Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Inventor's Secret Teach-a-long: Close Reading a Picture Book




It's time to read the book, The Inventor's Secret! In the previous lesson, students acquired background knowledge about Edison's inventions and Ford's innovations through inquiry. Today, you will read aloud the story, using close reading questions that guide students in thinking about the key ideas and details and to clarify confusions about what the text says literally. After reading and discussing the text through these questions, students should be able to summarize the text, using vocabulary from the story.




Preparation


  1. Print out the three pages of close reading questions (06InventorsStickyNotes.pdf) and the sticky note printing template (07StickyNotePrintingTemplate.pdf) 
  2. Place Post-it® notes on the printing template. Be sure to line them up with the outline of the squares on the template. Make sure they are lying flat to the page.
  3. Place the printing template with the Post-it® notes attached into a printer or copy machine, front side down, so that the Post-it® notes are facing down in the printer or copy machine. If using a copy machine, use the Stack Bypass setting.
  4. Copy or print the questions onto the Post-it® notes.
  5. Place the printed Post-it notes into the book at the page numbers where you will be asking the questions.
  6. Have the photographs of Henry Ford's car models, used in the last lesson. Place them in the order in which they were created, starting with the Quadricycle and ending with the Model T.


The Lesson


To introduce the story, I gathered my students on the rug and explained that today we would be reading the book, paying close attention to what the story is about. I showed them the summary worksheet that they would be completing after the read aloud, and explained that I'd be asking questions that would help them understand the details of the story.

As I read the book to my students, I pulled off each sticky note and placed it on the back cover, before showing the illustrations. I did not use every single question. I knew my goal was for students to understand the main idea and theme of this story, so as I went along I monitored their understanding by their responses.

When we read about Henry Ford's car models, starting with the Quadricycle and ending with the Model T, I posted up the photographs of his real cars onto a chart.
Image result for the inventor's secret thomas




 After we read the story, the students completed the summary. We corrected it together.

The students loved that Thomas and Henry were curious as kids and that their curiosity got them in trouble...a lot! By the time we got to the secret that Thomas shared, keep at it!, they really understood the message. So much that for the rest of the day, my students and I used the phrase "Keep at it!" when experiencing challenging tasks.


Post-it® Note Question Printing Template:  Make your own questions to print onto Post-it®Notes!


We realize that not everyone wishes to purchase the complete Inventor's Secret unit. So we have put together a product at our Teachers Pay Teachers store.  the Post-it® Note Question Printing Template. It includes a template for creating and printing custom questions onto Post-it® notes,  the questions for Inventor's Secret, ready to print, and the Inventor's Secret summary worksheet.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Inventor's Secret Teach-a-long: Invention Predictions Part 2

Invention Predictions:  Ford's Cars


"I have a challenge question for you! A golden ticket goes to the first person who raises a hand with the correct answer! Ready? What is the difference between an innovation and an invention?" 

That is how I started the session today. In Part One of the Invention Predictions lesson, my students had examined Thomas Edison inventions. Today, I wanted to prepare them to make some predictions about Henry Ford's car models. My goal was to quickly get their attention by offering a reward (a golden ticket) to whomever knew the answer to my question, and to have our conversation start moving into the concept of innovations. By offering a reward, I was sending the message to my students that this information is important. (What we reward or measure communicates what we value)

One of my students quickly shot up her hand and presented a precise, accurate definition. Most importantly, she emphasized that innovations made something previously invented better than before. 

Introduction:  Phone Innovations


I then invited students to join me on the floor in a circle and explained that I had some innovations of an invention that is near and dear to them, the phone. I randomly placed ten photographs of phone innovations, from the first phone to the smart phone in the center of the circle. (Note: These phone photographs are not included in the Inventor's Secret unit, but you can download them free here)

I said to my students, "Your job is to try to put these in the order in which they were made. Look carefully at the photographs. Which do you think came before the others?"

One student chose the first phone and I had him move it to the far left so that the photos would be arranged horizontally in a timeline fashion. 

I asked the student to explain why he chose that one; what in the photo provided clues? I then asked, "Which phone do you think came next? Which one made this one better?"

A student chose this candlestick phone and I asked her, "How did that phone improve the last one? What made it better?" She pointed out the earpiece, the mouthpiece, and the "candlestick" which made the phone easier to hold and use.

I continued this way until we had a phone timeline created. As we worked through the photos, other students were excited to add their ideas to other student's thinking, using details from the photographs.

Henry Ford's Cars


Then, I introduced Henry Ford's cars. Oh, first, another golden ticket opportunity! I asked, "Yesterday we learned about Thomas Edison's inventions. Who remembers the other inventor we are going to be reading about?" Of course, someone remembered Henry Ford. I said, "Edison was considered an inventor, Ford was an innovator of cars."

At this point, students had a good understanding of innovations as well as their task. They worked in their small groups to put the photographs of Ford's cars in order. I was very impressed with their focus and how well they used the details in the photos to support their thinking. As they examined the photos, I observed them making changes as they compared the cars. The conversation was always around the features that they thought made each model better than before.  




