Sometimes it is necessary
To reteach a thing its loveliness . . .
I’m in a long line of idling cars to pick up my daughter at her elementary school. One red Honda parks in the fire lane, while the silver Volkswagen bug blocks an entire line waiting just so the driver can get his kid first. I follow the rules so I’m late collecting Ahna. What is going on? I say out loud to no one in particular. These drivers were following the rules just a few weeks ago so we could all efficiently fetch our children. Then I remembered it was “wing” (or “sprinter” if you prefer), that time between winter and spring when rules are forgotten.
It’s no different in the classrooms where I coach. Teachers are bewildered. They are asking students questions like, “When was it ever okay to sneak lunch out behind a book during independent reading?” or “Why did you think it would be acceptable to spend your entire writing workshop stapling a single piece of paper 500 times?”
I thought of the phrase “reteaching a thing its loveliness” as I read the principal’s newsletter column where he addressed the traffic rules again and thanked everyone in advance for their cooperation. It’s tiresome, but it’s time to make sure the expectations that we spent September and part of October reinforcing are still being adhered to. It’s true for both our little learners and big drivers. What loveliness are you reteaching?
This week we’re focusing on teaching research skills to students of all ages. Plus more as always — enjoy!
Senior Editor, Choice Literacy
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Here are two takes on teaching research skills from the Choice Literacy archives.
Julie Johnson uses the Family History Inquiry Project to build research skills and community at the same time in her first-grade classroom:
The mother and daughter team of authors Sofia Headley and Justina Chen Headley share Research Advice for Teens Writing Fiction:
If you’re nervous about young students searching freely on the wild wild web, you might want to try Sweet Search, a search tool that includes only websites evaluated and approved by educators in the results:
Mary Beth Hertz considers the challenges of helping students learn to do online research over at Edutopia:
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Heather Rader launches a new four-part series on teaching research skills in the primary grades. This week’s installment highlights search techniques for children:
We’re featuring three different views of teaching research skills from Franki Sibberson’s fourth-grade classroom. In Moving Beyond Text Features in Nonfiction Instruction, Franki considers how the demands of the Common Core and the complex mix of online and offline nonfiction texts are changing the skills she teaches students:
In this week’s video, Franki Sibberson’s students take on a weekly science challenge to gather and analyze data:
Our bonus video explores how Franki helps take her students deeper into web resources using tags and links at Wonderopolis:
Finally, Katherine Sokolowski discovers getting rid of her teacher’s desk opens her mind to many new possibilities in her fifth-grade classroom:
That’s all for this week!