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FOSS Friday

This week has been a short week. We had an inservice day to discuss SLO’s for everyone. It is hard to write a SMART goal for me when I only see my kiddos once a week for an hour…so if anyone has any ideas, wow…send them my way. We have 8 teachers in our district in the same boat. The question is…do we write a math goal to go with the classroom teachers, a writing goal to go with along with the classroom teachers, or do a separate science goal? This is also hard because right now we do not have a common assessment. Maybe, that is what we need to do first.
What does your district do for smart goals for science? 
As for FOSS next week, kindergartners are learning about weather and what a perfect time to learn about shadows due to Ground Hog’s Day next week. Here is what we did… We started off by checking the weather...it is snowing again. Five inches projected. We then talked about how fun  it is to walk into Mrs. H's room and put their hands in front of the projector. I asked them what they see when they do that? I projected a blank screen and put my hand in front of the light. We discussed shadows.  We experimented with how to makes a shadow bigger and smaller and what makes our shadow disappear. We need light! Bigger is when it is closer to the light and smaller when it is farther away. I then showed them the shadow video...they loved it and wanted to do that too!
We also made shadow puppets in front of the projector with our ground hog picture. The students wrote a sentence to show what the ground hog was going to do. We read Gregory’s Shadow to help them find a shadow in the room. I used the TPT free download for inspiration. I showed them several lessons on how to change the size of the shadow and what happens when there isn’t light.
  Our own shadow puppets...
For first grade, we are continuing to work on balance. I started with our vocabulary words: staple, unstable, counterweights, and balance point. I asked them to look at a picture of a high wire walker to use the vocabulary words. Pierre Petit has a great collection of you tube videos. We started with the pictures. Then we read Mirette on the High Wire.  

I then gave them a chance to work with Mirette and Bellini. I gave them the arch (Bellini) and the triangle (Mirette). I asked if they could get them to balance on their own. Then I asked them if counter weights would help keep them more stable. We gave them the popsicle stick for the table and asked them to use the clips to stabilize Mirette and Bellini. I then gave them the stable balance sheet to work on as the learned balance point and where the weights are. We did a few together and learned to predict the outcome as we learned what “top heavy” was. I made connections and shared times that things can be top heavy. Carrying a too heavy load of groceries, a muscle man, a pregnant lady, the game jenga. To finish up on the balance lesson we watched a video of the tight rope walker Phillipe Petit as he crosses two buildings.
 The triangle is Mirette, and the arch is Bellini. The connection really makes sense to them. Do you see the lines on the ground? Our tiles are build in high wires. As they walk out...the too are balancing on the tight rope! Those cuties trying not to fall...

 Our dear second graders are continuing to learn about liquids and solutions so I made a cute three part activity for TPT called What's the Matter? (solids and liquids) Science Stations. Check it out. I am using the What's the Matter, Frosty? part. Within one hour we:
1. filled snow in our bottles
2.  we gave our snowman/woman a name
3.  we measured how big and wide our snowman/woman was
4. we listed things snowmen should never do...hot tubbing, smore making, sleepovers...
5. we then read the book Snowmen All Year from the site We Give Books. It is a free site to join...and great books I might add!
6. we then listed what we could do if snowmen could be around all year... go on a picnic, rollerskating, swimming to name a few.
7. then we measured again...melting away after 30 minutes...half the size and getting skinnier!
8. We even wrote a snowman sequence story with cards I found on line. 
9. We even made predictions as to what was going to happen over the weekend. We also asked questions: why no water at the bottom? Why condensed? Why so compact after it being full?
10. Next week, we will share the stories and the outcome. 

Our third graders are working on the water cycle for the next two weeks. We started with the book Cleopatra's Tears. We watched a quick video on the water cycle, next.
We followed it up with the Water Cycle Hoe Down I found on TPT by Jenna Rupp. Kids love it! We then moved on to a water cycle demonstration...also found on TPT by Laura Candler. We also worked on two sheets that I bought from TPT Science Penguin. I love TPT!

As for my fourth graders...I am still working on ligaments and bones. We created the leg model and played soccer with the legs and marbles. I also tried ticket out the door in a new way...I gave them each an index card for them to show what they know about ligaments and tendons after watching the video from last week's FOSS Friday. I checked them and put them in piles of understands and doesn't. I will meet with my doesn't understand group next week. I was impressed with their understanding overall.
I can't wait until my first group of fifth graders on Monday. We are making George's Marvelous Medicine! Stay tuned... this week was a long one. I hope this helped make FOSS fun!


