The Science School Yard: November 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Science Class DoJo

I am excited to share our new Science Star award, Class DoJo. With over 500 students that I service, I needed to find a positive behavior program that works. It is a positive behavior program where each child is given an avatar that represents them during Science time. I can give positive and negative points for class noise level, participation, and even on task behaviors. By the end of the class our goal is to have 75% of the class at obtaining positive behavior points. For each 75%-94% the class will be awarded one Science Star. If the class has over 95% of the class getting positive points the class will earn 2 Science Stars. The goal is to get to 10 points for a fun Science reward such as an extra cool experiment or special activities. I can't wait to start it this week with our new units. This program is free and is super easy to set up. You can put it up on a Smartboard or projector. You can use your I Pad to walk around and award points or give reminders of what good behavior looks like. You can also use it on your I Phone. Wish I had one... all my kids do, mom gets the cheapo one. What we don't do for our children...I will let you know how it goes.

Lots To Be Thankful For...

I think my students really loved the Thanksgiving themed activities. Who doesn't love eating popcorn and bouncing berries? I thought I would love Cranberry Thanksgiving, but what seemed to work out better was pictures of cranberry bogs, plants, and processing of the berries that I showed on an I pad. We used our five senses in the younger grades with both popcorn and cranberries. I was impressed that most of the students tried the tart treat. As for the popcorn activity the soaked seeds didn't pop, the lesson was a success, and the sheets helped guide my kiddos. I am posting the activities on TpT. Hope you like them.
The leftover berries were great. We used them to make homemade cranberry sauce. My son thought it was pretty awesome that the berries he picked for me were actually tasty once you add a bit of sugar and orange juice to the pot.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Poppin' Good Science Ideas

I spent the majority of my day trying to figure out what I could teach all of my 1st through 5th grade classes without throwing off all of my plans... I don't get to meet with my Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday classes due to Turkey Day. I found some great cranberry and popcorn ideas and changed them to make the experiments compatible with the standards. I also created some writing activities for my busy classroom teachers that they could use for their intervention and enrichment block. Now, I am off the pop some popcorn and bounce some cranberries. Here are the two books that I am going to use for my introduction. These are great reads!
I will be using the Cranberry activities to teach my 1st-3rd grade science stars and the Popcorn book to intro my Popcorn experiments.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Deer Hunting Widow

As I sit here and read through the new Science Standards, I realized that I have been able to use the computer, even watch a little TV, without too much fuss. Why? I asked myself...well, my honey is hunting. My four children are at basketball open gym and I am plugging away at some new lesson and activities to go along with the new standards. I get side tracked though. I have a huge bag of cranberries that my son brought back from the bog on his field trip. Here in Wisconsin, a trip to the bog is a fourth grade tradition. So is a trip to the woods in mid November to hunt... I will share my first grade activities with you after I try them out this week. My sweet guinea pigs. It is a short two day week, so I only meet with three 1st grade classrooms, two second grades, two third grades, two fourth grades, and one fifth grade. I service over 520 1st through 5th graders at two schools. It is an awesome job! Now, it is my turn to go on a hunt... I am looking for a way to learn how to create cool backgrounds or borders for my sheets. Any ideas???

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

First Grade Thinkers

One of my wonderful first grade coworkers decided to teach her students how to take notes and share what they learned in Science. This week, they will be taking a test. They were so excited about teaching their teacher about animals that I needed to come down to their room to answer questions. How exciting! Thanks, Janet!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My First Post

I am so excited to start sharing my ideas and my classroom with you. I have loved my first quarter of teaching science after teaching 5th grade for so long, but I LOVE it. What I don't love is that there aren't enough great experiment tie-in's to reading and writing. This year, our district implemented an intervention and enrichment block. As a science teacher, I would love to help my colleagues with some great science activities to add more science to their day. So here it goes...