Inquiry Based Picture Books!


Inquiry based picture books are an excellent way to introduce many subjects into your core curriculum and encourage wonder and curiosity.

Overdrive Library has many Dawn Publications Science Picture Books . These books include wonderful ways to engage your students in wanting to learn more about a wide variety of subjects. Many of the Dawn Publication books have corresponding free extension activities (or a longer guide from Overdrive) to help you with expanding your student’s learning. Just type in ‘Dawn Publications’ as your keyword search and you will find many awesome picture books.  Or look under Teachers Lounge at our Inquiry Based Picture book collection.

New in this series!

 

Here is a sample of the books that we have already added:

A Drop Around the World

A Drop Around the World by Barbara Shaw McKinney and Teacher’s Guide

This book is a year-after-year favorite with teachers. It engagingly leads readers around the world following a drop of water—whether as steam or snow, inside a plant or animal, or underground—teaching the wonders and importance of the water cycle. (There is lots of geography, too.) Four pages of science about the qualities of water are included.

Going Around the Sun

Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Marianne Berkes has a gift for making science fun, and this book is exhibit A. Mother sun and her “family” of planets spin, roll, tilt, blow and whirl around the Sun to the tune of Over in the Meadow. Each of those actions is astronomically correct. For example, Earth is the one that tilts, and that is what creates the seasons. It is also astronomically up-to-date, with Pluto being a dwarf planet. Bright illustrations create an exciting mood, and there is plenty of interesting supplementary information in the back along with tips on related ways to integrate science, art, and literature in the classroom.

Going Home

Going Home by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Teachers! This book is like a whole unit on migration wrapped in a winning combination of easy verse, factual language, and beautiful illustrations. For animals, migration is a powerful compulsion to travel, sometimes over long distances, often skipping many meals. Sometimes, as in the case of the monarch butterfly, a round-trip takes several generations. Why do they do it? How do they succeed? The ten featured species offer a broad representation of migration: loggerhead turtles, monarch butterflies, manatees, ruby-throated hummingbirds, Pacific salmon, Canada geese, California gray whales, caribou, Arctic tern, and emperor penguin. The book is loaded with additional tips for teachers. Once again Marianne Berkes combines her teaching, writing, and theatrical skills to combine entertainment with education—creative non-fiction at its best.

How We Know What we Know about Climate Change

How we Know what we Know about Our Changing Climate and Teachers Guide

When the weather changes daily, how do we really know that Earth’s climate is changing? Here is the science behind the headlines – evidence from flowers, butterflies, birds, frogs, trees, glaciers and much more, gathered by scientists from all over the world, sometimes with assistance from young “citizen-scientists.” And here is what young people, and their families and teachers, can do to learn about climate change and take action. Climate change is a critical and timely topic of deep concern, here told in an age-appropriate manner, with clarity and hope. Kids can make a difference!

Natures Patchwork Quilt

Nature’s Patchwork Quilt by Mary Miche and Extension Activities

Just imagine all of nature – mountains, prairies, oceans, and all – lying on your bed as a patchwork quilt! Take flora and fauna in their unique habitats, fold them up and you have a book, this book. Earth’s major habitats are spread before you, ready to be examined. Here in this beautiful package are revealed the key concepts of natural science. This patchwork quilt of nature covers the whole Earth, your home – yours to learn about, to enjoy, to care for, and to love.

Over in Australia

Over in Australia by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Australian animals are unique. Their babies may be riding in mama’s pouch, or hitching a ride on daddy, piggy-back! Children will sing, clap and count to the rhyme of “Over in the Meadow” as they learn about wallabies, koalas, wombats, and more. Cut-paper illustrations add to the fun.

Over in the Arctic

Over in the Arctic by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Teachers and parents, here is another favorite from Marianne, who has a special talent. The kids think it is entertainment while teachers and parents think it is a great lesson about the Arctic! This book combines singing, counting, and full-body action with terrific cut-paper illustrations that kids will want to imitate. Over in the Arctic, the snow goose honks and the wolf howls. Children too will joyfully honk and howl while they count the baby animals and sing to the tune of Over in the Meadow. And they will hunt for hidden animals on each page. A big plus for educators are several pages of extension ideas for curriculum and art projects as well as resources on the web and elsewhere.

Over in the Forest

Over in the Forest by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Jump like a squirrel, dunk like a raccoon, and . . . uh-oh . . . watch out for the skunk! Children learn the ways of forest animals to the rhythm of “Over in the Meadow” in this delightful introduction to the woodland habitat. They will also count the babies and search for hidden animals. And when they see how each illustration is made from cut paper, they may be inspired to try cut-paper art, too.

Over in the Jungle

Over in the Jungle by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Teachers and parents, here is the easiest, most entertaining way ever to teach about this important habitat. The special talent of this author is entertaining kids while the adults think it is a lesson about the rainforest. Kids will sing, clap, and count their way among monkeys that hoot, ocelots that pounce, parrots that squawk, and boas that squeeze! It will not take much to have your child joyfully hooting and squawking too. And the illustrations are painstakingly all done in polymer clay and then photographed, giving a 3-D effect. They are truly remarkable, vividly conveying the abundant energy of a rainforest, and will inspire many an art project. Plus there are several pages of extension ideas for curriculum and art projects as well as resources on the web and elsewhere.

