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Creating Literacy Centers, Part 2: Using Multi-Media

Using Multi-Media to Inspire Learning

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Hi Y’all!

   Last time, I discussed (in an example) that many kids were having difficulty understanding the concept of cause and effect in my class. Then, I found some topics from my curriculum that I could use to create centers. Now, I am going to use those topics to find or create multi- media centers that correlate to my fictitious XYZ curriculum.

Glitter Words

Science: Pollution
A Breathe of Fresh Air
http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/administration_pdf/c4kairfl11.pdf
New York State Conservationist for Kids magazine

Create a Poster
Print out the pages and place the magazine at a center. In pairs, students read the magazine articles. Each learner finds some reasons for air pollution as well as and pollution’s impact on the Earth. Then, the partners can create a poster together (like the one on page 5) showing good ozone, bad ozone, factories, power plants, fires, trucks and buses.

Social Studies: The Silk Road
The Silk Road Lesson Plan
http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/citi/resources/Rsrc_001878.pdf
Provided by the Art Institute of Chicago Department of Museum Education

Travel Journal
The Silk Road Lesson Plan by the Art Institute of Chicago Department of Museum Education has some great ideas. I loved the idea of a travel journal. I thought having your learners create a travel journal would be another great center.
Learner pretend to travel the Silk Road either as a merchant or a missionary. They can describe and draw their insights and some cases of cause and effect on the trade route. Completed travel journals can be placed on a table or hung on a wall for others to read.

Language Arts: Expository Text on Natural Disasters
Flooding
http://www.watersafetykids.co.uk/pdfs/flooding.pdf
Facts about Hurricanes
http://www.azpbs.org/mastersofdisaster/pdf/Hurricanes/HurricanesLevel2.pdf
Facts about Tornadoes
http://www.azpbs.org/mastersofdisaster/pdf/Tornadoes/TornadoesLevel3.pdf
Gather different natural disaster text at a center, such as the above print outs. Learners can choose one topic for a report. Have individual students pretend they are a newscaster or meteorologist explaining the cause of a faux or real natural disaster, such as a flood happening now, and its effects. Students can create a recording, video, scrap book of photos or PowerPoint in this activity to show to other class members.

Mathematics: Money Problems Involving Interest
Practical Money Skills

    At this center, provide each student with a bank account book. Sometimes, your local bank might donate lined record books to your students. Each students has a weekly allowance which can be drawn out of a hat. The center has catalogs of various merchandise. Students decide how much they will save or spend over the course of two or three weeks. State that the bank will give interest for money saved. If a student saves only 50 cents a day, a savings account could grow to over  $182 in one year. After two weeks, students reflect on their allowance spending or saving and the reasons for the final amounts in their faux bank accounts.

Interventions
 As an intervention, view the following videos and discuss cause and effect.

Ormie the Pig

Cause and Effect Review Lesson for Elementary Students!

If you have any questions or comments about literacy, I’d love, love, love to hear from you!

Best,
Glitter Words
@ TiePlay Educational Resources

For more ideas, freebies and resources, check out Lynn’s blog and stores.

How to Create Literacy Centers

    When children create and invent, they develop self-esteem and gain a love for learning. Using literacy centers are really ideal for any grade level. Small groups learn to work together, cooperate, and speak in low voices, when needed. Learning centers can be so exciting when mixed with various subject matters.

Analysis of Skills

When looking for literacy center ideas, I first look for skills that need practicing and for most all of the class members. Let say, after an analysis of student skills, that most learners are having difficulty with understanding cause and effect.

Students will understand the concept of cause and effect.

Research Topics

    A teaching team can then look for topics that are introduced in the school’s established curriculum that relate to cause and effect topics. I end up finding some topics that could involve cause and effect quite easily.

 

Cause and Effect Topics in XYZ Curriculum

Science; Pollution/ Waste in Our World
Social Studies: The Silk Road
Language Arts: Expository text on Natural Disasters
Mathematics: Money problems involving interest

Search for Sources

I then look for sources, (worksheets, activities, stories, games, comic strips and hands-on activities) that goes along with the specific topic to introduce to a literacy center.
For an intervention,  I try to incorporate  mini-lessons for students with various learning mode preferences. For the Birds and Cause and Effect with Music are funny, short and wordless videos that can lead to a cause and effect discussion.

 For the Birds

This video was created by Pixar.  Learn more about it at: http://www.pixar.com/short_films/Theatrical-Shorts/For-the-Birds

Cause and Effect with Music

This video was created by KLM videos for schools at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0aO7spGHNCot8Dqq0HIN-g

  In How to Create Literacy Centers Part 2, I will show you what activities I found or created  for each subject matter,  along with some interventions. Until next time….

