states and capitals

it's known in the lower school as the  mother of all tests! 
 the states and capitals test
the study guide is sent home at the end of the fourth grade. meaning we kicked off our summer downloading aps, printing worksheets, hanging a map above her bed,  practicing in the car.... basically we ended fourth grade stressing out about the fifth grade. jeff and i had been there, done that with anna katherine. but mary claire is all about the stress! (she needs a spoonful of her brother's chill)

so the test is basically a blank united states map. students must identify each state, the abbreviation, the capital and everything must be  spelled correctly! 
hours of studying i tell you! 
the test was last week. i must document with a picture because this was a big-big deal to mary claire (and her study partners!) we are mighty proud of our girl, only missing the abbreviation for georgia.

we do not make a habit of rewarding grades with money or prizes. this test was an exception. half way through she needed a shot of  motivation.  for an A+ she would get the new pair of slippers she had been coveting. at first i said, "slippers for a 100," but recanted after gaging her stress level.

next up was the state project. she chose colorado because it was "easy to draw and cut out!" after realizing how many times she would have to draw and cut out her state, i realized the genius behind this theory! colorado is basically a rectangle. ;) 

thankfully our school does not overload in the project department. i love to encourage the homemade. thumbs up for drawing the colorado state flag verses printing on the computer.

i also encourage my kids to complete the project independently with minimal parental guidance. this can add some stress. it is so much easier to "just do it for them." am i right? but what would that accomplish other than yours being the prettiest in the hallway? we came across projects on pintrest  complete with circuit boards, lights, sound affects.... one was turned in by a second grader. hhmm? A+ daddy!

mary claire worked on her project almost every night for a couple of weeks. 
anna katherine had a friend over the night she was drawing the state bird. her friend asked, "why is your sister crying?" "oh they're just doing a project." she had a time being happy with her lark bunting.

i stressed the importance of making sure every single item on the syllabus was checked.
the finished project
 the dollies, circle cuts and letters were from the michael's dollar bin. the scrapbook pad also from michael's is called, "my mind's eye." 
next up; the parade of states.
the entire fifth grade. photo courtesy of anne marie's mom. thanks ruth!
the grand finale is a week away:
hello six day field trip to our nation's capital. 
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