Thursday, November 27, 2014

physical science (dust, sunrise)

Stars Beneath Your Bed and Science Standards

April 29th, 2012

Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust is a natural for fulfilling the new science standards. That’s one of the things I learned when I attended NSTA and spoke on a panel of authors organized by Carrie Launius and hosted by Wendy Saul. Each of the educators at the conference gave activities to go with various books. Carrie worked with teacher to get them to consider how the book deals with cross-cutting concepts:

Patterns

Cause and Effect: Mechanism and Explanation

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Vegetable Art, Trout Trees and More!

April 26th, 2012

I had the pleasure of visiting Pioneer Elementary in March. Wow, the art teacher was a burst of creativity, working on such incredible projects with the kids. Many other teachers were doing amazing work, as well. See some of it below! Click on each photo to see it in greater detail.

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Gordon School Shines: Shadow Puppet Plays

December 18th, 2011

I just returned from four days as the Karla Harry Visiting Author at the Gordon School, in Providence, RI. The time at Gordon was one of the highlights of my career.Here are some of the shadow plays the kindergarten and 3rd graders did. The teachers and librarians collaborated to create this exciting exploration of light, shadow, and literature. They did Trout Are Made of Trees, Vulture View, and Honk, Honk, Goose. 

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Seven Hills-Doherty An Author’s Dream School

March 8th, 2010

SEVEN HILLS-DOHERTY

I’d just been to Seven Hills-Lotspeich. How could another school day be just as fun? Well, if you’re at the other Seven Hills Campus—Doherty. It can! This Cincinnatti school just percolates with life. If I were going to be a teacher, I’d want to work in one of the Seven Hills Schools.

Why? Because excellent schools need faculty that care for one another, that lunch together, that chat and exchange ideas.  This school has it on both campuses. Education can be joyous when staff share that passion for helping students. But left alone in classrooms, teachers can grow isolated, like stay-at-home moms who love their kids but need some grownup time now and then. Staff development makes it sound all technical. That is helpful. But the core of the best schools I have seen is a caring staff community: community that nurtures creative teachers and does not squash them. You could see it at work, hear it at work during my lunch with some of the Doherty teachers.

Seven Hills also has another community that uplifts the place. The parents. Wow. They pitch in for all kinds of things. At the whirling center of joy is librarian Linda Wolfe who I had the pleasure of spending the day with.

She is a dynamo who knows children’s literature inside out. She created wonderful activities to go with my books. Just look at what they did with Vulture View. She found some kind of scratch paper that is black with silver underneath. The students cut out vultures and scratched through to make the beautiful silvering of the feathers.

She describes how she introduces Trout Are Made of Trees to her students. To celebrate the book, she used a scale/math/art activity. She gave kids large photos of the aquatic insects. Then the children had to draw them, as accurately as possible, on the tiny pieces of paper. It’s a good thinking project. You can just imagine how many neurons fire when trying to duplicate but shrink an image.

In the halls were more art projects to celebrate If You Should Hear a Honey Guide; Dig, Wait, Listen; and other books. Penguins for Antarctica. Maps of South America. There was art of many kinds.

Among my favorites was an organizational project done by Mr. Schmidt’s class. They took my books and graphed them in various ways to show the content and relationships in the books. It’s a good way to prepare for writing books of their own.

I saw and experienced all of this in one short school day at Seven Hills Doherty. Just imagine what a student could learn in a school year of being with these hard working, creative educators.

Air Quality and Soil Activity

January 25th, 2010

Eric Dunsey, School Outreach Coordinator

of the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality

This uses Stars Beneath Your Bed.

http://bringbackblue.com/assets/uploads/files/K-3(1).pdf

Ants, Vultures, and Compost Curricula, Lexington SC Schools

March 30th, 2009

A few more photos from Lexington School District in SC. I was there for 9 days of talks including a weekend READ Fest, a community event put on by the extraordinary school librarians of this district.

Vultures and Books Rule at Pleasant Hill

March 29th, 2009

Who wouldn’t love books at this school in Lexington, SC? Librarian D’Etta Broam is a book dynamo. Yes, she really did meet me in this vulture hat to honor Vulture View. Of course, there was that on camera interview I did with their local vulture puppet, “Bill,” who rather likes the word REEK!

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If I Were a Dust Particle . . . More from Indian Hill Elementary!

March 29th, 2009

Here are some more great educational ideas from Indian Hill Elementary in Cincinnati, Ohio. These are from a school visit week in Feb, 2009. The first ones extend STARS BENEATH YOUR BED: THE SURPRISING STORY OF DUST.

Sunrises, Science, Coffee Filters, and Art

December 12th, 2008

Thank you, librarian Jonelle Hamou, for contributing this project. 3rd and 4th grade students at Frederick Douglass Elementary, in Winchester, VA, investigated science and art in connection with STARS BENEATH YOUR BED: the Surprising Story of Dust. 

Students use ink pens to color parts of coffee filters, then fold each filter into a pie-piece shape.

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About Me
April Sayre

April Pulley Sayre is an award-winning children’s book author of over 55 natural history books for children and adults. Her read-aloud nonfiction books, known for their lyricism and scientific precision, have been translated into French, Dutch, Japanese, and Korean. She is best known for pioneering literary ways to immerse young readers in natural events via creative storytelling and unusual perspectives.

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