Author Archive for Danielle Pycroft

Robert E. Lee


This blog provides teachers with a wealth of resources to draw from as they delve into the strategic brilliance and leadership of Robert E. Leea pivotal player in the Civil war. Children come face to face with E. Lee as they tackle the Civil War component of SOL USI.9d). As you journey through the realm of information that this website has to offer open your minds to the endless opportunities that you as a teacher have in teaching this content to your children in an exciting and fun way. Gone are the days where history has to be boring. It is all about how you present the information to your children.

Text Annotations

The Picture Book of Robert E. Lee by David Adler 51sqe0vmpal_sl500_aa300_.jpg

Through the use of great pictures this book presents the stories of war along with numerous quotes that will help its readers understand our history. It explains the Civil War so that it is easy for the kids to understand. Alder did a wonderful job of displaying the war and allowing children to understand the concept on a very neutral level while also outlining his life. In doing this he helps children really visualize the order of events.

Robert E. Lee: Brave Leader by Rae Bains 51b7wc6n1kl_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa300_sh20_ou01_.jpg

This book traces the life of the highly respected Confederate general, with an emphasis on his difficult boyhood in Virginia. It presents the content in an interesting manner and encourages its readers to love history.

Promise Quilt by Candace Ransom 51st6dm25yl_bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa300_sh20_ou01_.jpg

This picture book is told from the point of view of a Virginia girl, Addie, during the Civil War. When her father leaves the family farm to be General Robert E. Lee’s guide, Addie finds ways to remember him–even when he does not return at the end of the war. The author’s note describes the issues of slavery and states’ rights that divided the northern and southern states and that led to the war.

Robert E. Lee, young Confederate (Childhood of famous Americans) by Helen Albee Monsell  books.jpeg

These classics have been praised by adults, parents and teachers alike. They bring the biography of Robert E. Lee to life in an inspiring, believing way, sweeping young children right into history.

Robert E. Lee: Southern Hero of the Civil War by Mona Kerby 9780894907821.gif

This biography describes the life of the famous Confederate general who fought for Virginia during the the Civil War. It provides children with all the information they need to know about this figure in a clear and concise manner.

Web Annotations

  1. Seize the Night– Is a website that provides background information on Robert E. Lee, and describes his accomplishments and ventures as a leader. It doesn't just provide information of Lee's leadership but the conspiracy theories of other leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and J.F. Kennedy as well as a wealth of information on other military leaders allowing discussions to be sparked on how Robert E. Lee's accomplishments compare to other  well renown military leaders.
  2. Video on Robert E.Lee– This video walks you through Robert E. Lee’s journey as a confederate. These are facts that our children need to know and so by displaying them in a visual and auditory context it helps children learn their history in a more exciting way.
  3. Powerpoint tutorials– This website walks children through the "how to" of creating a powerpoint. The idea behind this website is that you get your children to make their own powerpoint on the information that they have learned about Robert E. Lee in a learning style that helped them learn the content.
  4. Games– This website provides teachers with a variety of games that they can use to incorporate the information on Robert E. Lee. Learning history doesn't have to be boring when you can provide your children with all these games to play. Encourage them to create their own game to learn the content.
  5. Jeapardy game– By clicking on the icon, Government and Civil War, you will be taken to a jeopardy game that encompasses many social studies questions on a variety of topics including questions on Robert E. Lee. It is a fun way to test your children’s knowledge after the unit.

Additional Resources for teachers

  1. DVD on Robert E. Lee– Another way to make sure that your children are retaining information about important players in the civil war. This dvd could serve as a refresher after a lesson on Robert E. Lee and his role in the war. The biography traces the life and accomplishments of U.S. Civil War general Robert E. Lee – the son of Revolutionary War hero “Light Horse” Lee — who led the ailing Confederacy through a lengthy period of survival long after its last resources were seemingly tapped.
  2. Arlington National Cemetery– The Arlington National Cemetery if close to your school could be an excellent place to take your children for a field trip. The estate has a fascinating history that is tied to the families of George Washington, Robert E. Lee and events of the Civil War. But even if you cannot personally attend this site with your children you can point them in the direction of this website allowing them to explore their own history in a fun and interactive way.
  3. NavSource Online: Submarine Photo Archive– Provides archive information that were attached to Robert E. Lee's Confederate career.
  4. Robert E. Lee– provides a wealth of information from powerpoint presentations, to lesson plans and online games to help children interact with their confederate forefather in an interesting and fun way.
  5. Lesson plan– A well planned lesson that introduces Robert E. Lee and the pivotal role he played in the confederate war.
  6. Thinkquest– It provides a timeline, an all about Lee and Letters by Lee. It presents a wealth of information in a structured way for children to share with their friends.

