Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Newspapers + Math lessons + Online Collaboration

Three great resources for you to use in your classroom:

If you haven't added an RSS feed from Read.Write.Think to your Google Reader, now is the time to do it. Sponsored by The National Council of Teachers of English and The International Reading Association, this site is an online cornucopia of K-12 lessons. Each lesson connects to National standards, includes pdf links to the necessary handouts and tools and provides engaging strategies to hook the students.

Copy and past the url for this lesson
"Authentic Writing Experiences and Math Problem-Solving Using Shopping Lists", into your browser:

Teaching preK-8
This site also offers oodles of standards based, relevant & rigorous lessons. Check out these ideas for using the newspaper in your classroom.

Teachers Connecting

We are using technology more and more in our classrooms, but we need to be sure we aren't the only ones using it--we need to provide opportunities for students to use technology to find, create, and share ideas. This is a brand new site that invites teachers to connect with other teachers--around the world--and offers students this opportunity--to learn alongside and to share ideas with students electronically.

You can begin by searching the site for projects that other teachers are currently doing. If you find one that connects to your interests/classroom learning, you can contact that teacher, introduce the lessons/activities to your students and begin participating in the activity.

You might also post a project for others to join! Grade 4 teachers, imagine our students sharing their research on the plants and animals of Hawaii with students in Australia.

Take a peek:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Asking questions

Rarely do we have time to gather together, ask questions and explore answers. Thank you for sharing your ideas and questions today. Thank you for your awesome spider poems!

Today, we covered much information, but two questions linger--

1. Where does Trophies fit in? Does your grade level teach the information texts from Trophies? If not, will you adjust the curriculum to include them? How will you incorporate information texts?

2. How do we utilize information texts and still provide consistency, manageable logistics, for our tutors? (Could tutors be trained in strategies to teach reading via information texts?)

3. What other questions does your grade level have?

Let's keep the discussion going!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Information Literature in the Classroom

Most of what we read in our daily lives is information literature--newspaper & magazine articles, emails, blogs, how to manuals, recipes etc. Yet the majority of reading we ask our students to do is fiction. Are we doing our students a disservice by focusing on fiction?

Educator & author Linda Hoyt, in her book Make It Real: Strategies for Success with Informational Texts, reports that when she incorporated information texts into her daily instruction, she saw many shifts:
--the information texts hooked her students' natural curiosity about the world
--students were enthused and fully engaged in learning
--students began bringing artifacts related to their readings
--the curriculum load lightened--the science topic became the focus of the read aloud, shared book experience, and interactive writing.

"I saw science and social studies texts with new eyes. They were no longer just vehicles for content, they were now tools for reading instruction as well" (Hoyt, 7)

So, how do we, as teachers, make this change in our instruction?
How do we incorporate information texts into our instruction?

Take a peek at Linda Hoyt's site: