Last year in writing we kept notes, but did not organize them well, and when it was time to write reports my kids really strugged to put the information in order - guess you learn! Sooo... this year we've taken more time and I taught them how to use a very structured graphic organizer to keep notes. My kiddos LOVE it - happy kids means a happy teacher.
Here is what our graphic organizer looks like:
They don't know it yet, but we are focusing on "nocurnal" animals next and will be studying owls. Now that I've taught my students how to use this organizer I created one for owls too! Hopefully this report they can do with a little less modeling. And, although we don't do Halloween at our school, I've found that fall animals are a great way to discuss autumn and seasonal changes. Of course, after all this writing, we'll have to publish and have a celebration...just in time for, you guessed it! - Halloween. Yes, crafty teacher!! Ha!