Sunday, January 15, 2012

Youtube as an educational resource

Youtube is blocked in my district. That means I can't show Youtube videos on my Smartboard. This has been a source of frustration for me for years. Over vacation I was determined to find a way to download Youtube videos so that I could bring them to school on my zip drive. I figured it and I've been downloading like crazy.
America The Story of Us is a great documentary from the History Channel. It is possible to download short clips from the documentary from Youtube. The one above is about the battle of Lexington and Concord. In Science we are building ladybug laboratories to study the behavior of ladybugs. To build background knowledge I will show my fifth graders this short clip about ladybugs:

The fourth graders are writing personal narratives about a great day at an amusement park. The small moment we have worked on together is a ride on a roller coaster. I showed this short clip during writing class to inspire them:
Who would of thought Youtube was so educational? Christine

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Teaching about flashbacks

A few years back my 4th graders completely misinterpreted the meaning of a text because they didn't understand that the character was now explaining something that had happened long ago. Flashbacks can be confusing to the reader. I really like The Summer My Father Was Ten by Pat Brisson as a mentor text for teaching  about flashbacks.
I got this book from Teaching for Deep Comprehension by Linda Dorn. The teaching resource has a DVD which shows a 4th grade teacher modeling how to use the book. Also, I really recommend this blog: Life in 4B if you don't already follow it. Its been a great resource for me for the last few years. A few weeks ago I was reading Sarah Plain and Tall with my 4th graders. I like using the story Dakota Dugout after reading Sarah Plain and Tall and then comparing the two stories. I got the idea for using Dakota Dugout to teach about flashbacks from Miss Bongers at Life in 4B.
If you have any great suggestions about what books to use to teach children about flashbacks let me know. Christine