up some history for the day.... YAWN.... NOT!!!!!  So I told them to sharpen extra pencils for their 200 question history test on the American Revolution.  Yep, you got it!  That woke their sorry little butts up. 
I'm just kidding.  I really have a bad sarcastic sense of humor, if you couldn't tell.
Now.... what's this? A TOP SECRET MESSAGE ON MY DESK?  FROM THE... WHO? THE PRESIDENT? HE wants us to WHAT? And yep, FBI badges and an official report.  They were hook, line and sinker.  I escorted them down to the room where the crime scene was blocked off with Caution Crime Scene Tape and personally checked badges for entrance to the scene.  Did a little explainin' and let them go.  I helped as needed, however, I didn't have to redirect any of them! Any, not one!!
With the exception of a little hunting and gathering, you can pick up this unit for a low cost on my TPT store.  Have a great night teacher friends!!!

~ Tara

Boston Massacre Crime Scene

Well first of all, it started on Pinterest. That's how it always happens, right? I was so excited to find what I was looking for only to realize it was just that, a great picture from an amazing teacher.      
Nothing else.
Well not entirely.
She had great descriptions of what and how she did it all. But I wanted more! Where were the printables? Where were the cheat sheets? Then it dawned on me... Make them, so I did. Now, when I actually have my computer I will go in length how I elaborated on a relatively limited idea and really developed it into a much bigger two day unit. But until then, you'll have to be happy with a few pictures.
It was absolutely amazing to see all the ideas about the torn blue fabric.  Some students even connected the different weapons saying they were torn from a bayonet and the colonial money fell out. Great detective work kids! 
 In the directions for the colonial money I mentioned to print in black and white and stain in coffee.  My ink was running out and it looked naturally old... what are the chances? I had my amazing daughters crumble up the money and letters really good to give it the old, rumpled up money look.
 I'll have to admit, one of my biggest weaknesses is an antique store.  I just can never pass up a jar of buttons. What's up with that? Anyhow, I was sure I had some gold buttons.  They symbolize all the nice bells and whistles the British Military had apart from the colonists pieced together uniforms.  Students had all kinds of ideas about how these fell off.
 I was caught red handed (I mean blue handed)!  I alternated different fingers to identify the British soldier that fired the first shots and the dead colonist's finger prints.  The kids in all their crime scene work detected my blue fingerprints and asked if I framed the shooter? Haha
 We aren't allowed to have any facsimile of weapons at school (great thing, I'm not complaining) but I really had to improv for this one.  I used a dollar store tip of a plastic butter knife and told the kids this represented a bayonet tip that was broken off in conflict. 
 Wooden Club.  There are two main versions of the Boston Massacre; was it provoked or were the colonists innocent? Would wooden clubs and stones have made the evidence more clear for a trial? Absolutely.
 This is charcoal from an aquarium kit.  I must confess, I am a teacher hoarder.  I'm getting better thanks to my awesome buddies.  However, I can't pass up boxes of stuff that "I might be able to use one day" all stuffed inside going to the trash.  Normally, I'm the teacher who has what you're looking for:)

Goodnight all you fabulous teachers out there!