Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Science Books for Children: Scientist in the Field Series

from The Tarantula Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series). Photograph by Nic Bishop.

This Scientist in the Field series, published by HMH, is written for children in about grade 4 and higher. The informational texts features recounts of first hand adventures in the field coupled with striking photography. Although I have read many of the books, I have not yet finished the series. I do plan to one day make my way through each book as they are that well written, interesting, and informative. 

Robert F. Sibert award winners: Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot and Sibert honors, The Tarantula Scientist, Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea, and The Elephant Scientist

Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Award honor Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion

The Books

Batten, Mary. (2001).  Anthropologists: Scientists of the People (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Magadalena Hurtado and Kim Hill. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Bishop, Nic. (2002).  Digging for Bird Dinosaurs: An Expedition to Madagascar (Scientists in the Field Series).  Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Burns, Loree Griffin. (2014). Beetle Busters: (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Burns, Loree Griffin. (2010). The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Burns, Loree Griffin. (2007). Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion (Scientists in the Field Series).  Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.

Sea Turtle Scientist

Carson, Mary Kay. (2014). Park Scientists: Gila Monsters, Geysers, and Grizzly Bears in America’s Own Backyard (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Tom Ulhman. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Carson, Mary Kay. (2010). The Bat Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Tom Ulhman. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.



Carson, Mary Kay. (2007). Emi and the Rhino Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Tom Ulhman. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Collard, Sneed B. III. (2008). Science Warriors: The Battle Against Invasive Species (Scientists in the Field Series).  Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Collard, Sneed B. III. (2005). The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America’s Lost Grasslands (Scientists in the Field Series).  Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Frydenborg, Kay. (2012). Wild Horse Scientists (Scientist in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Jackson, Donna M. (2011). Mysterious Universe: Supernovae, Dark Energy, and Black Holes (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Nic Bishop. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.


Jackson, Donna M. (2002). The Wildlife Detectives: How Forensic Scientists Fight Cries Against Nature (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Wendy Shattil and Bob Rozinski. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Jackson, Donna M. (2002). The Bug Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Kramer, Stephen. (2003). Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist's Microscope (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Dennis Kunkle. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Lourie, Peter. (2012). The Polar Bear Scientist (Scientist in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Lourie, Peter. (2011). The Manatee Scientist: Saving Vulnerable Species (Scientist in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Lourie, Peter. (2009). Whaling Season: A Year on the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist (Scientist in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Mallory, Kenneth. (2006). Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano (Scientists in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Mallory, Kenneth. (2002). Swimming with Hammerhead Sharks (Scientists in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
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Montgomery, Sy. (2014). Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cat (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Nic Bishop. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Montgomery, Sy. (2013). The Tapir Scientists: Saving South America’s Largest Mammal (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Nic Bishop. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Montgomery, Sy. (2012). Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Nic Bishop. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Montgomery, Sy. (2010). Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Nic Bishop. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Montgomery, Sy. (2009). The Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Nic Bishop. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Montgomery, Sy. (2007). The Tarantula Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Nic Bishop. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Montgomery, Sy. (2001). The Snake Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Nic Bishop. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
O’Connell, Caitlin and Donna M. Jackson. (2011). The Elephant Scientist: Saving Vulnerable Species (Scientist in the Field Series). Photographs by Caitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwell. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Osborne, Elinor. (2002). Project UltraSwan (Scientist in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Rusch, Elizabeth. (2014). The Next Wave: The Quest to Harness the Power of the Oceans (Scientist in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Rusch, Elizabeth. (2013). Eruptions: Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives (Scientist in the Field Series). Photographs by Tom Uhlman. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Swinburne, Stephen R. (2014). Sea Turtle Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.



Swinburne, Stephen R. (2002). The Wood Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Susan C. Morse. Swinburne, Stephen R. (2001). Once A Wolf: How Wildlife Biologists Fought to Bring Back the Gray Wolf  (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Jim Brandenburg. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Turner, Pamela. (2013). The Dolphins of Shark Bay (Scientist in the Field Series). Photographs by Scott Tuason. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.


Turner, Pamela. (2012). Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Great Apes (Scientist in the Field Series). Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.
Turner, Pamela. (2011). The Frog Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series). Photographs by Andy Comins. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.

Turner, Pamela. (2010). Project Seahorse (Scientist in the Field Series). Photographs by Scott Tuason. Boston, MA: HMH Books for Young Readers.

Six Ways to Move Into and Out of Text in Order to Deepen Learning

Example of Stop and Jot used in 2nd grade classroom.
Robert Treat Academy, Newark, NJ - 2014.

Stop and Jot
Students stop during a lesson and write a quick note, reaction, question, reflection, or idea. The link above will take you to a brief video that explains the technique.  I would only add that this technique can be strengthened when the stopping and jotting are connected to emerging understandings as well as learning targets.
Sketch to Stretch
Sketch-to-Stretch is an instructional strategy developed by Harste, Short, & Burke, (1988). Students draw quick sketches to stretch their thinking and understanding of concepts. Moving to another communication system, such as art, can lead the learner to generate new insights and meanings. For students who access to the internet, FlockDraw, could be an interesting way for collaborative sketching to occur. 
Resource: Sketch to Stretch: Sketch Me a Story (Short & Harste, 1996)
I use this technique with poetry.  You can see examples here, here, and here.