Pass the Energy Please

Pass the Energy, Please! by Barbara Shaw McKinney and Teacher Guide

Here is a favorite of elementary science teachers for the food chain. Each of the creatures passes the energy in its own unique way. In this upbeat rhyming story, the food chain connects herbivores, carnivores, insects and plants together in a fascinating circle of players. All beings on Earth—from the anchovy to the zooplankton—depend upon the green plant, which is the hero of the story. The special talent of the author shines again (see also A Drop Around the World) for being able to present the science curriculum so concisely, creatively, and cleverly.

Salmon Stream

Salmon Stream by Carol Reed-Jones

Named a prestigious CBC/NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, this is a poetic yet accurate description of the life cycle of salmon. For kids, it is fun and eye-opening. For teachers, it is a valuable supplement to a unit on water, fish and ocean animals, and life cycles. Fast-paced prose and brilliant illustrations follow the salmon from their form as eggs in a stream to the wide ocean, eventually making a hazardous journey home to their stream of origin. As in her earlier best-selling book, “The Tree in the Ancient Forest,” author Carol Reed-Jones uses cumulative verse – a literary technique that is not only enjoyable but suggests how interconnected salmon are with their habitat. At the back is a section on salmon facts and what makes a good habitat for them, teaching the basics of ecology and why clean streams and waters are so important.

Seashells by the Seashore

Seashells by the Seashore by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Both classroom teachers and vacationing parents will find this little book to be a charmer. Counting from one to twelve, Sue picks up shells—periwinkle, kittens paw, scallop—and carefully adds them to her bucket as a gift for Grandma. She and her friend identify the shells, and when they discover one that still has the mollusk living inside they put it back in the water—learning that shells are actually the abandoned homes of sea animals—but sometimes the animal is still home! The paperback edition contains a tear-out shell identification card to enhance the hands-on lesson in simple wonders from nature.

Sunshine on my Shoulders

Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver

This heartwarming book—an adaptation of one of John Denver’s best-loved songs—is a lovely reminder of the good, pure things in life. “Sunshine On My Shoulders” celebrates friendship, sunshine and simple joy. Children and adults alike will love Christopher Canyon’s whimsical and humorous illustrations, that capture the innocence of childhood. This is one of a series of picture book adaptations of John Denver’s songs that reflect the gift of friendship and nature.

The Sea that Feeds Us

This is the Sea that Feeds Us by Robert F. Baldwin

From the delightful opening verse of this poetic nonfiction book, the reader learns the important concept that plankton is the first link in the ocean food chain. The rhyming text continues and covers each link—the shrimp who eats the plankton, the sea bass who eats the shrimp and the humans who catch the sea bass for dinner. This is a wonderful resource for studies on ocean plankton, habitats, and food chains.

What's in a Garden?

What’s in the Garden? by Marianne Berkes and Extension Activities

Good food doesn’t begin on a store shelf with a box. It comes from a garden bursting with life, color, sounds, smells, sunshine, moisture, birds, and bees! Healthy food becomes much more interesting when children know where they come from. So what’s in the garden? Kids will find a variety fruits and vegetables, and a tasty, kid-friendly recipe for each one to start a lifetime of good eating. A “food for thought” section presents interesting facts about each fruit and vegetable, and a “how does your garden grow?” section explains facts about gardening and the parts of plants.

reviews by Overdrive

How do I assess my student’s reading level?


WHAT IS READING ASSESSMENT?

Reading assessment is essential for beginning readers.  As our students enter the world of reading they come with their backpack full of reading differences, based on their special needs and skills in literacy.  As teachers and parents it is our job to help create a baseline for their performance, to encourage their skills at their level and to design literacy instruction to meet their individual needs.

Reading concepts include letter knowledge, phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency and comprehension.  As we monitor reading development we help our students move forward at a pace which benefits their pacing.  We also can instruct our teachers with up to date assessment and guide our instruction.

HOW DO I ASSESS MY STUDENT?

HCS Learning Commons has a free subscription available to our students called Reading Eggs.  Reading Eggs for K-3 focuses on the core reading curriculum of phonics and sight words using skills and strategies, while Reading Eggspress Gr4-7  focuses on building reading fluency and comprehension, spelling and vocabulary, and a range of writing skills including grammar and punctuation.

When your student enrolls in this program they will be automatically assigned into their reading or lexile level.  This lexile level will help guide your teacher/librarian as how to recommend further reading resources for your students.

  • To find out more about getting started with Reading Eggs go to this page
  • To discover more about reading assessment using Reading Eggs and lexile levels use this tutorial.  Here is a link to a 2-minute video to help teachers find their students’ lexile level in Reading Eggs or Reading Eggspress:  Reading Eggs Reporting Dashboard – Video.  You can also listen to a recording via our Reading Eggs representative.  Contact Beth Johnson @bjohnson@onlineschool.ca

Once you have your student’s lexile level, you can enjoy lots of great fiction and non-fiction books on Reading Eggs Library and Overdrive E Library.  Reading Eggs will keep you updated on your student lexile level as they continue in the program.

