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Roots of STEM: Books and ideas for real world problem solving in your classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This collection of books and activity ideas offers approaches to problem solving and assists you in taking some of the mystery out of STEM education for the elementary grades. Find...more
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This collection of books and activity ideas offers approaches to problem solving and assists you in taking some of the mystery out of STEM education for the elementary grades. Find entry points to explore problem solving and resources to apply in your own classroom. You will find many ideas in this article from the Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), reading lists (72), STEM (123)

In the Classroom

Start with the books as part of your reading lessons, and you have already given STEM a way to take root in your class! Incorporate STEM in accordance with Common Core reading/math or Next Gen Science standards using the many suggestions here. This article will help you begin with whole group lessons and move through the entire problem-solving process. Perhaps you will want to work together on a project with your grade level team.

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Inch by Inch, Row by Row: Read-Alouds for Gardens - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This read-aloud offers a sampling of books and websites to get you started with school or home gardens, gardening, and farm-based education. Gardens provide a myriad of opportunities...more
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This read-aloud offers a sampling of books and websites to get you started with school or home gardens, gardening, and farm-based education. Gardens provide a myriad of opportunities to integrate curriculum and solve real-world problems. This read-aloud includes a wealth of excellent books--both fictional and informational-- for teaching topics such as the life cycle of plants, the scientific method, what plants need to thrive, ecosystems, food chains, soil science, and more as you plan and work on your garden (or simply imagine a virtual garden). There are numerous helpful resources and lesson plans included, along with some grant ideas to purchase materials for a garden. Connect with both Common Core and Next Gen science standards using gardens as an entry point. If food and nutrition are more of a focus, you will want to check out another article from the Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series.

tag(s): book lists (124), life cycles (25), plants (143), soil (17)

In the Classroom

This read-aloud is a good starting point for a unit on plants, ecosystems, or soil. What a perfect way to integrate spring garden planting, literacy, and a GROWING understanding of science. Mark it in your favorites for early spring and be sure to request some of the books on interlibrary loan if you do not have them in your school. Explore the lesson plan options or incorporate this with your existing lessons on plants. You might even consider working across grade levels and subjects and planning a school garden together. You health/PE teacher will probably join in the effort!

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Food, Glorious Food! Serving Up Common Core Connections - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 5
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This read-aloud from TeachersFirst provides some resources and suggestions of books and activities on the theme of Foods and Nutrition. The content areas can provide rich opportunities...more
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This read-aloud from TeachersFirst provides some resources and suggestions of books and activities on the theme of Foods and Nutrition. The content areas can provide rich opportunities to integrate the CCSS English Language Arts standards as we teach science, health, and social studies. With the current focus on childhood obesity, the popularity of school gardens and farm-to-school initiatives, and the campaign to "eat local," the connection to food-related books is compelling. This installment in our Help! I lost my library/media specialist! series of ideas for implementing Common Core really gives you "food for thought."

tag(s): commoncore (92), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

When teaching science, social studies, or health content about nutrition, foods, plants, or farms, consider pairing fictional books along with informational texts to maximize the potential of every unit of study. This read-aloud is a good starting point. What a perfect way to integrate healthy eating, whether during the holiday season or spring garden planting!

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In a Manner of Speaking: Figurative Language and the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 5
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Dive into the Common Core standards for figurative language in both reading and writing in elementary grades with this article and resource collection. The article includes book suggestions...more
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Dive into the Common Core standards for figurative language in both reading and writing in elementary grades with this article and resource collection. The article includes book suggestions for figurative language, as well. This article is part of a series about implementing Common Core. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), figurative language (16)

In the Classroom

Read lesson ideas and learn more about the ambitious figurative language expectations of Common Core as you begin to implement the new standards. Mark this article in your Favorites. Many of the suggested resources may be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers or with your teacher -librarian if you DO have one. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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Questions and Thinking in Common Core; Part 2: Students as Questioners - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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This installment is part of a series of articles about implementing Common Core. This article examines the role that questioning can play in the Common Core and offers some ways ...more
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This installment is part of a series of articles about implementing Common Core. This article examines the role that questioning can play in the Common Core and offers some ways to help students develop a questioning mindset to use as part of "close reading" of texts in elementary grades on up. A separate article, Part I of Questions and Thinking in Common Core, discusses Teachers as Questioners. Both articles are intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series but are easily adapted for middle and high school grades.

tag(s): commoncore (92), questioning (33), thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

