Sunday, October 30, 2016

SciShow Kids You Tube Channel

Looking for short, engaging videos that kids love? Look no further! SciShow Kids Youtube Channel has fact packed videos that explain the "why" behind numerous topics that kids wonder about. These videos are the perfect attention grabbing edition to any lesson. I have provided ideas for incorporating these videos into your reading or library lessons by practicing the following ELA skills: Sequencing, Compare Contrast, Key Words, Main Idea/Details.

1. Sequencing
Pass out a diagram and have students draw pictures of each step while watching the video. Example: Water Cycle Video
2. Compare Contrast
Show a video like Frog or Toad or Butterfly or Moth. Pass out a Venn Diagram and have students record ways they are the same and different on the graphic organizer. 

3. Key Word Sort
Pass out key words about the topic you are introducing. Have students read each card. Have them try to match the key words with their definition (background knowledge) Then, play the video. During the video students can rearrange as necessary to match key words with their definition. After the video students can check their sort with another student. Example: Ocean Layers Video
4. Main Idea & Details
Pass out a graphic organizer that has the main ideas listed have students record details that support each main idea as they watch the video. Example: Animals with Winter Coats video
Credit: All images and videos are from the SciShow Kids Youtube Channel linked here

Monday, October 24, 2016

Bat and Owls (Nonfiction Study)

Earlier this month, Richard Bryne posted an article about short Halloween themed factual videos forkids on his blog Freetech4teachers. With Halloween quickly approaching I am using these with my 1st and 2nd grades, and they are perfect attention grabbers! In both grades, I am focusing on teaching students to activate their background knowledge before reading nonfiction. I encourage students to build new learning, on prior knowledge. I show the videos to help activate background knowledge. We also read books about the topic and do activities to help facilitate new learning. I’ve included an outline of these lessons below.

1. Activate background knowledge by having students Think.Pair.Share information they already know about bats. I record the facts they share on the ClearTouch board. Together, we use their background knowledge to ask a question and extend their thinking about what they want to learn about bats.

2. I Show video from SciShow Kids YouTube Channel about bats.

3. We Read aloud Gail Gibbons book, Bats and recorded facts/answers to questions in the learned section of the graphic organizer.

4. Then we discussed the difference between nonfiction and fiction books and students used ActivVotes to identify between the two types of books with a flipchart. 
1. Activate background knowledge by doing a class image brainstorm. Students viewed the image on the board and then shared facts that they already knew about the image.
2. I showed the Owl video from SciShow Youtube channel about Owls and had each team think of a question they still had about Owls.

3. We discussed the difference between facts and opinions and explained that facts can be proven. I explained that sometimes facts contain numbers because numbers can be proven.

4. I passed out the following sheet and students filled in the numbers to complete each fact about Owls, as I read aloud Owls by Gail Gibbons. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Integrating STEAM into Library I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis

As the Library Media Specialist, I have a passion for helping teachers and students integrate technology into all subjects. STEAM integration is one area that I have focused on for the past couple of years because I value student centered, problem solving instructional methods! Below, I have included some ideas for combining new and current literature studies with STEAM education. Leave a comment and share how you and your students are learning STEAM!

STEAM and the I Survived Series by: Lauren Tarshis
Understanding by Design Lesson Goals

Since I designed this unit for third grade in the library, I introduced a book in the series and read aloud a section of one I Survived book one week, and then facilitated a STEAM activity the next week that went along with that book. The first week, I read aloud the first 4-5 chapters of I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980. The next week, we did the following STEAM activity.
(Image: Scholastic)

STEAM Activity: Compare four different types (Coke, Diet Coke, Mt. Dew and Diet Mt. Dew) of Soda to see which type has the highest eruption. Compare diet and regular to see which has the highest eruption. Draw a conclusion about the results and have students discuss how the Mentos in Coke is like rocks and lava in a volcano. 

Week 3 we read aloud I Survived the Great San Francisco Earthquake 1906.
(Image: Scholastic)
Our STEAM activity during week 4 focused on Math. Students worked in a group to plan supplies to stock an Earthquake shelter for a neighborhood. The group had $100.00 and was tasked with purchasing items to serve 50 people. This is part of our Teacher Pay Teacher STEM Engineering Packet, available for purchase. It is amazing to hear to students discuss this problem. One student insisted that Soft Drinks were not a need, and another student in their team suggested they have at least one in case one of the fifty people is a diabetic! So creative! 
How are you combining STEAM and literature? 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hosting a Family Technology Night

Recently I helped co-host a Family Technology Night at our school! It was a huge success, but a lot of work. I have put together an information packet to help schools who would like to host a similar program! If you purchase the entire packet, it includes the following Technology Family Night Information Guide AND everything you would need to host the family night including: handouts for parents about Early Learning Apps (Prek-1st grade), Online Reading Resources (grades 2-5), and Internet Safety. It also includes a sample and blank schedule, free homework passes, and signature card for student prize drawing!