Sunday, January 27, 2013

My BIG Nonfiction Researchers

Students have been SO excited about reading nonfiction books, researching a particular animal, and learning so many new facts!! The first two pictures were the "research" that we did together as a class to try to figure out just how big a baby gray whale is and how much it weighs as an adult gray whale. We talked about how you don't just read nonfiction from one cover to the end. Instead, you can read one fact and think about it, make comparisons, and reread it several times so that you understand what the book is teaching you.

Putting the "FUN" in Functional Writing

The purpose of teaching Functional Writing is for students to understand that they need to step by step explain all of the details involved in whatever process they are writing about. To illustrate this point in a "FUN" way, I asked students how many of them knew how to make Kool-Aid. Almost every student said that they had, especially since we made it several times in Kindergarten. I had students write and draw the steps on their papers. Then... I read two different student papers and followed the steps exactly how they were written. Which resulted in the following pictures and actions below, including pouring water and Kool-Aid on the table (because the direction just said "pour the water", but didn't specify where and how much) and drinking the Kool-Aid from the table in one picture and from the packet in another (again because the students didn't specify the details). This demonstration was fun and engaging and really helped students see the importance of sequencing their steps and providing lots of DETAILS!

Holiday Class Pictures