Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Annotated Bib - The Solar System

There are a lot of books available for children about the solar system in both the picture book and nonfiction sections of the library. Fourth graders are at an age where they still need and appreciate small and sometimes fictional books about scientific concepts. The picture books are good because they explain the information simply and encourage children to use their imaginations about science concepts. The nonfiction books contain more accurate illustrations and actual pictures of the planets and ideas that are described.

Books
Destination: Space By Seymour Simon. (2006). 32p. Collins. 9780060877231. Gr. 3.
This book has big photographs of different features of the solar system, such as nebulas, supernovas, and planets. Beside each photograph is a detailed description of the photograph. Although the reading level would be about grade 3, each page contains a lot of interesting facts that older children would like, as well.


Exploring the Solar System: A History with 22 Activities. By Mary Kay Carson. (2008). 176p. Chicago Review Press, 9781556527159. Gr.4-5.
This book is full of facts, history, and activities relating to the solar system. There is extensive information about each planet. Information about famous astronomers is provided as well. Predictions for future discoveries and explorations are also made.


By Monica Grady. Illus. by Lucia deLeiris. (2007). 32p. Francis Lincoln Children's Books, 9781845075705. Gr. 3-4.
This book gives simple yet detailed information about many different parts of the solar system. The illustrations are good. The descriptions include explanations of where each planet, moon, or star comes from. There is a glossary in the back.




By David Aguilar. (2011). 64p. National Geographic Children's Books, 9781426307706. 4-5 Gr.
This book provides up-to-date information about the thirteen planets. There are enhanced photographs on every page. There are activities in the back. This book contains simple text, but would be applicable for fourth-fifth grade just as well.


The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System By Joanna Cole. Illus. by Bruce Degen. (1992). 40p. Scholastic Press, 9780590414296. Gr. 3-4.
This book is an entertaining way to get kids interested in studying the solar system. There is humor, conversation bubbles, facts, and an interesting story. There are also many different illustrations on each page. Fourth graders may still find this book useful.


Websites

For Teachers
This website provides detailed information about different topics relating to the solar system. Meteors, the Moon, stars, comets, planets, and the Sun are discussed. The size, temperature, and other characteristics are mentioned.

This website provides information on topics relating to the solar system as well as news articles and information about past and future space exploration. There are resources available for teachers and kids.

This website gives lesson plan ideas and game ideas for teaching the about the solar system. It also gives recommendations for websites and books that teachers and kids can use.

For Kids
Kids' Astronomy
This website has icons for the planets and their moons. There is an interactive replica of the planets and how they rotate on their axes. There are games, also.
This website would be useful for teachers and kids who are interested in exploring history of space exploration further. There are detailed descriptions and pictures of many past U.S. vessels which were launched into space. There are current news articles about space exploration.

For Teachers
Virginia Standard of Learning
SOL 4.7 The student will investigate and understand the organization of the solar system. Key concepts include: 
(a) planets in the solar system.

Background Information from Curriculum Framework

Look under 4.7: I could not paste the material.

Annotated Bib - The Solar System

The Solar System consists of the sun, planets, their moons, and other bodies, such as meteors and comets that orbit the sun. The planets in order from the sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The sun is by far the biggest. The planets are held in orbit around the sun by a force called gravity. We cannot see the planets with our naked eyes, but with telescopes. The planets have dramatically different sizes and atmospheres.

Books
Exploring the Planets! By Bonnie Sachello-Sawyer. 2000. 80 p. Scholastic, (9780590685733). Gr. 3-5.
This activity book includes information about the planets plus activities such as reproducible games, mini-books, a read-aloud play, simple science experiments, art projects and even a planet fact poster. Explores all 9 planets (including Pluto).

Exploring the Solar System: A History with 22 Activities. By Mary Kay Carson. 2008. 176 p. Chicago Review Press (9781556527159).  Gr. 3-5. 
This book not only introduces the solar system, but also the history of human exploration in it. Each chapter has sidebars containing biographical sketches of noteworthy astronomers and other scientists, additional information on subjects such as telescopes, and activities relating to ideas of that time. Does not include Pluto. 

Our Solar System. By Seymour Simon. 2007. 72 p. Collins; Updated Edition (9780061140082). Gr. 3-5.
This book provides readers with a tour of the sun, the eight planets and their moons, asteroids, meteoroids and comets. The award winning Seymour Simon has teamed up with the Smithsonian Institution on this new and updated version of the universe. Does not consider Pluto a planet.

The Planets in Our Solar System. By Franklyn M. Branley. Illus. by Kevin O'Malley. 1998. 32 p. Collins (9780064451789). Gr. 1-2.
Simple points are made precisely and succinctly by Branley so as to avoid distracting commentary and dialogue. O'Malley provides colorful illustrations that go along with the informative facts that are easy for early elementary students to understand. The author uniquely presents the planets in groups based on heavenly bodies, temperatures, size and other comparative terms as opposed to listing the planets in the order they come. The book has additional websites and hands on activities. Includes Pluto.

The Solar System (True Books: Space). By Howard K. Trammel. 2010. 48 p. Children's Press, (9780531228050). Gr. 3-5.
This series explores the solar system, galaxies, stars, and other objects in space. Other books in the series include True Books on Earth, Saturn and Mercury. This book is full of catchy photographs and panoramas of outer space. The chapters are full of fascinating details and move from the inner to the outer planets. Pluto is not included.

There's No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System. By Tish Rabe. Illus. by Aristides Ruiz. 1999. 48 p. Random House Books for Young Readers, (9780679891154). Gr. 1-2.
Fans of Dr. Seuss's favorite cat in the hat will love this book. Readers will learn about the solar system through rhymes and cartoon like illustrations similar to the originals. The familiar format and entertaining text are very appealing to early elementary readers. Includes Pluto.

Websites
This website allows children to click on any of the orbiting planets to get additional information such as how much you would way on a given planet. The website provides additional tabs to learn about asteroids, comets and each of the planet's moons.

Planet Facts
Very organized page of all of the nine planets (including Pluto), with images and additional information when clicking on a particular planet.

Click any planet on this website to get additional information; additional links to view pictures and video clips. This site looks like it could be useful for a fourth or fifth grader who needs to find some research for a project on the solar system.

The education section under the NASA website. Teachers can go to this website to gain more in depth information about the solar system. Different tabs allow the teacher to learn about explorations, planetary processes and weather, the early solar system, and astrology. This particular link takes teachers to the What We Explore: Education Activities link. From there the teacher can choose from a variety of PDF downloads for a number of activities exploring motion, organization, the study of the sun, the inner planets, and much more.

The Earth in Space
Directions for the teacher to guide a virtual exploration of which planet has the largest volcano in our solar system. The activity instructions include vocabulary, building background, guided exploration, review/assessment, and even extended activities to reach all learners. By exploring which planet has the biggest volcano, the visitor goes through information and facts about all of the nine planets (including Pluto).

For Teachers
Virginia Standards of Learning
4.7 The student will investigate and understand the organization of the solar system. Key concepts include
a)    the planets in the solar system;
b)    the order of the planets in the solar system; and
c)    the relative sizes of the planets.

Background Information from Curriculum Framework
  • Our solar system is ancient. Early astronomers believed that Earth was the center of the universe and all other heavenly bodies orbited around Earth. We now know that our sun is the center of our solar system and eight planets, a handful of dwarf planets, 170 named moons, dust, gas, and thousands of asteroids and comets orbit around the sun. Our solar system is made up of eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
  • Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are considered terrestrial planets. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are called gas giants.
  • Mercury is closest to the sun and is a small, heavily cratered planet. Mercury looks like our moon. Since Pluto’s reclassification from planet to dwarf planet, Mercury is now the smallest planet in our solar system.
  • Venus is second from the sun. It is similar to Earth in size and mass, and has a permanent blanket of clouds that trap so much heat that the temperatures on the surface of Venus are hot enough to melt lead.
  • Earth is third from the sun. Earth’s atmosphere, the liquid water found on Earth, and its distance from the sun, among many other factors, make Earth a haven for life.
  • Mars is fourth from the sun. The atmosphere on Mars is thin and there is a vast network of canyons and riverbeds on the red planet. Scientists hypothesize that Mars once supported a wet, warm Earth-like climate.
  • Jupiter is fifth from the sun. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and is considered a gas giant. Jupiter has no solid surface.
  • Saturn is sixth from the sun. Early scientists thought Saturn was the only planet with rings, but we now know that all four gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) have rings.
  • Uranus is seventh from the sun. Uranus is a gas giant.
  • Neptune is eighth from the sun. Neptune appears blue through telescopes and is a gas giant.
  • The eight planets sorted by size from largest to smallest are: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, and Mercury.
  • Pluto is no longer included in the list of planets in our solar system due to its small size and irregular orbit. Many astronomers questioned whether Pluto should be grouped with worlds like Earth and Jupiter. In 2006, this debate led the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the recognized authority in naming heavenly objects, to formally reclassify Pluto. On August 24, 2006, Pluto's status was officially changed from planet to dwarf planet.
  • A new distinct class of objects called "dwarf planets" was identified in 2006. It was agreed that "planets" and "dwarf planets" are two distinct classes of objects. The first members of the dwarf planet category are Ceres, Pluto and 2003 UB313, given the name Eris. More dwarf planets are expected to be announced by the IAU in the future.
  • What differentiates a dwarf planet from a planet? For the most part, they are identical, but there is one key difference: A dwarf planet has not "cleared the neighborhood" around its orbit, which means it has not become gravitationally dominant and it shares its orbital space with other bodies of a similar size.
  • Pluto is smaller than seven of the moons in our solar system and cannot be seen without a telescope.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Annotated Bib - Hibernation

Hibernation is an interesting topic to discuss with young children. It can be described as a sleep-like state that some animals must do in order to survive the winter. Some animals may be in a deep sleep throughout the winter while others are considered light sleepers and still move around occasionally in the wintertime.

Following, you will find some suggestions for children's books, as well as teacher and student websites related to hibernation. This list was prepared for second graders, but some items may be appropriate for slightly younger or older children.

Books
Bear Snores On. By Karma Wilson. Illus. by Jane Chapman. 2002. 40p. Margaret K. McElderry Books, (9780689831874). Gr. K-2
A poetic book that also includes onomatopoeia. The story is about a bear hibernating during a winter storm and everything that goes on while he's sleeping. Many animals come into his den to get out of the storm, bear wakes up and is upset that he has missed out on the party.

Every Autumn Comes the Bear
. By Jim Arnosky. Illus. by the author. 1996. 32p. Puffin, (9780698114050). Gr. K-2.
This book includes pretty watercolors and describes how a bear makes its way into hibernation for the winter. It scares a few animals along the way to the perfect location.

Hibernation Station. By Michelle Meadows. Illus. by Kurt Cyrus. 2010. 40p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, (9781416937883). Gr. K-2.
This is a cute book with great illustrations. It shows the many different animals that hibernate in the wintertime in their pajamas preparing for a good winter's sleep. The animals get on a log train together and work hard to get comfortable with so many bodies around!

How and Why Animals Prepare for Winter. By Elaine Pascoe and Joel Kupperstein. Illus. by Dwight Kuhn. 2000. 16p. Creative Teaching Pr, (9781574716646). Gr. K-2.
This book includes information on animals and their preparation for winter. It includes neat photography.

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons. By Il Sung Na. 2010. 24p. Alfred A. Knopf, (9780375867866). Gr. K-2.
A book describing a rabbit's journey as he explores the many different animals and how they spend their winters until spring comes around again.

Websites
A site which includes coloring worksheets and animal descriptions for students.

A quick video showing a bear in Yellowstone prepare for hibernation. A neat clip for teachers to show students.

A lesson plan for teachers on hibernation. It includes a link to a good animal workbook to give students.
This website includes explanations and examples of migration, adaptation, hibernation, and more for teachers or students.

This website has good information on hibernation as well as activities and videos for students. It is a subscription website but allows for a 30 day free trial.

For Teachers
Virginia Standards of Learning
SOL 2.7a
The student will investigate and understand that weather and seasonal changes affect plants, animals, and their surroundings. Key concepts include effects of weather and seasonal changes on the growth and behavior of living things.

Background Information from Curriculum Framework
- Living organisms respond to weather and seasonal changes. This can be reflected in changes in growth and behavior.
- Dormancy is a state of reduced metabolic activity adopted by man organisms (both plants and animals) under conditions of environmental stress or when such stressful conditions are likely to appear, such as in winter.
- Some animals (e.g., groundhogs, black bears) go into a deep sleep (hibernation) due to seasonal changes. Hibernation is a condition of biological rest or inactivity where growth, development, and metabolic processes slow down.

Annotated Bib - Earthquakes

Earthquakes are the end result of the movement of the earth's crust through what are known as tectonic plates. This post gives excellent references detailing the four layers of the earth's crust, what tectonic plates are, the different examples of tectonic plates, how and why plates move, visual depictions of earthquakes and how to measure earthquakes. These materials include videos of the most serious earthquakes since 1900, experiments on how to simulate an earthquake and the waves of an earthquake, how earthquakes relate to volcanoes and how plate movement contribute to earthquakes.

In Virginia, earthquakes are found in the Standards of Learning in grade 5. The resources in this post are most appropriate for grades 4 and 5. (SOL and Background information is at the end of post.)

Books
Anatomy of an Earthquake. By Renae C. Rebman. 2011. 48p. Capstone Press, (978-1429673631). Gr. 3-5.
This book teaches children where and how earthquakes form, how scientists predict them and how structures are built to withstand them.

Earthquakes. By Franklyn M. Branley. Illus. by Megan Lloyd. 2005. 33p. HarperCollins, (978-0064451888). Gr. 4-5.
The book is a good book for children first learning about earthquakes. It discusses several of the major earthquakes since 1900, has an experiment with waves and discusses safety tips for earthquakes.


Janice Van Cleave's Earthquakes: Mind-Boggling Experiments You Can Turn Into Science Fair Projects. By Janice Van Cleave. 1993. 96p. Wiley Publishing, (978-0471571070). Gr. 3-5.
This excellent hands-on tutorial contains 20 simple experiments explaining earthquakes that kids can do with materials found around the home, plus dozens of additional ideas for turning the experiments into unique science fair projects. The experiments include learning about seismic waves with a friend using a piece of rope and about the Richter scale with a cardboard box, popcorn, and a yardstick.

