Saturday, November 24, 2012

Connecting Across the Country Via Skype

Last weekend, I emailed fellow Wonderopolis Wonder Lead and kindergarten teacher, Jon Fines to see if he would have time to Skype on Monday or Tuesday.  My students had been working on some Thanksgiving readers theaters and I wanted to give them an authentic audience to watch them perform.  He said he would love to connect with my second graders and have his kindergarteners watch us.

On Tuesday afternoon we made our Ohio to Montana connection.  We shared our readers theaters with Jon's class and they shared a poem and sang a song to our class.  I had previously shared with my students that Mr. Fines plays the ukulele.  They were very excited to hear him play for us.

After our connection, Jon and I decided to try virtual "buddy" reading with our classes.  I'm excited to model and practice this next week when we return from Thanksgiving break.  How engaging and motivating will it be for a couple of my second grade students to Skype a couple of Jon's kindergarteners in Montana and "buddy" read with them a few times a week?

If you are engaging your students in Skype or any other technology, below are some great past Wonders to visit.  Specifically, Wonder #670, Do You Have Good Netiquette? is a great Wonder to use before Skyping or talking about leaving comments on any website.
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Engaging Families in Thanksgiving Seasonal Wonders

Next week is a great time to spend learning and wondering as a family.  Below are several Wonders from to share while spending time with your family.

If you are an educator, be sure to share these Wonders with parents.  I will be sharing them with families via my classroom blog and our class Twitter account.

If you are a parent and are looking for ways to interact with your children while they are out of school next week, check out this post, Using Wonder to Engage Children Over the Summer.  The activities can be used anytime, not just during the summer months.

Check out my fellow 2012 Wonder Leads and how they infuse Wonder in their own homes, and nurture their students to wonder at home:

You can read more about using Wonder and Wonderopolis in and out of the classroom by going to the Wonder Playground at Wonderopolis.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Using Wonderopolis to Help Meet CCSS Informational Text 3

The lesson below is an example of a Common Core State Standard lesson using Reading: Informational Text-Key Ideas and Details for grades K-5, Standard Statement 3.  Below I have included a vertical progression chart of this Standard Statement.  I have also created a K-5 vertical progression guide for Informational Text here.

Reading: Informational Text-Key Ideas and Details (RI.3)
With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

Before reading any further, please check out Wonder of the Day #188 Are Frogs and Toads the Same?

This Wonder could easily be used to meet Reading Informational Text Standard Statement three for grades kindergarten through fifth grade, and beyond.  

In order to help meet this standard, I would start by tying it into my daily routine.  I would post the Wonder when students arrive to my classroom and have them write about the wonder in their wonder notebooks.  I would then read over the information in the Wonder with students.  When working with text, I don't believe most primary students are ready to work with the text on the first exposure, therefore we would revisit the text during our reading workshop mini-lesson, either later on the same day, or within a few days of our first exposure.  Depending on how much experience students have had with this standard would depend on what kind of activity we would do.  You could orally have the students share the connection frogs and toads by turning and talking, create a class "t" chart, create venn diagram as a class or with a partner, or have students work in groups to write about the connections.

With older students, after modeling and working with this standard whole group, you could have students choose a different Wonder from the list below and have them work in a small group or with a partner to practice the standard.

Wonders that could be used to meet Informational Text-Key Ideas and Details, Statement Standard 3: