The Science School Yard: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Peek At My Week...FOSS Friday

Another week has gone by and again a week without outdoor recess. Today, here in Wausau, Wisconsin we broke some records today... lowest temperature...-50 windchill. Another record...most negative degrees in a season...55 days last record set was in 1916. It is snowing now and I am SICK of cold weather! Someone just told us at lunch that March is suppose to have a ton of snow....UGGGGGG. So, it got me thinking about what I could do with the kiddos to get them active and "playing" a bit. I tested some of the lessons out with my two classes I have on day 5. SWEET!

Kindergarten- We read the book Playground Day! We will make a list of playground fun. We will then engineer playground equipment for my Polly Pockets. We talked about hot and cold weather fun and how to find things to do even when it's cold out.
Click for more information on this title

First graders-
We are working with the motion part of FOSS. We needed something fun to build so I have the kids making cars out of cans and bottles, the blue straws, white milk straws (the axle), tape, and red wheels. The trial group LOVED it. They will use the sheets I have below to help learn about speed and Newton's third law. They got calculators out to add big numbers when it went past 36 inches. We then made a homemade top to take home. We used a milk straw and a FOSS top pattern on cardstock so it was stiff. Make and takes rock!

Motion Sheets for Balance and Motion Extensions

Second graders-
Second graders are going to be working with worms again. We are using some sheets that I got from a great site...No Doubt Learning and The STEM mom. The sheets are great and the art activity is a stitch.

Third Graders-
We are going to be doing the Water Works FOSS lesson, but I have added my own sheet to learn about potential and kinetic energy. Get Your Water Works Sheet Here.
We are also using two videos. The first for introduction the second for what they could do at home.
Here is a simple fact sheet about the history of the water wheel. I think this is easy enough for our 3rd graders. Water Wheel History
 
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Fourth Graders-
Time for the digestive system. Found some great sheets on TPT. I will be using some sheets from Rose Doerkson's Digestive System Sheets. I am using the sheet that goes with Bill Nye's video:
 
We also will be using her fourth sheet...making a model of the digestive system after filling in the sheet by Brandy Resman. This lesson has got a little bit of everything. Video, labeling, science journaling, and an engineering project. I love getting ideas from others. Got any ideas to share to make FOSS more fun?

Fifth Graders-
Well...my fifth graders are having an interesting week. One class will have science while the other class will not. They are going to what we call 'school forest'. Lots of science happenin' there. Deer necropsy, owl pellets, wolf predator/ prey scent lesson, deer drive and deer capacity activity, native Wisconsin animal museum scavenger hunt, fire building and so much more. The fifth graders stay over night for two nights in cabins. Fun stuff. The teachers stay with them the three days they are there. Not fun stuff. So that means a filler of sorts. I made some lessons for a free download on my TPT store:
What's The Matter?
 
Have a great weekend. I am working on some new stuff...stay tuned!




Thursday, February 27, 2014

What's going on?

I found my camera folks. I snapped some quick pics of the afternoon groups working hard in science. Here it goes...
 Fifth grade is learning about chemical reactions. We watched a bit of Bill Nye and then did the vinegar and penny experiment. 6 scoops of salt cleaned the pennies right away. We set up a control and variable diagram to help us organize our plan.
 We learned some new vocabulary in 3rd grade this week as we prepare for the FOSS water works lesson.We learned weathering, erosion, and deposition. We used gobstoppers to learn about the 3 words, too. We even placed one in water to watch it weather away.
 One of our 4 worm bins we have to teach vermicomposting. The kids love worms!
 We used Herman the Worm's website.  I used a sock to put on my hand to talk as if I was Herman. I read the different pages that Herman's site has and they got some great information on the parts of the worm, cocoons, the gizzard and more!!!! We wrote in our science journal what we remembered and drew a diagram to use our new words. Herman The Worms Site
 

We were toy makers this week and we build tops...FOSS, but next week we are engineering a new toy with the same parts...check out my new idea for motion...speed...force...and friction...
 
I am making a sheet for tomorrow's FOSS Friday! Stay tuned!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Peek at My Week...FOSS Friday

Another week has gone by and big celebrations, too. My husband and I celebrated our 20 year wedding anniversary this Wednesday. Wow...20 years... so to celebrate 20 years... on February 27th and 28th, I am throwing a 20% off sale on all items at my TPT store.