Tsunami!. By Kimiko Kajikawa. Illus. by Ed Young. 2009. 32p. Philomel Books, (978-0399250064). Gr. 2-4.
This is a folktale of the events of an earthquake, a fire, a tidal wave and selfless heroism, all packed into 32 pages, which guarantee that this story will hold the attention of even the most restless listeners. Four hundred villagers are saved from death when Ojiisan, a wealthy old rice farmer on the mountainside, feels tremors, sees the ocean recede and realizes a tsunami is coming.

Volcanoes and Earthquakes. By Susanna Van Rose. 2008. 72p. DK Children, (978-0756637804). Gr. 2-6.
The account starts with an overall perspective showing how volcanoes and earthquakes occur, with related events like steam vents and boiling mud. Effects on humans and attempts to measure and predict these events are treated. Like many of the "Eyewitness" series, it is a wealth of information with vivid descriptive pictures to capture the eye of the student.

This site by the Untied States Geological Survey is a exciting set of activities for children, including puzzles, games, animation, how to become an earthquake scientist, earthquake pictures and the science of earthquakes. The site is easy to use and a great resource.


Outstanding website by National Geographic, highlighting key facts, pictures, discussions, other resources and the information regarding the worst of each of these incredible forces of nature.

How Earthquakes Work.
This site by the Discovery group, has videos, illustrations and short easily readable discussions about how earthquakes work, including plate tectonics, faults and seismology.

Weather Watch: Earthquakes.
This Scholastic site is a great overview for earthquakes. It includes key terms to know, experiments, in-depth discussions, famous earthquakes and eyewitness accounts of actual earthquakes.

Website for the US Hazards Program.
This site is by the United States Geological Survey. The site gives real-time updates of all of the earthquakes that have occurred on earth in the past, including seismic measure, location, aftershocks, shakemaps, predictions and most interesting of all earthquake animations for the past seven days. This is a site that will surely get your students talking.

For Teachers

Virginia Standard of Learning
5.7 The student will investigate and understand how Earth's surface is constantly changing. Key concepts include

d) the basic structure of Earth's interior;
e) changes in the Earth's crust due to plate tectonics.

Background Information from Curriculum Framework-Grade 5
  • Scientific evidence indicates that Earth is composed of four concentric layers--crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core--each with its own distinct characteristics. The outer two layers are composed primarily of rocky material. The innermost layers are composed mostly of iron and nickel. Pressure and temperature increase with depth beneath the surface.
  • Earth's thermal energy causes movement of material within Earth. Large continent-size blocks (plates) move slowly about Earth's surface, driven by that thermal energy.
  • Most earthquakes and volcanoes are located at the boundaries of the plates (faults). Plates can move together (convergent boundaries, apart (divergent boundaries), or slip past each other horizontally (transform boundaries, also called strike-slip or sliding boundaries.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Annotated Bib - Soil

Soil contains important nutrients for both plant and animal survival. Plants rely on soil for growth, while some animals, including humans, rely on plants for food. In addition, soil can provide shelter for animals. Soil contains living and nonliving things, and not all soil is alike. It is important for children to learn why soil it important and the ways in which humans benefit from soil.

The Virginia Standards of Learning for Science has students learning about soil in 3rd grade. However, students may have had prior exposure to the topic from lessons on the earth's resources. This post contains helpful information and resources for teaching soil at grade 3.

Books
A Handful of Dirt. By Raymond Bial. 2000. 32p. Walker Childrens, (9780891188483). Gr. 2-5. 
This book gives students the opportunity to go on a down-and-dirty tour of one of earth's most valuable resources.

Dirt: The Scoop on Soil. By Natalie M. Rosinsky. Illus. by Sheree Williams. 2002. 24p. Picture Window Books, (9781404803312). Gr. 1-3. 
Dig deep into this book about soil and discover the fascinating world beneath your feet. The book begins with a short and engaging soil experiment, and the detailed illustrations capture the attention of young readers.

Jump into Science: Dirt. By Steve Tomecek. Illus. by Nancy Woodman. 2007. 32p. National Geographic Children's Books, (9781426300899). Gr. 1-3. 
What is soil? Who lives in soil? How does soil help things grow? Answers and more are within this fun, fact-filled picture book. Follow the mole, and dig in!

Soil. By Sally M. Walker. 2007. 48p. Lerner Classroom, (9780822566229). Gr. 1-3. 
This book introduces young readers to the concept of soil, how soil forms, what soil looks like, and how to take care of soil. The book includes a glossary of important soil-related words.

SOIL! Get the Inside Scoop. By David L. Lindbo. 2008. 36p. American Society of Agronomy, (9780891188483). Gr. 3-6. 
This colorful book explores the many ways that soil is a part of our everyday life-its effects on the food we eat, the air we breathe, the house we live in, etc. Get young learners excited about soil with this fun and colorful book.

 

Websites
This activity is helpful in demonstrating the meaning and differences of silt, sand, clay, and humus.