Peek At My Week

Oh, my dear...with two days of inservice my days one-five are all mixed up. Tuesday will be a day 4 and then I start with new lessons on Thursday. Yikes. Hard to keep that straight. So, thanks to Mrs. Laffin's Laughings  (it is her birthday weekend!!!) I can systematically plan what I am going to do next week...even if my week doesn't start until Thursday this next week.

Our circus act in first grade will start off with...

This book gives an idea of what kinds of acts are at the circus. We will then review how we balanced our crayfish on our finger by demonstrating using a little circus music.

I then want to take a little assessment of where they are at. Can they show where they would place the counterweights?
                       Crayfish sheet

In second grade, I want to make sure I use some common core writing ideas to assess what they remember about separating soup mix. I had the kids create factories of workers to process the separation of the mix. They had to work as a team to see what company could separate more mix faster, cleaner, and safer. Here is the sheet I am using to see if they remember...

                     soup mix writing

Now onto the Water Unit. We finished up last week with ice in water. We are going to do the ice cubes in water activity for a review of hot water rises and cold water sinks. One of my science coworkers presented a question of the day on the board: You are in a pool and you notice a big temperature difference from the top of the water to the bottom of the water. Why would the water at the bottom be cooler and the top be warmer? What a great connection! Here is the sheet...

                     Ice In Water Review
As for the bigs... 4th grade is all set for the week, with the ligaments and tendons lesson from last. They are my day four and five. So with inservice I didn't get to see them yet. But my fifth graders are doing an activity with George's Marvelous Medicine. I read the chapter Grandma's Medicine and then we make marvelous medicine. I give them lemon juice, water, and sugar. They have to measure exactly and make a recipe unlike George. Then, they have to test someones...it could be there own. I have them pick numbers and label everything.
Snatch a free copy of my Marvelous Medicine...Mixtures and Solutions Lemonade Lesson here:)


FOSS Friday

Here we are again, another Friday. Today, we had inservice and our science teachers met to discuss our units in FOSS and to try to find ways to amp it up. If anyone has some great ideas to add STEM to FOSS lessons please pass it on. It would be great to share ideas. Our district will not be adopting the NGSS science standards at this time, but we are trying to figure out ways to add project based learning and STEM activities. Here is what we discussed in different groups:

Kindergarten... we created lessons that are tailored to the new standards, but with friction someone shared the idea of using the fabrics in the kindergarten kit to test different surfaces. Great idea!

First graders... when we do our motion lesson that has the kiddos working on the noodles and marbles, let's have the kids make a "waterpark ride". I set my blue trays up at the base last year and we pretended the marble was the person. Safety first. This was a great way to incorporate STEM.

Second graders...working with solids and liquids, can we watch a little Frosty the snowman clip, I put it on a previous lesson, and have the kids create a way to protect Frosty from the heat. This would be a great insulation lesson on how to keep an ice cube frozen longest.  This is the lesson I am working on next for our group.

Third graders...Water unit...hmmmmm...what to do for STEM? Here is a great link for that on the WATER CYCLE. This unit has some great math ideas. I am going to have to figure something out...later.

Fourth graders...Human Body... I found a great idea about extracting DNA from another science blog...The Jr. Mad Scientist. This site has a great DNA activity that you do with strawberries. This could be a fun tie in to DNA of the human body, but I did find a fun interactive site that helps review all of the different body systems. You can find it here.

Fifth graders...We are finishing our mixtures and solutions unit and then we will have a few weeks before spring break in March. I am looking to create an ecosystems unit using the new NGSS standards or even a fun roller coaster unit that we could use a way to get them moving. There are also some great kitchen chemistry activities that you could do that has them doing a fun make and take.

Our 8 science teachers in our district would love to hear what our FOSS friends are doing out there. What would you like to see from us as well?

Happy Friday!


No Bones About It

No bones about it, this week the fourth graders had fun with bones. We were doing the FOSS lesson comparing bones. We stepped it up a notch. We have a school forest that our 5th graders always do an owl pellets lesson, so we had to fill it with an introductory lesson. First I read the A to Z book Animal Skeletons. I used my new Ipad to read it and show it.

I then had the kids guess the animal using What's Inside Animals. Coolest thing ever... there are 16 cards that have a skeleton on one side and the animal on the other. If you use a flashlight, you can see the bones inside the animal. The kids love it! This product is by Roylco.

We then shared native animal bones at each table. We had teams guess what animal the bones came from. They used back ground knowledge...canine teeth, ball and socket, antlers...

