From the Library

Feb 5

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Gr 3: How to tackle big questions in research... and how to search google to help.

Gr 2-3: Descriptive vs. Expository (Visualization vs Explanation)

Gr K-2: Chinese New Year

Want More Nonfiction? The main collection has PLENTY.

A Note on Research

Last Sept, I had the opportunity to demonstrate most of our databases. As part of that presentation (remember, the password is always "victor") I also mentioned the power of inquiry, and how essential it is that we begin to shift away from individual animal reports that require no synthesis. The new Social Studies and Science standards require constructivist thinking.

If you are willing to try this shift on a week-long project tied to one of our curriculum areas, please approach me in advance and I would be happy to plan with you. If you're not sure what this could look like, I wrote up a google doc for anyone curious to the possibilities.

Also, many of you will be reviewing text features. Here is a link to the posters I created, which you are free to modify AFTER you make your own copy.

Bumping the 3rd Grade Nonfiction Science Reading Unit

Later in this unit, there are 3 pairs of note pages for each class of animal. The headings in these 4 square pages consist of "body coverings, habitat, food" etc. If you would like to take a look at an optional organizer, I created an example. The students can't point and be done with a direct fact. They need to collect many facts, and as they read across many sources, they come to a more complete understanding. If you wanted to try this organizer in place of the pair already there, please let me know how it goes. Better yet, invite me in as an extra conferencer during workshop! ANYtime you want an extra pair of hands to conference during nonfiction workshops, I'm in.

Starting Research? The cycle is called "Plan, Do, Review" which fits right after a KLEW chart!


If you'd like a one page summary of Aesop to read to/with the kids, I created one in drive. It also has a resource list for you.

A Note on Makerspaces

Did something get lost in translation? Here's the gist :

When you send kids to the library, they should be back in about 5 minutes. When you send kids to the makerspace, they need AT LEAST 15 min, possibly up to a half hour. Also, if I'm teaching at the smartboard they might need to relocate or come another day. In general, the marble run boards are AWESOME for simple machines, cause and effect, and team work. Feel free to borrow them to the Science Lab or your classroom for indepth work. The art station at the makerspace has already fostered some amazing indoor recess projects--SMALL group please unless you sign up on the library schedule. YES I have tested the makerspace on a whole class and it worked great.

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Need Summer Work?

The Victor Parks and Rec program allows teachers to design one week classes and offer them through their summer program. This is a great way to keep academics up in the summer as well as earn a little cash. Take a unit you already love to teach, modify for fun, differentiate it for a wider audience, and get paid! Applications are due by Feb 24.