In addition to sing pencil and paper, young students can also use Doodlecast to draw, explain, and share their learning.


Lift a Line
(A good student example can be found here).
Lift a line is a strategy that shows students how to choose an interesting sentence and use it as a first line for a new entry. Students choose an interesting sentence from their own writing or from their reading to recopy onto a blank page. This lifted line or sentence becomes the first line of a new entry.
An interesting range of writing approaches can be found on the Facing History/Facing Ourselves website.  Here's a link to it. 

My favorite example of lifting lines (see below) can be found in Kevin Hodgson's (@dogtrax) post, In the Poet's Defense: I Lift Lines to Remix Ideas. Pure genius, that.

from here.

This strategy encourages students to form a concise summary of what they just learned. Students are able to demonstrate their understanding of an idea or concept by writing only one sentence to capture the most important elements. This strategy allows students to practice their writing skills and gives teachers a way to check students’ understanding.

In this activity, students create a still picture, without talking, to capture and communicate the meaning of a concept. Students must truly understand the meaning of a concept or idea in order to communicate it using physical poses, gestures, and facial expressions rather than words. This collaborative strategy is appealing to kinesthetic learners and allows all students to be creative while strengthening their comprehension of a concept.

An interesting variation is that after students freeze, they can be tapped by other students in the room and they need to step into the character/concept they are depicting and speak.

Below is an example from Minneapolis Public Schools. Provides context for drama use as a means to improve comprehension  (disc. about tableau begins about 1:30 in).




Snowball: Promoting Thinking through Discussion
This technique involves progressively expanding groups. The teacher and/ or students prepare a question. Students work alone first thinking about the question, then discuss it with a partner, then join another pair to form a group f four, then eight, and so on until the whole class has been brought together.


This is an example of work I've done shifting from close reading of a Loren Eiseley text to snowballing.


Here is a compilation of discussion techniques (including Snowballing) that I regularly use.  They all are based on the work of Stephen Brookfield and Stephen Preskill that can be found in their book,  Discussion as a Way of Teaching. 







Stationary and Portable Word Walls in Kindergarten

Close up on word wall words that kindergarten students can borrow
to assist them while writing. (Lenore Furman's classroom in Newark, NJ)

Word Wall  in Kindergarten Classroom (Lenore Furman's classroom in Newark, NJ)


In Lenore Furman's kindergarten classroom in Newark, NJ--there are many ways that she assists learners as they gain independence.  When children need to spell a word they can look at the word wall, they also can go to the word wall and find the word they need typed on a Popsicle stick.

Here are two videos filmed in Lenore's classroom that explain the word wall and then show it in action.






The Peace of Wild Things

No Simulacrum (M.A. Reilly, 2008)

The Peace of Wild ThingsBy Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things" from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We Are More Than Big Heads



On Grafton Street (M.A. Reilly,  Dublin, 2008)
In Phenomenology of Perception, Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1945) writes: "Our own body is in the world as the heart is in the organism: it keeps the visible spectacle constantly alive, it breathes life into it and sustains it inwardly, and with it forms a system" (p. 235)


Knowing is embodied.  

Say it.

I feel this each time I lift my Nikon and connect with a subject.  

I hear the shutter rotate, sound.

I feel my fingers sliding and turning knobs in order to to set the aperture, shutter speed and ISO--to set the conditions for what I think I want.

My camera has heft. 
It weighs. 
Surfacing (M.A. Reilly, Tuscany, 2009)
Late in the day after hours of shooting the muscles in my arms ache.  

It is a good ache. A necessary ache.

A knowing ache.

I feel the weight of body when I look down and wonder where that bruise now forming on my shin first happened.


Etta And Butch Go For A Ride (M.A. Reilly,  NYC, 2010)
200,000+ images later and I can feel the weight of my camera without lifting it.  

can make the image without taking it.


Art guides and (in)forms my teaching. It helps me to remember that we are more than big heads on parade.

Far more.


Be for Me, Like Rain  (M.A. Reilly,  NYC, 2010)
The Ordinary (M.A. Reilly, Teaneck, NJ, 2013)

Moonrise Over Atlantic (M.A. Reilly, Rockport, Maine, 2012)

Watching  (M.A. Reilly,  Newburgh, NY, 2011)


Double Dutch


Andrew Krieger oil and pencil on wood form, cast bronze figures, steel supports 13"x 45"x 13"