Animal Life Cycles

This topic introduces second graders to the exciting changes that can occur in a butterfly and frog’s life cycles. Through numerous activities children are guided through the process known as Metamorphosis and given the opportunity to become engaged with the material. They are able to learn about and physically see how frogs and butterflies undergo these transformations as they mature and grow in their environments (VA Science SOL 2.4). The material encourages them to interact with the content and in doing so provides them with a better understanding of the content knowledge.

Text Annotations

  1. Butterflies and Moths by Nic Bishop butterflies.jpgNic Bishop’s non-fiction narrative provides readers with a realistic visual aide into the stages of butterfly metamorphosis. He helps children understand the transformations a caterpillar undergoes to becoming a butterfly. It is an interactive, hands on book that parents can use to explore the realms of animal life cycles.
  2. From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman from-cateroillar-to-butterfly-300×241.jpgThis book dives into the stages of butterfly metamorphosis from a child’s perspective by asking the question, ” Where did the caterpillar go?” Heiligman creatively takes her readers through the transformation processes by asking and answering commonly asked children’s questions.
  3. From Tadpole to Frog by Wendy Pfeffer 9780064451239.jpgThis book uses attractive artwork to describe the two-year life cycle of the American Bullfrog. As a Stage One book “From Tadpole to Frog”  it uses simple sentences and concepts that are appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, and young children up to about 8 or 9 years of age.
  4. Frogs by Nic Bishop23660346jpg.jpgBishop uses captivating close up photographs of his characters to entice children into the wonders of a frog’s life cycle. But his book takes children beyond the visual perspective of metamorphosis as he provides his readers with a detailed description about how he went about capturing the photographs. This book leaves children longing for more.
  5. My, Oh My– A Butterfly! All about Butterflies by Tish Rabe51thfdmznzl_sx500_.jpgYou can not go wrong with any Cat in the Hat book, but this Butterfly book is excellent. It keeps kids engaged and excited about the life cycle of a butterfly. It is a great read for young children. Who wouldn’t want to learn about the butterfly life cycle after reading this book.

Web Annotations

  1. The life cycle of a frog– This website presents children with a guided tutorial through a frog’s life cycle. It encompasses an auditory step by step explanation of each stage in the cycle along with a visual representation of each stage, and so entices children to want learn the content. Children can learn this exciting content and have fun doing it.
  2. Animal life-cycles- This interactive game asks children to organize the pictures on the screen by dragging and dropping them into the correct order sequence for each animallife cycle. Once a child has dragged a picture into the box a detailed description of the stage appears to help them understand what is happening. If they correctly place the butterfly pictures in order they move onto a frog, a flower and then a tree’s cycle. They are rewarded for learning the life cycle sequences with more exciting information.
  3. Butterfly crossword- When a child clicks on a cross word box a question appears. The child has to type in the correct answer that fits into the box. This activity allows a child to apply all the information they have learnt about a butterfly into a fun and interactive activity.
  4. Fantastic Frog- This game asks children 10 general knowledge multiple choice questions about frogs. By asking questions like,  “What is the name of the biggest frog,” this website teaches children that learning can be both fun and rewarding. It changes the way the children perceive having knowledge as they can now pass on the fun facts they have learnt about frogs.
  5. Incomplete and complete metamorphosis- By clicking on the butterfly icon on the screen children can watch a movie describing a butterfly’s life-cycle. The movie goes through a step by step process of the different stages in the life-cycle providing it viewers with real life pictures of each process.

Additional Resources for Teachers

  1. Life processes and living things– This website provides teachers with a wealth of material on life processes. From worksheets to powerpoints this website has it all. It doesn’t matter what type of learners your children are because after being involved with the resources that this website has to offer they will know and love the content.
  2. Butterfly life cycle activity in the classroom–  This website provides teachers with three step by step craft instructions. It provides teachers with fun and interactive activities and crafts that will allow their children to grasp the content of a butterfly life cycle but explore their creative sides as they do it.
  3. Exploring Butterflies– This website provides teachers with butterfly lesson plans, print outs on the life cycle of the butterfly for children to fill in and writing activities that will allow the children to have fun as they learn the process of metamorphosis. The range of activities offered encourage all children, regardless of their learning styles to jump in and have fun with the material.
  4. Animal Lifecycle lesson plan– This lesson plan helps children compare and contrast the life cycles on different animals ( one being a frog). Groups of children are asked to analyze and observe the animals stages of development by watching them grow in an aquarium.
  5. Life cycles of frogs, dragon flies and dragon flies– This lesson plan allows children to become fully integrated in the stages of metamorphosis. Children are exposed to the differences and similarities of various animal life cycles as they observe the development and maturation processes of insects and frogs. Students are engage in reading, video and hands on activities that allows them to grasp the content on animal life cycles.

Helping first graders with addition and subtraction.