 Self Checking Their Predictions


In the lesson, it suggests that you end the lesson by going over Ford's cars with the class on the PowerPoint. I thought about that and decided it was going to be difficult for students to hold the order in which they placed the cars in their head in order to check if they were correct. I wanted instead, to have a quick self check for students. So I printed a copy of the slides handouts, 9 slides per page. I wrote the number in which they were created below the car model image. When the groups were satisfied with their order, they used this answer key to check their work.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Inventor's Secret Teach-a-long: Invention Predictions


Lesson Two:  Invention Predictions

 

I love this lesson! Students look at real photographs of Edison's and Ford's inventions and innovations. They have to first predict what Edison's inventions are and then they have to try to put Ford's cars into the order in which they were made.

After this activity, students should be able to:

  • Make inferences and predictions about a primary source, using clues from the document to support their thinking.

A critical element in an inquiry-based learning classroom is helping students learn how to effectively access and analyze primary and secondary sources. This activity serves two purposes:
  1. It provides students with some background about Thomas Edison and Henry Ford's inventions and innovations while engaging them in inquiry and;
  2. It teaches students how to make predictions about primary source photographs using the details in the pictures to support their thinking.

Preparation:

 

You should already have made the copies of the invention photographs from the Edison Ford Inventions PowerPoint (04EdisonFordInventions.ppt) when you prepared for teaching the unit. If you haven't done so yet, see this post for the details. Make copies of the Invention Prediction worksheet (05InventionsPredictions.pdf), one for each group. You will also want to print the notes in the PowerPoint that tells about each invention.
Notes Pages


The Lesson
Part One: Thomas Edison's Inventions

 

I divided this lesson into two sessions. In the first session, we only made predictions about Thomas Edison's Inventions. I started by sharing some of the examples of inventions and innovations students found at home.


 I then projected the first Thomas Edison invention in the Edison Ford Inventions PowerPoint (04EdisonFordInventions.ppt) and had the Invention Prediction worksheet (05InventionsPredictions.pdf) copied onto my Smartboard so that I could write in it.
I modeled how to look at the invention and fill in the Invention Prediction sheet. I had students get into groups of 2 or 3. We talked about working collaboratively, what that would look like and what I would expect to see in a group working well together. I let students decide who would fill in the sheet or if they would take turns filling it in. We discussed coming to some sort of an agreement before filling it in and the importance of really using the details in the picture to support their ideas.

After everyone finished, I projected the Edison Ford Inventions PowerPoint (04EdisonFordInventions.ppt) and went over each invention one by one. I had each group share their predictions and I asked some to share their thinking. What in the photo made them think that? Then I revealed what the invention actually is, using the notes in the Powerpoint. A note about the notes. The notes are pretty extensive. I highlighted only what I thought was most important and interesting for my 4th grade students to know. I did not read the entire notes section to my class.

My students LOVED doing this. So much that some groups wanted to keep doing it even when it was time to take a recess break. I was so impressed with the ideas that they came up with. All of their predictions were rooted in evidence from the picture as well as their background knowledge. My 4th graders definitely worked best in pairs so I made enough copies of the photos to support that grouping.

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The Inventor's Secret


Previous Post:  What's an Invention?

Next Post:  Invention Predictions- Part Two

 

The Inventor's Secret Teach-a-long: What's an Invention?



 

Lesson One:  What's an Invention?

In the book, The Inventor's Secret, we learn about Thomas Edison who invented many things over his lifetime. We also learn about Henry Ford, who was an innovator. His goal was to make the car more affordable for the average household. The difference between what an innovation is and an invention seems minor but it is important. This lesson helps students develop a common understanding of the word invention and innovation. It also helps them see how integral they are to their daily lives.

After this activity, students should be able to:

▪ Identify inventions and innovations in their lives.
▪ Understand the characteristics and the purpose of an invention or innovation.

Preparation

This lesson takes very little preparation. All you need is the Inventions and Innovations PowerPoint and copies of the Invention Search homework. I also copied the Inventions/Innovations in Our Classroom chart onto my Smartboard.

The Lesson


The lesson went so well! Students were engaged and very interested in the topic. The Inventions and Innovations PowerPoint stimulated a lot of discussion in my class and after presenting it, my students were able to create quite an extensive list of inventions and innovations in our classroom.





They were excited to complete the Invention Search homework.

 

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Inventor's Secret Teach-a-long: Preparing to Teach the Unit



There are some things you'll want to prepare before you begin the first lesson. I started preparing these materials a few days ahead of time.

Before You Begin Teaching the Unit

 

If you don’t have your own copy of the unit yet, you can purchase and download it in our Teachers Pay Teacher GetReal! store.

Unzip the file and store it somewhere on your computer or in the cloud. I uploaded my files to my Google Drive so I can easily link to them from my online planbook.  

Get a copy of the book, The Inventor's Secret:  What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, by Suzanne Slade

Find it in your library, order it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or purchase the e-book on Teacher's Pay Teachers.


Print the file, 00InventorsSecretTeachersGuide.pdf.

This is your teachers guide.