On Overdrive refine your search to find materials that correspond with your student reading skills. Click on Collections Fiction or Non Fiction, and then refine as shared below in the image by Lexile level.

You can also discover a lovely plethora of easy to read picture books that come with read-a-loud options, and many classic audiobooks!  What a perfect  way to get your reading happening for all modalities!

Blessings as you encourage your beginning student on the wonderful process of reading and learning!

 

Why Audiobooks Work!



I LOVE listening to audiobooks!  Perhaps it’s a sign of my age, but growing up as a young child in South Africa, radio was the only media we had other than books.  I can remember the names of my favourite radio shows so well, including the exciting content, as my mind was left to imagine all the visual details, and fill in all the gaps.

Some of you may think that listening to audio is not really reading. Does it count as reading?

Listening to audiobooks “counts” as reading if you believe that reading is not only decoding, but critically thinking about the author’s message, and making heart connections!


Why Is Audio Beneficial?

Here are some ways listening to audiobooks can encourage students who may struggle with reading:

  • Introduces students to higher reading levels and more advanced vocabulary
  • Models good interpretive reading
  • Teaches critical listening skills
  • Introduces new genres that students may not otherwise consider
  • Assists in bringing an understanding of different dialects and accents.
  • Provides a read-aloud model along with the written book
  • Opens the pathway to important discussions at the dinner table
  • Allows all family members to listen together, and experience the wonderful delight of hearing stories told

This past year we have made an effort to purchase more audio books on our Overdrive eLibrary for your reading enjoyment.

To discover audio simply refine your topic/keyword search by clicking on the left-hand filter and search via audiobooks.  

 

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To view our entire collection of audiobooks, go to advanced search, and choose “audiobooks” as the format.  

How to find audiobooks

You may listen to the audio by simply clicking on the links after borrowing the item and then sharing to your browser!


New in Audio!

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Summer Reading and the Books are Open!


Yes, it’s almost time to bring out the beach towels, and head for the sun and turf with our basket of books!  To stay on top of the reading lapse over summer, we have some awesome ideas to help you stay literate.  Catch these on Overdrive, which is open all summer long!


TEACHERS and PARENTS:

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT on OVERDRIVE

To discover a wonderful array of professional development resources, look no further than our Overdrive eLibrary.  You will find homeschooling books (philosophies),  teaching books, and different pedagogies including STEAM and Inquiry-based learning.  To access these materials click on Overdrive eLibrary under “Collections” and then under “Teacher Lounge“.


Here are some of our newer materials on Overdrive for you to enjoy, and catch up on all things Professional Development!

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In Hacking Education, Mark Barnes and Jennifer Gonzalez employ decades of teaching experience and hundreds of discussions with education thought leaders, to show you how to find and hone the quick fixes that every school and classroom need. Using a Hacker’s mentality, they provide one Aha moment after another with 10 Quick Fixes for Every School—solutions to everyday problems that any teacher or administrator can implement immediately.


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Something happens in students when they define themselves as makers and inventors and creators. They discover powerful skills—problem-solving, critical thinking, and imagination—that will help them shape the world’s future…our future. In Launch, John Spencer and A.J. Juliani provide a process that can be incorporated into every class at every grade level…even if you don’t consider yourself a “creative teacher.” And if you dare to innovate and view creativity as an essential skill, you will empower your students to change the world—starting right now.


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History of the English Bible is unknown to many people who regularly read scripture. It is a story of deprivation, perseverance, and achievement.

The Catholic Church had maintained a grip on the Bible for a thousand years, ensuring on pain of death that the Latin version was the only scripture available. In the late 1300’s and early 1400’s scholars and theologians began to rebel against the Church’s monopoly and began to produce ‘English’ Bibles, initially scribed laboriously by hand and using the Latin text ‘word for word’ as the source.

William Tyndale was a man with the divine mission to make the Bible accessible to the common Englishman. Not satisfied with the Latin Bible as his source, he went back to the original Hebrew and Greek and produced an English Bible. After years of evading capture Tyndale was arrested and in 1536 he was burnt at the stake as a heretic under the orders of the Church and King Henry VIII, but his legacy lives on in the English Bible which today still comprises nearly 90% of his beautiful, resonant translation.


STUDENTS:  SCIENCE and INQUIRY

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Lives of the Scientists

Scientists have a reputation for being focused on their work—and maybe even dull. But take another look. Did you know that it’s believed Galileo was scolded by the Roman Inquisition for sassing his mom? That Isaac Newton loved to examine soap bubbles? That Albert Einstein loved to collect joke books, and that geneticist Barbara McClintock wore a Groucho Marx disguise in public? With juicy tidbits about everything from favorite foods to first loves, the subjects of Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt’s Lives of the Scientists: Experiments, Explosions (and What the Neighbors Thought) are revealed as creative, bold, sometimes eccentric—and anything but dull.


Who Says Women Can’t be Doctors?  In the 1830s, when a brave and curious girl named Elizabeth Blackwell was growing up, women were supposed to be wives and mothers. Some women could be teachers or seamstresses, but career options were few. Certainly, no women were doctors.

In the 1830s, when a brave and curious girl named Elizabeth Blackwell was growing up, women were supposed to be wives and mothers. Some women could be teachers or seamstresses, but career options were few. Certainly, no women were doctors.

But Elizabeth refused to accept the common beliefs that women weren’t smart enough to be doctors, or that they were too weak for such hard work. And she would not take no for an answer. Although she faced much opposition, she worked hard and finally—when she graduated from medical school and went on to have a brilliant career—proved her detractors wrong. This inspiring story of the first female doctor shows how one strong-willed woman opened the doors for all the female doctors to come.

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? by Tanya Lee Stone is an NPR Best Book of 2013


Eleven Experiments that Failed Is it possible to eat snowballs doused in ketchup–and nothing else–all winter? Can a washing machine wash dishes? By reading the step-by-step instructions, kids can discover the answers to such all-important questions along with the book’s curious narrator. Here are 12 “hypotheses,” as well as lists of “what you need,” “what to do,” and “what happened” that are sure to make young readers laugh out loud as they learn how to conduct science experiments (really!).

Is it possible to eat snowballs doused in ketchup–and nothing else–all winter? Can a washing machine wash dishes? By reading the step-by-step instructions, kids can discover the answers to such all-important questions along with the book’s curious narrator. Here are 12 “hypotheses,” as well as lists of “what you need,” “what to do,” and “what happened” that are sure to make young readers laugh out loud as they learn how to conduct science experiments (really!).

Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter–the ingenious pair that brought you 17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore–have outdone themselves in this brilliant and outrageously funny book.


If I built a Car and If I built a House are both by Chris Van Dusen, introducing students to the art of making.

Young Jack is giving an eye-opening tour of the car he’d like to build. There’s a snack bar, a pool, and even a robot named Robert to act as chauffeur. With Jack’s soaring imagination in the driver’s seat, we’re deep-sea diving one minute and flying high above traffic the next in this whimsical, tantalizing take on the car of the future. Illustrations packed with witty detail, bright colors, and chrome recall the fabulous fifties and an era of classic American automobiles. Infectious rhythm and clever invention make this wonderful read-aloud a launch pad for imaginative fun.


Caroline’s Comets

Caroline Herschel (1750–1848) was not only one of the greatest astronomers who ever lived but also the first woman to be paid for her scientific work. Born the youngest daughter of a poor family in Hanover, Germany, she was scarred from smallpox, stunted from typhus and used by her parents as a scullery maid. But when her favorite brother, William, left for England, he took her with him. The siblings shared a passion for stars, and together they built the greatest telescope of their age, working tirelessly on star charts. Using their telescope, Caroline discovered fourteen nebulae and two galaxies, was the first woman to discover a comet and became the first woman officially employed as a scientist—by no less than the King of England! The information from the Herschels’ star catalogs is still used by space agencies today.


Enigma by Eric Walters

Having successfully foiled a Nazi plot to kidnap one of the British Royal Family, brothers Jack and George are on the move again—this time to England. The boys and their parents are traveling aboard a merchant ship that’s part of a convoy carrying supplies and troops to the battlefields of Europe at the request of the royal family, who wishes to thank them for rescuing Princess Louise.

Crossing the Atlantic is challenging enough … but when the destroyers attached to their convoy torpedo a U-boat, events take another very surprising turn. The U-boat was transporting a secret: a secret that Jack and George’s mother is now entrusted with … and a secret that the Nazis will kill to protect. When the family comes ashore in England, they’re whisked off to Bletchley Park, the hub of the British spy network, so that they can help to decipher it.


 

Canadian Historical Fiction, Anyone?


Karen Autio is a local author of a trilogy of historical novels for young readers.

Here’s a snapshot of each historical novel, available now in our L4U Physical Library:

Second-WatchCoverSecond Watch – An immigrant story of hardship and hope, faith, and family. In May 1914, when the Finnish Lutheran Mäki family of Port Arthur, Ontario, finally cobbles together enough for passage to Finland on the Empress of Ireland, they never dreamed it would be the steamship’s final voyage, wrecking in the St. Lawrence River.

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Saara’s Passage – After surviving one of the worst marine disasters in Canadian history, Saara Mäki still feels a little at sea. “Saara, your life has been spared for a purpose.” But all this 12-year-old girl can see is washing dishes and peeling potatoes. That is, until Aunt Marja contracts tuberculosis and must move a thousand miles away to the Toronto sanatorium, leaving Baby Sanni behind with Saara’s family. S\aara’s next passage takes her into entirely unfamiliar waters.

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Sabotage – The courage and wits of siblings Saara and John Mäki are put to the test when German spies sabotage Canada’s war effort in Port Arthur in 1915. Told by both Saara and John, this final book in the trilogy takes readers into a real-life world of espionage, sabotage, and paranoia. The story involves immigration, discriminatory policies of the Canadian government, internment of enemy aliens, treatment of minority groups, and human rights, all of which lead students into understanding different perspectives and making ethical judgments.

 

All three titles are published by Sono Nis Press (www.sononis.com) and were finalists for awards including the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile/YA Crime Book, Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award, and the BC Chocolate Lily Book Award.

Each of Karen’s books has a free downloadable Teacher’s Guide or Student Activity Guide, available through her website:  http://www.karenautio.com/SchoolVisits.html.

To learn more, visit her website at www.karenautio.com or her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KarenAutioAuthor.

For even more Canadian historical fiction options, please refer to the following pages:  Canadian Historical Fiction Part I, and Canadian Historical Fiction Part II.

 

Professional Development for U.


Reading

Hi learning commons friends,

Education is constantly changing.  Are you finding it hard to keep up with new educational technology, and constant ideas and buzzwords that are floating around the education hemisphere?  Having enjoyed Gafe (Google) summit and BC ERAC conferences recently I enjoyed gleaning and learning from others!  With that in mind we have purchased some great professional development for you to discover on Overdrive e library.  Grab your coffee and come and enjoy some wonderful reads which might inspire you to try something different!

Reading in the Wild:  Donalyn Miller

In Reading in the Wild, reading expert Donalyn Miller continues the conversation that began in her bestselling book, The Book Whisperer. While The Book Whisperer revealed the secrets of getting students to love reading, Reading in the Wild, written with reading teacher Susan Kelley, describes how to truly instill lifelong “wild” reading habits in our students.

Based, in part, on survey responses from adult readers as well as students, Reading in the Wild offers solid advice and strategies on how to develop, encourage, and assess five key reading habits that cultivate a lifelong love of reading. Also included are strategies, lesson plans, management tools, and comprehensive lists of recommended books. Copublished with Editorial Projects in Education, publisher of Education Week and Teacher magazine, Reading in the Wild is packed with ideas for helping students build capacity for a lifetime of “wild” reading.

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift; Ann Voskamp

Based on the overwhelming success of The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp has expanded her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree so families can celebrate together. Each day, families can listen to the provided Scripture passage (which connects with the original adult book), engage with a special devotion to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day, and participate in suggested activities to apply the theme.

This audiobook can serve as a precious guide to help recapture the sacredness of the Advent season and help the entire family understand and celebrate the epic pageantry of humankind from Adam to the Messiah.

Tribes; Seth Godin

A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It’s our nature.

Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger. But more important, they’re enabling countless new tribes to be born—groups of ten or ten thousand or ten million who care about their iPhones, or a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.

And so the key question: Who is going to lead us?

The Web can do amazing things, but it can’t provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals— people just like you who have passion about something. The explosion in tribes means that anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at her fingertips.

 

One Word that will change your life! Jon Gordon

One Word explains how to simplify your life and business by focusing on just ONE WORD for the entire year. The simplicity of choosing one word makes it a catalyst for life-change. Clutter and complexity lead to procrastination and paralysis, while simplicity and focus lead to success and clarity. By celebrated authors Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon, One Word That Will Change Your Life shows you how to cut through to the core of your intention for the next year. It offers an action plan and simple process to discover your word for the year. It also explains how your one word will impact the six dimensions of your life—mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial.

 

The Montessori Method; Maria Montessori

The Montessori method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher. It stresses the importance of adapting the child’s learning environment to his or her developmental level, and of the role of physical activity in absorbing abstract concepts and practical skills. The Montessori method teaches reading via phonics and whole language, the comparative benefits of which are currently being recognized.

“To all educators this book should prove most interesting. All who are fair-minded will admit the genius that shines from the pages which follow, and the remarkable suggestiveness of Dr. Montessori’s labors.” -Henry W. Holmes

We also have copies of The Absorbent Mind and The Montessori Reader.

Science as Enquiry by Jack Hassard

Their eyes light up, they ask good questions, they can explain the concept to other students, and they relate what they learn in class to what happens in the world. That’s how students respond to the project-based, cooperative-inquiry Earth, life, environmental, and physical science lessons this book fully describes. Theoretical discussion of constructivist learning introduces the detailed lessons, many of which hinge on reproducible handouts to present a puzzling scientific phenomenon for students to investigate. Grades 5-8.

 

Digital Leadership by Eric Sheninger

Digital leadership is a strategic mindset and set of behaviors that leverages resources to create a meaningful, transparent, and engaging school culture. It takes into account recent changes such as ubiquitous connectivity, open-source technology, mobile devices, and personalization to dramatically shift how schools have been run and structured for over a century. Leading in education becomes exponentially powerful when using technology to your advantage.

Eric Sheninger—”Principal Twitter”—shares his Pillars of Digital Leadership to help readers

 

  • Transform school culture by initiating sustainable change
  • Use free social media tools to improve communication, enhance public relations, and create a positive brand presence
  • Integrate digital tools into the classroom to increase student engagement and achievement
  • Facilitate professional learning and access new opportunities and resources

 

Let me know  if you need help getting going on our e library.

Blessings

Pippa

 

 

 

Summer Reading Basics


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Literacy skills are essential for student’s success, and we hope that by the end of third grade our students are understanding the written word, and reading with some fluency at grade level.  How do we make sure our students don’t fall behind?

As accountable parents and teachers we provide intervention where necessary, and try to close the gaps. Preventative factors are critically important in the early years if we want to make sure we don’t have to intervene.  Effective teaching instruction in the K-2 reading years is vital if we want to make sure our students gain the foundational skills needed for reading in the upper grades.

If we wait until our students show up in grades 4 and above, with discrepancies in their phonetic ability we are failing to prepare them for the high school years.  In grade 4 students should be reading books that have multi-syllable words.

Here are some summer reading tips for helping your younger K-2 student stay on task over the summer and beyond! Remember that for struggling students accelerating skill development to reach grade level expectations takes a high level of instructional intensity.  Offer lots of rewards and treats on a weekly basis!

1.  Log into our Overdrive E Library for some amazing picture books that now come with embedded audio content.  We have recently ordered many of the critically acclaimed Sonlight picture books.  If you have a student with reading difficulties make sure to turn on the Dyslexic font in the settings menu.  To find picture books go to our subject menu and click on Picture Books.

2.  Do daily practice with your Reading Eggs and RAZ Kids Subscription to ensure phonics, and reading comprehension is up to scratch.  Record your student reading at the beginning of the summer on RAZKids and then at the end of summer share with your teacher as a progress/assessment tool!  Contact Beth Johnson if you need to sign up for the coming year!

3.  Include multiple texts including manuals, graphs, infographics, video, and websites, signs and non-fiction to encourage your students’ wide interests.  Discover the awesome subscription Pebble Go for students K-4 to learn more about science and social studies.

4.  Play word games in the car on holiday.  Do you remember those old fashioned games like name the animal?

The Animal Name Game

Ages 6 and up: One person names an animal. Then each person in order has to name another animal (no repeating!) that starts with the last letter of the previous animal named. There are no winners or losers in this game. With older children, try the game with TV shows, or geographical categories such as cities or countries.

Twenty Questions

Ages 4 and up: One person secretly thinks of either an animal, mineral, or vegetable. The other players then take turns asking yes-or-no questions, such as “Can it fly?” or “Does it grow in the ground?” After the players have asked 20 questions, each player gets a chance to make a guess.

Telephone

Ages 4 and up: A child whispers a story to someone else in the car. That person whispers the same story — as close to a word-for-word recount as possible — to a third person, and so on. The last person to hear the story repeats it out loud so everyone can hear. Invariably, some of the story will have been lost in the translation, and the resulting garbled message usually inspires a good laugh.

The Alphabet Game

Ages 5 and up: One person chooses the right-hand side of the road, and someone else the left. Each player looks for letters of the alphabet that appear on signs or license plates on their side. The object of the game is to point out all the letters of the alphabet in order, from A to Z. The first person to spot the entire alphabet wins.

Help your student P.I.C.K. out the right book for their reading and interest level using this article for guidance!

If your student still needs intervention make sure to contact your teacher who can get your student the required scaffolding with diagnostic testing.  This method of intervention will help match your student to the right materials and his or her unique style of learning.  Feel free to contact me if you need suggestions for your student’s reading materials!

Blessings

Pippa

Sunshine, Reading and Makered!


Summer is almost here, birds are singing, flowers are blossoming and the outdoors is calling!  To celebrate the start of those long, lazy days of summer we have some great educational resources lined up for you.

First watch this video which highlights why reading is important over the summer holidays! Don’t delay sign out your reading material with either L4U or Overdrive E Library.  If you have recently enrolled with our school please contact Shandra Wiebe for your passwords swiebe@onlineschool.ca so you can gain access NOW!

Reading Ideas for the summer!

New Resources on Overdrive- Latest e books on Overdrive and more.

Ideas for reading this Summer!  Natalie shares her favourite picks for lazing under the Maple tree.

Young adults free E book summer promotion with Overdrive

New Digital Kits from our Curriculum Team!

The British Civil War and The Glorious Revolution -Grade 9

The French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte  Grade 9

American Revolution and Loyalists – Grade 9

Canadian History Overview to 1815 – Grade 9

Techie Tools for Grad students and end of Year exams!

Quizlet is a popular flash card service that students can use in their web browser on IOS and Android devices.  Text to speech mode in 18 languages is a PLUS.  A new aspect is Speller which plays words for you and you have to type correctly into the space provided.

StudiezPro is a powerful scheduling app which will help you ace time management. StudiezPro allows you to input your class schedule and homework into a built-in planner, then alerts you of approaching deadlines, keeps track of your grades, organizes your extracurricular schedule, and counts down to your next class.

Makered Ideas for the Summer!

Free summer camp from Make Enjoy tinkering and exploring online or at home or at a camp near you by clicking on this live map on this page. Learn more about MakerEd at our school here.

New to Homeschooling?  Check out our Home School web linking library for ideas on different ideas and resources.

Ning

Our Poetry competition is winding down for final marking by our judges.  Please make sure to enter your students work on Ning at the following link.  We are very excited to announce our winners in June!  Stay tuned!

Current Awareness Scoopit Newsletter!

Using the Learning commons over the Summer!

As we look forward to a lovely summer break there are some important dates you need to take note of.

