On Today’s podcast — exploring science in children’s literature. Science is everywhere, in everything we do, see, and read. All books offer possibilities for talk about science in the illustrations and the texts… once you know how to look for them. Children’s literature is a natural avenue to explore the seven crosscutting concepts described in the Next Generation Science Standards. In their new book: Sharing Books, Talking Science, authors Valerie Bang-Jensen and Mark Lubkowitz help teachers develop the mindset necessary to think like a scientist, and then help students think, talk, and read like scientists. We started our conversation on how the idea for this book came to be and what they call “the surprisingly powerful friendship of children's literature and science.”
"The nature of teaching elementary children is that we teach all subjects. True integrative teaching means that each new lens is not additive, but rather it is synergistic. Each of the crosscutting concepts can be seen in all types of literature, and learning to see them enhances the reading experience itself while simultaneously developing the mindset necessary to think like a scientist. This is why we see literature as an authentic context for helping students see science concepts everywhere."
In the following video, Valerie and Mark discuss why their book Sharing Books, Talking Science: Exploring Scientific Concepts with Children's Literature is a great place to start for any teacher looking to inspire themselves and their students to look at any subject, text, or the world at large, through a more scientific lens.
"The way that we’re trained and the way that we’re educated influences the way that we see anything; the way that we approach anything; the way we see life, approach literacy, approach stories. That’s how we saw one way we could collaborate by looking at science through literature and literature through science."
In their new book, Sharing Books, Talking Science, authors Valerie Bang-Jensen and Mark Lubkowitz explore scientific concepts through children's literature.
Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille
“I think that many teachers have been subjected to intensive efforts to remake their small-group instruction so that it is 'just so.' There have been so many books written on how to lead small groups in precisely the right ways that too many teachers approach a little hub of readers, gripped by anxiety over doing this The Right Way. Meanwhile, the whole point is to be personal, be responsive, and to channel kids to do some work while you observe and coach.”
– Lucy Calkins, in A Guide to the Reading Workshop
Studying and Thinking about Powerful Whole Group Instruction: Minilessons, Shared Reading, & Read Aloud K-3
See below for a full transcript of the chat
Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille
One power of reading workshop is the way in which instruction can move seamlessly from whole-group, to small-group, to individual and back again in the span of a class period. Certainly, a reading teacher’s best chance of really moving kids further in their understanding is while working with small groups and individuals, where instruction can be differentiated to meet the needs of the each student. It is not as possible to meet every student’s needs during whole-group instruction. Inevitably, there will be students who are beyond or not quite at the level of whole-group lessons. But these lessons serve a very important purpose, nonetheless. They serve to rally students’ energy around a single, worthy cause. They serve to create classroom community-wide goals for reading and common language to talk about these goals. They serve to get students jazzed up about a new line of thinking, or a new trajectory in their path of work.
2016 was rich with content, conversation, and camaraderie in our Professional Learning Community blog series! Thousands of educators like you pushed your thinking through reading, sharing, and discussing the videos, articles, book chapters, and more. No doubt students all over the country and even all over the world have received the benefits of your dedication to professional learning.
Let's take a look at some of the most popular posts of 2016!