CLAMDiggers: An Enrichment Program for Upper Elementary Learners

This is the CLAMDiggers’ Enrichment Program Overview!

CLAMDiggers Overview

A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his/her might that which s/he desires. ~Paulo Coelho

I am very excited to share CLAMDiggers: a 52~week, cross-curricular, enrichment, and  interactive program I developed from my teaching and learning experiences with children, ages 8~11 years-old.

They always encouraged and inspired hands-on activities with readily available materials. Producing projects, such as games, books, sculptures, puppets, skits, paintings, food, keepsakes, etc. enhanced not only the learning process propelled by children’s love of an engaging read, but also, stimulated their creative skills in critical thinking, problem solving, visual & spatial reasoning, etc.

In the Beginning…

In the Classroom-Ludi
In the Classroom-Ludi

CLAMDiggers was originally developed as a classroom enrichment program and/or an after-school activity club for children, ages 8-11, integrating fiction and nonfiction literature with craft-making, role-play and artistic expression.

However, given the changing landscape of education, I tweaked and edited each Unit’s activities to make them more tech-friendly and accessible. Their priority remains as an interactive, hands-on learning experience.

Initially formatted for a classroom teacher, I re-worded Activity Directions into an Upper Elementary Independent Reading Level. The Lesson Plan is written as a guide for teaching reading comprehension within the thematic trade book selection list.

 An Educational Overview

Building Cognitive Skills with CLAMDiggers-Hires
Building Cognitive Skills with CLAMDiggers-Hires

CLAMDiggers is designed to build Cognitive Skills through Critical Thinking.

While promoting the ongoing development of a child’s eagerness to explore the accomplishments of creative production through manipulative experiences, CLAMdiggers:

  • cultivates an appreciation for appropriate children’s literature using a thematic approach
  • addresses cross-curriculum objectives throughout each lesson for analysis, synthesis and evaluation
  • inspires creative production using a variety of art media
  • provides opportunities for extension and enrichment within the framework of each session
  • increases an understanding of the global community on both physical and cultural levels

The impact of CLAMDiggers is immediate and expansive, as each child internalizes the confidence to express imaginative responses.

CLAMDiggers’ Format

CLAMDiggers' Format-Canva
CLAMDiggers’ Format-Canva

This labor of love of mine is assembled into seasonal / monthly / weekly collections (Summer, too) and formatted to correspond with educational guidelines. Each session includes:

 An  Introduction with an Instructional Sequence

The Unit’s Introductory Overview includes a suggested Instructional Sequence for integrating the fiction and nonfiction, Thematic Literature, grade-level  trade books listed  with the Haptic Activities included.

Master Materials & Literature Books Lists

The Unit’s Master Materials List is a complete inventory of each Activity’s necessary supplies for completion. Substitution ideas are, also, included. The Unit’s Thematic Literature List is compiled of titles I successfully used in the classroom. Children predictably and positively responded to these 10-12  reads. There are spaces for you to lists your choices as well.

A Lesson Plan with Curriculum Objectives

Each Lesson Plan generally focuses on  ideas for utilizing a variety of Comprehension Elements within the Literature reads. It, also, provides the Objectives the specific session will address. These Curriculum guidelines are designated in abbreviations: LA (Language Arts), MTH (Math), SS (Social Studies), SC (Science), HLTH (Health), A (Art), M (Music) & PE (Physical Education). The Activities/Projects are listed as well.

Activities/Projects with Directions, Illustrations, Templates & Extensions

Directions for the Activity or Project have been sequentially tested for understanding. I know how LITERAL  children can be, especially with Hands-On tasks. Some illustrations and templates may be included for, hopefully, easier modelling and tracer accessibility. Extension ideas at the conclusion of each Activity/Project will give you and your child more possibilities for enrichment.

Seasonal & Monthly Studies

CLAMDiggers' Invitation for Study--Atlantamomoffive
CLAMDiggers’ Invitation for Study-Atlantamomoffive

Each Seasonal collection of Literature Study & Activity/Project options includes opportunities to:

  • celebrate Nature’s seasonal changes
  • investigate weather patterns
  • observe the sky’s phenomena
  • explore a variety of animals
  • discover plant-life

Monthly Units have a collection of mini- poetry posters to introduce a focus on the content of the different lessons within each weekly session. They may include connections to:

  • celebrate holidays & special occasions
  • examine historical events
  • research social environments
  • create plays & games
  • apply critical thinking skills for problem solving
  • use imagination for expression

Here’s Condensed Contents List of the CLAMDiggers’ Seasonal & Monthly Main Ideas:

JANUARY: Nature in Winter/Snow/Civil Rights/Hibernation

FEBRUARY: Asian New Year/Valentines/Friendship/US Presidents

MARCH: Dr Seuss & Imagination/Windy Weather/A Wee Bit O’ Green/Spring Into Spring/Humor

 APRIL: Fairy Tales/Clouds & Rain/Earth Day Everyday/Arbor Day: A Celebration of Trees

 MAY: Mothers’ Day/Baby Animals/Bicycles & Safety/Neighbors in the Neighborhood/Let’s Have a Picnic 

JUNE: The Sun/Fathers’ Day/Backyard Summer Fun/Going on Vacation

JULY: Independence Day/Summer Nights: Moon & Stars/Tall Tales & Legends/Fun in the Water: Oceans, Lakes & Rivers 

AUGUST: Spotlight/Insects/I’m Bored ! Daydreams & Mysteries/ Inventions: Machines & Robotics

 SEPTEMBER: A Community of Helpers/Back to School/ Grandparents/Autumn Comes/A Bushel Of Apples 

OCTOBER: We Love Pets !/Old World Explorations/Nutrition Guide/ Boos & Hisses ! It’s Halloween! 

NOVEMBER: Autumn Fantasy/Then & Now/Native Americans/ Giving Thanks 

DECEMBER: An Early American Christmas/Oh! Christmas Tree!/ Santa & His Reindeer/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/New Year

Weekly Unit Components

Weekly Literature-Canva
Weekly Literature-Canva

Each weekly unit, or session includes the following components:

  • front & back covers
  • a contents list
  • introductory sequence overview
  • master materials activities list
  • thematic literature book list
  • lesson plan
  • one-four activities with sequential instructions & extension ideas

Crafts, Literature & More

Crafts, Literature & More-Hermann
Crafts, Literature & More-Hermann

You can utilize CLAMDiggers’ enrichment program in a variety of ways:

  • a Home-School enrichment program
  • an hour after-school club session introduced with a teacher-read trade book and guided activity
  • a several hours mini “workshop” with your child or several children partner-reading several trade books, electing a teacher-read book and producing activity (ies)
  • an on-going classroom, thematic DEAR with an independent and/or partner-student read, promoting a book-share, a teacher-read encouraging comprehension and culminating in project production with usage for evaluation
  • center-based tasks to include student-generated comprehension assessments in conjunction with activity production
  • cooperative group preparation of book and project presentation
  • multi-grade level student partnerships for book-shares and activity production
  • extra-credit or homework assignments to encourage parental involvement

Laminating a pocketed folder with brads or providing a notebook with dividers will help your child or children keep lessons and materials organized. A permanent black marker will enable them to title the cover.   