This week, in my classroom we will be:
Kinders:
Are learning the four seasons. Boy was predicting the weather hard by the way this week. We were suppose to get 12 inches...then 10...then 6...now just 2 as it moved west of us. I am glad there isn't another snow day! We will be in school until July making days up. Okay, I digress. Back to kinders.
We will be reading the book:
 

We will be creating a graph to represent our favorite season. I am guessing we are so sick of snow that summer will win hands down! I know that is my vote! We will then use a page from my TPT weather unit that shows the four seasons and can be made into a book.We finished off with a short song and video:


1st graders:
We are starting our motion part of the FOSS kit. I bought a to of cheap dollar store tops for kids to use. We will make a chart listing toys that can show motion. We will define motion and what it is.  We will read the book Motion by Rebecca Olien.


We will add our new word to our science notebooks and illustrate it. Then, we will be spinning tops. We will make the tops that FOSS describes, but we will add a make and take using the FOSS patterns and a straw they can add. We will wrap up by playing a game of simon says...using motion words (verbs).We also reviewed the words from the book with these posters...
Motion words and posters
Here is one for starters...


2nd graders:
2nd graders just finished up their unit on solids and liquids so we are testing out some STEM activities that I am working on that goes with the House That Jack Built. Our second graders will be building different structures helping Jack build a town. This will help our teachers with Social Studies lessons on our town.
This Is the House That Jack Built

We will start with this version and discuss what a house needs. What a neighborhood needs, and what a city needs. We will the build structures to start our town using cups and cardboard to see how big our house can get. We will measure the height and width of our structure.

3rd graders:
Will be learning about erosion, weathering, and deposition. We will be using ideas from the Science Penguins pack I bought as well as the activities and games from Laura Candler. Great game idea, sheets, and vocabulary. We will then do an experiment and this fun vocabulary idea from mailbox...Erosion and Weathering Words.

Here is our activity...


4th graders:
Our fourth graders will be doing day two of the cardiovascular system using my Heart Healthy Science Stations. We will be taking our pulse, learning about our heart rates, and we will be getting our blood flowing. We will then take a quick quiz.

5th graders:
Our bigs are going to be learning about chemical reactions. You know...the fizz quiz. They love chemical reactions...who doesn't! We will start with a list of what we might see, hear, or smell. (wafting technique). We then do the fizz quiz in the cups and make observations...then I demo it in a baggie to show things they might have missed. They love to feel the temperature changes and see the bag expand! We finish up with a bit of Bill Nye.


I am working on the quiz this weekend...typically Friday is my BIG prep day,  but we were short subs, so I taught 3 hours of Phy. Ed. I was told I should be a PE teacher because I was FUN!!! It got me thinking am I not fun is science? Or do they like me in different hats? My hubby, the Phy Ed teacher thought that was pretty funny...I am not quite sure I would want that job everyday. I will stick to science~ have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Are You Feeling Lucky?

Today, is one of those days. I have been a bit sad leading up until this day... nine years ago my best friend...my grandma...died. I keep thinking about how lucky I was to have her in my life. She helped me with my struggles, she was there to make special memories for me and also my children. So instead of being sad anymore... we talked about all the ways we felt lucky to have her in our lives.
I was going to wait, but I figure, why not post my St. Patrick's Day Science Unit today...because I am lucky to have had her with me as long as I did. I know that she would be proud of me and how I try to help my children and also my kiddos at school be the best they can be and make a difference while the are here...because Violet sure made a difference while she was here with me!

                                         St. Patrick's Day Science on TPT

Friday, February 14, 2014

Peek At My Week...FOSS FRIDAY

My week starts on Friday, until next week when we have in service on Monday. Planning this post has really helped me get my ducks in a row. I am linking up with two great bloggers to share my week...

Kinders:
Fun stuff "predicting" the weather last week. They loved the game and each class made a forecast prediction for the next day. They sure want it to be sunny, however the forecast for the next seven days is 3 for snow, 3 for windy, 1 for partly cloudy. They are optimists I guess. This week, we are working on what to wear in different weather and how checking the forecast helps us predict what the best type of clothes to wear each day. We will read Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? We role played what he was doing at different parts of the story. We made cards to mark the temperature and seasons. We then shared different clothes we would wear during each season. We stressed what to wear in the winter...our kiddos don't come prepared at times to be outside. No hat...gloves...boots...

