Using the World Almanac for Kids 2013

I really like to use the World Almanac for Kids 2013 and I usually buy a class set every couple of years. Students really like to read these books because they are filled with colorful photographs and interesting facts about kid things. I also like to use the table of contents and the index of the almanac for lots of lessons. Picking out keywords to search for when answering a question is a real problem for new researchers, they tend to go on the internet and type in an entire question instead of just the keywords. Using the index to locate information inside a book is a good way to get them to think about keywords. With 2nd and 3rd graders, I often highlight the keywords in the questions to look up in the index. 4th and 5th graders need to be able to find the words themselves.   This book has 14 pages of questions, word search puzzles and cross word puzzles. The questions are from the table of contents, index, a timeline on transportation, a chart about the presidents, the space section, the calendar section, and the sports section. I like students to find the answers in word searches or crossword puzzles to make it more fun.   This is another mini-book that students put inside their lapbook. To make the book, the margins are cut off on the dotted lines and the center dotted line is cut to separate the top half from the bottom half. Stack in order of the page number and staple with a long-arm stapler.     You can get the book from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. … [Read more...]

Animal Research Using a Database

I wanted my 2nd graders to start using a database and I have a subscription to World Book Online, which is a great tool, so I came up with this lesson. I use a lot of task cards in the library. Because I only have 16 computers, I needed a way to circulate the students through so that everyone stayed busy and got a chance to use the computer. I started creating small tasks to do on the computer that take only 10 or 15 minutes, but gives everyone practice. First, I made computer cards, each card has a number on it and each of my computers has a matching number. When a computer is available, the card is in my box and I grab it, look at my class roster and assign it to someone. I mark the number on my roster for that student, they come and get the card and take it with them to the computer. When they are done, they return the card to my green box and I give the card to someone else. Then I made 24 Animal Research cards. Each card has the log in information for my database on the front, and the animal I want researched on the back. I print them out on 2x4 inch labels and stick them on index cards that I laminate.   To store all my task cards, I found these nice cardboard boxes at Demco that are very cheap. The database I use is World Book Online. After logging in, go to the Kids page, which has icons to click on and is easy for new readers to manage. Click on the World of Animals and you can pull up basic information on a lot of different animals. I made a book for the lapbook to collect research for nine different animals. The first page of the book is a table of contents. I like students to construct their own table of contents to get a good understanding of how to use one. To construct the book, cut off the margins on the dotted lines and cut in half. Stack the pages together and staple and fold. Students number the pages themselves so they do not have to be in any order except for the cover. The book takes 1  1/2 pages … [Read more...]