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Teacher as Learners

Philosophy: "Less me, more we."

Demonstrate your passion for learning. Ask questions. Talk about what you're learning. Build a community of learners. Create synergy through an authentic class project.

Select Nonfiction

Look for resources (books, websites) with

Look for options such as

For young children, seek sources with (Snow Monkeys (Grade 1 and Grade 2 w/ audio))

Amelia EarhartSeek award winning materials

Story of ScienceStory of ScienceStory of Science

List of Nonfiction Awards from Wikipedia

Look for teacher guides from the publishers. Most have a teacher section such as Teachers @ Random.

Locate Online Readings

Search Google Books for "Limited Previews" of children's books that can be used to generate interest or introduce a topic. Go to Google Book Search. Next to Showing:, select Limited Preview and Full View. Enter a topic or author of interest. The limited previews work well for nonfiction reading where the entire book is not needed to gather information. Consider doing a series for a nonfiction series such as Oxford Reds.

George Washington CarverBegin with a shared experiences. For instance, read aloud the nonfiction award winning book George Washington Carver by Tonya Bolden or George Washington Carver: The Peanut Scientist by Patricia C. McKissack, Fredrick McKissack. Then, compare nonfiction works about this person. How does each resource add to your understanding? Add new information to your timeline in a different color to show the importance of using multiple resources. Or create a class wiki or concept map.

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Create Pathfinders

Traditionally, subject guides included print materials such as books, pamphlets, brochures, maps, photographs, and primary source documents. In the 70s and 80s, the word pathfinder became associated with bibliographies that included both print and nonprint materials such as audios, videos, filmstrips, transparencies, and kits. In the 90s, pathfinders began to include links to online resources such as websites, electronic database, and other outside resources.

Today, a pathfinder includes all the resources that students or library patrons might find useful from primary source documents to local community members. It might contain Dewey Decimal numbers to locate materials in the library or URLs to locate materials on the Internet. In addition, it could include phone numbers, addresses, and email contacts for experts who might be able to address specific questions related to a topic.

Learn more about Pathfinders in my online course materials at Electronic Materials for Children and Young Adults. Explore examples at the Pathfinder project.

Watch the Social Bookmarking in Plain English video to learn the basics of using Delicious for social bookmarking. Then, try creating your own.
For more help, watch the SCPL YouTube Tutorial.

Create an Atmosphere of "Reading to Learn"

Have nonfiction readings available. Explore your library. Create a nonfiction area: telephone directory, manuals, playbills, step-by-step instructions, how-to-posters, works of art, informational posters, etc. Provide tools for nonfiction thinking such as graphic organizers, clipboards, post-its bulletin boards, and plastic pockets.

Model the use of multiple resources. Discuss strategies for reading above reading level. Discuss questioning, the process of narrowing a topic and focusing attention. The following texts focuses on a broad range of topics related to reptiles.

LincolnsUse live events to bring learning alive. For instance, 2009 is the Lincoln Bicentennial. Follow the events throughout the year.

To create your own, do a search in Google Books. Select the "About this Book" tab. Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for websites and related books.

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