Extending Learning to Reach New Places

Extension of ideas is something for we want for all students. Check out this post for extension ideas and FREEBIES.

Who's traveling over the winter holiday?  Well, I hear that the majority do, even if it's a few hours to grandma's house. Well, today's post may not be about traveling to grandma's, but it is about helping our students "travel" with new experiences that offer enrichment into the daily routine.

Rosie Revere, Engineer: A STEM Activity PacketToday, we'll explore enrichment options that all students enjoy. In the past few years, there has been a push to include STEM options into the curriculum. [This post] from Insight.com has a wonderful list of suggestions for implementing STEM into your curriculum, and my friends Wendy and Cheryl from Get Caught Engineering  have a bundle they've shared for today's prize package. It features the book, Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty. It is a fabulous picture book with a great girl character, and the activities included blend literature with a spoonful of science, a sprinkle of technology, a handful of engineering, and a dash of math. Doesn't that sound like a great recipe? To check out this product or others like it, click on the image to the right.

Wendy and Cheryl's advice for teachers:
To help younger students with the distribution of STEM materials, we prepackage the materials for each group in zip lock bags. Clean up is then also a snap as they put materials back in the bag at the end. Organization really helps STEM activities go smoothly.
Another great way to extend learning is with writing. I am a huge believer in the reading-writing connection, and my friend, Janiel Wagstaff from Janiel's Literacy Page created this wonderful book series featuring Stella, an amazing young author. In the series, Stella learns to write for different purposes with each book. So far, Janiel's published four titles for narrative, information, and persuasive texts as well as her latest book for poetry. I wrote a review in [this post] and Janiel's donated a signed copy of Stella Poet Extraordinaire.

Janiel has a few tips for using poetry with your students and for her book:
In general, what “Stella: Poet Extraordinaire” will do is inspire you and your students to explore the power of reading and writing poetry in your everyday lives. The book is exploding with examples of how to get this process going and keep it thriving. For example, ever thought of having students write a few words when they are feeling upset, mad, disappointed or happy, excited, energized? Just a few words on the page can empower them to explore these feelings in profound ways. When the emotion is anger, writing it out often helps students feel better. There’s an example of this on page 16-17 of the book—a real event from Janiel’s classroom.
Another simple idea for using poetry is to inspire students to write their own poetry by lifting a line, a sentence (or two) or a phrase from a poem. Then, have students simply write 'off of' this starting point. Of course, this works best if you model it several times first while thinking aloud about your process. An additional scaffold is to write several such poems together as a class.
Building Poetry Pros with Poetic Devices and MoreIn addition to Janiel's donation of Stella, I am also including the  Poetry Pros set in my store. With the set, you can help your students analyze poetry samples for sensory words, imagery, figurative language and poetic forms. After analyzing poetry, extend the learning by writing original poems that feature the figurative language or patterns you've studied through reading.
When working with poetry, it is important to read it orally and multiple times to fully appreciate the language used. You will not only teach appreciation of the poetic elements, but also help your students gain appropriate phrasing and improve reading fluency.

Thanks for joining us today. The images below are freebies from the four of us.  We hope they'll bring a little enrichment into your classrooms during the coming weeks ahead.

   Sleeping Beauty and Enchanted Engineering: Happily Ever Af  STELLA WRITES Freebies for Fans of the Stella Writes Books!   Building Poetry Pros: Imagery Mini Lesson
Enrichment is for everyone, and I hope you enjoyed these tips from Janiel and Get Caught Engineering. Have a happy day and come back tomorrow for comprehension tips and tricks.

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