Read lesson ideas and explore the questioning strategies suggested as you begin to implement Common Core. Mark this article in your Favorites. Many of the ideas will be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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Questions and Thinking in Common Core; Part 1: Teachers as Questioners - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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This installment is part of a series of articles about implementing Common Core. This article examines the role that questioning can play in the Common Core, and offers some tips ...more
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This installment is part of a series of articles about implementing Common Core. This article examines the role that questioning can play in the Common Core, and offers some tips for teachers as questioners from elementary grades and up. The ideas are easily adapted as appropriate for middle and high school grades. A separate article, Part II of Questions and Thinking in Common Core will discuss Students as Questioners. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), questioning (33), thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

Read lesson ideas and explore the question repertoire sources as you begin to implement Common Core. Mark this article in your Favorites. Many of the suggested resources may be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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Teachers' Common Core Planning Toolkit: A guide for elementary teachers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 5
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary guides teachers through the steps of re-visiting and planning their teaching units to incorporate...more
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary guides teachers through the steps of re-visiting and planning their teaching units to incorporate Common Core reading and writing. This article will guide you through the Common Core planning process and assist you in adding rigor and addressing instructional shifts as you prepare a unit of study. It presents some planning considerations and then offers an example of what this might look in one classroom's September calendar. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

This is perfect for teachers' summer reading or collaborative planning. As you face the daunting task of re-visioning your plans, find a process that you can grasp.

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Going Deep with Award Winning Books: Close reading and text-dependent questions - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on close reading of texts in Caldecott award winning books. Since Caldecott winners tend...more
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on close reading of texts in Caldecott award winning books. Since Caldecott winners tend to be available in most libraries, what better way to start the practice of close reading and questioning a la Common Core. A major shift of the Common Core State Standards is to have reading, writing, listening and speaking grounded in evidence , from both literary and informational texts. As a result, terms like "close reading" and "text-dependent questions" are getting a lot of attention. Find ideas to implement this shift. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

If you are fortunate enough to have a library/media specialist to partner with you, try these ideas together during read-alouds both in the library/media center and in your classroom. Mark this article in your favorites and refer back to it as you move forward with Common Core.

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For the Sake of Argument: Another Common Core Shift - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on argument/opinion writing and reading activities that can go together. The CCSS require...more
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This installment in a series of articles about implementing Common Core in elementary focuses on argument/opinion writing and reading activities that can go together. The CCSS require that all students work to become independent writers of three types of texts: narrative, informational/explanatory, and opinion/argument and recommend that the time spent on each type in the elementary grades be roughly the same. Find ideas to implement this shift. The article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series.

tag(s): commoncore (92), expository writing (44), letter writing (20), persuasive writing (54), writing (356)

In the Classroom

If you are fortunate enough to have a library/media specialist to partner with you, try these ideas together, including read-alouds and writing activities to follow up. Mark this article in your favorites and refer back to it for ideas to integrate writing into science or social studies activities, especially for opportunities to have students write and/or read opinion/argument pieces.

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Common Core Part 2: Moving Forward with Informational Text - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 5
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In this second in a series about Common Core, move into lessons that address Common Core Reading standards for "informational texts." This article offers specifics about Common Core...more
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In this second in a series about Common Core, move into lessons that address Common Core Reading standards for "informational texts." This article offers specifics about Common Core Anchor Standard #5 for Reading, which deals with text structure. Find explanations of the five most common text structures and instructional approaches to help students understand and even write each type of information text. Learn how you can explicitly teach organizational patterns in reading and have students apply these patterns in their own writing. Note that the CCSS and texts also apply in science and social studies literacy, so the lessons cross into these disciplines, as well. Although the article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series, the discussion of Common Core and informational texts applies at any level.

tag(s): commoncore (92), graphic organizers (42)

In the Classroom

Read lesson ideas and explore the suggested resources as you begin to implement Common Core. Mark this article in your Favorites. Many of the suggested resources may be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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Delve into the Common Core Reading standards and the shift to greater emphasis on non-fiction, "informational texts." If, like many teachers, you teach in a state that has adopted the...more
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Delve into the Common Core Reading standards and the shift to greater emphasis on non-fiction, "informational texts." If, like many teachers, you teach in a state that has adopted the Common Core State Standards, this Q/A article will help you to make sense of this shift and provide you with some practical tips and resources to get started. Although the article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series, the general questions about Common Core and reading informational texts apply at any level. TeachersFirst plans to offer further articles as Common Core "rolls out" in more and more schools.

tag(s): commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

Read the questions/answers and explore the suggested resources as background during this new challenge. Mark this article in your Favorites as you begin to implement Common Core. Many of the suggested resources may be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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