If you have not re-enrolled, ALL library items are due back in the library by June 18th, 2015 and you cannot book items for next year.

Booking for next year:
You can book now for next year, but the first open day you can book items for the new school year is September 4th. Please DO NOT book items in July or August! We do not ship during the summer, so you will be reminded to rebook.
1. The earliest you can book an item is dependent on your homeroom, which indicates your shipping days ie. HCOS2 is 2 shipping days, (you can see your homeroom in your Profile page when logged in).
2. Add your shipping days to the date of September 4th, which is the first open date, to find the earliest date you can actually book an item: ie. If you are in HCOS3 your earliest ship date would be September 7th.
3. This works for any date you are booking for. For example, if I want to book an item for the next day, but I am in HCOS5, the system will state it is not available because it takes 5 days to ship to me.
4. I would need to choose a date 5 days in the future. The system will offer other open dates; please be sure the option you choose is for the loan period of 49 days.
5. When booking unit study kits for the year, please remember there is a limit of 3 kits per family out at one time.

  • Please do not:
    Book items back to back; we will delete the extra bookings. An item can be renewed if no one else has a reserve on it.
    DO NOT book kits so that they overlap with other kits, which takes you over the 3 kit limit. We will ask you to rebook.
    We have these limits in place to ensure all of our families have equal access to the resources.

Library loans for the summer:
If you have re-enrolled, you have the option of taking out material over the summer:

If you enrolled recently you will be sent a client code and pin from L4U at the beginning of the month, (check your junk folder!)
Last date for ordering items for the summer is June 19th

All material will be due back in the library August 14th, no exceptions! We need to have all items in and ready to go for the new school year.
There is a limit of 30 books per family
And a limit of 1 unit study kit per family over the summer.
The library is closed for the month of July, and is on summer hours for August. We will arrange Canpar returns during the first week of August so they are received by August 14th.
If you have any questions, please contact Shandra at swiebe@onlineschool.ca or Kelly Wiebe at shipping@heritagechristian.ca

 

Summer Reading-Physical Commons

Summer is a time for professional development for parents and teachers! You have the opportunity to become acquainted with new material before you teach it, read up on different methods of teaching and make adjustments to your learning plans.

It’s a time to be refreshed and inspired so you can motivate your students! We have some awesome resources available:

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell
A manual for every family involved in home-based learning. Provides vision for the joys of homeschooling and the essential tools for success. Includes teaching middle and high school, guide to internet and technology, six ingredients of a successful homeschool, resources for curriculum suppliers, creative solutions for burnout, budgets, toddlers and time.

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
Offers parents step-by-step instructions for helping their child make the most of their education from preschool through high school, while becoming well-rounded and curious about learning.

The Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
This book on Charlotte Mason’s philosophy by well-known speaker and columnist K. Andreola provides a wealth of insight, practical advice and narratives illustrating how the ideas of the famed turn-of-the-century educator actually works in “real life”. Discover the gentle art of learning using methods that help your child succeed.

The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach by Robin Samson
The purpose of this book is to provide inspiration and motivation for you to make God’s Word the primary focus of your day, every day. Robin combines several philosophies of learning including Charlotte Mason’s, Lifestyle of Learning, Writing to Learn, Unit Studies and Notebooking to create four-step lessons that engage different learning styles.

Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas
You’ve read all the method books. Now take a step back and receive some much-needed inspiration. You’ll be encouraged by stories that tell how other parents handled the challenges and difficulties of being a parent – and how their children transformed their relationship with God. Sacred Parenting affirms the spiritual value of being a parent, showing you the holy potential of the parent- child relationship.

I Hate School by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
What can you do when your child hates school? Your child is unique, with a personal learning style that needs to be understood and respected. Filled with practical applications and insights as commonsense as they are revolutionary.

The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child by Linda Dobson
This book on Charlotte Mason’s philosophy by well-known speaker and columnist K. Andreola provides a wealth of insight, practical advice and narratives illustrating how the idea of the famed turn-of-the-century educator actually works in “real life”. Discover the gentle art of learning using methods that help your child succeed.

Homeschooling High School by Jeanne Gowen Dennis
You can design a solid high school program that both maximizes educational freedom and leads to successful college admission.

You Can Teach Your Child Successfully (Gr. 4 – 8) by Ruth Beechick
Here is THE book for all parents who want to teach their children. Includes sections on reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as subjects beyond the three R’s for grades 4 – 8.

This is just a small sampling of what we have on the shelves.
You can find more of our resources by logging into L4U and clicking on the TOPIC SEARCH tab.
Then click on the 001 Resouces icon and scroll through the list.

The Home Education icon lists 95 books related to this topic! Be sure to check out all of the other lists like Apologetics, Character, Manners and Values, and Novel studies!

Homeschool catalogues are a great resource. If you see a title you are interested in, search for it in our library. If we have it, you can check it out instead of buying it! If we don’t have it and you think we should, let us know!

Have a wonderful summer filled with lots of good reading!

Blessings from the learning commons team 😀

Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday with us!


We are not one hundred percent sure when Shakespeare was born, but we celebrate his birthday on April 23rd. Here are some facts about Shakespeare. There is very little known about Shakespeare, which has spawned many conspiracies about him and his life. You can watch one video called The Shakespeare Conspiracy here.

