Saturday, March 22, 2014

Connecting Reading, Writing and Science

Well, it is officially spring in Colorado (even though it has been snowing all day) and that means it is time for my favorite unit of the year, Incredible Insects.  I love teaching about insects.  This is the unit that my students get the most excited about.  It gives me a chance to go back to teaching science, which is the one thing I miss most about be a regular classroom teacher.  The students get so engaged in this unit they don't want to leave the room.

We began the unit last week and have learned what an insect is and what it is not.  We watched fascinating videos about insects and have read several books.   Thanks to the Westminster Butterfly Pavilion  we have all kinds of cool objects to look at.  Here they are sorting insects and non-insects.

 They used what they learned in the books we have read to classify insects.  The post it notes are all the important ideas they are getting from their reading.

We ended this week with a fictional story about an insect, The Grouchy Ladybug.  This was a great opportunity to add some discussion of The Seven Habits into our unit.  The students discussed attitude and the need for the ladybug to choose her own weather rather than being grouchy.

Now that we have learned the basics about insects we will begin going more in depth.  Each student has selected an insect to study and will complete a webquest next week.  I can't wait to learn more about the Giant Weta from Julian!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Summary Writing

My second graders are working on learning how to write a summary.  Our first summary was of A Chair For My Mother by Vera B Williams.  The first step in our process was to read the book in sections and to write the main idea of each section on a sticky note.
After each student determined the main idea for each of the four sections of the book we worked together to determine how we could put our ideas together as a group.
Finally, each student used their own notes and wrote a summary paragraph.  They did a great job on their first summary paragraphs.  Samples will come soon.