Bringing Election Day into the classroom



Looking for Election Day activities, ideas, and free printables in the classroom? Teach about this patriotic holiday tradition this year using writing prompts and lots of American read aloud books!
Although it's not a presidential election year, we still elect officials on Election Day! The idea of Election Day can be a tough concept to handle for kids. Many of my students don't realize that we are voting for offices other than president, and I love reminding them of this by celebrating and discussing Election Day every November.

Here are a couple ways that I bring Election Day easily into the classroom!


READ ALOUDS

Looking for Election Day activities, ideas, and free printables in the classroom? Teach about this patriotic holiday tradition this year using writing prompts and lots of American read aloud books!" class="_mi _25 _3w _2h" data-pin-description="Looking for Election Day activities, ideas, and free printables in the classroom? Teach about this patriotic holiday tradition this year using writing prompts and lots of American read aloud books!

Here are some of my favorite Election Day read alouds:

Diana's White House Garden by Elisa Carbone

Duck for President by Doreen Cronin

Grace for President by Kelly S. DiPucchio

If I Were President by Catherine Stier

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama

So You Want to be President? by Judith St. George

(Glitter in Third is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising feeds by advertising and linking to Amazon.).




WRITING 
My students LOVE this writing assignment: If I were president! Feel free to snag the freebie on TPT from Glitter in Third if you're interested in using the same brainstorm and paper. I like the way the brainstorm is set up because it is an easy transition for students to write three distinct paragraphs. On the left, they write down three things that they would do if they were president (example: feed the poor/recycle/etc.). On the right, they add detailed bullet points. After the brainstorm is looked over by a teacher, my students draft in their writer's notebook. Next, they revise/edit with a partner. Finally, they get the final papers to write on! The first page has a space for a picture on it, and the second page has lots of lines purely for writing. I love making a big bulletin board display outside the classroom with these, using lots of red, white, and blue for extra patriotic fun!



LITERACY STATIONS
Looking for Election Day activities, ideas, and free printables in the classroom? Teach about this patriotic holiday tradition this year using writing prompts and lots of American read aloud books!I sell an Election Day Interactive Notebook that incorporates election day into your language arts stations! In my third-grade classroom, we frequently work with using a dictionary and guide words. It's easy to cut (four snips total!). Then, glue it down and start looking up the words in a dictionary! It's an easy way to incorporate a holiday/annual event into your everyday literacy station workshop.


There's also a piece in the notebook pieces for a super quick persuasive writing piece about "If I were president...". I do not use this for a long writing, just as a quick "get thinking!" writing piece. I usually use this foldable as morning work to get the kids excited for the day to come and activate any background knowledge.







What do you do for Election Day in the classroom?

Using Google Forms for anecdotal notes



Do you take anecdotal notes in your classroom? This phrase used to absolutely terrify me. My administration would constantly be telling us to take anecdotal notes for every subject and behavior... but I was stumped how to do this. How was I supposed to teach, manage a classroom, plan a lesson, juggle 28 children... while taking notes?

Every evaluation, referral, or parent question, they want to see them. I found anecdotal notes tedious, and honestly I hate writing by hand. My handwriting is terrible, and I dislike looking at my beautiful teacher planners covered in ugly handwriting (yes, I am aware of how shallow this is). Google Forms has made my anecdotal note-taking SO. MUCH. EASIER.

I initially got the idea after seeing a fourth-grade teacher in my hallway using an Excel Spreadsheet for her notes. I loved the efficiency of it, yet it seemed like a lot of work to continually have to insert a new row and type in the date each time. I realized that I could easily use Google Forms to make my notes instead.

Would you like to create anecdotal notes using Google Forms on your own? Follow my step-by-step directions below!

STEP ONE: First, I created a new form on Google Forms. I did not insert a part for the date, because Google Forms automatically date-stamps everything- even the exact time that the note is written! How easy is that?!? I included name, note, and a multiple choice selection for Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Science, and Behavior.


STEP TWO: Push "Send," email to yourself, then bookmark this page!!!!! You can quickly click on it when you are doing small groups in math or language arts, or when you notice good or poor behavior suddenly pop up.


STEP THREE: Look at the results! Click on "Responses" on the form, then click the little green box with the white cross on it to look at your results in a spreadsheet.



STEP FOUR: Spreadsheet and data fun time! Now, I created a fake Google Form, not using my real one on the blog for privacy reason. What's great about the spreadsheet is that you can sort by date, name, or subject (looking at all the math, writing, reading, or behavior goals together!). You can look by kid to see trends over time.



My anecdotal records have gone from zero to sixty instantly. I am enthralled about using these records this year to document and witness student behavior trends! Google Forms is the best, I have started using it for so much of my data collection. Look for more Google Forms blog posts in the future! Love that it makes data and record-keeping so much easier :-)


Do you feel overwhelmed by anecdotal notes? I did, until I realized how much easier and more efficient that Google Forms makes taking these records on students for guided reading, math, writing, and behavior. Not only is it more efficient, but Google Forms is free! This is about to make your life SO. MUCH. EASIER. (at least it did for me :-) )