Many of his plays are available in our Learn 360 subscription. You can watch Romeo and Juliet (in Ballet form), Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, King Richard II, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet (in play form), Macbeth and The Merry Wives of Windsor. You can also find several videos about Shakespeare’s poetry and the Globe Theatre. In Discovery Education you can find WordPlay Shakespeare, which includes the play alongside the original and modern Texts. There is Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You can also find Standard Deviants Shakespeare Tragedies in Discovery Education with great explanations of all of Shakespeare’s great tragedies.

Discover Shakespeare resources for all ages in our L4U library: several retellings of Shakespeare Plays; Irresistible Shakespeare, which includes several Readers Theatre Scripts; The World of Shakespeare; Shakespeare and the Globe,  and several audio retellings of Shakespeare.

In Overdrive we recently added a range of study guides for you, the texts can be found at Project Gutenberg which you can access from our Overdrive site.

Cliffs Complete

Cliffs Complete: Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Caesar

Complete Classroom Press

Complete Classroom Press: Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet

The Globe Education

Globe Education Shakespeare: Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing and Romeo and Juliet

Shmoop Guide

Shmoop Guides: Romeo and Juliet

The Plays the Thing

For more information about Shakespeare read The Play’s the Thing by Ruth Turk

Gary Blackwood

And if you are looking for a springboard to Shakespeare, Gary Blackwood’s books are great options: The Shakespeare Stealer and The Shakespeare Scribe.

If you are wanting to study Shakespeare with younger children I would suggest using the following:

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

And finally a few great resources for all students are Video SparkNotes for Shakespeare  and these note booking pages for Shakespeare plays.

Have fun exploring Shakespeare!

Blessings, The Learning Commons Team

READ A THON Winners!!


We are SOO excited to announce this year’s Read-A-Thon winners! We had 165 eager Readers who read a ton, tweeted some and shared selfies!  Check out this Storify to see some of the selfies and tweets.

A Huge thank you to parents and teachers for encouraging your students in their literacy goals!  Congratulations to all students who participated and completed literacy goals!  Mrs Wiebe will be sending your gift certificates shortly.  A participation certificate will be coming your way via email from your teacher.

 

Drum Roll for the list of winners:

Winners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On behalf of the Elementary and High School top winners, Varenka and Timothy the Learning Commons will donate $500 to Out of Ashes Children’s Home in Africa, Kitale located here at this website address:
www.buildingbeyondborderskenya.com

Blessings

Your Learning commons team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smart Start in Language Arts


Language Arts in the Learning Commons – great curriculum for the primary grades!

A Complete Program of Language Arts Instruction for Grades 1 & 2 by Jo Anne Mooresmart

The Smart Start Home Education Edition was written specifically for homeschoolers.

The child is guided by a workbook that introduces reading, writing and spelling skills in a sequential order. These are applied in the lessons and reviewed until mastery is obtained.

Parents discover a simple, effective method of teaching reading and writing using a teacher’s manual. Lesson plans and answer keys are presented in a simple, straightforward manner.

Smart Start In Language Arts Home Education Edition is a comprehensive, well-developed resource backed by research that supports the wide variety of activities that are presented in well-organized, day-by-day lessons. Activities presented in lessons range from directed to guided, thus allowing students to develop confidence in their own abilities as they learn to read, write, and explore their own creativity. While the lessons are consistent in format, different media are used to present activities to students. This set-up enables learners to work within their areas of strength and to develop their weak areas on an ongoing basis. This resource eliminates the pressure of testing because skills mastery is the primary goal. Learned skills are reinforced continually through a variety of review activities and the incorporation of old skills into new lessons.

1. The binder contains one workbook and four DVDs.
2. Summary of reading and comprehension strategies is included. These are supported by research.
3. The first DVD contains thirteen I SPY photographs for the alphabet lessons, and printable sight word and phonics games (lotto and bingo) for reading instruction fun. The other three DVDs have thirty-five puppet shows which introduce letter sounds, long vowel words with silent e and long vowel words with two vowels together.
4. Lesson plans and detailed instructions are located in the teacher’s manuals.

If you are looking for a great program for your child, you can take this out for 7 weeks to see if it’s a good fit. It’s nice to “try before you buy” when it comes to curriculum!  When booking the items in the L4U catalog, be sure to book both the teacher’s manual and workbook.

Read-A-Thon time!


Hi all learning commons peeps!!!!

Hey Avid Readers, we have enjoyed reading your tweets and seeing your pictures! We are looking forward to seeing more selfies and reviews, so dress up as your favorite character and take a picture!  You can email it to Pippa, pdavies@onlineschool.ca or Shandra at swiebe@onlineschool.ca

At the end of Friday, you need to tally up your reading minutes and fill in the Minutes Completed form.

Deadline to submit minutes is Wednesday, February 12th, 2015. If you don’t submit this form, you are not eligible for the prize draws.

We will announce the winners on Monday, February 16th!

Here is the Certificate which you can print for your students. Certificate

Blessings

Pippa and the learning commons team

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