Book Reviews & Comprehension activities with Project Directions can be part of the folder’s contents.

Encourage your students to anecdote the Directions with questions & thoughts.  It will help generate Critical Thinking and, hopefully, facilitate Brainstorming and Creativity for Extension Activities .

CLAMDiggers’ Access

Whether selecting a few weekly units individually and/or a monthly bundle (which will include a 30-page booklet of Graphic Organizers for Reading Comprehension, Brainstorming & Writing), CLAMDiggers’ enrichment program for Upper Elementary Learners will be available ~hopefully~ for purchase on Mz. Bizzy Lizzy Biz’s Teachers Pay Teachers Shop several weeks before the Month’s due date. September’s Monthly/Weekly Units are first. Access to the Monthly Poetry Posters will be in the Shop as well. Here’s the link to my Shop:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mz-Bizzy-Lizzy-Biz

A Few CLAMDiggers’ Thank You Freebies

I hope this literature-based, Literacy enrichment program has caught your interest. Here are a few 10-page Freebies I created to show my appreciation. Just click on the links to open these PDFs:

A Home Reading and Writing Guide

Let Me Show You What I Learned-AltAssess

As a parent-teacher and/or classroom teacher of children, ages 8-11, I know you and yours will find these Units engaging and fun. I would love to hear from you.

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2020BizzyLizzyBiz

P.S.  HAPPY CLAMDIGGING!!!!

 

 

 

Encouraging the FLC with Your Kindergartner’s Writing Skills

This is Part 5 of the Family Literacy Circle’s Five ~ Part Kindergarten Series

Developing & engaging the Writing Skills of your 5-year-old is this post’s focus.  This complex set, yes set, of skills has several components, beginning with the growth & development of your child’s fine motor skills. This can take some time, routine, exercise & patience. As a preparation-overview for helping your child with his/her writing skills, check out the sections: “Writing Activities & The Brain” as well as “Pre-Writing Readiness” in my post, Building Your Family Literacy Circle’s Reading & Writing with Your “I AM FOUR!” Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/building-reading-writing-skills-with-your-preschooler/

THE FINALE~ACT FIVE : Encouraging Your Kindergartner’s Writing Skills

You may give them your love, but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Written expression offers an exciting opportunity for your child toFLC Writing Skills see how the worlds of creativity are imagined & invented.

If drawing has been, and continues to be, part of her/his communication, letter formation & words will be easier to approach.

There are many different sensory activities that can encourage this key part of his/her Literacy growth & development.

By the end of Kindergarten, your child’s writing skills should include:

  • writing upper & lower case letters
  • writing her/his first & last names in a legible, readable way
  • using letters & sounds to spell common, frequently-used  words in a legible, readable  way
  • using letters & sounds to attempt spelling less common words in a legible, readable  way
  • writing several sentences without a lot of help from an adult
  • writing responses to topics studied in school, or elsewhere
  • writing about a book s/he has read
  • writing about some of his/her life experiences

Did I just hear a large chorus of OMGs?!?

The expectations in Kindergarten are now what YOU were expected to know at the end of First grade…. Read on for the Common Core’s current list of objectives & expectations for Kindergarten…..

The USA’s Common Core Writing Expectations

From 2011  to 2012 many states & territories of the USA reviewed, adopted & began using the K-12  Common Core Standards for Language & Math in their schools. By 2018, 41 of the 50 states were using these Standard Expectations. Some states revised & re-worded  the Common Core; some states continued to use their own set of Standards. For more specific information, click on the Common Core link below, or visit your state’s website:

http://www.corestandards.org/

And the Common Core Language (Some of Them) & Writing Standards Are……

If your child will be, or is attending school in one of the “Common Core” states/territories, here is a list of Kindergarten’s  Language & Writing Standard Expectations:

Language: Standard English Conventions

  • Writes & speaks using accepted English grammar
  • Prints many upper & lowercase letters
  • Understands & uses questions words
  • Produces & expands complete sentences
  • Uses capitalization, punctuation & spelling with accuracy
  • Capitalizes the first word in a sentence and the pronoun “I”
  • Recognizes & names end punctuation with accuracy
  • Writes a letter or letters for most consonants & short-vowel sounds
  • Spells simple words they way they sound

 

Language: Vocabulary Growth & Use

  • Sorts common objects into categories
  • Shows an understanding of common verb & adjective opposites
  • Identifies real-life connections between words & their uses

 

Writing: Types & Purposes

  • Uses drawing, dictating & writing to compose an opinion about a topic or book read; an informative or explanation about a topic; a narrative about one or several events in sequential order
  • Responds to suggestions for editing writing
  • Uses digital tools to produce & publish writing
  • Participates in shared research to produce writing projects

UH HUH!!!! Of course, these are progressive developments taking place throughout the year and continuing on into First Grade.

So, let’s get them grasping that fat red pencil in a way that promotes writing!!!

Strengthening Those Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor Skills-PatrickFore
Fine Motor Skills-PatrickFore

How are your 5 year-old’s finger grasping skills?  Does s/he:

  • Hold a pencil or crayon in a non-fisted grip?
  • Control scissors when intentionally completing a task?
  • Trace lines & basic shapes with accuracy?
  • Copy figures like a circle, square, triangle?

Parents.com has a great article listing the skills your child learned last year as a 4-year-old, either with you or in Pre-School. Check it out by clicking on the link below:

https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/physical/child-developing-motor-skills/

There are lots of FUN activities to share with your child as Fine Motor developmental tools and/or to use as warm-up exercises for pre-writing.

 It is important to remember that drawing and writing, though similar, are not the same. Painting, scribbling & drawing are important steps in the growth & development of writing. Scribbles, in particular, are the early attempts of writing words & thoughts.

A child’s eye sees letters as a combination of curved & straight lines as well as  shapes.  Drawing letters can be a start, but the end result should be automatic when writing letters.  Drawing to form  an image uses a different part of the brain than writing letters to form words.

