Saturday, April 6, 2013

I Know I’m Getting Older, But Dinosaurs…Really????

I learned many lesson early on in my teaching career.  One of which was to never let third graders try to guess your age.  They have no concept of time.  I was 24 when I first learned this, and pregnant with my first daughter.  A student asked, “How old are you Mrs. Wood?”  I naively replied, “How old do you think I am?”  Never again….she guessed that I was 43, really???  Since that day, I have never made them guess.  They ask the question and I happily give them the answer because, let’s face it, the truth is much kinder than their guess will be!
That brings me to one of the funniest teaching moments I have had this year…maybe even ever.  We are gearing up for our state testing and have been reviewing and hitting some much needed concepts hard.  One thing that they will need to know is the difference between all of the reference materials.  For third grade, they need to know about a dictionary, thesaurus, atlas and an encyclopedia.  The encyclopedia is the hardest for them because in all reality, they will never, ever, ever, use one.  Who needs to with Google at your fingertips.  So, I made a phone call to our school library and had several volumes of the World Book sent down to my room.

We went through the more '”standard,” reference materials using a power point that I have (I will try and make it look better and post it later) and made an anchor chart with useful information. 
anchor chart

Then, I introduced my old friend the encyclopedia.  I. AM. TELLING.YOU….you would have thought that I dug up a dinosaur the way they reacted.  I had to stop my lesson and give them 30 minutes to travel table to table so they could get a look at each of the volumes we had borrowed. 

At one point, one of my guys got tired of crowding around the encyclopedias and opened his chapter book and started reading.  I overheard one of his tablemates talking to him and it was quite honestly one of the funniest remarks I have heard in a while.  He said, “You really need to put that book down and look at these encyclopedias, some day they are going to be extinct just like the dinosaurs, you need to look at them while you still can!” 
So, there you have it.  Yes, I am getting older.  The books that I once loved and used to do all of the research for my fifth grade state report are becoming extinct like the dinosaurs.  They are right up there with the Walkman and car windows that crank.  Children, if you don’t know what those are you can Google them!
Happy Saturday everyone!
Mrs. Wood


  1. Love that line - one day they'll be EXTINCT just like the dinosaurs!! Teaching about reference materials is fun when you bust out the examples, I would always have my class do a CAROUSEL activity similar to what you were describing but then they'd have to choose the best reference material and answer a question while at that table. I just found you on the AZ blogger linky and had to follow you as a fellow Arizona gal!
    Antonia @ forkin4th