Saturday, March 12, 2016
On most Fridays, the students work in Art Based Learning Stations. One of the stations is Artist Research Writing. In this station, the students choose an artist to read about. The artist cards that I provide are from Teachers Pay Teachers and can be found here. There are several sets of these available. After reading, the students write key facts about their artist on a Thinking Map, typically a Circle Map. They then use the Circle Map to help them write sentences to summarize the information read about the artist.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Saturday, May 3, 2014
While reading David Shannon books, we also learned about him as an author and illustrator. We watched a short interview with him from Scholastic and then created a Circle Map about facts learned. The students used the Circle Map to write a shared writing piece about him.
We visited the computer lab on Thursday so the students could research an inventor of their choice on their own. We use PebbleGo as our main online research tool. I love PebbleGo because the students can choose to have the information read to them and the words are highlighted as it is read which naturally leads them to read along. There are also historical videos imbedded within the biography section. After choosing an inventor to research, the students listened to each section and recorded at least two facts per section on their student-created Circle Maps. Next week they will use their Circle Maps to write a research paper independently. They will get to share their papers with their classmates and become the "expert" on their inventor.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
The students researched facts about Cherry Blossoms during a mini-writing lesson. They then wrote the information they found on a Circle Map. As a class, they decided what order to put the facts in for their shared research paper. They then told me what they wanted their paper to say and I typed it for them. I printed it on poster paper to hang with their Cherry Blossom art. The students used a mixture of brown and black paint to paint a branch of a Cherry Blossom. They then used the bottom of a recycled coke bottle to paint the blossoms in pink. I found this fun art idea from Pinterest. You can follow my educational Pinterest boards here.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The students made posters of flowers to show what they learned through their garden habitat research. They added facts to the middle of each flower. They then presented their facts and posters to their classmates.
After hearing from our garden expert, the students wrote friendly letters to thank her for sharing her knowledge and to tell her what they learned. As a class, we used the Letter Generator from Read, Write, Think as a model. They then wrote their own individual letters.
As a part of our research over the garden habitat, we invited a garden expert to come talk to the students. Mrs. Flowers (yes, that is her real name) from Pat's Plants in Grand Prairie, brought various types of plants for the students to learn about. She talked about the parts of the plants, their needs, and their purposes. She then answered questions which the students then added to their research notes in class.
After reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, the students created their own caterpillars. We then researched caterpillars on Pebble Go. They then wrote to describe caterpillars and facts learned.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Last week we began our research over the garden habitat in reading and our study of plant parts in science. As a part of these lessons, the students learned the parts of a plant and their function. For hands on experience, the students worked in groups to sort the part of vegetables that we eat by their parts. They were surprised to learn that some of the vegetables they eat are actually roots.
The students chose one fact about the ocean animal that they researched and made a computer slide about it using Pixie 2. The students had to add an ocean background, use the search feature to find clipart of their animal, add a speech bubble, and type in the fact in first person. They then had to resize the animal clipart and speech bubble to match. We played the slides as a movie during Open House and hung each slide as a print out on a bulletin board.
We used various book and internet sources to research facts about the Beluga Whale. The facts were added to a Thinking Map. The students then used the Thinking Map to write a class research paper about their findings. They used Interactive Writing so that every student had a chance to contribute. They helped each other with the wording, spelling, and punctuation of the research paper.
In small groups, the students visited to the library to research a specific ocean animal with our Instructional Media Specialist, Mrs. Christy. The took notes over their research and then used their notes in class to help them write a research paper. They put their final drafts inside a piece of blue paper folded in a stage fold. They also made a scuba diver face to look like themselves to go with scuba diver bodies that our PTA volunteers made for us. The scuba divers held the students' writing.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
The students worked in small groups to research a specific planet. Each group was responsible for finding three important facts about their planet using a text source from the library. They then worked with me at the Promethean to find three additional facts from PebbleGo. After finding their facts, they worked with their groups to create posters about their planet. They presented their findings and posters to the class. The students were highly engaged because they got to become the "experts" on their planet and teach the other students.