BLB’s Resource Library includes a page on locating sites with activities & exercises for developing Fine Motor Skills in children, ages 4~6. There are, also, some sites offering free, downloadable, practice skill sheets for tracing, cutting & letter-writing. Here’s the link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/fine-motor-skills-resource-sitesteaching-activities-exercises-for-ages-4-6/

What Are the “Stages of Writing”?

Your child’s beginning, “purposeful” writing may look like scribbling….It is, but it ISN’T to your child. Just ask. You’ll receive several sentences describing what the “writing” is saying. There may even be some random letters and, or symbols included, but they won’t represent accurate sounds to words.

In the next stage of writing ~ Letter Strings~ your child will chose legible, random letters and write them in the correct progression-left to right. S/he will read the writing back to you from top to bottom. However, the letters s/he has chosen do not correspond with the sounds in the words written.

The final stage before your child is actually connecting letters & sounds into words is when s/he copies the words s/he sees, known as Environmental Print. S/he usually doesn’t know what the words are and they don’t form a sentence.

These  important stages, when encouraged and praised, will lead to your child’s ability to construct meaningful words into sentences.

Keep reading for some tips to encourage these important early stages of writing.

Call Those Scribbles ” Writing”

Kinder Pre-Writing Stage-EfraimStochter
Kinder Pre-Writing Stage-EfraimStochter

If your child enjoys drawing and attempts to “write” about her/his pictures, take that as a positive sign! Those “scribblings” are meaningful. You can encourage your child to make those “words” say something with an interactive conversation. When given a specific answer, write it down on the picture (with permission, of course).

You can, also, have your child help you write lists and notes. Be sure to take and send them once “written”. Write notes to each other.

Make sure to include fill-able writing forms in your child’s Pretend Play scenarios.

Use colorful sticky-notes to label things around the house.  Point and use these words in your interactive writings about events, routines & descriptions.

Your child can tell you sentences to write and, then, have him/her make a drawing to go with the sentences. Make a collection book of these writings to read together. SO FUN!!!

If s/he enjoys tracing letters, numbers & shapes ~ YAY!!! If you see random letters (some from her/his name) included in his/her descriptions ~ WooHoo!! Time to set up a Writing Nook.

Setting Up A Writing Nook for Your Budding Writer

Writing Supplies-AnnCA
Writing Supplies-AnnCA

First of all, make sure your child’s writing space includes a hard surface like a lap-desk, clipboard and/or table. Organize some of these materials in containers on a shelf or stacked crates:

  • pencils- colored & regular
  • crayons- glittered & regular
  • markers- water-based, fine & regular point
  • papers- 8×11″, lined, unlined, colored & white
  • papers- large, colored construction, manilla & newsprint
  • wallpaper- murals for pic ideas & deco for book covers
  • pre-made blank books & list pads
  • dry erase board with dry erase markers
  • cookie sheet & magnetic letters
  • pictured vocab cards & picture dictionary
  • blank cards & envelopes
  • stamps & stickers
  • glue sticks, tape & scissors

Hang an alphabet chart nearby with a few Writing Ideas containers.

  • The “Mystery Writer”container can have “hidden” choice strips for surprise prompts, like “The Big Red Truck” or “The Giant Ladybug”. 
  • You can, also, have a container with a stack of “Sentence Beginners” strips , like “I like to eat…..”, “I can draw…….”, “Outside I can see……..”, “I can play….”
  • A List-In 2 Me” Tin can have one -word cards as choices, like colors, toys, foods, clothes, friends, animals, family, celebrations
  • A “Travel Agent” container can hold pictures of places from around the world, vacation spots, habitats, the community
  • Include some Handwriting Practice sheets, too

Deb @learnwithplayathome collected some ideas from a variety of contributors.  Click on the link below :

http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2014/05/learn-to-write-12-activities-for-early.html

Join the Writing Nook, too, for modeling, actual writing, interactive writing, and sharing/reading what you are writing on your paper, cards, notepad, journal, etc.

You Are Your Child’s First Writing Teacher

Heart of Letters-GDJ
Heart of Letters-GDJ

In addition to Writing & Reading a Daily Morning message to your child  plus labeling house item together on sticky notes, there are many other writing activities you can do together.

Scholastic Parents & I have several suggestions for ways to “slip writing into everyday play”:

  • Make simple signs for block-built structures & Lego creations
  • Write lists together for going on errands.
  • Take pictures of Environmental Print while out & about, so you & your child can compile a  “World~Words” book together
  • Use letter stamps on play dough to explore letters & write words
  • Create simple menus & signs for Pretend Play restaurants, like Pizza Parlor, Cozy Cafe, Breakfast Bistro,  Sandwich Stand, Blue Plate Diner
  • Write name tags for different roles during a variety of Pretend Play scenarios
  • Use chunky sidewalk chalk on the driveway to create murals, game frames, designs, messages, floor plans, city-scapes, neighborhoods, pretend play scenery
  • Compose invitations for playroom tea parties, backyard picnics, fashion shows, plays, concerts, art exhibits, readings (especially authored storybooks)
  • Encourage your child to sign his/her paintings, drawings & other creations

As your child’s Kindergarten year progresses, try to include more school-objective expectations as writing activities into the Family Literacy Circle.

And On A More Serious Note…..

Letters To Words To Sentences To........-973894
Letters To Words To Sentences To……

Your Kindergartner’s teacher has probably presented a few Writing Structure expectations for her Sentence Writers to follow:

  • Sentences begin with a capital letter~ reinforce the differences using the alphabet letters chart.
  • Sentences end with an stop mark~make mini emoji-like faces on cards to go with each one.
  • Each word in a sentence is followed by a space~use a finger or thin craft stick to help with this skill.
  • Write letters as neatly as possible~handwriting letter practice will help with this.
  • Read the sentence to see if it makes sense~re-read, if necessary for accuracy.

Here’s an 8×11″  Writing Checklist Mini-Poster to hang up in your child’s Writing Nook. Just click on the link below, download & print:

MyPencilPerfectWriting

Once your young writer knows most of the alphabet with their letter sounds, s/he will using that knowledge to spell words during written composition. Try not to correct too much. Instead, help him/her learn how to use  a sight & vocabulary word chart/cards, word family lists, and a simple picture dictionary as well as word-sound stretching. 

Using these skills will help your child meet the high expectations that are currently part of your Kindergartner’s Writing Goals for the year: writing fiction & nonfiction stories (the narrative), writing a book review ( the opinion), and writing directions (the informative, or how-to)……

Yes, Seriously…..Continued….

My Story-PanXiaozhen
My Story-PanXiaozhen

I heard that collective GASP!!!! Believe me, many educators were/are part of that concern…..but that is a whole ‘nother convo-post.

Back to the ” informative” part of this section….

