Quick read aloud, highlight new additions to the research library, review our "Monster Checks" for self-correcting and editing with a whisper phone
On Monday, I had 17 research monsters arrive ready to research for one hour and 45 minutes. First, I read them a yellow level read aloud about Valentine's Day to encourage students to research another holiday. Then, I reviewed some new additions to the library, such as a biographies, U.S. Presidents, and planets. Finally, I presented a mini lesson to review our Monster Checks before I sent them off to research for the remainder of our meeting.
I had several third graders researching from the yellow level. They practiced writing in paragraph form, with pronouns, and writing sentence fragments when gathering information. A couple of third grades moved onto the green level. Several of my fourth graders started to research new blue level topics such as the planet Mars, President Abraham Lincoln, and rain forests. Finally, a student began researching an ecosystem.
The students had to color their poster on a clipboard on the carpet. We spread out at the four tables in my classroom to limit the conversation. They are kids and they still love to talk. It was a very good meeting today. I was happy and proud of the progress the Research Monsters made today with researching from The Leveled Research Library.
On Thursday, I had 7 research monsters. There were 6 third graders and 1 fourth grader. I began our meeting by reading a biography about Benjamin Franklin to encourage them to try writing a biography. I also learned after the read aloud that they are interested in researching soccer players. Then, the monsters began their research project for the afternoon.
Several of my third graders made great strides writing with pronouns, using words from the question to support their authentic sentence writing, and capitalizing their sentences by themselves. The completed reports started to arrive at my table faster and faster. I moved three of them onto the green level. I truly saw their confidence and research skills starting to grow. Everything was starting to click.
My one fourth grader in attendance organized his report by himself without my support. After the completion of the detail template, the next step I will see is the final written report mounted on construction paper. Exciting! This is the main goal of a leveled research library to create authentic and independent researchers.
Overall, I received several yellow level reports, but the gains they made today were apparent. So proud of my little research monsters!
Read aloud and maintain interest in the Leveled Research Library
On Monday, I had 16 research monsters arrive in my classroom after school today ready to research. I read aloud a book about triceratops. I hadn’t promoted the researching of dinosaurs in a while. It is great for practicing writing in the past tense. Then, my monsters got to work!
I had a third grader bring in two biographies on two different people on the green level. I knew she wanted to research one of these people, but I had just ordered the books from the local library. So, this is what I did. I gave her two biography templates and had her use the resources she had brought for each biography to begin gathering information. I also had her write down the title and author of the books on a piece of lined paper that I stapled to each detail template to begin writing down her resources. Once she finished gathering the information from both books, I gave her a folder to keep her projects organized and she continued to research a book from the green level.
I had several students jump from the yellow level to the green level and others that moved from the green level to the blue level. I had three students publishing their green and blue reports on the computer. This more in-depth researching by several students cleared the way for my attention to shift to some third graders at the yellow level who struggled with sentence fragments when they gathered their information. I reviewed several question templates with too much copied information in the boxes. I limited a few of them by drawing three lines in each box. Now they could only write one word on a line in each box so they needed to pick the important words.
After they gathered all their information, I took their book so they focused on writing sentence using words from the question and combining it with the gathered information to make a complete sentence. Thus, they were writing their own sentences and being authentic researchers. Overall, this day was really hopping. The time flew by and the Leveled Research Library got pushed to its limits again. I love that! I received several yellow level reports and a blue level report today.
On Thursday, I had to cancel the club meeting. This was the first time ever this school year. I had to attend to the matter that there was no heat in my house. I was at the mercy of the HVAC repair company. A big shout out to the Lee Company in Nashville. (This is not an ad or affiliate.) All is now well and The Research Monster Club met as scheduled the following weeks. Blog soon to come!