Best,
Lynn

For more ideas, freebies and resources, check out Lynn’s blog and stores.
http://www.tieplayeducationalresourcellc.com/
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tieplay-Educational-Resources-Llc
https://www.teachersnotebook.com/shop/TiePlay+Educational+Resources

Raspberry Red Goodness from Mother Earth

Raspberry1The sun is shining and the birds are singing. I notice a few wild raspberries blooming among the shrubbery, and it reminds me of walking with my children happily collecting and eating the berries as we ambled through the countryside. Today we don’t find nearly as many bushes growing untamed along the roads as more construction and fewer farms are seen in my area. Still I wondered where did these berries come from and how did they get here.

There is some archaeological evidence that Paleolithic cave dwellers ate raspberries. Red Raspberry, or Rubus idaeus, is native to Turkey and was gathered by the people living in Troy as early as the first century B.C. Rubus idaeus means bramble bush of Ida named for a nursemaid and the mountains on which they grew in Crete. During the Hellenistic Age they were associated with a Greek fertility myth that the berries were white until Ida, the nursemaid of Zeus, pricked her finger on one of their thorns and stained them red. Later on the Romans conquered vast territories and spread the seed of raspberries throughout their empire as evidenced in archaeological ruins of buildings and forts. These berries are mentioned in the fourth-century writings of Palladius, first Christian bishop of Ireland. During the Middle Ages raspberries were used for food and medicine. Artists employed their red juice in paintings.Only the rich could afford them until King Edward I in England encouraged their cultivation and made them popular in the late 13th century.Raspberry2,pic

The red raspberry may have originally come to North America with the prehistoric peoples crossing the Bering Strait. Explorers arriving in North America found Native Americans eating berries of all kinds. They dried them to use while traveling. European settlers brought seeds and new species of hybrid plants. In 1737 William Prince established the first plant nursery on the continent in Flushing, Queens, NY, and raspberry plants were listed for sale. Estate records from George Washington’s home in Mt. Vernon, dating from 1761, reveal raspberries being cultivated there. One hundred years later, more than forty varieties of raspberries were known throughout America.

Luther Burbank introduced many raspberry hybrids to Americans. He produced a multitude of crosses providing an unlimited variety of qualities. These raspberry plants may be a bush or a vine that grows up to three feet high. Their fruits are ready to eat right off the stems and separate easily by using your fingers, as long as you are careful of the prickly thorns. Wild berries supply food for birds and small animals. Many useful products are gleaned from raspberries: jam, jelly, juice, pies and ice cream. Health benefits are limitless. Raspberries contain high amounts of antioxidants that are believed to fight cancer and heart disease. The high content of Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, and Vitamin C, and Niacin keep our bodies strong. In addition the minerals of calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium benefit all.

Today more than 70 million pounds of raspberries are sold within one year. So take a walk this spring to see if you can find some of these tasty and healthy raspberries.

Barbara Ann Mojica

Little Miss History

Flipped out over Flippety! Simple Flashcard Review Tool

I just learned about this awesome review/flash card tool called FLIPPETY that I am flipped out for and excited to share with you!  Let me explain.

FLIPPETY  is a tool that let’s you convert a simple Excel doc. into “flippable”—I’m not sure that’s a word, but I’m using it anyway— online flashcards, in a flash!  The tool is a fast easy way to create a review for test, new vocabulary, or any content that you want to go over with students. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Flippety.net.
  2. Read the simple instructions, which are basically:
    1. Make a copy of the template, change the questions and name them.
    2. Go to file ->publish to web ->publish. Then copy the link.
    3. Click on “get the link here” tab. Paste the link into the light blue cell (you’ll see the tab at the bottom of your flippety doc), to get the link to your flashcards.
    4. Click on the link to view your cards.  Be sure to bookmark or post the link, so you can access them easily in the future.
    5. Wallah! You are done.  You can share the link with parents, collaborative teachers, or your students so they can access the review from any device.  Cool, huh?

I made this review for my class in about 5 minutes.  It was easy and fun.

The Rocky Mountain Region Review

You can even color code the flash cards according to question type, or just add color for interest. Check it out!

One final bonus? Flippety also generates a printable list of the questions/answers, a word cloud, and a printable quiz! And… if you prefer to make it into a Jeopardy type game board, instead of just flashcards, you can! Great just got better! Here’s the link with instructions: Flippety Quizshow Link

This tool is now on my list of “Most useful” for the classroom. I hope you find it useful in your classroom, too!