So, YES ~  3 main types of writing (several varieties are part of the “main types”) with several (usually about five) complete, related sentences on a topic, using minimal adult/teacher intervention are the Common Core Writing expectations by the completion of Kindergarten……

YES…5 Different Pieces of Writing….

How-To Draw A Face-RawPixel
How-To Draw A Face-RawPixel

The Narrative can be a personal, nonfiction story about an event in your child’s life. Think celebrations, holidays, vacations, younger/older siblings & relatives, friendships, growing experiences, etc. The other piece of story-telling your Kindergartner is expected to compose is a simple fictional piece, complete with a setting, characters, events  as well as  a problem to be solved.

The Informative can be a How-To, or Instructional sequence describing the way to make or do something. Think how to ride a bike, how to brush one’s teeth, how to make a breakfast cereal bowl, how to build a sheet-tent, etc. The other part of this expectation has to do with sharing learned, nonfictional facts about a subject. Think bears, apple trees, community helpers, parts of a flower, holidays, seasons, etc.

An Opinion is usually written about books being read as a class, by the teacher and/or independently by your emergent reader.

Graphic organizers can help with this process. I created a few as a PDF for you to use. Just click on the link below to download & print:

5 GOs for K Wtg

And as rigorous as this sounds, many 5 (soon to be 6)-year-olds are able to accomplish this. The growth from beginning Kindergarten (think Pre-K) to the  end of Kindergarten (think Pre-First) is HUGE and amazing!!!

However, some writers are reluctant, especially at this level….well at any level, really…. As a PUBLISHED author~it’s called a Block….

This Is TOO HARD!!!!!

You can make anything by writing. ~ C.S. Lewis

Several factors can contribute to your child’s reluctance to putting the pencil-to-the-paper:

  • S/he is not confident with his/her knowledge of what the letters are, how the letters look, and/or how to form the letters on the paper.
  • S/he is struggling with grasping a writing tool  and, then, using it to form the letters on paper.
  • S/he becomes frustrated when trying to choose what to write about.

Continue practicing the alphabet with fun, hands-on activities. You can find some ideas from a number of websites. BLB’s Resource Library has a page to help with that. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/15-abc-activities-websites/

BLB Shop has a download & print ABC Activities product, too. Here’s the link to these games:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/alphabet-games-8-literacy-activities/

If Fine Motor skills are part of your child’s struggle with writing, click on the several  links provided in the “Strengthening Those Fine Motor Skills” section of this post.

Remember to show your child  the importance of writing throughout the day as you write notes, lists, calendar appointments, etc.   Your interactive writing with your child is, also, very instrumental in the actual writing process of literacy.

HEY!!!! I CAN Write Words & Sentences!

Letting your reluctant writer set the pace for her/his learning is one of the keys to putting that pencil (or any writing tool)-to-the-paper. Instead of specific lessons, blend writing into everyday activities & especially during play, like labeling things, making signs, filling out Pretend Play lists & forms.

Every Picture Is A Story-Blake Campbell
Every Picture Is A Story-Blake Campbell

One of the easiest ways to start the writing process is to begin with a drawing your child has created. Label parts of the picture with post-its, describe what the picture is telling, give the picture a title, and, then, write some simple sentences together.

Another fun way to get the writing “juices” flowing is to use the rhyming activity the Word Families encourage. Use those words as a basis for a song to be performed on the Family Stage in Concert or as a verse to be shared during a Poetry Reading with other family poets.

Need a few Writing Tool Kits to include in your child’s Home Writing Nook?

BLB Shop can help! Just click on the links below to check them out:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/kindergarten-writing-tools/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/reading-writing-word-families-high-frequency-words-learning-tool/

Celebration Power

Probably one of the most powerful ways to engage your “budding” author is through the  Interactive Journal. This personal – written dialogue between you & your child can be quite a surprising way to learn as well as discover thoughts, feelings & knowledge. It is a very successful Literacy tool for writing (and parenting…..).

Need some other ideas, tips and/or suggestions? The post from Creekside Learning lists as for First through Third, but there are some FUN ideas you can use with your Kindergartner. Click on the link to read:

http://creeksidelearning.com/handwriting-activities-for-kids/

 

Well,  not a lot of Writer’s Block here (or on any of my other Posts for that matter)….. Hope you found some usable info. Writing in Kindergarten can be a struggle…..

 Any Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

Upgrading the Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

In Second Grade ALREADY!!!!! Prepare for Academic Acceleration in Learning & Language Literacy Skills. Listening & Speaking Vocabulary become increasingly…complex. Reading & Writing expectations approach independence. And the ongoing Research Projects….

Yes, there’s a TON of Academic Acceleration happening during your 7 year-old’s Second Grade year! And, yours truly is here to try & offer some helpful strategies & tips for “dealing” with this “BLOW OUT” year, which, BTW, will set the tone for next year’s “I Totally Got This !” Third Grade year….

So, Faithful Reader, I’m, again, writing a 5 ~ part Series. This time for Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grade: Language Skills, Celebrations (Part 2), Research Skills (Part 3), and the ever-ongoing Literacy Skills of Reading (Part 4) & Writing (Part 5).

This is Part One :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

  Your Second Grader’s Learning & Language Skills

There are no seven wonders in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~ Walt Streighttiff

Notice anything different about the way your 7 year-old looks? Some of that “baby-ness” may be slowly melting away as his/her motor skills continue to mature. S/he may even grow a few inches taller. Ready to take the training wheels off that two-wheeler?

Not only is his/her curiosity continuing to increase, the abilities to investigate & analyze the mysteries of the world are growing as well.

Those limitless questions are part of the excitement s/he is feeling about the exploration and discoveries of new environments  as well as all those social situations. (OMG ~ did s/he just ask me THAT question?!?)

S/he is beginning to prefer playing with friends instead of adults, although family outings are still very enjoyable.

Once answered, s/he is eager to share the new knowledge s/he has learned with others, making your child a perfect candidate as a Peer-Mediator for a school-wide program called “PMII”, or Peer-Mediated Instruction & Intervention.

Yes, I’ve Heard About That Program

As a Peer-Instructor, s/he may act as an assistant during classroom instruction, cooperative learning, and/or peer-tutoring.

S/he may, also, be asked to help as a peer-supporter with social skills connections, such as easing reluctant students into group-share situations (cafeteria, recess, activities).