Double DutchBy Gregory Pardlo

The girls turning double-dutch
bob & weave like boxers pulling
punches, shadowing each other,
sparring across the slack cord
casting parabolas in the air. They
whip quick as an infant’s pulse
and the jumper, before she
enters the winking, nods in time
as if she has a notion to share,
waiting her chance to speak. But she’s
anticipating the upbeat
like a bandleader counting off
the tune they are about to swing into.
The jumper stair-steps into mid-air
as if she’s jumping rope in low-gravity,
training for a lunar mission. Airborne a moment
long enough to fit a second thought in,
she looks caught in the mouth bones of a fish
as she flutter-floats into motion
like a figure in a stack of time-lapse photos
thumbed alive. Once inside,
the bells tied to her shoestrings rouse the gods
who’ve lain in the dust since the Dutch
acquired Manhattan. How she dances
patterns like a dust-heavy bee retracing
its travels in scale before the hive. How
the whole stunning contraption of girl and rope
slaps and scoops like a paddle boat.
Her misted skin arranges the light
with each adjustment and flex. Now heather-
hued, now sheen, light listing on the fulcrum
of a wrist and the bare jutted joints of elbow
and knee, and the faceted surfaces of muscle,
surfaces fracturing and reforming
like a sun-tickled sleeve of running water.
She makes jewelry of herself and garlands
the ground with shadows.

Gregory Pardlo, "Double Dutch" from Totem, published by The American Poetry Review. Copyright © 2007 by Gregory Pardlo.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Passion for Books: 35 Children's Books about Reading, Libraries, and Librarians


    from Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books.
  1. Abouraya, Karen Leggett. (2012). Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books. Illustrated by  Susan L. Roth. New York: Dial.
  2. Asim, Jabari. (2012). Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
  3. Bradby, Marie. (1995). More Than Anything Else. Illustrated by Chris K Soentpiet. New York: Orchard Books.
  4. Bunting Eve. (1989). The Wednesday SurpriseIllustrated by Donald Carrick. New York: HMH Books.
  5. Brown, Monica. (2011). Waiting for BiblioburroIllustrated by John Parra. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press.
  6. Ferris, Jeri Chase. (2012). Noah Webster and His Words. Illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch. New York: HMH Books.
  7. González, Lucía. (2008). The Storyteller's Candle/La verlita de los cuentos. Illustrated by Lulu Delacre. New York: Lee & Low Books.
  8. Grimes, Nikki. (2013). Words with Wings.Honesdale, PA: Wordsong.
  9. Henson, Heather. (2008). That Book WomanIllustrated by David Small. New York: Atheneum.
  10. Hest, Amy. (2007).  Mr. George BakerIllustrated by John J. Muth. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.
  11. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. (2011). I am the Book. Illustrated by Yayo. New York: Holiday House.
  12. Houston, Gloria. (2011). Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile. Illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb. New York: HarperCollins.
  13. Jeffers, Oliver. (2007). The Incredible Book Eating Boy. New York: HarperCollins.
  14. Joyce, William. (2012). The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Illustrated by William Joyce & Joe Bluhm. New york: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
  15. King, M.G. (2010). Librarian on the Roof: A True Story. Illustrated by Stephen Gilpin. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Co.
  16. Lewis, J. Patrick. (2005). Please Bury Me in the Library Illustrated by Kyle M. Stone. New York: HMH Books.
  17. Millen, C.M. (2010). The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane Illustrated by Andrea Wisnerski. Watertown, MAL Charlesbridge.
  18. Miller, William. (1997). Richard Wright and the Library Card. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.New York: Lee & Low Books.
  19. Mora, Pat. (2000). Tomás and the Library Lady. Illustrated by Raul Colón. New York: Dragonfly.
  20. Olson, Kay Melchisedech. (2006). Johann Gutenberg and the Printing Press. Illustrated by Tod G. Smith. Graphic Library.
  21. Pinborough, Jan. (2013). Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children.Illustrated by Debby Atwell. New York: HMH Books.
  22. Polacco, Patricia. (2012). Thank You, Mr. Falker. New York: Philomel.
  23. Polacco, Patricia. (1996).  Aunt Chip an the Great Tipple Creek Dam Affair. New York: Philomel.
  24. Robertson, Bruce. (1999). Marguerite Makes a BookIllustrated by Kathryn Hewitt. Los Angeles, CA: Getty Trust Publications.
  25. Rosenstock, Barb. (2013). Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library. Illustrated by John O'Brien. Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek.
  26. Rumford, James. (2012). From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World.  New York: Flash Point.
  27. Ruurs, Margriet. (2005). My Librarian is a Camel: How Books are Brought to Children Around the World. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
  28. Salas, Laura Purdie. (2011). BookSpeak! Poems about Books. Illustrated by Jossee Bisaillon. New York: Clarion.
  29. Schotter, Roni. (2006). The Boy Who Loved WordsIllustrated by Giselle Potter. New York: Schwartz & Wade.
  30. Stewart, Sarah. (2008). The LibraryIllustrated by David Small. New York: Square Fish.
  31. Vaughn, Marcia K. (2003). Up the Learning TreeIllustrated by Derek Blanks. New York: Lee & Low Books.
  32. Walter, Mildred Pitts.  (2005). Alec's PrimerIllustrated by Larry Johnson. Middlebury, VT: Vermont Folklife Center.
  33. Winter, Jeanette. (2010). Biblioburro: A True Story from ColombiaNew York: Beach Lane Books.
  34. Winter, Jeanette. (2005). The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from IraqNew York: HMH Books.
  35. Winters, Kay. (2006). Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved BooksIllustrated by Nancy Carpenter. New York: Aladdin.