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Member Mention: BJ McChesney Teaches Science with Nonfiction Thanks to AAEF Grant
posted by: Melissa | February 20, 2013, 09:17 PM   


It seems that the Common Core State Standards and its requirements are all that people are talking about nowadays.  Educators in and out of the classroom worry about how its new requirements are going to affect teaching.  Causing particular controversy is the new emphasis on nonfiction reading; teachers worry that nonfiction will replace literature in Language Arts classes as well as hands-on learning in subject areas.



As a winner of an Association of American Educators Foundation Classroom Grant, Ms. BJ McChesney used her funds to illustrate how nonfiction reading can be integrated into the classroom effectively.


Ms. McChesney used her grant funds to purchase nonfiction books about biomes, which she had her students read in their literature circles. Reading nonfiction as literature was just the beginning.  Not only were these books of high-interest for the students, they were also informative.


After reading the new books, the students were then given a research project.  Students worked together to research and present information about biomes.  Even though they didn’t know it, the students’ projects which included written information, verbal presentations, charts, graphs, and models, were perfectly integrated within both the English-Language Arts and Mathematics Common Core State Standards.


What about the worry that integrating nonfiction will compromise the learning process? Ms. McChesney says that her students loved the books that they read, and that she “was amazed at the information, creativity, and knowledge that [her] students presented.”


We congratulate Ms. McChesney on winning her grant and are proud that we were able to help her and her students.


The next deadline for AAE Foundation Classroom Grants and Teacher Scholarships is March 1st.  Grants and scholarships are open to all educators and can be applied for online.

The demand for classroom grants and teacher scholarships is always increasing.  Please consider donating to the AAE Foundation and helping teachers get the supplies and training that they need.

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