Soil Facts for Kids
Slither your way through these soiled questions. S.K. Worm, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, answers students' frequently asked questions about soil.

Hop in the EarthShip and take a journey of the world beneath your feet on this soil safari. On this soil safari, you will encounter different creatures in their native habitat.

This site for teachers provides various activity ideas, activity sheets, and downloads all related to soil. Downloads include a virtual soil tour and hundreds of environmental images.

For Teachers
Virginia Science Standards of Learning
3.7 The student will investigate and understand the major components of soil, its origin, and important to plants and animals including humans. Key concepts include
a) soil provides support and nutrients necessary for plant growth;
b) topsoil is a natural product of subsoil and bedrock
c) rock, clay, silt, sand, and humus are components of soil; and
d) soil is a natural resource and should be conserved

Background Information from Curriculum Framework
  • Soil provides support and nutrients necessary for plant growth.
  • Over many years, weather, water, and living things help break down rocks to create soil. This process is called weathering.
  • Rock, clay, silt, sand, and humus are all components of soil.
  • Topsoil is the upper layer of soil and is a product of subsoil and bedrock.
  • Subsoil and bedrock are layers below topsoil that are formed over a long period of time.
  • Humus is decayed matter in soil located in the topsoil.
  • Clay holds water and provides nutrients
  • Sand is made of of small grains of worn-down rock.
  • Silt is made up of small broken pieces of rock.

Annotated Bib - Magnets

Magnets are one of the ways children learn about force, motion and energy. Magnets are made of steel and have an invisible force that pulls other objects to or away from them. However, magnets will only attract or repel things made of iron or steel. A magnet's force can go through all liquids, all gases and some solids. Magnets have two ends, the South pole and the North pole. The opposite poles attract each other and the identical poles repel each other. The books and websites below detail the properties of magnets, relationship of magnets to other objects and offer a wealth of magnet experiments for your classes.

In Virginia, the Standards of Learning are found in Grade 2. This post is for working with second graders. The resources in this post are most appropriate for grades 1-2. (SOL and Background Info at end of post.)


Books

Experiments with Magnets and Metals (My Science Investigations) by Christine Taylor-Butler. 2012. 32p. Heinemann Library, (978-1-4329-5359-1). Gr. 1-2.
The book highlights the magnetism of the earth's core and how magnets attract and repel objects. It gives several detailed experiments that not only demonstrate the properties of magnets, but proper experiment procedures as well.



Magnetic and Nonmagnetic (My World of Science) by Angela Royston. 2003. 32 p. Heinemann Library, (978-1-4329-1469-1). Gr. 1-2.
This book is an overview of what magnets are and what can be done with a magnet. It is written in easy to read language with vivid pictures for children to understand the concepts of magnets.




Experiments: Magnets (Science Explorer) by Christine Taylor-Butler. Illus. by The Design Lab. 2009. 32p. Cherry Lake Publishing, (978-1-602-530-3). Gr. 1-2.
This book has excellent examples of experiments with magnets and magnetic fields. It is also a good overview of scientific methods and observations.



The Science Book of Magnets by Neil Ardley. 1993. 29p. Gulliver Books, (0-15 -200581-1). Gr. 1-2.
This book focuses on magnet experiments, including fishing with magnets, boat races with magnets and making your own magnet. It includes step by step illustrations of how to perform each experiment.


What Is Electricity and Magnetism?: Exploring Science with Hands-On Activities (In Touch with Basic Science) by Richard and Louise Spilbury. 2008. 32p. Enslow Elementary Publishers, (978-0-7660-3096-1). Gr. 1-2.
This book focuses on the definition of magnetism and how it relates to electromagnetism. It includes excellent photographs of experiments, with safety tips. It also shows students how to build an electromagnet.

Web Sites
Informational website for kids with multiple magnet experiments to discover.

This site has answers to commonly asked questions about magnets and magnetism.

Website with history of magnets, key information and fun facts about magnets.

Answers to many children's questions about magnets.

Website based upon children's drawings about magnets and fun facts.


For Teachers
Virginia Standards of Learning
2.2 The student will investigate and understand that natural and artificial magnets have certain characteristics and attract specific types of metals. Key concepts include:
a) magnetism, iron, magnetic/nonmagnetic, poles, attract/repel

Background Information from Curriculum Framework
  • Magnets can attract objects made of iron, nickel, or cobalt. Magnets have a north and a south pole.
  • Unlike magnetic poles attract and like poles repel. The north pole of one magnet attracts the south pole of a second magnet, while the north pole of one magnet repels the other magnet's north pole.
  • A magnet creates an invisible area of magnetism all around it called a magnetic field.
  • Magnets can attract objects made of iron, nickel, or cobalt.

Annotated Bib - Planets & The Solar System

The solar system is an integral part of Earth Science! When learning about the solar system, students are introduced to the nine planets, their order and different characteristics of each planet. There is also a lot of focus on the sun and the moon and how everything rotates. The books in this selection would work best for students in grades 3-4, with one for younger students.