After the teams were done guessing, they worked on the sheet that wraps everything up.This great TPT freebie did just that thanks to The Teacher's Cabinet . I put it on one sheet to save paper:)


Peek at My Week

Linking up today with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings, a fellow Wisconsin blogger. Didn't finish my reflection sheets my fellow teachers...I was enjoying the heat wave here. The winter votex is coming back to our neck of the woods this week. That means indoor recess AGAIN. Poor kiddos. They have suffered over two weeks of indoor recess in the last month already, but the train must move on.

The end of the quarter came and went, but the FOSS train keeps chugging along... chuga, chuga...

Our kinders are at the beginning of their weather unit. First lesson....the sun...then the night sky...now the weather. The kindergarten teachers and I have come up with one I can statement a week for our kiddo to show us. This week: I can draw my favorite type of weather and graph it.

 The first graders are starting their balance and motion unit by learning the key concepts. We will create a chart to show what we know with our new vocabulary. The kids love make and takes, so they will color a  balancing parrot to take home. Balancing Parrot Pattern...

Second graders are still working on solids and liquids. We are working on the messy one... solids in containers. You know the one... lima beans, rice, pinto beans... all over. I am going to make a science notebook sheet to share for reflection. I will post this week for you.

Our third grade kiddos are going to be doing two water and ice lessons this week in FOSS...water as ice and hot and cold water. I am working on a quick sheet for reflection for their ticket out the door. Stay tuned...

Fourth graders are in their human body unit and my post before this shows just what I am doing.  Same goes for the bigs in 5th grade. Mixtures and Solutions continued... Happy Sunday. Have a great week.


FOSS Friday

Hey, time to add some ideas that I used to add to the FOSS science program. This week, our fourth graders are learning about joints. You know the lesson, making a joint model...a thumb...a leg...but, the kids really don't really know the new vocabulary. So, here is this week's idea: I show the quick video and the kiddos fill out the sheet. They now have the vocabulary they need. I also have the groups reading a reading a to z book that preps us for next week: Animal Skeletons. I have a 3 question quiz to see if they comprehended the story. Here goes...the reading quiz first.  A to Z reading quiz for Animal Skeletons:)

The video...

And the sheet...
                      Ligaments and Tendons Sheet

Now for our 5th graders... We are working on the FOSS lesson on saturation. I actually use it as a competition between the teams. I have half of the groups test citric acid and half of the groups work with salt. The kids set up the experiment following the packet directions. They really get a sense of the vocabulary as they see,  "Which is more soluble in 50 ml of water, salt or citric acid?" I now make an anchor chart for each class to take back with them that has our vocabulary and information. I only get to see them once a week, so I had to come up with another way to get the ideas to them somehow. Here is the sheet I am using for the  Saturation Quiz
When they are done, they will be reading a Science a to z one page reading review based on Mixing Matter. Once again, the vocabulary and some quick questions to read for meaning.

FOSS friends, hope this helps just a bit. Happy Friday!


FOSS FUN and More...

This week, we are finishing up our quarter... so time to assess our kiddos. The snow is falling and it looks like we will be getting around 6-7 inches by the time it is done. Time to get the snowmobiles out. Our kindergarten lessons are new this year. It was a collaborative effort of many people to use the NGSS science standards. This week, we are learning about the moon. We are reading Where Does The Sun Go?  This one had great real pictures of the moon. You could also use The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons. I had the students work on a sheet from my new unit Patterns and Cycles that is being uploaded this week on TPT and Teacher's Notebook. We also tested how craters were formed by dropping rocks, "meteors", into flour bowls.

First graders are learning about fossils to go along with our Pebbles, Sand, and Silt Unit. We started off by watching a little Bill Nye on You Tube...it won't link. Then, we worked on a sheet to see the process of fossilization: live, die, bury, dig up. This is in simple first grade terms and what they seem to get. The Fossilization Sheet helped them organize their thoughts in how fossils are made.
2nd graders are working on solids and liquids so we are doing some hardening and softening of solids. We are observing chocolate and crayons to see the different states of matter and what makes them change. We are also watching a video on how crayons are made on How Stuff Works.
Here is the sheet I am going to start using today with them as we tour the stations. 
Onto third grade. I am working on water activities with the kiddos after their quick quiz to see what they remember. We will be sinking and floating objects to make inferences as to other objects that might sink and float. I found a great open ended sheet for free on a cute blog Really Roper
Fourth graders, oh, my fourth graders...what can I say... we took our first round of quizes and sad to say that even with a study guide, going over the vocabulary, studying before the quiz, they still made a lot of excuses as to why they didn't study. I am sad. I will be grading it today, but I told them that I wanted a nurse or doctor or even a waitress to care about taking care of me. What would happen if they didn't know what they were doing or didn't care? I will be working with the students that didn't study to redo the test. Any suggestions for getting kids to care and study when I only see them once a week. (assignment notebook, on board, in take home folder, poster in room already:(
Fifth graders are working with solvents and solutes. We had a friendly competition to see which table's solid reaches saturation first. FOSS has it as a separate, but they seem to understand it better when they see the difference. Saturated solutions, solvent, solute review and then guessing the solid by using similar methods. This week's focus:)


