Thursday, October 23, 2008

Incorporating Reading Books and Novels into All Classroom Subjects AND Interactive Websites

I have always loved, and still love, reading, and I want to be able to incorporate them into all different types of subject areas. Books can be such a fun, motivating, and informative tools for all subjects. I want to be able to have a massive classroom library with all types of varieties and genres. I've already started collecting and I have around a hundred to one hundred and fifty books, mostly upper elementary chapter books. I'm constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction picture books, science books, biographical and autobiographical books, etc. The Busy Teacher's Website - Elementary has a variety of great lesson plan links and interactive website links, including science lessons. There is a link to the Cool Science for Curious Kids website which the Busy Teacher Website describes as"Excellent science site explores animal classification, air quality, metamorphosis, and other science topics in a graphical and easy to read format. Includes experiments. Designed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute." The website combines reading and literature with a variety of scientific ideas. The CyberKids website has a reading room, puzzles and games, a launchpad, and a free online magazine. The Kids National Geographic website has a ton of great interactive links, and although it isn't geared toward reading and literature, it is full of exciting text for children to read and relate to real life. I also found a competition called ThinkQuest Junior that allows submission by grade of an educational website, which my future classes could create some type of reading/literature website. It could be interactive poems or stories, the possibilities for the website ideas are endless even when narrowed down to the reading genre. I just want to be able to provide a fun, fresh place to read and incorporate new ideas to get the children more excited about reading. I also searched the web for history related lesson plans that include a variety of literatures. Through that search I found a great lesson unit called Literature Circles for World Theme unit. The unit uses a wide variety of literature to meet the standards for social studies with learning about various cultures. You could follow the lesson exactly, or I would prefer to research all the countries I will be using and choose my own books, although that is a lot of work. However, I think doing it myself is better in the long run when it comes to teaching the subject matter. I'll know the subject inside and out having researched and read all the material instead of having just read an already prepared lesson plan with a select group of books. I also like the idea of personalizing it to the needs of my classroom.

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