Make Time for Science!
Let’s face it. In most schools, science receives a disproportionately small part of the school day compared to language arts and math. Some would say that little can be done to improve this until policy makers and administrators provide support. Such support is certainly needed. However, individual teachers can make important changes that maintain the integrity of the other subject areas while still making time for science. Here are a few ideas suggested by Joanne K. Olson in her article Making Time for Science: Strategies to Increase Instructional Time for Science (and modified by us to add the Quirkles® into the mix!)
Conduct long-term investigations. Science instruction does not have to begin and end in a single block of time. For example, with the Quirkles® Botanist Bert, read the story one day, plant seeds the next, and then measure plant growth over time. None of these activities have to take more than a few minutes in any given day.
Overlap disciplines. For example, after teaching graphing concepts, rather than having students use examples from the math textbook, use data collected in Gilbert Gas and graph the different types of sodas brought to class. That graph now has more meaning to the students too! If students are learning how to use rich description in their writing, refer to More Quirkles Experiments: Taking Quirkles Learning to the Next Level for a multitude of writing/research activities. (More Ways to Make Time for Science)
April is a Great Month for Quirkles Activities?
Of course April is a busy, busy school month, but it’s also a month that offers a plethora of fun learning activities too. Take time to celebrate reading and science during this beautiful spring month!
April 2- International Children’s Book Day-Take a vote and read a favorite Quirkles® story!
April 3-Rainbow Day-Read Colorful Caroline and learn about the colors of the rainbow.
April 7-World Health Day-Read Yawning Yolanda and learn more about our amazing bodies.
April 10-Young Writer’s Day. Read more in this newsletter about the Quirkles® authors as they answer some of the questions they often get asked.
April 15-Leonardi DaVinci’s Birthday-Study this great artist/inventor. Create your own invention or make “zop” after reading Zany Science Zeke.
April 16-Wilber Wright’s Birthday. Jazzy Jet can help you celebrate!
April 22-Earth Day…What better way to commemorate than with X.E. Ecology?.
April 24-Arbor Day. Read Botanist Bert and try the experiments.
April 26-John J. Audobon’s birthday. Read Underwater Utley (even though he’s not a bird) to celebrate.
Don't Forget About All The Other Places We Can Be Found!
Obviously you can find us here, but there are many other places that you can be friends with The Quirkles® as well. Come join us at these locations too and be sure to invite all of you friends and help us spread The Quirkles® movement!
The Quirkles® on Facebook
The Quirkles® on Twitter
The Quirkles® on YouTube
The Quirkles® on TeacherTube
Video podcast for you iTunes
Celebrate Earth Day with X.E. Ecology
We celebrate the birthdays of those people we care about. How about celebrating our favorite planet—Earth! Earth Day was born on April 22, 1970, in San Francisco, California. Every year, the United States and more than 100 different countries join together in the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd. It is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide. On Earth Day, we remember to appreciate nature and learn ways to protect our environment.
To commemorate this special day, read the Quirkles® book X.E. Ecology. Create X.E.’s Landfill and keep checking it throughout the month, recording the results. Research and discuss simple ways each one of us can be more earth friendly. These could range from taking shorter showers to recycling more. List as many as you can think of. Consider also reading The Lorax by Dr. Suess. Finally try the simple, yet sobering, activity provided entitled X.E. Ecology’s Lesson (More
fun science experiments)
Writing the Quirkles®: Here’s What You’ve Asked
Here are some of the questions we, Terri Johnson and Sherry Cook, are often asked when we visit with children at schools. In addition, some of the comments from the children are wonderful. One youngster said recently he couldn’t believe we actually wrote the Quirkles®; he thought all authors were dead! Once the stories were written, they were sent to illustrator Jesse Kuhn to make them come alive. (More on that in a future newsletter!) All in all there are 884 pages of cover and copy pages with original artwork/illustration in the 26 book Quirkles® series.
Q-Did you write the Quirkles® in order, starting with A and finishing with Z?
A-No, we actually wrote them as they came to us. The first story written was Ollie Oxygen. We don’t exactly know why, but for that reason Ollie is the “Crown Prince” of the Quirkles® as far as we are concerned.
Q-How long did it take to write the 26 stories?
A-The characters were first created based on the science concepts we wanted to present. We started thinking about this project in late 2003 and the characters were discussed and finalized in early 2004. By late summer 2004 about four stories had been written. The books were concluded in February 2006.
Q-Which are your favorite Quirkles®?
A-How could we have favorites? They are like our children! We love each in its own way! (More Questions About the Quirkles®)
Like Free Quirkles Stuff?
Download the free Quirkles coloring page and activity sheets featured in April. (Free Quirkles resources)