Common Core Standards Meet the Quirkles®
As schools begin across the country there will be a new set of expectations created by Common Core Standards. For this year’s kindergartners will be the first set of students assessed using these new measures in third grade. And as you read the expectations, these are certainly not things one can “teach to the test” in a few months. These are skills that will be built over time.
Here are some key talking points regarding Common Core Literacy standards. Then you can check out an online version of our Quirkles favorite Gilbert Gas book, along with the Gilbert Gas page examples from our teacher’s guide and More Quirkles Experiments guide to see how the Quirkles® address so many areas of the Common Core standards.
Consider these statements related to the Standards:
In elementary classrooms, schools will use an integrated model of literacy with an across the curriculum emphasis on literacy.
Three tiers of words are emphasized—every day speech, general academic words, and domain specific.
Elementary and secondary students are currently not required to read enough informational text…although expository text makes up the vast majority of the required reading in college and the workplace.
The Standards acknowledge the fact that whereas some writing skills…are applicable to many types of writing, other skills are more properly defined in terms of specific writing types: arguments, informative/explanatory texts, and narratives.
Speaking and listening shifts to focus on collaborative discussions.
Science reading presents close connections among prose, graphs, charts, and formulas.
Research, even at the earliest grade levels, is emphasized.
In short, this is a teaching style that is integrated and concentrates at least as much on students “asking” as it does on them “answering.” See how the Quirkles fit with Common Core Standards.
See What We Did this Summer!
All work and no play makes anyone a dull boy (or girl). The three Quirkles creators spent time this summer enjoying nature. Creative director/ Quirkles illustrator Jesse Kuhn travelled from his home in New York City to Michigan where he spent time with family and friends. And, there was a little time for salmon fishing too!
Not to be outdone, co-author Terri Johnson also got up front and personal with nature. Click here to see Terri’s reaction to the snake she was asked to hold during one of her summer classes. The Quirkles® Sherry Cook took a less “hands-on” approach to her nature adventure. She visited the majestic Muir Redwood forest in California. (Check out more pictures from our summer adventures)
Quirkles Newsletters Experiments Archived
All of the past experiments are archived alphabetically by each Quirkle character here.
Win a Set Of Quirkles Posters!
If you’ll tell others why you like the Quirkles® on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook page (send us the link at email@example.com), we will enter you in a drawing for our brand new set of eight Quirkles seasonal mini posters. Get extra entries by posting to more than one place. The drawing will take place on September 30 so help us spread the word about the Quirkles® all this month!
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Get the School Year off to a “Rocky” Start
There was interesting new research about “brain breaks” reported in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago. When you or your students are deep into studying or into a project, maybe a stroll in the park is just the thing you need to refresh your mind. And, in another related study, researchers found that performance on memory and attention tests improved by 20% after subjects paused for a nature walk. (This perhaps makes one question keeping a child in from recess as a good discipline strategy!) Thinking about this and realizing that September 16 is “Collect Rocks Day” (yes, really), why not kill two birds with one stone and take your students on a nature walk to collect rocks? But don’t stop there! This month is also “Read a New Book” month, so perhaps before you start your outside adventure, spend some time reading the Quirkles® book Ronnie Rock.
Afterall, rocks are the most common material on Earth. Society places a high value on rock and mineral resources. We use rocks for roads, metals, jewelry, technology, building materials, cosmetics, and much more! In the book Ronnie Rock, students learn about different types of rocks and how they are formed.
Once you’ve concluded your outdoor field trip, do some science activities. Collect pebbles, sand, broken twigs, and crushed leaves. With this and a little Epsom salt, students can make their own rocks. Or certain types of rocks and minerals are key ingredients in toothpaste. Research and make your own. For younger children, tie the science into a math lesson too. Place the pebbles collected on your walk in a jar. Estimate the number. Chart the class responses from greatest to least. Or, sort the rocks and pebbles collected classifying them in the categories of sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic.
Who knew getting off to a “rocky” start could be so fun? (Learn how to make Ronnie Rock’s Homemade Sedimentary Rock)
Share These Brain Teasers!
What four letter word, when written in capital letters, is the same forwards, backwards, and upside down?
Mary’s father has four children; three are named Nana, Nene, and Nini. So what is the fourth child’s name?
What is half of 2+2?
Have you heard the saying what goes up must come down? Well what goes up and never goes down? (Brainteasers answered)
Want Free Resources?
Download the free Quirkles coloring page and activity sheets featured in September.
(Free Quirkles Resources)