Tag Archives: claim-evidence reasoning

Library Lessons: Oct 9-13, 2017

Week 8.  It’s great!  Routines are mostly set.  Expectations, too.  It was a short week (2 days of conferences AND book fair).

NO PreK / K / Grade 1…due to conference days.

Grade 2:

Week 1 in a research unit, designed to fuse PebbleGo, note-taking, citation, and video creation with haiku poetry.  And while this book was a bit young for the 2nd graders, it worked really well with Claim-Evidence-Reasoning…which was the goal of today’s lesson.  Next week: RESEARCH with our newest database, PebbleGo!

Grades 3/4:

So, the Destiny home screen is in need of an update. When  a handful of students per class  don’t realize they’re on the wrong catalog because most of the 11 in our school group look identical, there is an issue.  Step 1: survey the students to see what they think of the current set-up. They are the end-user, so their voice and opinions are the most valuable!  Using their iPads (we are 1:1), they could work independently or with a small group to answer 3 questions: what is GOOD, what SHOULD be here, how should it LOOK?   Following the discussion, three options for a Destiny home page were shared:  one from Van Meter in Iowa (thanks Shannon McClintock Miller), one from my former school (thanks, Nanette!), and our current screen (a list of links).  With little fanfare but much enthusiasm, they were most impressed with a home screen setup like at Van Meter.  Next: a redesign using Symbaloo!

Cheers, y’all!  –arika

Free-verse poetry unit with 2nd graders

For the last 3 weeks, the 2nd graders have been studying free-verse poetry in the library.  Most of my 2nd grade teachers were in the midst of poetry units (in correlation with National Poetry Month), so it was a natural fit for the library to be involved.  Plus, free-verse poetry is one of my favs to share, teach, and write.  No rhyme, few rules = tons of fun.

Weeks 1&2: Introduction of free-verse, share poetry, practice Claim-Evidence-Reasoning. 

A short PowerPoint introduced the traits of free-verse and the books we would read: Once I Ate a Pie and I Didn’t Do It, both by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest.

As each poem was shared, students had a task: use Claim-Evidence-Reasoning to decide if you wanted to own the dog in the poem.  Illustrations were not considered, just the text of the poem.

There are some poems in each book that spark great discussion – Mr. Beefy, Darla, Louis and I Didn’t Do It stand out.

A sample C-E-R from Mr. Beefy sounds like this:

  • Claim: I would like to own Mr. Beefy.
  • Evidence: He eats food off the table in a silent, sneaky way.
  • Reasoning: There are parts of my dinner I don’t like. If I had Mr. Beefy in my house, he would eat the bits I don’t like without my mom or dad finding out.

This is SO fun to do with students, as dogs are pretty popular and inspire many connections.  The reasoning explanations of students are brilliant: I like dogs that cause trouble because then I will be in less trouble, I want a dog that I can go running with, I don’t like to be wet when I sleep, so a slobbering dog is no good, etc.

Week 3: Compose a free-verse poem, learn/practice parallelism/Rule of Three, make inferences

Students put their knowledge of free-verse poetry and descriptive writing to the test: as a class, they composed a free-verse poem inspired by the two books.  In similar fashion, the poem was dog-themed and focused on this photograph:


First, students brainstormed single words that described the dog’s looks, feelings, and thoughts.  They had to make inferences based on the photograph.  Many students used words like guilty, mischievous, and sneaky. 

Second, students listed things/actions the dog may like/dislike as evidence by the photo.  Again, lots of inferring!

Third, they worked together to craft a poem from the dog’s point of view.

This was tough – some ideas worked, while others did not.  My job was to write as well as guide the students toward words and phrases that worked together.  This was a natural lesson to introduce the grammatical principles of both the Rule of Three and parallelism, as they helped to balance the poem and add humor.

After class, each poem was written on chart paper and hung them in the hall to share with the whole school.

On the whole, this unit was enjoyable and informative.  Teachers were happy that free-verse poetry was covered during library class, students found some new books they enjoyed (those MacLachlan books are circulating like mad!), and everyone benefited from the creation of four new free-verse poems.

Library Lessons: Jan 12-16, 2015 – Keats, Communities, Databases

Week 18!

Kindergarten:  Week 2 of the Ezra Jack Keats author study.