One of the most successful roles s/he will participate in is as a peer-interventionist during conflict resolution scenarios. As an educator of the young, I can tell you these youngsters work wonders with their peers as situational problem solvers without the company of an adult or teacher. Here’s a sample of an effective dialogue a Peer Mediator  may use. This PDF includes strategies with  options as well as typical student conflicts.

http://www.uft.org/files/attachments/peer-mediation.pdf

However,  because your Second Grader is beginning to show concerns about what others (especially peers) think of him/her~ growing self-criticism & some confidence-shrinking may become an issue occasionally.  And  then, there’s the Worry-Wartness symptoms….

What’s to Worry About?

That malady called “Peer Pressure” is beginning to take hold now.  Longing to be part of a group, your 7 year-old does not appreciate having attention called to his/her actions and/or accomplishments…. unlike the last few years…..oh dear…

Your child may worry about things that never seemed bothersome in the past, like clothes (“Too babyish!”), homework (“I’ll NEVER get all this done !”), physical irritations (“I think I have a deadly disease!”), bedtime (“I know there’s something hiding in my closet…”).

According to Hank Pellissier, founder & director of the Brighter Brains Institute, many Second Graders ” HATE making mistakes, not finishing tasks, and losing at anything. They have to be first, correct, punctual, best & perfect.” Sound familiar???

He further states that all this particular area of angst is part of your child’s brain growth. Understanding concepts like time, space, direction, distance & time are influencing the expectations s/he has on the completion of activities.

You Can Learn from Your Mistakes

You must never feel badly about making mistakes…as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons that you do by being right for the wrong reasons. ~The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I came across this great piece of helpful information when trying to boost a child’s confidence, especially when s/he is feeling insecure during the learning process. It is an anchor chart,  Jen of Runde’s Room discovered created by a group of elementary school teachers. I did some editing, so please feel to use it with your little WorryWart:

So, of course,  a safe, reliable, predictable & reassuring environment is necessary for maximum learning to occur. Keep those routines in place!

Your Child’s Classroom Learning Environment

I Love Learning!-DavidSluka
I Love Learning!-DavidSluka

Although having high expectations for your child may seem a bit harsh, they are, in fact, a match for those s/he and her/his classroom teacher has already put into play. Your Second Grader loves a good challenge ~ even thrives on it ~ as long as the limits are not too stressful. Rigor is a part of the curriculum.

The Second Grade classroom is filled with SEVERAL libraries: fiction readers ~ Picture & beginning Chapter trade  books;  nonfiction readers ~ earth, physical, ecology & life science concepts; social studies concepts ~  world culture, community helpers, economics, historical biographies, & atlases;  math concepts ~ measurement, computation, fractions, money, geometry. There are bins of manipulatives, tools, instruments, notebooks, writing supplies, art supplies, etc. Center nooks are usually in place : reading, writing, science, math, social studies, a large, interactive calendar, maps, and, maybe even, a globe.

Your Child’s Home Learning Environment

Your Home Learning Environment probably shares many of the same elements. My Resource Library has some information for you regarding Your Educational Home Environment. Here’s the link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/your-educational-home-environment-activities-to-boost-your-childs-literacy-growth/

And a PDF Materials list for you to download, copy & print:

A Materials & Activities List for the Home~Learning Experience

And, then, there’s your Brain’s favorite Learning environment ~ the Great Outdoors! Nothing like fresh oxygen!

Your Seven Year-Old’s Brain

Call for brain power. ~Barbara Jordan

Outdoor play is critical to all children’s growth & development. They need to walk, run, jump, twist, turn, spin & play. Not only are 7 year-olds ready for free physical play, they are, also, ready get those training wheels off their speed racers, skateboard (YIKES) and participate in organized sports as well as back yard games. You remember these, right?!

  • Hide ‘n Seek
  • Hopscotch
  • Jump-rope
  • Jacks
  • Marbles
  • Red Light, Green Light
  • Mother/Father/Granny/Granpa/Auntie/Uncle, May I ?
  • Simon Says
  • Multiple Tag Games
  • Freeze Dance
Outdoors & the Brain-Schmid-Reportagen
Outdoors & the Brain-Schmid-Reportagen

In a recent article “Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature”, written by Danielle Cohen & published on the Child Mind Institute website, research supports what we  humans, have known all along. 

As educators, we all agree indoor recess is just not the same as being outside on the playground. Being outdoors is beneficial, not only to your physical health, but also, to  your mental wellness.

“Most of the studies agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less  anxious than kids who spend more time indoors.”

Here are links to the complete article with an additional link for Ideas:

https://childmind.org/article/why-kids-need-to-spend-time-in-nature/

https://childmind.org/article/ideas-for-getting-your-kids-into-nature/

Lots of research, also, suggests students who engage in physical, outdoor play are able to learn more easily in academic environments. Dr. John Ratey, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist & author of the book, Spark : The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain states exercise elevates a brain-building chemical he calls “Miracle-Gro for the Brain” because it encourages its growth & development.

Here’s another interesting article regarding Green Spaces & the Brain : https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/research-finds-surprising-thing-that-can-boost-your-childs-brain-development/

And there are lots of indoor Brain exercises you can do.

Inside the Brain Activities

Second Grade requires students to participate in a more rigorous learning environment. Their Critical Thinking skills are engaging them in more complex reading, longer writing compositions, and greater problem solving concepts.

Ready!-AlainAudet
Ready!-AlainAudet

Because they are improving their brains’ processing skills, creating & presenting research projects become a significant part of their everyday classroom  expectations. Technology will be used for these investigations, but…..go easy on Screen Time….it’s a Brain ~ Eater, but more on that in Part 2…..

Memory & rational brain areas are growing, giving them more impulse control, independence & planning power. Three-step directions should be easier for your child to follow ~ clothes in the hamper, bath with soap, pajamas on. Oh, and brush teeth & hair….guess that’s more than 3….

Need some support ? Gotta a Resource in the  Library for you: :https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/meeting-following-directions-challenge/

I, also, have the Resource “Your Child Is A Brainiac” available for you :

 https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

And a few Critical Thinking List PDFs for you to download, copy, print & use for ideas :

A Short List of CT Questions   &   Questions for Brain Food Menu

And, speaking of Brain Food…..

Yes, There ARE Brain ~ Healthy Foods

Numerous brain scientists & nutritionists agree ~ there  are certain foods, when part of our daily diet, actually help brains grow, develop & function more effectively. I created a little PDF reminder you can put on the fridge next to your grocery shopping list. It’s a broad, general list, so Go Julia (Child) !   Brain Foods Poster

Many lists I read, listed Oatmeal, Blueberries & Eggs as the top 3 foods, especially for children. Hmmm…sounds like Breakfast & Cookies……  And because I LOVE to cook, especially with children, I  adapted a few recipes using these ingredients for you to make and eat with your child (ren). They’re in a PDF, recipe card format with front & back covers, so you can download, copy, print & cut apart to include as a section in your kitchen recipe box or notebook :

Brain Food Recipes

This GREAT website is packed with loads of links, activities & recipes to include in your family’s health & wellness regimen:

 https://www.rd.com/advice/parenting/brain-games-for-kids/

Plus a few more:

https://www.myrecipes.com/kids/back-to-school-brain-food

https://www.delish.com/cooking/g4136/healthy-foods-for-kids

https://www.parents.com/recipes/scoop-on-food/4-brain-foods-for-kids

The Brain continues to influence the healthy development of your child’s Language skills ~ yes….finally…for the Language part of this post. It is in the title, after all…..

