Category Archives: Global Read Aloud 2013

Food Scientists and #GRA13EC

Earlier, I mentioned the power of students having voice and choice in their learning.  My students’ voices led us to discovering maple syrup, where it comes from, and how it is made.  Being southerners, we do not know much about winter – let alone tapping trees for sap.  So, we went on a search for our own answers.  As we continued to explore fall, we learned about other trees and how they change with the seasons.

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One of our “go to” resources for questions we have is Brainpop Jr.  We absolutely LOVE Annie and Moby.  The videos are short, direct, and keep the students engaged.  My students already know that Annie and Moby can help us with most things.  We watched the video about seasons and then ordered changes that happen.

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Our exploration of seasons and trees ended with our “experiment” involving maple syrup and regular pancake syrup.  We watched how maple syrup is made – from tree to bottle.  We connected our Global Read Aloud author, Eric Carle, with our activity as well by reading Pancake, Pancake.  Finally, we started put on our scientists thinking caps and got down to business.

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Our experiment began with observations about the two kinds of syrup.  As the syrup was poured we noted the speed it flowed out of the bottle (fast or slow), the thickness of it (like water or glue), and the color (light brown or dark brown).  We poured the syrups into clear cups to make it easier to see.  Next was our taste test.  Each group of students had waffles to use as tools for tasting.  We made sure to only taste one kind at a time and we didn’t drink anything while tasting.  We tasted regular pancake syrup first.  Next, we tasted maple syrup.  Some of us were nervous, because we had never had it before.  Everyone was a brave scientist and tried a little! After tasting, we voted.

20131111-141110.jpgWe counted the votes and then compared the numbers.  In math we are talking about more/less and greater/fewer.  We knew that regular pancake syrup had the most votes because 11 is greater than 7.  Once the votes were counted, we finished our waffles.

All good scientists discuss their experiments when they are over.  Some questions we asked and answered were:

  • Why did you like regular pancake syrup better?
  • Why did you like maple syrup better?
  • Where did the maple syrup come from?
  • How was the maple syrup made?
  • Where do you think the regular pancake syrup came from?
  • How do you think the pancake syrup was made?

How can you be a scientist today?

 

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Filed under Global Read Aloud 2013, Literacy, math literacy, Read Alouds, Science

Connecting with Global Read Aloud 2013

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This week we started connecting globally with other kindergarten classes through the global read aloud.  We tweet everyday and read posts from other kindergarten classes, but this project really hit home with them.  I explained that so many kindergarten classes would be reading the same book at the same time.  They were mesmerized.  They were excited.  They wanted to know what it would look like.  Being a part of the global read aloud means that my students are part of a bigger community and I am also a part of a larger network.

For primary grades, the global read aloud is focusing on Eric Carle for six weeks.  This week was week one:  The Hungry Caterpillar (one of my all time favorites).  We were already studying farm animals and it seemed to tie right in.  Using my edmodo group, I was linked to a great puppet show of the story.  Many of my students were already familiar with it.  We watched the puppet show on the smartboard and then we moved on to the read aloud.  I always love to hear what the students think Eric Carle uses to make his pictures.  Several students thought crayons.  One budding artisit thought he uses crayons with “water paint” on top.  We visited the Eric Carle website to learn about his collage technique.  Needless to say, the students loved it.

Our next step was to respond to the story.  We discussed our favorite parts.  I modeled using the Hello Crayon app on the iPad to create a picture of my favorite part.

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My favorite part was Saturday – the day he ate just about everything.

From that point – they were on their own to create freely.  We started this during our writing time and worked diligently, productively, almost silently straight through our afternoon rotations.  They explored the app and its finishes with the colors.

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The creations are beautiful.  I loved hearing why they chose to illustrate what they did and why they made the drawings look a certain way.

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I then uploaded their creations into the Showbie app (more on Showbie from my mentor here and here).  This app gives us the opportunity to curate class projects and digital portfolios with the iPad.  I am still in the process of compiling all student illustrations to complete our class book.  I will share once it is complete! (Technology is a wonderful, albeit fickle at times, tool).

For more information on Global Read Aloud 2013 – Please visit: http://globalreadaloud.wikispaces.com/

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Filed under Global Read Aloud 2013, iPads, Literacy, Mentor Text, Read Alouds, Technology, Writing Workshop