To practice remembering information from nonfiction reading and add to our Nonfiction November wall, we read Actual Size by Steve Jenkins in Kindergarten, and then brainstormed together the awesome animal facts students heard. Then each student chose one favorite fact to draw on our nonfiction November fact sheet. They proudly posted their "facts" on the wall in the Kindergarten section. A great fact hunting expedition!
As part of their fairy/folk tale genre study, in LMC students were treated to several versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to compare. First they watched a short video of the classic version and then we read The Three Bears Halloween by Kathy Duval to 1/2 the class while the other 1/2 heard Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems. Using stickers and words in Pixie, students compared and contrasted and then decided if the stories were "more alike" or "more different" from the classic version, and why. Here are a few examples:
As students began to learn the different types of nonfiction books, in LMC we provided good examples of reference, literary and biography nonfiction for students to peruse, sort and checkout. Students were also asked to compare two nonfiction books on a similar subject to determine how each author chose to provide the information and think about which type of book they would prefer to use for research. The two books were The Wolves are Back by Jean Craighead George, an example of literary nonfiction, which was read to the class and What if there were No Gray Wolves by Suzanne Slade, an example of reference nonfiction which students read individually through the Destiny ebook catalogue. They completed a Google document, "Comparing Two Texts" and wrote about which style they preferred and why.
Fourth graders study our Native American heritage populations by examining how they used their environment in different regions of the United States. Students learn the impact environment had on a tribe's food, clothing and housing. Students recorded information for four tribe's in four regions of the U.S. on a shared Google document, creating a study guide that was used by the whole class as they next choose a region to move their tribe to. Using their knowledge students must determine the skills they will need to survive in the environment of the new region.
Drop Everything and Read! The last 1/2 hour of Friday, November 20, a beautiful silence enveloped Patton as students and teachers alike settled in classrooms, the gym, LMC, the music room or various offices and read, read, read!
On Wednesday, November 18, Patton School was visited by author and illustrator Ethan Long. In two presentations, one for K-2, and one for grades 3-5, Mr. Long shared the process of creating a book, showing students how their ideas in one brainstrorming session could eventually become a story. He asked students to choose one animal, and its name and then proceeded to draw their ideas. He also shared his lastest creation in "book dummy" form, which is a collaboration between his drawings and words for one character, and another illustrator's drawings for the other character. We are grateful to the PTA for bringing students another opportunity to learn about and even watch the writing process live and in person!
In third grade students are extending their science unit on the solar system with in depth research on one planet. We have been reviewing the steps of research from choosing a topic, generating questions, to notetaking and recording resources. This week students will begin with one book, print or ebook, and move to a website as a secondary source.
In Kindergarten, we wrapped up our author study of Amy Rosenthal with Global Read Aloud by voting on our favorite book, Chopsticks, Spoons, Duck Rabbit, Exclamation Mark or It's Not Fair, and graphing the votes with picture, bar or circle graphs. Here's an example:
In first grade, students are beginning to think about "long ago" and comparing older times to today's world. In LMC first graders examined and observed two photographs from 1899, one of a school room and one of an "ice man" and his horse and carriage. Together we made a list of what the students observed and then reflected on what was the same and different from today.
In fifth grade students are continuing to uncover the events leading up to the American Revolution in class and in the LMC we delved into the Boston Massacre by examining several different types of primary sources. These included newspaper accounts from London and Boston, a poem, a diary entry, witness accounts, engravings, and two pamplets all created at the time of the revolution by a person with first-hand experience. Students reflected on how difficult it is to determine the truth about history as historians do and the truth is often more multi-facted than a textbook or website account.
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.