Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fifty Nifty

A few weeks ago, the schoolwide Friday trivia question was, "What is the largest state in the US?" I got everything from Denver to Russia as answers. 10 tries later, a kid got it. But seriously? Russia? Really? Our Social Studies curriculum is focused around New York State, from Native Americans to New Amsterdam to New York City, so I don't usually work on memorizing the 50 states. But I will when you try to tell me that Russia is a state. 

It's time for fifty nifty. It's how I learned the states. It's how I still know them. And the thing of it is that this super silly song makes rote memorization easy and fun.

On Tuesday, I handed out the words and we sang along to the video, which played from the computer speakers. I was flush and hot in the face the whole time, as it was basically a solo the first time around. Ms. Anderson, your face is red. Thanks, kid. Its because Im not comfortable singng, but I do it anyway because it is less embarassing than hearing that Russia is a state. The kids asked for the website and jotted it down.

On Wednesday morning, one girl reports that she knows them all. She started half singing, half saying them in alphabetical order, and when others jumped in, shouting random states, she stuck her fingers in her ears, closed her eyes and kept going, without missing a beat. South Carolina, South Dakota, O Hi O, Oaklahoma, Oregon... She was up all night learning them. Another tells me she put it on her iPod and listens on the way to school. She doesn't know all if them yet, but will by Friday's quiz.

Usually they don't care about quizzes, but this one is attached to a pizza party if you get all 50. If you spell all of them right, there are brownies, too.

Keep in mind that I teach a bunch of English Language Learners and Special Ed kids, some of whom have never heard the word Montana and have no context for what a Montana is or isn't. This makes for some hilarious spelling errors on their quizzes. 

My dad grew up in Middle Soda Minnesota.
This kids obviously never heard of it.

New Hamster. Nuff said. 

So close to Vagina. Close enough to make me laugh out loud.

These kids may make it to the pizza party and I will give them the biggest brownies in the pan if they can spell them all correctly. We are now at a point where everyone knows what is NOT a state, even if they can't quite list all fifty nifty United States. I'm going to go ahead and say, Mission Accomplished. Russia has defected. 

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