Your 7 ~ Year ~ Old’s Literacy Language Skills

 Remember the Receptive & Expressive ~ Listening & Speaking ~ components of your child’s ever-growing  Language Skills? Well, talk about Academic Acceleration….

Your Second Grader’s curriculum content, trade books, grade-level readers AND critical thinking vocabulary expectations are escalating to new heights….

Conversations-JosephGonzalez
Conversations-JosephGonzalez

If your child’s school district follows the Common Core, here are a FEW of the Listening & Speaking objectives being taught in the Second Grade classroom:

  • actively participate in collaborative discussions about grade-level content with peers as well as adults in small/large group settings
  • use complete sentences to ask or answer questions, tell a story with details, recall & describe an experience, verbalize comprehension of learned content/concepts with key ideas
  • orally present & explain research projects to include details

Speaking of Concepts…. Does your 7 year-old understand:

  • Opposites
  • Left/right
  • Ordinals ~ first, second…
  • Differences & Similarities
  • Comparatives ~ small, smaller, smallest
  • Time ~ yesterday, tomorrow, last week, etc.

And how’s his/her grammar ?

Got Grammar!?!

Then, there are a bunch of the “Conventions of Standard English” to be used when writing and/or speaking. Some of these, I’ll call them Grammar, include:

  • Pronouns
  • Plurals ~ regular & irregular
  • Collective Nouns
  • Possessives
  • Past Tense verbs ~ regular & irregular
  • Adjectives & Adverbs

I created a few PDF Grammar activities for you to download, copy, print & play with your Second Grader:

One Frog Hops      &      Collective Nouns

My BLB Shop has a game to help your child learn how to Categorize Nouns, which is, also, a Critical Thinking skill. Just click on the link below for access:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

Then…………there is, also, the Vocabulary Acquisition & Use components….for Understanding & Using when Speaking, Listening, Reading AND Writing….. uh huh….

MY, What a BIG Vocabulary You Have…..

Among the expectations in THIS category…..

  • root words /prefixes / suffixes
  • compound words
  • synonyms
  • critical thinking words
  • high-level, academic words
  • difficult common content vocabulary
  • beginning dictionary & glossary skills

My Calendar Corner collection in BLB Shop can help your Second Grader master some of these Vocabulary concepts in a fun, engaging way:

  https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/my-calendar-corner-daily-prek-thru-3rd-grade-literacy-activities/

I, also, created a specific product for learning those BIG High-Level & Common Content Vocabulary Words :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/second-grade-wow-words-vocabulary/

The website, studenttreasures.com, published an article ~ “Effective Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary to Second Graders” with these ideas:

  • Engage in oral & hands-on Wordplay
  • Use visual elements, like a Word Wall, Word Collages
  • Locate vocabulary during read-alouds

OMG!!!! Now you see why I had to divide this content into a 5 ~ part series…..

Just one more thing….I promise….

SOOOOO, By the End of Second Grade….

Your child, approaching or celebrating 8 years-old, will probably:

I Got This !-Nappy936120
I Got This !-Nappy
  • Continue to improve his/her reasoning, processing & focusing skills
  • See connections between concepts for compare & contrast purposes
  • Experience a MAJOR vocabulary expansion
  • Increase her/his reading fluency, decoding & comprehension skills
  • Utilize dictionary skills to locate irregularly spelled words, harder words, definitions & synonyms
  • Improve his/her editing & revising skills during the writing process

Onto Celebrations !!!

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

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Upgrading The FLC with Your Second Grader’s Research Project Skills

Upgrading The Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader’s Research Project Skills

Within the first few weeks of school, I’m sure you (and your Second Grader) tried not to be too overwhelmed by :

  • the amount of content in ALL subject areas being covered ~ ALREADY!?!
  • the amount of Homework being given ~ where’s that WEEKLY checklist?!?
  • the amount of classroom expectations with their accountability ~ REALLY!?!
  • the amount of changes your child seems to be going through ~ QUICKLY!?!

With you  celebrating these changes with your seven-year-old, s/he will be preparing to embrace an even bigger change in what your young Scholar will achieve ~ the successful completion of…. THE RESEARCH PROJECT!!!

This is Part Three :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Research Skills

Your Second Grade Scholar

The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation. ~ Ray L Wilbur

By now you & yours have created a “work-space” for getting those academics done. Homework has been coming home for most students since Kindergarten, even if it was just reading together for minutes every night and a weekly spelling list and, oh yeah, some math problems…..

Yes, the Homework load will definitely increase, following your district’s guidelines for Second Grade. It should be a review of content to be done independently by your child. It will, usually, include independent reading for a certain amount of  time with a  a few sentences about comprehension to be written, a weekly spelling list with a daily study activity, and a few math computations with a word problem or two to solve. S/he should be able to complete these assignments independently in under 30 minutes, including the read time…. Issues?

Maybe BLB’s Homework Hotline Resource can help: https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/homework-help-hotline-parent-involvement-strategies/

Until…..it’s time for the Research Project, but that’s in the future (and not so distant…)

So…. your BIG Second Grader may be ready to move away from the kitchen table and into a more private, “serious ” study space. It may require some research….

A Private Study Space of My Own

I came across a helpful little article, “Quick Study” by Caylin Harris in the September 2017 edition of FAMILY CIRCLE. She collected some ideas from Amanda Titchenal, Leslie Josel & Kate Varness and offers these suggestions:

  • Make the creation & design a “joint effort”. The sense of ownership will encourage use & maintenance of the work-space.
  • Choose furniture with the flexibility to “grow” with your child, physically & aesthetically.
  • Keep going through that “Goes Home” folder together. Is there a separate Homework folder? They may be color-coded.
  • Music ? Yes/No ? Some types of music is actually beneficial for studying. Check out what moves, motivates or distracts your child’s focus & concentration. Headphones ? Maybe not….
  • Use organizational boxes, bins & racks. Have your child label them. I used dividers in drawers for easy, quick access to tools & materials. Not a fan of Junk drawers, myself…..
  • Open shelving on pegboard allows for easy access & visual organization. Big fan of that option especially in a closed space.
  • Make sure a Celebration Board is part of the work-space ~ cork, magnetic, plexiglass with ribbon.

