Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday DEN Report

Happy Wednesday and welcome to the (almost) weekly DEN Report. For more information about what DEN is, click here for all my posts about Discovery Education.

Last week was CRAZY! Monday we dealt with the time change and sleepy, grouchy kindergarteners. Tuesday we had a field trip to Dauphin Island Sea Lab, which was fabulous, but you know how field trips stir them up. Not to mention it was my birthday and our classmate Annabelle's birthday! Wednesday our grade level had peer-to-peer meetings all day so there was a sub in my room AND it was picture day. Thursday we got 12 new iPads and the kids were so excited they "could not see straight". Friday we spent the entire morning making oceans and figuring out how to use QR codes. Needless to say I was so happy to see Monday get here knowing we would have a much more normal week this week – well as normal as it can be with my sweet kiddos!
 Our class on the beach at Dauphin Island - It was grey and cloudy but the rain stayed inland so we could play on the beach!
The Birthday Girls!
She told me all she wanted to do on her birthday was make a sandcastle so of course we sat right down and made the best dry sandcastle EVER!

I was so excited for Monday because we were starting a Discovery Education model lesson this week! This is the third DE model lesson I have done with my Kindergarteners and I love them. The DE model lessons are located in the Steaming Plus sections on Discovery Education. In this section you search by grade, ELA or Math, and then a specific common core strand. You can just keep “drilling” down until you find the standard you are looking for. ***Warning*** Not all standards have model lessons! In Kindergarten (ELA standards) there are six lessons that cover a variety of standards. However, all standards will have an explore tab with links to DE resources. You can also use the search function to find the model lessons by filtering down from your topic and grade level range to “media type”, “teach” and “lesson plan”.  

In October we did a lesson about opinion writing using the book Where the Wild Things Are and episodes of Reading Rainbow. As our ending project we wrote our own book reviews. Then in February we did another lesson using the poem “My Shadow”. In this lesson we talked about author’s craft and the science behind shadows. This week we are doing a lesson called “Imagination: It’s All in Your Head” with the book, Louis the Fish (we are doing our sea life unit right now). We are starting this lesson today. In the lesson, we will discuss what is an imagination, how author’s word choice helps us use our imagination, and use our imagination to write opinion papers about what animal we would like to turn into. I plan to post more notes about the actual lesson and some pictures on my Five for Friday blog post so be sure to check back then!

What I love about these lessons is how organized everything is on the lesson plan page. You have all of your standards that are being met (and there are a lot!!), you have a lesson summary and then you have the lessons. It breaks the lessons down into sessions (this week there are 3 sessions). These lessons have also helped me see new and exciting ways to utilize DE resources other than just playing videos! I now make sure that when searching a topic, I drill down under “K-2”, “media type” and “teach” to see if there is a model lesson to go with my topic. Even if the lesson is for 1st or 2nd grade, they are easily adaptable to Kindergarten without too much work!

I really encourage any DE member to take the time to search for these model lessons. I would love to hear if you have used model lessons from DE or if you have questions, please let me know. I would be happy to try and help!!

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