I have chosen to focus my instructional resource set on whole number operations, specifically focusing on helping first grade children learn addition and subtraction.  Through the use of my toolkit they will be encouraged to demonstrate their knowledge using a variety of mental computation techniques; apply estimation strategies to quantities, measurements, and computation to determine the reasonableness of results; model, explain, and develop a variety of computational algorithms. Sit back and relax and see what the world of mathematics has to offer your children.

Text Annotations

The Hershey’s Kisses Addition Book by Jerry Pallotta – What better way to introduce simple addition concepts to children than with delicious Hershey?s Kisses? To illustrate math concepts, this book features a cast of miniature clowns struggling under the weight of life-sized Hershey?s Kisses.

The Hershey’s Kisses Subtraction Book by Jerry Pallotta – This book is wonderfully illustrated with vivid colors making the giant Hershey’s Kisses look very realistic. It is a clever way to teach kids basic subtraction (and counting) skills.

Tyrannosaurus Math by Michelle Marke – TYRANNOSAURUS MATH can add an entire herd of triceratops, multiply the legs of a group of ankylosaurs, and estimate the distance to the next tasty meal and he helps children do the same. He’s a number-crunching dinosaur who chews on math problems as easily as he thunders through the trees. When his little sister is in terrible danger, T-Math even saves the day by using his measurable math skills.

Great Estimations by Bruce Goldstone – In its beginning pages it introduces children to the basic idea of making estimations, and then offers increasingly difficult examples to train the eye to remember. Children are encouraged to explore addition and subtraction by using advanced tricks of clump counting and boxing. Finally, the reader is challenged to look for and solve estimation puzzles wherever they go.

Greater Estimations by Bruce Goldstone – Filled with fun, creative examples, this unique companion to “Great Estimations” shows children how to train their eyes and their minds to make estimations about length, volume, area, and more. Full color.

Mathematickles by Betsy Franco – A girl and her cat take readers through the seasons, from fall through summer’s end. Each page is filled with math problems in which the numbers are replaced with words. Whether it’s addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, the connection between the math and language makes for an irresistible combination.

Hooked on math 1st grade Addition and Subtraction Premium Workbook by hooked on phonics – An Addition and Subtraction workbook and flashcard set packed with learning and fun. Inside you'll find colorful pages loaded with activities that were designed to help your children practice adding and subtracting. It is perfect for home or on the go use, keeping them entertained and wanting to learn more.

Web Annotations:

  • Rock Hopper- This game is a fun way for children to add by asking them to add up numerals to get to a desired total. Their aim is to get their frog from the starting rock across the pond to the finishing rock with the final total on it. The frog can only land on it if along the way, by jumping on rocks with specific numbers reach the final sum. If they do not add up correctly they do not get to the next rock.
  • Find a Friend-Click on the titles next to each other to match the target number.  When you think you have matched the target number you click yes.  Continue to do this until all the tiles are gone. If you do not think that you have matched the target number you have the option to scramble the numbers and try again, but you lose five points for ever time you scramble the numbers.
  • How many under the shell? The game allows children to practice their addition and subtraction techniques. After Okta the octopus hides some bubbles under a shell, he then either adds more bubbles or takes some away. Students have to determine how many bubbles are left under the shell. The game provides you with a visual image of the bubbles being placed under the shell emphasizing each step to clarify the methods of addition and subtraction.
  • Lets count-This website provides children with an interactive, colorful set of counting activities for number 0-10. Children are asked to add and take away different pictures in the squares. The pictures include girls, fish, robots, stars, cars and pennies.
  • Ten Frame- The Ten Frame game helps children think about adding numbers using frames of 10. This can be a helpful way to learn basic number facts. There are a total of four games that can be played with this applet help to develop counting and addition skills eg: the Build component allows children to break groups of 10 units in sets of 5 and 1, while the add component allows children to add numbers across two different ten frames and then combine the two, helping them understand the process visually.

Additional Resources

  • Addition fact cards- This website link provides you with printable addition fact cards and instructions on how to make the fact cards. These cards would help teacher's reinforce their children's addition skills as they could be sent home with the children for practice.
  • Card castle addition- This website provides you with an interactive way to incorporate addition into your lesson. The children are presented with a poem encompassing certain addition facts in it and then asked questions like: "Name all the ways you can make 14 using two numbers.
  • Subtraction square dance- This website provides teachers with a fun and interactive subtraction poem to help children grasp the context of subtraction. It is a good way to combine a math concept and poetry as children are asked to write a verse for a poem using their format. Teacher's can also take this poem and ask their students to write down all of the subtraction algorithms they see.
  • Farmer Fred's counting fun- The website provides children with a poem to read that encompasses adding farm animals on a farm. It then asks the children questions about the sum of farm animals once certain numbers of different animals are added. It allows children to have hands on experience with addition word problems.