Sharing is caring! If you found this post useful, please share, like or tweet about it! And before you go, be sure join our weekly newsletter so you’ll never miss another post. Newsletter subscribers also have exclusive access to fabulous freebies.  Each week I give away new resources for your classroom, absolutely free! Sign up to get access to these freebies each week!

Best,

Sharon

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Let the Holidays Begin!

Macys-Thanksgiving-Day-ParadeIt’s beginning….that magical, mystical, bustling time of the year generally referred to as “the holidays.” You have seen evidence spring up long before now, but for me, the holiday season officially begins with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

The first parade sponsored by the US chain store Macy’s occurred in 1924; the American Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit originated that same year. One holiday parade, today known as 6ABC Dunkin’ Donuts Parade, began in Philadelphia four years earlier in 1920. Macy’s first parade was known as Macy’s Christmas Parade. It extended from 145th Street to the store at 34th Street. The employees marched in costume. There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. Santa Claus arrived at the end just as he does today. But in that first parade, a jolly elf was enthroned and crowned “King of the Kiddies.” An estimated quarter of a million people watched it.

A few years later, Macy’s asked Anthony “Tony” Frederick Sarg, who worked with marionettes, to prepare a window design of a parade. His animal shaped balloons made by Goodyear replaced the live animals in 1927. The Felix the Cat balloon made its debut in 1928. Originally filled with air, balloons with return addresses were released at the finale of the parade. Anyone who returned one was given a free gift from Macy’s. After an incident of balloons bursting, they were fitted with safety valves and filled with helium instead of air.

Popularity of the New York parade continued to grow; the parades were broadcast on radio in the thirties. There were suspensions from 1942-44 because helium could not be spared during World War
II. This parade gained international notoriety when the film, Miracle on 34th Street, was released in 1947, and in 1948 it was broadcast on television for the first time. Today approximately forty-four million people tune in to watch the three-hour spectacle.

Most spectators look forward to the balloons. Actually, there are three types of balloons. Novelty balloons are the small ones that might fit on a performer’s head. There are the full-size balloons that depict larger than life popular culture characters. Lastly, there are “Blue Sky Gallery” balloons that transfer real life contemporary works of art into balloons. Some balloons are float based known as Falloons and others are self-powered vehicles called Balloonicles. New balloons for 2013 include Finn and Jake, Toothless Dragon and Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary, but there are plenty of old favorites like Popeye, Betty Boop and Rocky and Bullwinkle.

If you tire of looking at balloons, there are marching bands and cheerleaders from high schools all over the country. They spend many hours training just for the chance to be chosen to march in the parade.
The Radio City Rockettes perform one of their sparkling holiday dance routines, favorite singers of adults and children alike lip sync songs at the end of the route, which now extends from 77th Street to the Macy’s store on 34th Street. Casts from several Broadway shows perform a number for those who can’t attend the theater. Many performers from popular TV shows also make an appearance. Yet, the whole parade continues to build up to one climatic event—the appearance of Santa and his sleigh as he officially ushers in the holiday season.

Maybe we are all children at heart!

Barbara Ann Mojica

LittleMissHistory.com

Bringing History Alive for Students!

Babs4BackCover (1)Some people  just have a gift for teaching and sharing new information in unique ways. This week, I want to introduce my readers the author of the Quest Teaching weekly book reviews, Ms. Barbara Ann Mojica.  Barbara definitely has that gift! She is the author of the award-winning Little Miss History Series and I feel so fortunate to feature her wonderful contributions on the Quest Teaching site each week. As you read her bio, I know you’ll be as impressed as I am with her ability to bring history alive!

Barbara’s Bio:  I have always been passionate about history, and during my lifetime have been fortunate to have the opportunity to visit thirty countries and more than half of the states in the USA. Now a retired teacher and school administrator I can go back to my first love, history. I began doing so in 2011 by writing biweekly historical articles for a local news magazine, The Columbia Insider.

I saw an opportunity to make history come alive for children when I married a talented artist and author. He designed the Little Miss HISTORY character, featured in my books, based on my younger self. I then combined my passion for history and extensive travel experience to write picture books that will make learning history fun for children, and as it’s turned out, fun for adults too!

I love watching the faces of children when they first open my books. The illustrations appeal to children as young as age two. The older children immerse themselves in the text, as well as the illustrations, as they learn more about history while having fun traveling with Little Miss HISTORY. Writing the Little Miss HISTORY series has also allowed me to connect to other writers, parents, and teachers via my blog and online media sites like Quest Teaching.

At Quest Teaching, we are proud to  feature Barbara’s thoughtful, honest, and insightful book reviews on Thursdays.  Watch for them so you won’t miss the opportunity to share some great new reads with your class!  At the end of each month, Barbara also provides commentary as to the historical development of present-day customs, events, and practices.  These articles provide interesting input for student discussion and will be of great benefit in any social studies classroom! Her snippets of history are sure to keep your students engaged and spark their interest in learning history!