Books
Boy, Were We Wrong About the Solar System!. By Kathleen V. Kudlinkski. Illus. by John Rocco. 2008. 32p. Dutton Juvenile, (978-0525469797). Gr. 4-5.
This fun book looks at the many mistakes and mishaps that have occurred in the past in regards to the planets and the solar system. It gives a lot of good information about how things were discovered and how some of the planets were named. The illustrations are also great!

Don't Know Much About The Solar System. By Kenneth C. Davis. Illus. by Pedro Martin. 2001. 48p. Harper Collins, (978-0064462303). Gr. 4-5.
This is a fun book to help students learn more about the solar system. Most of the pages contain general questions that students might have about the solar system, the universe etc. and answers them in ways that students can understand. All the planets are discussed and at the end they list off specifics about the distance of planets, duration of rotation etc.

Kingdom of the Sun. By Jacqueline Mitton. Illus. by Christina Balit. 2001. 32 pg. Frances Lincoln Limited, (978-0711219472). Gr. 4.
I LOVED this book. Not only are the illustrations awesome, they talk a lot about the different Gods associated with each planet. They describe the planets in relation to the characteristics of each God associated with it. I think this would be a great book to integrate into a mythology or Greek/Roman unit. This book includes Pluto.

Our Solar System. By Seymour Simon. 1992. 72 p. Morrow Junior Books, (978-0061140082).
This is a pretty advanced book about the solar system and all the planets. There are lots of great pictures but also a lot of text. Each planet is discussed in detail and there is a nice Index in the back for students to use if they wanted to focus on one planet or another aspect of the solar system. This book includes Pluto.

The Planets in Our Solar System. By Franklyn M. Branley. Illus. by Kevin O'Malley. 1998. 32p. Harper Collins, (978-0064451789). Gr 3-4.
This book is a straight forward story about the solar system and each of the planets. This book was written for lower grade levels so there is not a lot of lengthy explanation but lots of characteristics and facts about the planets. The end of the book also lists two fun activities for students to do. This does include Pluto.

Postcards From Pluto: A Tour of the Solar System. By Loreen Leedy.Illus. by author. 1993. 32p. Holiday House, (978-0823420650). Gr. 4-6.
This was another great book about the planets and the solar system. In this book, students take a tour of the solar system and write postcards back to their parents about what they learn. Each post card is distinct to the planet and the very last one has all the vocabulary that was mentioned.


Web Resources
This is a fun and unique website for students to study and explore the planets and the solar system. There are different tabs for each planet that list specifics to the planet with a picture. There are also several games for students to play to test vocabulary and order of the planets.
This is another NASA website where I found a great game for students to play. This game asks students to click on planet and then there is an exclamation point above it where they can read about and complete a mission.

This is a really neat website from NASA about the solar system and the planets. There are detailed photos and descriptions of each planet. This website is pretty interactive and would probably best be used as a visual or information tool for teachers when teaching about the planets and the solar system.

This is another great interactive website about our solar system and the planets. This is from the National Geographic so the pictures are great and there is TONS of information on each planet. There is also an option to find out how much you weigh on each planet, a fun activity for students.

This link takes you to a fun planet rap that you can teach to students to help them learn and remember the planets!

This is a great website for students. It is interactive and full of information on each of the planets. It also talks about the solar system as a whole.

Our Solar System: Facts, Formation and Discovery
I found this website would be a good fit for a teacher. It is very text heavy with a lot of vocabulary but I thought it had a lot of great information. You could easily use a lot of the pictures. There are also several videos that would be useful in the classroom.

For Teachers
Virginia Standards of Learning
SOL 4.7 The student will investigate and understand the organization of the solar system. Key concepts include:
a) the planets in the solar system
b) the order of the planets in the solar system

Background Information from Curriculum Framework
  • Our solar system is ancient. Early astronomers believed that Earth was the center of the universe and all other heavenly bodies orbited around Earth. We now know that our sun is the center of our solar system and eight planets, a handful of dwarf planets, 170 named moons, dust, gas, and thousands of asteroids and comets orbit around the sun.
  • Our solar system is made up of eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
  • Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are considered terrestrial planets. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are called gas giants.
  • Mercury is closest to the sun and is a small, heavily cratered planet. Mercury looks like our moon. Since Pluto’s reclassification from planet to dwarf planet, Mercury is now the smallest planet in our solar system.
  • Venus is second from the sun. It is similar to Earth in size and mass, and has a permanent blanket of clouds that trap so much heat that the temperatures on the surface of Venus are hot enough to melt lead.
  • Earth is third from the sun. Earth’s atmosphere, the liquid water found on Earth, and its distance from the sun, among many other factors, make Earth a haven for life.
  • Mars is fourth from the sun. The atmosphere on Mars is thin and there is a vast network of canyons and riverbeds on the red planet. Scientists hypothesize that Mars once supported a wet, warm Earth-like climate.
  • Jupiter is fifth from the sun. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system and is considered a gas giant. Jupiter has no solid surface.
  • Saturn is sixth from the sun. Early scientists thought Saturn was the only planet with rings, but we now know that all four gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) have rings.
  • Uranus is seventh from the sun. Uranus is a gas giant.
  • Neptune is eighth from the sun. Neptune appears blue through telescopes and is a gas giant.
  • The eight planets sorted by size from largest to smallest are: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, and Mercury.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Annotated Bib - Counting

