First grade classes researched four types of extreme weather - tornadoes, thunderstorms, blizzards and hurricanes. Using PebbleGo as their resource, groups of students each learned the main elements of one of these weather systems and how to stay safe. Using the green screen iPad app, each group of "meteorologists" shared their information while out in the extreme weather! Take a look:
4th grade students study Earth's changing surface, learning about the processes by which our landforms were created and are still changing. In LMC, students worked in partners to learn about the geology of one National Park, taking notes on its formation using the mind mapping tool - Bubbl.Us. With this knowledge, the partners wrote a script as if they were hosting a television geology show broadcast from the park. Enjoy their information and the awesome green screen effect!
As part of their study of famous Illinoisans who made a difference in the development of Chicago and Illinois, we were fortunate to Skype with a relative of Marshall Fields, the creator of the first department store in Chicago. Marshall Fields VI told students who were studying his great great great grandfather, that Marshall Fields was responsible for many of the features we now see in department store like restaurants, restrooms, prices that were easy to read and friendly sales persons. He did so at a time when the general store was much more common. And he changed Chicago forever with the store and his later gift of the money for the Field Museum.
Wild Wings by Gill Lewis is a unique and engrossing story of friendship, adventure, ecology and giving, set in Scotland. Collum befriends Iona though his friends want to ostracize the strange new girl, and in return Iona shares her secret with Collum. She has found a rare osprey building a nest on Collum's father's land. Together they watch, guard and even save the bird when it's hurt, eventually helping a ranger tag it so they can watch on Google earth when it flies to Africa for the winter. But when Iona falls ill, it is up to Collum to carry on, and save their bird when it disappears from the radar screen, hurt somewhere on its journey. With the unlikely help of a girl in Gambia and his friends in Scotland, it just might be possible! Grade 4/5.
The Astrotwins - Project Blastoff by Mark Kelly is definitely fiction but the author is a veteran of four space flights to the International Space Station and commanded the final mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 2011. He takes that incredible experience and knowledge and writes an adventure story of 11 year old twins in New Jersey in 1975 who decide to build a spacecraft in their grandpa's barn. With hard work, research, many different types of tools and material, plus cooperation and the brain power of a few other friends, they might actual do it! In the process you will acquire real understandings of the science and the technical work it takes to get a spacecraft off the ground. Grade 3-5.
Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose is historical fiction that truly takes the reader deep into the New World, when British families were first arriving from England in hopes of making a new life. They find a strange and foreign landscape and fear the Native Americans neighbors who are equally fearful of the white man. Alis has come with her parents in a group that included no other girls. Alis is lonely without a friend or her beloved Uncle who was supposed to meet them but is missing, feared dead. When Alis finally escapes the settlement to see some of the forest beyond she meets another lonely girl, Kimi, of the Roanoke tribe who desperately want the British to leave and blame them for killing their leader. Despite the distrust and fears of their people Alis and Kimi forge an unlikely friendship. Will their friendship bridge the two communities or further tear them apart? Told in short prose. Grade 4/5
Ellie's Story by W. Bruce Cameron is called a Dog's Purpose Novel and it is the story of Ellie, a german shepherd puppy, finding his true purpose as a search and rescue dog. Told almost exclusively from Ellie's point of view, you learn with Ellie how a puppy is trained to find missing persons or seek people trapped in a disaster situation. It takes a special dog, with a certain personality and Ellie has what it takes. It also takes a special owner who can bond with and understand Ellie and earn her trust. Ellie loses one owner and but meets another in this special and interesting story for all dog lovers. Grade 3-5.
My Reading List!
I am the Library Media Center director at Patton School in Arlington Heights where I help students from kindergarten through 5th grade find terrific independent reading for enjoyment and information, and teach students the skills to use information and technology safely and productively and to connect, communicate and share with others. I have four grown children, a large black dog, (flat coat retriever) and a small striped cat. I am an obessive Chicago Cubs fan and I love to run.