- House System
Science & God's Creativity Shine through Weekly Readers
Grades 1-3 Use Readers to Introduce Science & Non-Fiction Reading
Proving that filling out our parent survey is a worthwhile expedition, teachers at the grammar level are now using a weekly reader as an apt tool for exciting their students' natural wonder of God's creation. In response to our families' request that science be introduced before Logic School, Grammar School directors met with our Science Chair Bob Schaefer and devised a plan of action. This has come to fruition, as evidenced by the smiling faces in CDA grammar classrooms like Mrs. Lessert's.
Gathering Around the Depiction of Winged Creatures' Life-Cycle
Scholastic Weekly Readers may not sound like a scintillating way to learn about God's artistic and scientific creation, but brilliant pictures, fascinating facts and fun classroom activities help students do just that. They also accomplish two purposes with one book. Past testing scores have shown that there was room for improvement in non-fiction reading skills at the lower grade levels. These readers provide not only practice reading non-fiction, but also application in comprehension strategies, and scientific thinking.
For instance, Mrs. Lessert's class learned about the life-cycles of winged creatures by reading about them, graphing their differences and similarities with Venn Diagrams, making Acrostics, and a proper standby "K.W.L" charts. "Venn diagrams, Acrostics, K.W.L?" you say quizzically. Yes, it was a while ago, but surely we remember just how much fun two overlapping circles can be, or that finding descriptive words that begin with the letters of our subject's name tickled our brains (B is for bats' black, brown and blue fur. A is for their ability to evoke high pitched screams from small children, prim women and grown men.) K.W.L charts activate little ones' minds, starting with K, (What do you know about bats?), and W (What would you like to know?) prepares them for the lesson; and L gives a strong finish (What did you learn?).
And it turns out those instructional tools have a purpose beyond fun. Surprise! When speaking with CDA Curriculum Director Lisa Hollin about these techniques she explains that they are "ways for children to unpack their thinking." and that "When students are actively engaged in the learning process their retention is proven to be significantly higher. While these activities personally engage students in the learning process, they also enable them to practice logic skills at the grammar stage."
These educational booklets pack a powerful lesson in a short amount of time. The teacher's guides are, "very teacher friendly and cut down on the amount of preparation time for the teacher.", Shelley Lessert extols. Weekly Readers allow a full science lesson to be completed in about 15 minutes, require little prep time for teachers and bring big adventures to little persons' noggins. As Mrs. Lessert says, "The students love it. It actively brings science, reading, math connections and God's perfect plan for creation into our classroom."