Students are making connections (to self and text) as well as examining how Peter grows and changes over time.  The K’s are using the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning model from STEM to put the stories in order based on the age of Peter.  What great discussion and observation this process has allowed!   We have just one more week with Keats before heading into a 3 week Science-themed unit featuring Wool and Fabric.  We’ll read stories highlighting the making of yarn, look at nonfiction about sweaters (using indexes), and work on sequencing.

2nd grade:  Students brought in their READolutions, and I explained how they’ll track their progress.  Many questions related to what happens when they don’t achieve the goal – I’m focusing on what will happen when they DO achieve the goal (picture on Daily News, bookmarks, happy notes home, etc).  We revisited Little Dog Lost, watching a couple videos of the rescue and aftermath online.  This was a golden opportunity to talk about successful search strategies and using search engines, not just YouTube (as one great video wasn’t on YouTube).

We began a My Community unit that will focus on urban/suburban/rural living, incorporating BrainPop, PebbleGo, & research.  This week, students watched a BrainPop Jr video featuring RURAL, SUBURBAN, and URBAN areas.  In the coming weeks, students will work on persuading another kid to move from the suburbs to either a RURAL or URBAN area.  I ‘m hoping they’ll get to share their persuasion using Tellagami, though that depends on iPad availability in the school (we have 6 for teachers to use during testing – this would be the first time students would get to use them!).  Just hearing the word “iPad” got them very fired up!


4th grade:  Readolution review.  Students finished a 2 week look at historical fiction.  Last week I read  Henry’s Freedom Box, and students asked wonder questions based on events in the story.

This week, I modeled logging on to the KCLS premium databases and, as a class, we constructed a search query for primary source newspaper articles on Henry Box Brown.  One article we read insinuated that his “friend” from the story was not as helpful as portrayed. Using C-E-R, students looked for evidence and provided reasoning to support/refute this idea.  As a group, they attempted to determine who was the questionable “friend” – either Dr. Smith or James.

One 4th grade class got to view the trailer for our friend Mac Barnett’s newest project, The Terrible Two.  They were SUPER excited to check out this book.  More copies are on the way!


What students checked out this week:

Library Lessons: Week of Oct 20 – author study, cornell notes, no power!

Week 8 started off as expected, then got wild.  Wednesday: Taught 4th grade.  Typical day.  Thursday: Taught 4th grade, 2nd grade, K.  Early-morning school evacuation due to electrical fire.  No power all day, no network access, no circulation.  Still have classes to teach, though! Friday: Taught 2nd grade, K.  Power on, but discover 3 min before class that the SmartBoard is blown…as are the tech lessons.  No sub for a K teacher, so classes are at 33 students each.


The library without power.  How helpful of Mother Nature to provide such abundant natural light!  New books are on each table, ready for little hands.

No power = no circulation, but no worries: students browsed our new books!

Kindergarten: Author / Illustrator study with Arthur Howard.  Stories: Mr Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog, Mr Putter and Tabby Stir the Soup by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Howard.  Two books, as ½ of a class had already heard the planned story.  Introduced the I Can Read section.

Thinking questions: Mr Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog – What advice would you give to Mr Putter to help get Zeke to behave?  If you were Mr Putter and Mrs Teabury asks if Zeke was a good lollipup, how would you reply? Mr Putter and Tabby Stir the Soup – What is Mr Putter’s problem?  How could he solve it?  (at the end) How did Mr Putter solve his problem?

2nd grade: Oh, the best laid plans…

We were to access PebbleGo Animals as a class to work on Claim Evidence Reasoning using question stems inspired by Memoirs of a Hamster.  But…no power, no SmartBoard = no whole-group access.

So: student choice read-alouds!  We sat in the front of the library, near the natural light, where the New Books display is kept.  I read aloud for 30 minutes, then gave students either (a) browsing time or (b) check-out time, depending on the day.  Students chose: The Adventures of Beekle: an unimaginary friend by Dan Santat and Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta

Beekle inspired some great discussion, and Nighttime Ninja was perfect for a dark school day!

4th grade:  Week 2 of Cornell Notes / Native American mini-unit. Goal: in groups, highlight important words and phrases from one page of Kids Discover magazine article.  One lesson I modeled this with the doc camera (power!), another day I explained to the best of my ability (no power).  As needed, I assisted groups.

Interestingly, the W class didn’t finish and requested more time next week.  The Th class – with no power! – were successful in completing the assignment and earned a Free Storytime Week next week.

Highlighting important words and phrases!  Nice work!

Highlighting important words and phrases! Nice work!