It's Friday My Friends...FOSS Friday

It is Friday, a day four and it is a heat wave here in Wisconsin. This morning already it is a whopping 21 degrees! Warmest day in ...like...forever!  This next week, is the last week of the quarter so it is crunch time for getting in one last quiz. Our poor kiddos haven't seen an outdoor recess in a while so in science we have done as much hands on fun stuff as we can. Our kinder kiddos are learning about the sun. I read...

They learned that the sun gives plants energy to grow. They learned that the sun is a star that looks big because it is the closest star too us. They learned how the Earth rotates each day and how we also revolve around the sun. It sure helps that we have four seasons so they can understand how we lean toward and away from the sun. We rotated, we revolved, we got closer and farther away and tested how something seems smaller as it moves away from us. We also did a drawing to show what we like to do in the sun. We sang Mr. Sun, Sun...

Oh, sun, how I have missed you!!!!
Our first graders are working on the FOSS unit pebbles, sand, and silt. Who doesn't like to go to the beach! I read the book Sand and then we traced the word sand, played in buckets of sand, and even got to take a shell home! 
They drew their favorite thing at the beach. Check out their ideas!
Our 3rd graders are learning the FOSS water lesson on thermometers. We practiced using real thermometers first and reviewed what we knew about reading and measuring temperature.
Fourth graders love the FOSS lesson on immobilized thumbs. I have been giving my bigs vocabulary sheets to fill in as they go so that they can take a sheet with them to review and study. Here is the link to what I gave the fourth graders. Joint Notes and Vocabulary (sorry no picture...I did it in word)

Fifth graders are focusing on solutes and solvents. The only good way that I could thing of for them to remember those words is that a vent must be turned on when you are boiling liquid. Solvent=liquid. We combine the citric acid and salt saturation lessons to do a competition...which is more soluble...citric acid or salt? The competition seems to be a lot more fun then doing the lesson separately. Here is the sheet I gave them. Saturation Sheet
Just some quick show and tell this week and how I made FOSS fun and academically sound.


What's the Matter?

So, today is a "cold" day and I mean it is cold here in Wisconsin. It's -23 right now. BRRRRR! I had a little more time last night to create something fun for the FOSS Solids and Liquids unit. Making FOSS more fun is my game. I made there stations...

STATION 1: Making root beer floats. Who wouldn't love making root beer floats and reviewing solids, liquids, and gases. Solid= ice cream....Liquid=root beer....gas=fizzes. Students will also write the how to which helps with Common Core.

STATION 2: Who doesn't love making volcanoes, but here is the twist. Students will add

Baking soda  +  vinegar = gas   and pop goes the weasel. Students will predict and observe as they review matter.

STATION 3: What's the Matter With Frosty the Snowman. After reading the story or watching the quick video clip, students will watch the teacher collect "Frosty" and mark the tape measure. The class will record what is happening to Frosty as he joins the students in class. The solid Frosty, will soon be the liquid Frosty, and as time goes on Frosty will evaporate into a gas.
Here is the quick story of Frosty as the song is sung. Students can use their deductive thinking as to what happened throughout the story.

Check it out at What's The Matter...Science Stations.


Tomorrow...A Peek At My Week

Back to the grind tomorrow, but feeling ready to go after such a nice break. It's time to remember where I left off so out comes the lesson plan book.  Goofy, my day five starts on Thursday, but I as sooo glad...it's my prep day. I only teach an hour and a half with the rest of the time for getting ready for the end of the quarter planning and figuring out what I am doing next week. Yea, for prep time.
Are you ready????  Today, my goal is to create some fun vocabulary games for one of the stations in kindergarten, first, and second grades. I also will be working on another fun sand activity and also a reading thermometers sheet. Prep before the prep!

Here are two sheets that I made so far that will be part of our sand stations:)

                              Sand Activities
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