________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 22 . . . . February 12, 2010

cover

Great Teacher Projects K-8.

Laura Mayne. Illustrated by Scot Ritchie.
Erin, ON: The Boston Mills Press, 2009.
159 pp., pbk., $24.95.
ISBN 978-1-55046-510-5.

Subject Headings:
Creative ideas and seat work.
Activities programs in Education.

Professional: Kindergarten-grade 8.

Review by Gina Varty.

**** /4

Whoever warned not to judge a book by its cover had not seen this book. Scot Ritchie's cover illustration shows students actively and happily engaged in six activities: manipulating shapes, movie making, writing, reading, collecting leaves, and making papier-mâché animals. And you haven't even turned a page! Inside, there are hundreds more illustrations that beautifully show the 75-plus classroom-tested projects in action.

     Laura Mayne, with 27 years experience as an elementary-school classroom teacher, teacher-librarian, special education-resource teacher, and ESL teacher, has authored an invaluable resource for the busy teacher, librarian, youth leader, parent, or caregiver. It is one of the most user-friendly teacher resources I have encountered.

     The projects appear alphabetically in the book. There are three tables of contents: alphabetical, subject, and grade level. Each project begins with an "at-a-glance" summary providing information on Grades, Subjects, Time Frame and Materials. "Teacher Tips" abound throughout the book. For each project, there is also a list of "Book Tie-ins," title suggestions for enhancing the curriculum. Each of these listed books has a full bibliographic citation in the nine page "Bibliography." There is a page of "Web Resources," a list of project contributors, and an index.

     Here are the subjects with a sample of projects under each heading with the grade level:

ART
Book Report in a Paper Bag 3-6, 5-8
It Looked Like Spilt Milk [clouds] K-2, 3-6

COMPUTER SKILLS
Six-Word Memories 3-6, 5-8
Trivia Quiz K-2, 3-6, 5-8

DRAMA
Book Talk on Video K-2, 3-6, 5-8
Choral Reading K-2, 3-6, 5-8

LANGUAGE ARTS
Desert Island Adventure 3-6, 5-8
Post Cards K-2, 3-6, 5-8

MUSIC
Leaf Project K-2
Think Outside the Box 3-6, 5-8

LIBRARY SKILLS
Create a Country 5-8
Understanding Craters 3-6, 5-8

MATH
Play Money Spelling Bee K-2, 3-6, 5-8
Shoes 3-6, 5-8

MEDIA STUDIES
Monthly Newsletter Written by Students K-2, 3-6, 5-8
Sugar Cube Creations K-2, 3-6, 5-8

PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Extra Fun Day K-2, 3-6, 5-8
Walkathon K-2, 3-6, 5-8

SCIENCE
Birds 3-6
Snail Terrarium K-2

SOCIAL STUDIES
Earth Day Globes 3-6, 5-8
School Multicultural Project K-2, 3-6, 5-8

TEAM BUILDING/CHARACTER EDUCATION
Friendship Hearts 3-6
Self-Evaluation 3-6, 5-8

 

Additional notes throughout the book contain helpful information on such important subjects as building a classroom library and using picture books with older students. All of the projects can be adapted to fit different needs, abilities and learning styles of all students. They can "jump-start" your class, serve as group-building exercises, and build on what students have already learned. As Laura Mayne indicates in her introduction:

Without breaking the budget or requiring complicated equipment and materials, each of these projects contributes in some way to a successful and enjoyable whole-year class experience….If there's one thing a teacher loves, it's an idea that really works in the classroom. These ideas fit the bill, hit the mark, and bring learning to life!


     This quote returns us to the cover. With the heart on a girl's shirt and all the obviously happy feet, you can tell before you turn a single page,that you are holding a book created with a lot of heart and sole/soul. Great Teacher Projects K-8, is a resource full of projects that are engaging, inspiring and fun!

Highly Recommended.

Gina Varty is a School Library Media Specialist at Inglewood Elementary School in Edmonton, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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