Open the file, 22EdisonFordQuotes.pptx
 
This is a PowerPoint of growth mindset quotes by Edison and Ford. Print out the slides and hang the quotes around your classroom. I laminated mine. To make them POP out, you might want to back them with colorful paper.  These quotes will be hanging up during the unit and they will be used in one of the last lessons of the unit.

Open the file, 01InventionsandInnovations.pptx  

Print the following slides, in color, if possible: 2-7, 10-17, and 20. Then, make enough copies to support groups of 3 or 4 students. This is going to depend on how many students you wish to have in the small groups. I am grouping my 4th grade students into groups of 2 and 3, because that is how they work best. 

You may wish to laminate these so you can reuse them.

Print the file, 03InventionSearchHomework.pdf. 

Make a copy for each student. This homework is assigned after Lesson One.

Read through Lesson One: What's an Invention?

Okay, that's it! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Inventor's Secret Teach-a-long: Introduction to the Unit



Why did we develop this unit?

 

We LOVE to have kids study and learn about the character of REAL people who's actions have changed the world.

It’s important that our children understand that success comes with hard work, persistence and content knowledge as well as good ideas.

We wanted to provide a way for teachers to introduce the Engineering Process/Invention Process (NGSS) to students with a hands-on, fun, non threatening activity that was embedded in their learning and had a purpose beyond “checking off a standard”.

We design our units specifically to use close reading as a way for students to:

  • build knowledge and vocabulary, 
  • study author’s craft and author’s reason for writing
  • engage in reading, writing and speaking around a common interest/content 
  • come up with their own ideas!
We believe that learning should be connected to an essential purpose or idea and not just random lessons and activities.

Why did we choose the book, The Inventor's Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford as our anchor text? 

 

This book ends with an important message for the reader. Never Give Up! And, it uses two very successful inventors to prove the point.

It is a great book to study author’s craft and character traits.

Using a picture book with close reading activities allows all students to access knowledge and ideas no matter what their reading level. This book introduces the content to be learned in a way that makes students want to know more because it talks about inventions that they know about first-hand.

The book brings up lots of topics/idea that students can pursue individually as mini research enrichment projects.


Where might this unit fit into your curriculum?


I am using this unit because I am currently doing an Energy Unit in science. Studying two inventors that used two different kinds of energy, mechanical (Ford) and electrical (Edison) to power their inventions is a natural fit.


However, this unit can also connect with the following curriculum topics:

  • Inventions
  • Growth Mindset
  • The Engineering Process
  • Timelines
  • Biographies
  • Nonfiction Reading
  • Close Reading






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The Inventor's Secret: Close Reading, STEM, Growth Mindset and Inquiry

 

Previous Post: The Inventor's Secret Teach-a-Long!



The Inventor's Secret Teach-a-long!

The Inventor's Secret:  Close Reading, STEM, Mindset, and Inquiry

 Welcome to the Teach-a-long!

 

Teach along with us as we walk you through each lesson of our integrated unit, The Inventor's Secret:  A Study of the Inventing Process and the Mindset of Inventors.

This series of step by step lessons begin with the beautifully written picture book, The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, which tells the tale of how these two men achieved success through a growth mindset; goal setting, perseverance, and learning from their mistakes.

Our goal is to help you have the most successful experience possible as you implement close reading in your classroom and this teach-a-long gives you another method for learning.

Our posts will feature clear instructions and photos meant to supplement the Teacher's Guide that comes with the unit.

Your Teacher 

 

Your teach-a-long will be taught be me (Rebecca). 

I have been an educator for 26 years and have experience teaching grades PreK-6. I left the teaching profession for 10 years, providing professional development and instructional coaching for teachers.  This is my 9th year back in the classroom as a 4th grade teacher. 

I can't wait to teach the unit, The Inventor's Secret, with you!

How it Works

 

Our Teach-a-longs are simple. We’ll publish a series of posts detailing each step in the process of implementing the unit. You can teach along with us, ask questions, and share your experiences and ideas with others.

Feel free to leave comments with thoughts, questions, and photos. We try our best to answer as many questions as possible, but encourage you to jump in and help each other out as well.

If you can't join us real-time, no worries! These posts will always be available and we will be here to respond to your comments and questions.

What We Cover 

 

Introduction to the Unit
Get the details on why we created this unit, why we love it, and where it might fit into your curriculum.

Preparing for the Unit
What you need to get ready before you begin teaching the lessons.

Lesson One:  What is an Invention?
This lesson helps students develop a common understanding of the word invention and innovation. It also helps them see how integral they are to their daily lives. 

Lesson Two:  Invention Predictions- Part One
Students look at real photographs of Edison's inventions and innovations. They have to first predict what Edison's inventions and support their thinking with evidence from the photographs. 

Lesson Two:  Invention Predictions- Part Two
Students examine photographs of Ford's car model. They look carefully at the pictures, looking for innovations, things that made each model better than the last. They put the cars in the order in which they think they were made. 

 

Join the Teach-a-long for our integrated unit:  

 The Inventor's Secret

 

 

 

Next Post:   Introduction to the Unit