Monday, October 16, 2017

MS. M's MATERIALS - COLLECTIONS!

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I have had wonderful success with a unit on collections with 2nd graders. You could also use these same materials with different grades, but for me 2nd grade was perfect. I generally started the unit with a brief discussion about collecting and collections. As a whole group we ask ourselves, "What is a collection?" Some of the big ideas this unit explores include how collections benefit people, how collecting and collections help us learn new things, and how we develop personal interests and study something in depth. I always share a few items from some of my collections and then we begin reading about a boy named Donavan who collects words in Donavan's Word Jar by Monalisa DeGross. This unit involves many more books (some listed below) and we transition into 2nd graders first research project where they present their collections to the class. Students also make their own word jars and learn how to use a dictionary. Finally, we graph the entire 2nd grade collections - during my time at Orchard Gardens that meant graphing what 4 classes of 2nd graders collect! Inbox me if you would like more details on how to structure this unit and a detailed list of standards and objectives.


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Monday, October 9, 2017

CURRENTLY READING

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Today I share a non-fiction book I am currently reading that I LOVE! A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts by Joseph M. Bagley - it's fascinating! Bagley, the current City Archaeologist of Boston was inspired to write this book after hearing an NPR story about the release of a book in 2011 by the British Museum entitled A History of the World in 100 Objects (MacGregor). In addition to being a great read, all the author proceeds of A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts go to the City Archaeology Program. You can follow the City of Boston Archaeology on Facebook or if you prefer their website. Many middle and most high school students could read this book on their own. Younger students would benefit from reading this book with a teacher or parent.

For the record, I am generally reading several books at any one time!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

MS. M'S MATERIALS - WONDERSTRUCK!

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The movie for Wonderstruck will be released this October and the trailers I've seen are absolutely amazing. I do encourage you to read the book first. Here's a link to Brian Selznick's Wonderstruck page.
After reading Wonderstruck with my 4th and 5th grade students we made Museum Books. The Museum Books had 4 rooms that they curated to explain their topic. Student topics included New York City in 1977, Lightning Safety, The Panorama Museum and the Gunflint Lake Region. I shared my own model of the book as we read Wonderstruck and they couldn't wait to do their own. Museum Books can be created for many different books or research  projects. Contact me for more information.
One of the rooms in my sample.




Friday, October 6, 2017

COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND

Source: The International Federation of
Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
If you are a teacher, parent or involved in education in some way, the "Columbus Day Weekend," is often the first major milestone of the school year. It has nothing to do with Columbus and everything to do with a 3-day weekend. So major congrats to all for making it to this October Milestone. I truly hope you have some downtime and are able to refresh.
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The purpose of Ms. M's Mass Media is to encourage and share my passion about reading but I would be remiss if I did not take the time this month to stress that the power in reading must go hand-in-hand with considering the sources of the materials one reads. We librarians are all about media literacy [click for more info].
When it comes to Columbus or any piece of history since Columbus, reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States is a must. There are critiques about the book that I would also encourage you to pursue once you've read the book. If you are an educator, consider the resources found on the Zinn Education Project website. Howard Zinn died in 2010, but the book that originally came out in the 1980's has been updated. Another book, a recent read, is Trevor Noah's Born a Crime. You may recognize Trevor Noah as the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. I did not know what to expect when another, very highly respected librarian I know told me, "this book is amazing, you have to read it!" Not only that, but I got it for FREE as one of my two free books for signing up on Audible.com. Yes, I like to listen to books too! I've provided the link to Audible as well below. Both of these books are available and listening to books is very enjoyable. Happy 3-day weekend to all!
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