Shelly Lyons
Apple    This is Shelly ’Klingensmith’ Glennon. Shelly teaches fourth grade at Tularcitos Elementary School in Carmel Valley, California. Leslie volunteered in Shelly's first grade classroom for 14 years.

All of this exposure to the first-grade classroom has had a lasting effect on Leslie’s books, not just providing a setting but also making the books very curriculum friendly. Albert’s Field Trip was a direct result of a class field trip. Ms. Klingensmith (Shelly) can be seen (in her Pleasant Valley/rabbit persona) working with the first-graders in Albert’s Birthday. Shelly created these materials and used them in her classroom with great success.

Weather Research and Creative Presentations

By Shelly Lyon

At this time of year, upper grade students need to start doing research projects. With all the wild weather March stirs up, it seems the perfect time of year to do some weather research. Children need to learn to use encyclopedias, libraries, and the internet all as sources for research. They also enjoy doing the presentation of that research if it is more creative and non-traditional.

This is what I've done with my class of 4th graders. As part of our weather unit I shared some basic meteorological information; but just enough to whet their appetites to want to know more. Then they signed up for a research topic.

In the computer lab, the children were able to access the internet and each find an article written for children on their topic. Then we went to the library and got books and encyclopedia volumes to support their online research. Then we read, took notes, wrote paragraphs, and connected them into a report with a bibliography.

Now for the more non-traditional part. The children wrote up their reports on a two or three dimensional shape that is a part of their report. There was a giant spiral cut of paper that had glued to it the body of a tornado report. Then there was the giant thermometer that had the report on the movable red mercury that rose as you read it. One child wrote his report on blizzards and glued each part on a separate snowflake that he suspended from a grey cloud.

Writing up research is one of the essentials of our education system. Weather is an essential part of our science curriculum. Another essential that must not be forgotten is creative thinking. For it is that unique flair that allows the curricular essentials to be joyously shared.