Number sense is the ability to use numbers and understand their specific values. Whether a student is counting by 1's or estimating a value, they are using number sense. Recognizing benchmark numbers, such as 10 and 50, is also considered number sense. Students begin to learn number sense at a very early age. Students learning number sense typically are in kindergarten to second grade.

Books:
Best Counting Book Ever by Richard Scarry. Illus. by the author. 2010. 44p. Sterling, (9781402772177). Gr K-2.
Willy Bunny practices counting when his dad tells him to count everything he sees. Willy begins by counting one bunny, two eggs, and make his way up to 100! Children will love counting with Willy by reading this fun-filled book.

How Many Bugs in a Box? by David Carter. Illus. by the author. 2006. 20p. Little Simon, (9781416908043). Gr K-2.
Children will love counting bugs while reading this book. Each box has a different number of bugs inside waiting to pop out. This book practices counting from 1-10 and is a great introduction to number sense.

My Little Counting Book by Roger Priddy. Illus. by the author. 2005. 28p. Priddy Books, (9781843322504). Gr K.
Young children will learn the basics about counting by reading this beginner book. Basic concepts, such as counting fingers, toes, and eyes are described in this book. Pictures represent numbers and their quantities by showing ten cars, and writing "11 eleven".

One Big Building: A Counting Book About Construction. by Michael Dahl. Illus. Todd Ouren. 2006. 24p. Picture Window Books, (9781404811201). Gr K-2.
Practice your counting by following the construction of a building! Starting with one plan and ending with twelve stories, readers can apply numbers to everyday life. Included is an activity page where children can find hidden numbers.

1, 2, 3: A Child's First Counting Book. by Allison Jay. Illus. by the author. 2007. 40p. Dutton Juvenile, (9780525478362). Gr K-1.
This book explores numbers when a little girl wakes up and in a fairytale world. She counts two dancing feet, three hungry bears, and counts up to ten. This book is simple and reinforces number sense for early counters.


Websites:
Watch a car race and put the cars in the order they finished. This game helps young children practice ordinal numbers and placement.

Count Your Chickens - Counting chickens
Help Curious George count the chickens in the chicken pen. Click on the number of chickens you think there are, and then count them with the man in the yellow hat to double check your answer.

The Counting Game practices counting by 1's and skip counting. Choose a number (1-9) to count by, and click on each number in the pattern. (Eg: 9, 18, 27, 36...). The higher the number, the more points you earn.

This website provides a variety of counting games for teachers to use in their classrooms. For instance, teachers can give students a handful of beans to count, and students can then practice writing the numbers on a number line.

Help Curious George count how many objects equal the height of another object. This game may be challenging for students because it requires estimation as well as counting skills. If a student gets a question incorrect, the man in the yellow hat explains why this answer is wrong.

For Teachers:
VA Standards of Learning
K.2: The student, given a set containing 15 or fewer concrete objects, will:
a) tell how many are in the set by counting the number of objects orally;
b) write the numeral to tell how many are in the set; and
c) select the corresponding numeral from a given set of numerals

Background Information from Curriculum Framework
  • Counting involves two separate skills: verbalizing the list of standard number words in order (“one, two, three, ...”) and connecting this sequence with the objects in the set being counted, using one-to-one correspondence. Association of number words with collections of objects is achieved by moving, touching, or pointing to objects as the number words are spoken. Objects may be presented in random order or arranged for easy counting.
  • Kinesthetic involvement (e.g., tracing the numbers, using tactile materials, such as sand, sandpaper, carpeting, or finger paint) facilitates the writing of numerals.
  • Articulating the characteristics of each numeral when writing numbers has been found to reduce the amount of time it takes to learn to write numerals.
  • Zero (0) is both a number and a digit. As a number, it plays a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic structures. As a digit, zero is used as a placeholder in systems.
  • Conservation of number and cardinality principle are two important milestones in development to attaching meaning to counting.
  • The cardinality principle refers to the concept that the last counted number describes the total amount of the counted set. It is an extension of one-to-one correspondence.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Annotated Bib - Counting On

Number Sense describes an intuitive feel for numbers and their relationships or patterns. Since number sense is something that develops over time, it is imperative that teachers provide students with a variety of materials and resources from a young age, which pertain to this concept. Literature and technology add a great way to provide many different experiences with number, just take a look below!