To check out her prior posts click on the reading coin for book reviews and the social studies coin for the history features. Enjoy!

You will find more of Barbara’s work on her blog  http://www.littlemisshistory.com/

The History of the Picnic

picnic1The calendar says July and we are feeling the heat. On a sunny day, we feel the urge to get outside and relax. Of course we will probably find ourselves hungry so we might want to take along some food for a picnic. Where did the term picnic originate?

That is not such as easy question to answer. Most historians agree that picnics evolved from the traditions of outdoor feasts the wealthy classes entertained. There were medieval hunting feasts, banquets in Renaissance times, and garden parties in the Victorian era. In America picnics only go back as far as the middle of the nineteenth century.

Earliest picnics in England were medieval hunting feasts. The convention of having a feast before the hunt started as early as the fourteenth century. Participants would have eaten foods like hams, pastries, and baked meats. Picnicking outdoors, as we know it, became popular during the Victorian era. There are many examples of picnics in the writings of Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope and Jane Austen. Likewise, European painters such as Monet, Cezanne and Renoir depict many scenes of picnics.picnic2

It seems likely that the French invented the word picnic. The French word piquenique combines the French verb piquer which means to pick and the word nique which means something that is worth little or has no value. By1800 the word appears to be widely accepted throughout Europe. The term picnic originally meant a contribution by every guest for a meal. Every invited guest was expected to show up with a dish. The success of the social gathering depended on everyone bringing food. We use the phrase “pot luck” supper to describe such a gathering in America today. Over a period of time the word picnic’s meaning shifted to a gathering that was always held outdoors in a peaceful setting rather than a a meal in which everyone needed to make a contribution. Today a picnic means an excursion that includes sharing a meal outdoors in a pleasant area like a park or garden. A picnic might include two people sharing wine and cheese or a picnic basket with sandwiches and fruit or pastries and home baked goods. It might even be a large community event like a church social or town community day. What distinguishes it from a barbeque is the fact that the meal is already prepared and ready to enjoy outdoors not one that requires the cooking outdoors.

No matter which of these outdoor pastimes you prefer, here’s hoping that the summer will bring us many opportunities to enjoy sharing food with family and friends in the beautiful countryside. Bon Appetit!

Barbara Ann Mojica,

http://www.littlemisshistory.com/

The Literature Link – Against All Odds

The Leopard Tree

Written by Tim Merriman and Lisa Brochu

TheLeopardTree,pic

Three African children meet while living at the Nyumba wa watoto orphanage in Kenya, Africa and become fast friends. Their favorite spot is a tree they call “the leopard tree.” Daudi’s mother died of Aids when he was two; recently his grandmother has died and left him orphaned and abandoned without medication. Masozi is blind and lost a leg to a land mine due to civil war in Sudan, and Ramla from Rwanda witnessed the rape and killing of her family in her village. The trauma from that event has robbed her of her speech. Daudi reads the story of the Wizard of Oz to his friends, which inspires them to seek a wizard who can make life better for them and the children of Africa. Rosa Carson is a photojournalist who often visits Africa in an effort to create awareness of the poverty and medical needs of children in orphanages throughout Africa; she is drawn to and takes a special interest in these three children.

On one visit to the orphanage, Rosa agrees to take the three children on a day trip to Nairobi airport. When Daudi finds a passport on the floor, the adventures begin. The children stow away on a jet flying to San Francisco. From that point they travel by bus to Reno, a minivan to Kansas, and a goat trailer to Missouri. They walk along railroad tracks and stow away in a freight train until they arrive in Pennsylvania. Where are they going? Daudi has learned there is a UN conference in New York. He is determined to plead his case to the Secretary General Akama. All along this journey, the children must hide from the immigration authorities while they face all sorts of personal physical danger. To make matters worse, Daudi has been without any medication and his medical condition is deteriorating.

Rosa desperately wants to find these children to keep them safe and eventually adopt them as her family. She uses all her resources and contacts in an attempt to track them down. All the odds are against them succeeding; will these three unlikely spokespeople for Africa’s impoverished orphans succeed in the quest?

This book is a powerful presentation of the issues that face so many children everyday. Characters are deftly created with powerful personalities. Heartbreaking twists and turns in the plot abound. The authors paint portraits of the best and worst of human nature. I found it difficult to put the book down. Young adult and adult readers should not miss this book.

Barbara Mojica
Author of the Little Miss HISTORY series:
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The STATUE of LIBERTY
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to FORD’S THEATER
WWW.LittleMissHISTORY.com