My fourth graders can navigate technology better than many adults! The remote learning brought on by the pandemic made these students great with Google, savvy with Schoology, amazing with apps, and terrific at typing. They can compose emails, research topics online, engage virtually with stories, and take quizzes - all with the click of a mouse!
Remote learning was saturated with technology; what elementary-age students need now are good old-fashioned pencil and paper skills.
Chief among these is using dictionaries, thesauruses, and atlases. We may be moving towards a paper-less world, but teachers can't ignore the importance of using books as a learning tool.
A main strand of the California Fourth Grade Social Studies standards asks students to "demonstrate an understanding of the physical and human geographic features that define places and regions in California." This entails lessons on latitude and longitude, distinguishing North and South Poles, and identifying all kinds of features on maps. Students need to learn about the equator, prime meridian, world oceans, geographic landmarks, and other aspects of physical environment.
Technology has saturated our schools, especially over these past 18 months; the return to school represents an opportunity to revisit hands-on learning.
Atlases are an ideal tool to use! Current, student-friendly classroom atlases! They are full of colorful pictures, mesmerizing grids, and fantastic facts. And best of all - they don't need a screen or a plug to operate! Atlases can help turn simple geography lessons into collaborative experiences, as students work in pairs or groups to find gulfs on a world map, identify rainfall trends, and determine population density, and so much more.
Atlases will pull students off screens and put some good, old-fashioned book learning back in their hands.
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