Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Read Alouds: Nonfiction As An Option

The gift of reading begins with a read aloud. Think about it. Your very first experience with reading was to hear someone else read to you! We know that reading aloud to children is one of the most important ways that children acquire language and vocabulary as well as comprehension and critical thinking skills. But have you ever noticed that people more frequently choose fiction to read aloud to children than nonfiction?

Nonfiction does not lend itself to the traditional and more comforting bedtime story with a beginning, middle, and end. However, it has an entire catalog of other skills that are just waiting for your child (or student) to experience. What is a diagram? Why are their headings? Why are there words that are printed more boldly than others? Why would an author want to include a map on this page? These kinds of questions are different from those that we ask when reading fiction aloud, but are they any less worthwhile?

Consider this...the next time you choose a book to read aloud to your youngster, be they preschool or elementary school, consider choosing a nonfiction book together. Perhaps you might decide to learn the many ways to cut a snowflake or how to fold an airplane, or perhaps how to tell the difference between a crustacean and a mollusk! Whatever you choose, consider making nonfiction one of your regular choices when it comes to Read Alouds. Learning to read books with flexible thinking and appropriate comprehension skills begins with a good book--fiction or ... nonfiction.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Solar Beads!

Ms. Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman have sent all Pine Glen students a packet of solar beads to test out and investigate over the holiday break (and beyond). Children watched a video produced by the Burlington Science Center on Wednesday, before bringing home their packet of beads.

If the children need a "refresher" about the parameters of their investigation, feel free to view the video below!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Science Magic at Pine Glen!

As promised, here are the exciting videos from Mr. Papadonis' Science Magic presentation at Pine Glen on Wednesday. Mr. Papadonis is the creator and pioneer behind Burlington's Science Center located at Burlington High School. It was a pleasure to see him once again inspiring hundreds of children to be curious, thoughtful and inquisitive about the world around them. 

Thank you, Mr. Pap!

Mr. Pap pours milk into an air-filled bag above a student's head!

Mr. Pap performs a magic science trick with the help of a water-filled plastic bag (over a student's head).

Forces at rest...

The old pull-the-tablecloth trick--but with a candle!

Electricity in the air? What? A Tesla coil?

Did I really volunteer for this!?

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Sharing in the Classroom with Flipgrid

As a teacher, I know how important it is that students be able to share their writing with each other. Most of the time we are sharing in the classroom either with a buddy or with a small group. We rarely have time for everyone to share at the same time--especially as the year goes on and our writing stamina allows for longer and longer drafts! It is important that students be able to share at all stages of the writing process: not just at the end when there is a finished product. Sharing builds community, confidence and most importantly it allows the writer to write for an audience. Sometimes we share to help us solve a problem within the writing process and sometimes we share because we just need an audience to bounce ideas off of. In all cases, it is highly motivating and rewarding for all parties.

Recently, I have been using the Flipgrid app in the classroom. On Friday, we used it as a sharing tool with our personal narrative drafts. It allowed us to share at the same time (thanks to 1:1 iPads) AND be able to view our shares at a later time as well. Embedded in this type of sharing was the need for draft organization, pre- and re-reading for reading fluency and legibility. You may notice that we need to work on some of our recording skills, but our writing shines through!

Below are some examples of personal narrative drafts (not all student recordings were available at the time of this post):

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

September 25th is Pine Glen Picture Day!

Pine Glen Picture Day is scheduled for Tuesday, September 25. Please be sure to order your child's photo choice by visiting the O'Connor Studio website and entering the school code: 625182g6loe or returning the O'Connor Studio photo envelope order slip with the appropriate boxes checked for your child with a check enclosed.

September 25 is a gym day for Room 211 students, so children will be able to change into P.E. attire after their school photos have been taken.

Thank you!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Giant Pumpkin Growing Contest!

The Burlington Science Center’s
2018 Giant Pumpkin Growing Contest!
Pumpkin Growing Contest Rules:
1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes will be awarded for the heaviest pumpkins.

All pumpkins must be grown in the town of Burlington.

Participants must currently be in grades K-5 in the Burlington Public Schools (this will include students that will be in grade 6 as of September 2018).

All decisions are final and made by the Burlington Science Center staff.

All pumpkins will be weighed at the Burlington Post Office across from the town common.  They will stamp your entry form to make it official.

Judging will take place around the first week of October.

The pumpkin cut-off “weigh date” will be Friday, September 28th.

All entries must be turned into the Science Center by Friday, October 5, 2018.  Please include a photo of your pumpkin!

Your pumpkin variety is called “Big Max”
It takes about 120 days and can weigh over 100 pounds when full grown!

Pumpkins are a member of the squash and gourd family of vegetables.

The pumpkin grows on an extremely long vine that hugs close to the ground.  

Vines can sometimes reach lengths of up to 50 feet. Pumpkins start out green, but turn a bright orange color when ripe.  

Some pumpkins have been known to reach sizes of over 2,000 pounds!

Helpful Tips for growing success:

Plant your pumpkin where it will receive sun all day.

Your plant will need about 3 feet all around to grow full size.

For maximum pumpkin size, cut all but one pumpkin off your plant. This will force all of the plant’s effort into growing one giant pumpkin!

Once your pumpkin starts to grow, place a piece of wood under the pumpkin to help keep the insects and grubs from eating it.

Fertilize your plant with compost/fertilizer on a regular basis.

Water your pumpkin regularly.

Plant your pumpkin outside after Memorial Day.

Weigh your pumpkin toward the end of September at the Burlington Post Office, but don’t forget to have it weighed by September 28th and hand in the entry form below by October 5th!                    

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Come Visit Ms. Pavlicek at the Mass Outdoor Expo!

Miss Pavlicek will be at the Massachusetts Outdoor Expo in Sturbridge, MA this Sunday. If you're looking for a fun family activity this weekend, consider stopping by to say hi!