Don’t really have space for a work-space?

A Home Project….and Some Research

Actually, you do. Josel suggests making a tri-fold privacy shield out of a presentation board. It does need to stand on its own and the height may need a trim.  Your child can decorate & stick on pockets for organizing. When the shield has done its work,  your child can fold it up and slide it under the bed, beside a chest of drawers or inside the closet.

Setting up a Home Learning Environment can be  challenging, especially if space is limited and other “stuff” is taking up space ~ DO NOT get rid of the dishwasher…. This BLB Resource may have some helpful ideas for you & yours:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/your-educational-home-environment-activities-to-boost-your-childs-literacy-growth/

You know your child has not only been engaged in research at school since Kindergarten, but, s/he has, also, been conducting informal Research Projects at home. They may be totally verbal, but…”Here’s why we need a dog..”; “There’s tons of stuff to do at….”; “I really need to join….”~ to mention a very few…

Collecting and ~ yes ~ writing down the information is an entirely different “project”. So, I thought I would create a few  Family Fun Home~Grown Project Templates with an idea list : Home Research Projects

Of course,  you  obviously are an important partner for developing those Critical Thinking Skills your child so readily uses to “present” a potential Family Research Project…

The “Brainiac” Project

Growing Those Critical Thinking Skills-Sulaco229
Growing Those Critical Thinking Skills-Sulaco229

The braininess of your young Scholar is really beginning to “present” itself. If you’re unsure, click on this Resource to confirm his/her state of mind: https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/parent-guide-building-thinking-skills/

And it’s only going to increase in growth & complexity…

There are 4 Big areas you can  continue to help develop your child’s cognitive skills:

Observation

  • Improves descriptions
  • Increases meaning & comprehension with details

Spatial Thinking

  • Defines shape characteristics: same/different, sequences/patterns, classifications into groups
  • Uses directional & positional words with increasing accuracy

Verbal Thinking

  • Shares picture descriptions with greater detail, using part to whole
  • Selects living & nonliving things with similarities & differences
  • Orders living & nonliving things into a sequence by characteristics
  • Classifies living & nonliving things by traits or characteristics

Academic Vocabulary

  • Understands subject-specific words that describe, classify & compare/contrast
  • Begins to apply or use subject-specific vocabulary during verbal & written explanations of key concepts

Academic Vocabulary development can be a tricky, if not confusing area to address. BLB Shop has a product with games & activities  to help understand and use these words in Second Grade : https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/second-grade-wow-words-vocabulary/

And speaking of Academic Vocabulary, did you know there are 4 types of Knowledge & 6 Cognitive Processes (Bloom’s Taxonomy ~ remember him…) !?!

Yes…There Are 6 Levels of Thinking within Those 4 Kinds of Knowledge…

And now for some 25-cent words to include in this SHORT explanation of Knowledge & Thinking… which, believe it or not, your Second Grader is already hearing in the classroom…

FOUR TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE

Factual

  • terminology (specific words/vocabulary)
  • specific details & elements

Conceptual

  • classifications & categories
  • principles & generalizations
  • theories, models & structures

Procedural

  • subject’s specific skills & algorithms (rules of process)
  • subject’s specific techniques & methods
  • criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures

Metacognitive

  • strategic (careful design/plan)
  • appropriate cognitive tasks
  • self-knowledge

SIX COGNITIVE SKILLS

COGNITIVE PROCESSFACTUAL KNOWLEDGECONCEPTUAL KNOWLEDGEPROCEDURAL KNOWLEDGEMETA-COGNITIVE KNOWLEDGE
RememberListDescribeTabulateAppropriate Use
UnderstandSummarizeInterpretPredictExecute
ApplyClassifyExperimentCalculateConstruct
AnalyzeOrderExplainDifferentiateAchieve
EvaluateRankAssessConcludeAction
CreateCombinePlanComposeActualize

Again ~ not only does your young Scholar understand many of this “terminology”, but s/he will, also,  be  (if not already) using this Knowledge and Cognitive Thinking Skills during the Research Project Process. UH HUH!!!

Need a bit more info ? Click on the link below:

 https://galileo-camps.com/why-galileo/blog/a-parents-guide-to-blooms-taxonomy/

There are a few things you can do at home to help build the skills s/he needs to successfully & accurately produce a Research Project.

Home ~ Grown Research Project Prep

You can not open a book without learning something. ~Confucius

Open Your Mind & Learn-DavidClode
Open Your Mind & Learn-DavidClode

You are probably already doing this if you and yours are Nonfiction book readers ~ you have taught your child the value of learning how to use Informational Text Features like: the Table of Contents, the Glossary, Captions under images, Labels, Diagrams, Bold & Colored Print, etc.

Informational Text Features Infographic
Informational Text Features Infographic

Second Graders learn how to use at least 17 of these helpful clues when trying to understand and discover which pieces of information will be necessary to include in the Research of a Topic. Here’s a little workbook you can use for reviewing and/or reteaching these all important Research Skills:

I Understand Informational Text Features

I, also, painstakingly, created a fun and very concise Literacy Learning Tool for teaching Informational Text Features that includes an interactive Nonfiction book I wrote ~ THE TINY GIANT: A True Story About Watermelons~ with a mini comprehension workbook. Here is the BLB Shop link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/interactive-informational-text-features-learning-tool/

An Informational Text Features Mini ~ Lesson

What Kind of Crab Is This?-Bmewett
What Kind of Crab Is This?-Bmewett

Your beach-loving boy has just caught a crab of some kind. A nonfiction book about Ocean Animals needs to be found because he needs to know EVERYTHING about this small, interesting creature. Wherever you decide to look for a book, it needs to have the right information. “So, where’s the first place you should look in the book?” you ask your eager learner.

He quickly opens to the Table of Contents, but doesn’t want to read that much yet. “Where else could you find what you’re looking for ?” If he doesn’t know about the Index ~ here’s your teaching moment~ and “SO, you know you want to find out about…” “A crab!” he exclaims. “Look! Here it is on page…!” Well, it’s a Section with all the different crabs found in the ocean. Guess, he’ll have to do a little more……research.

If there are pictures of different crabs, encourage him to study the photo and think about what he already knows. Then, it’s time to read the Caption underneath it to see if this crab could be the same, or a similar one. Is there a Map or some other Location image ? Ask your child to look for them.

Kind of like a Treasure Hunt, huh!?!

