Thursday, 23 June 2016

Watching Books

Having a copy of a book in their hands while listening and watching its being read was amazing for my English Learners. They would look at their book and then at the screen, comparing the story and illustrations. It was a great teaching tool!

Many read-alouds can be found on YouTube, which is what I typically used. Here is The Very Hungry Caterpillar read by Eric Carle himself. (Since my ELs thought of him as a rock star, they were thrilled to watch it!)

In this video, Bill Martin reads Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

Search for your favorites, and let your students or your own children enjoy and read along!

P.S. If your kiddos LOVE Eric Carle's books as my English Learners did (and my grands do) you can watch this animated version of five of his most popular books on Netflix through the end of June 2016. It includes Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, The Very Quiet Cricket, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, and I See a Song. (To be honest, $4.99 from Amazon would be a good investment, too!)

Friday, 25 March 2016

The Kids Should DEFINITELY See This!

On this beautiful Good Friday in Tennessee, I have to share an amazing website that I just came across.

I just watched Newton's Three Laws of Motion (always close to this former Physics teacher's heart) and loved it.

TKSST was started in 2011, by Rion Nakaya, who curates it with the help of her own two children. She says, "There’s just so much science, nature, music, art, technology, storytelling and assorted good stuff out there that my kids (and maybe your kids) haven’t seen. It’s most likely not stuff that was made for them…But we don’t underestimate kids around here." That's my favorite! I always felt the textbooks I was provided tended to do that, and I would give my students much more detail and background so they could see the big picture. I think it made a difference.

The 2400+ videos shared on the site include science, technology, space, animals, nature, food, DIY, music, art, and animation. What a treasure trove!

Parents, as well as teachers, will find SO much to love about this collection. Here's a video about making the gorgeous Pysanky Easter eggs.

Of course, before or after watching the video, you need to read your kiddos Patricia Polacco's Rechenka's Eggs! This beautiful book was always a favorite of my ESL students, and we would let them draw designs on plastic eggs after reading it. We also made bookmarks and did activities found on Polacco's book page.

Enjoy The Kid Should See This, and please let me know what your favorite videos are!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Nerdy Book Club: Using Picture Books to Introduce New Units

If you don't follow Nerdy Book Club, you should. You'll find more than 70 bloggers there, so you'll be able to hop right over to their blogs to see which of them will be invaluable to you!

The post I'm featuring today is Top Ten Picture Books To Introduce Units Of Study, by Kari Allen. In it, Kari describes how she used ten favorite books to introduce math, science, and other units to her second graders. Here's an example:


Library Mouse written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk
She says, " was the foundation for our writing (which we did in all subjects.) I started the year off by sharing this book with students." The next day "students would discover tons of stapled blank books that the Library Mouse left," and thus began their "yearlong (hopefully lifelong) inquiry into writing."
I've long believed, that with the emphasis on reading and math that new standards have required, science and social studies could best be taught by using integrated units. How better to do this than to use books and stories to teach both reading and content?
Enjoy Kari's ideas, and may they lead to many more of your own!