Text Annotations
How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? By Jane Yolen. Illus. by Mark Teague. 2004. 12p. Scholastic Inc, (978-043964940). Gr.K-1.
Yolen's entire series is a hit with children, but this one is perfect for children who are learning how to count. It shows dinosaurs in the same learning situation that the students are in and tells them a little bit about this prehistoric creates while they count. Overall this book will attract students and make them feel comfortable while they learn which is extremely important.


Missing Math: A Number Mystery. By Loreen Leedy. Illus. by the Author. 2008. 32pp. Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, (978-0761453857). Gr.K-1.
This book is very creative because it focuses around the question of what life would be like without numbers! Their are two animals who run around trying to replace numerals that have been mysteriously stolen, the whole time moaning about all of the problems that having no numbers creates. I think students would really enjoy locating the hidden numbers throughout this book as well as brainstorming the countless ways that numbers affect out daily lives.


Mouse by Mouse: A Counting Adventure. By Julia Noonan, Illus. By the Author. 2003. 48pp. Penguin Young Readers Group, (978-0525468646). Gr. K.
During this book ten little mice get together to play all day. These mice have many adventures which are all beautifully illustrated, allowing children to count the mice, who all display their number labeled on the front of their colorful dresses or shirts. This will keep students focused on numbers while also helping them each develop one-to-one correspondence and stable ordering skills.

Museum 123. By The NY Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2004. 48pp. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, (978-0316160445). Gr. K-1.
This book gives a fresh approach to teaching children numbers because it uses famous works of art to help them practice counting. Each number has four pages of masterpieces devoted to it, some depicting the number while others simply uses fun objects in a set to display the specific numeral. I think this picture book would add a little culture to your students experience in learning numbers which may really intrigue them.


One Is a Snail, Ten Is a Crab: A Counting by Feet Book. By April Pulley Sayre & Jeff Sayre, Illus. by Randy Cecil. 2010. 40pp. Candlewick Press, (978-63647902). Gr. K-3.
This book is great because it teaches numbers and counting by using the number of feet that different animals have. It starts off with a snail, who has one foot, and after then the numbers move up in increments of ten all the way up to one hundred! If you are using this book for kindergartners I think it would work well if you cut out the end and focused on counting to ten, however it also helps front load counting for students and so you may want to read the whole book. Either way it is a creative way to count which uses real world examples that will interest children while they learn or simply review these major concepts.

Web Annotations
I like this website because it offers a game in which children are told how many sheet they have in one area and are asked to move a random number of them into another area. I believe it shows counting in a different way then students are used to and really will be something that they enjoy.


I really like this website because it times students on their ability to catch swimming fish while they count and place the into a net. The fisherman asks for a different amount to be placed into his net each time and slowly it gets more difficult, which means this game will help students count while also giving them some confidence in the beginning in order to keep them playing.

This website is great for students who want to review counting sets of objects. During the game a school of fish swim onto the screen and three numerical options show up which the student can choose from in order to decide how many fish their are. I really like that this site gives children options while they are trying to count so that less confident students feel more comfortable and can simply focus on forming a good number sense.

This website is very helpful for teachers because it offers free printouts for the numbers 0-9. These worksheets are special because they display the numbers in multiple ways while also providing students with lines to practice writing out each. For students just learning the numbers this website could really help.

This website also offers a game to help student stable counting abilities, however it does it in a very different way. In this game students are given a set of six numbered boxes and are told to place them in order on a place outlined on the floor. The mouse becomes a crane, which will really attract young students and the boxes numbers start at random numbers so they are kept on their feet. It is also timed and set up to get more difficult which understandably will attract and hold children's attention.

For Teachers

Virginia Standard of Learning
K.2 The student, given a set containing 15 or fewer concrete objects, will
a) tell how many are in the set by counting the number of objects
b) write the numeral to tell how many are in the set; and
c) select the corresponding numeral from a given set of numerals

Background Information from Curriculum Framework

  • Counting involves two separate skills, verbalizing the list of standard number words in order (“one, two, three, …”) and connecting this sequence with the objects in the set being counted, using one-to-one correspondence.
  • Association of number words with collections of objects is achieved by moving, touching, or pointing to objects as the number words are spoken.
  • Objects may be presented in random order or arranged for easy counting.
  • Kinesthetic involvement (e.g., tracing the numbers, using tactile materials, such as sand, sandpaper, carpeting, or finger paint) facilitates the writing of numerals.
  • Articulating the characteristics of each numeral when writing numbers has been found to reduce the amount of time it takes to learn to write numerals.
  • Zero (0) is both a number and a digit. As a number, zero plays a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic structures. As a digit, zero is used as a placeholder in systems.
  • Conservation of number and cardinality principle are two important milestones in development to attaching meaning to counting.
  • The cardinality principle refers to the concept that the last counted number describes the total amount of the counted set. It is an extension of one-to-one correspondence.