These interactive questions mirror how your Second Grader is learning how to use Informational Text Features in the classroom.

The Teacher ~ Parent Connection

Have you connected with your child’s school and the teachers ? We Are Teachers created a short PDF loaded with tips and ideas regarding the relationship between you, your child & school. Just click on the link:

https://www.weareteachers.com/free-school-success-guide-for-parents/

Classroom Research Project Sequence

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. ~ Socrates

Although author and book studies can be part of a Research Topic, Geography, Social Studies & Science are heavy hitters in this category.

The “I Wonder…” phase of the Inquiry is usually begun in a KQRL template. Here’s an example  : KQRL Template

Your Scholar is participating in a monthly Research Project which usually begins as a whole class lesson presented in sequential mini-lessons. Peer editing is usually part of this Process with a final, strongly visual Presentation piece, such as a flyer, poster, or even a sculpture.

His/her teacher may assign cooperative groups of 3-4 classmates a variety of Topics for them to discuss and, then decide on a specific Topic Question / Sentence.

A partner Project may be next with an independent Project as a cumulative study towards the end of the year. One, or several may be given periodically as an ongoing homework task with a deadline schedule for the different parts of Project research until its  Presentation due date. 

The Topic usually starts out BIG : Animals to a Smaller Topic: Birds to a specific, simple Topic: The Life Cycle of a Robin.

Possible Second Grade Science Topics

Leaf Study-Stocksnap
Leaf Study-Stocksnap

These Topics may, also, be part of a Science Fair Project ~ again, Big to Small to Specific:

  • Animals: traits & characteristics as in diet, habitat, seasons, life cycle
  • Habitats : plants, animals & land-forms of ocean, forest, desert, tundra
  • Earth : properties & characteristics of rocks, soil, waterways, land-forms
  • Weather : characteristics of the seasons, elements, extremes
  • Human Body Systems : nervous, digestive, muscular & skeletal
  • Matter: properties & states of solids, liquids & gases
  • Forces: properties & management of electricity & magnetism

BLB Shop has 4 Science Labs: Physical, Earth, Life & Ecology to help you and your young Scientist explore these Topics:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-physical-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-earth-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-life-science-lab/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/homegrown-primary-eco-science-lab/

Social Studies & Geography Topics are next.

Possible Social Studies & Geography Topics

WWhere Oh Where ? BenKerckx
Where Oh Where ? BenKerckx

Here are some Social Studies & Geography curriculum objectives that may be explored during this Second Grade year :

  • Maps & Globes : identify geographic features
  • Communities : explore the different helpers, careers, goods & services
  • Governments : discuss purpose, elections, laws &  differences of local, state & federal levels
  • Historical Figures : impacts, contributions & biographies
  • America : history, customs & celebrations

You can check out my previous Second Grade post on Second Grade Celebrations for some ideas :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/second-graders-celebrations/

Need a few  mini-lessons on Community Helpers, USA Symbols & USA Celebrations ? Click on these links :

Community Helpers

USA Mini Lessons

15 USA Holidays

Finally, BLB Library has a  Nonfiction Independent Reads Book List as a Resource for these 3 subject areas to assist your Second Grade Scholar with her/his Research :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/nonfiction-independent-second-grade-reads/

And now, for the Feature Presentation ~the actual Research Project Process with its steps & expectations…..

The Research Project Process

Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children. ~ Walt Disney

Research-BessHamiti
Research-BessHamiti

Many school districts, including several of the ones I taught in, use the The Big 6 Research Model developed by Mike Eisenberg & Bob Berkowitz in 1987.

This Information Literacy Research Method continues to be used throughout the world because of its grade level & subject versatility.

This Research Model :

  • provides a plan for engaging students in the learning experiences of problem solving and critical thinking
  • helps them evaluate which pieces of information  will  answer the specifically defined Topic Question/Sentence
  • encourages students to create ideas for unique products or presentations of their research.

Many Primary educators adapt the Big 6 sequence into the Super 3, which provides students with the same basic elements using a simpler vocabulary.

Here’s a mock-up table comparing the 2 methods :

THE BIG 6 METHODTHE SUPER 3 METHOD
Task Definition : What am I supposed to do & what information do I need?Plan: What am I supposed to do ?
Information Seeking Strategies: What sources will I used to help me find this information ?Plan : What do I need to find out ?
Location & Access : Where can I find these resources & who can help me find them ?Do : How do I find what I need to complete the task ?
Use of Information : How will I record the information I find ?Do : What can I make to show what I have learned ?
Synthesis : How will I show what I have found & stay organized in a timely manner ?Review : Did I do what I was supposed to do ?
Evaluation : I will know I have done my best & use an editing checklist to be sure.Review : Did I do my best work or do I need to do something else before I am done ?

Pitt County Schools in North Carolina offers a 35-page, thorough, parent-friendly explanation of these 2 methods in a PDF.

https://www.pitt.k12.nc.us/cms/lib6/nc01001178/centricity/domain/34/0910_files/big6andsuper3pdf.pdf

BLB Library, also, has a Resource for  understanding the Inquiry Investigation Process:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/inquiry-investigations-authors-books-websites/

And, if you need an easy-to-use, step-by-step Instruction Handbook with Templates & Reference Checklists for The Research Project AND The Science Fair Project, you can find this Guide in BLB’s Shop. Just click on the link below :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/research-project-toolkit/

About That Science Fair Project…..

Need specific Science Fair Project info ? This site, Science Kids, offers grade level ideas with a help-guide for using the Scientific Method:

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/projects.html

Speaking of a help-guide….

Dear Parents of Project Researchers……

Oh Yay! A Research Project !-White77
Oh Yay! A Research Project !-White77

As a parent and educator, it’s really difficult for me to know where to “draw the assistance line” .

There are so many “variables” to consider when your child, especially your Second Grader, comes home with The Project to complete.

So, again, I did some research, and, I think I found a few pieces of sound advice to share with you.

Diane Divecha of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence defines too much help basically tells your child s/he is not capable of doing the work. Instead, she recommends support your child by helping him/her develop the skills to do the projects independently with experiencing the stress  big projects can bring.

The Advice…..

  • Teach those organizational skills needed for effectively completing all the parts of a Research Project ~ to-do list, materials list, task schedule
  • Show how time management can help make the Project advance more efficiently, even if it means s/he needs to modify some of the product.
  • Review, if necessary, how to use some of the tools, materials & supplies.
  • Act as a sounding board for ideas and a discussion resource to encourage your child’s ownership of his/her work efforts. 

I’m sure you’re not surprised by the length of this post, but there was a lot of ground to cover….Believe me ~ I did the Research…

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2019BizzyLizzyBiz