We will make bears that wear a seasonal hat and a shirt to boot. A make and take. We will also match different clothes to the weather you wear them in.Here is the bear with clothes to match to the weather. We are playing a matching game at the end. I then asked their bear to answer...Jesse Bear What Are You Wearing? What season is it? Great closure!

I found this on Juxtapost. Here is a link to a printable copy...Jesse Bear's Clothes.
 

First Graders:
We are balancing pencils on our fingers for FOSS, but then we are reviewing other ways to balance things. We are using scales to understand stable and unstable. We will read the book ...


Super cute book about balancing animals stabilizing a scale.We also worked on a scale and how to balance objects. We wanted to make them stable and equal. We used objects to compare on each side. We learned how to use grams and weigh them as well. We did a sheet to predict which object will be heavier or equal. the students also compared what balance means with a pencil (FOSS). We compared the two meanings of balance.

Second grade:
Our kids are finishing their solids and liquids unit. We will be reviewing  in many different ways. We needed  to work on our solid and liquid vocabulary.We will take the test then work on making a solid and liquid book using cut out pictures to review our vocabulary once again.

Third grade:
We are concluding the water cycle by using the TPT free water cycle vocabulary game. We will also use FOSS centers to work on water cycle words: evaporation stations, condensation observations, and water cycle bags from last week. I gave a quick quiz to see what they remembered about the water cycle. We didn't get to them until now. Over planned. I am sure no one ever does that. Better too much than too little. 

Fourth grade:
We are reviewing the nervous system with a quick quiz. Then we will use the holiday to learn about the cardiovascular system and the heart. Valentine theme here! I used my packet to teach about the heart. We labeled the different colors of blood flow...red with arteries and capillaries...blue with veins. We learned heart facts by reading a great TPT freebie Cardiovascular System Reading. We then used time to learn to take our pulse and wrap up with a scavenger hunt I made in my Heart Healthy Stations TPT pack. We will be doing some of the activities next week as we continue the cardiovascular system.


Here is our starter videos I might use...we will see I need to: 



Fifth Grade:
We are working on a STEM lesson using a student's pet rat. We are learning about lab rats and learning how to make a maze to get the rat to the rice krispie bar... the rat's favorite treat, so I have been told.Science can be a real RAT RACE!

 Here are the sheets we are using...






Well, that is a peek at my week. Some FOSS...some Mrs.H. Either way...we are always trying to make FOSS fun. Any ideas of your own to share???? Send them my way and I can post them for you... Have a great weekend. We have off Monday... for FUN!!!!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Resolution Rewind

Time for reflections with a fun linky with Adventures In Teaching. Kind of fun to reflect.


 How is everyone doing on those resolutions that we made back in January? As it goes... I saved my resolutions in draft form...I was working on them...really. So, I am copying and pasting what I had so far.  We shall take a look at how it's going:)

Goal 1: I am going back to a previous post... I want to start off the new year by creating stronger relationships with my kiddos. Seeing them only once a week is hard to do that. I started standing out in the hall after school to say goodbye and ask them what their plans are. I started giving more high fives at the door and reminding myself to give more "paws" out with a compliment to boot. I walked around even more than normal to give them a boost on checking to see if they understand what we are learning about. I am going to continue to memorize over 400 names of my students so that I can also call them by name and not have to look at their folder to figure it out. Wish me luck on this one, I am a face person, not a name person.. I think these little things will pay big in the end.

Goal 2: I am trying hard to find ways to help all of my students retain the information taught in my classroom. Vocabulary is huge and I am working on finding ways for my students to remember and retain their new words as well as remember the words they learned in past lessons. I am going to work on ticket out the door, and mini- quizes as well as cloze activities for them to place in their science notebooks. I also want to get posters in each room with the question of the day/big idea and notes. This hopefully will help, too. There are some great ideas out there, just need to follow through!

Goal 3: I am really going to focus on my blog and making new products that can help me in my own classroom and help others, too. I don't want to get down if my products don't sell or if I don't get new followers, I will stick with it because it will help me organize my own life and help my own classroom!

So, there it is folks. How am I doing? Well Goal 1...I have learned more names, giving more compliments out... and asking kids questions to get to know them and sharing a bit about me, too.

Goal 2...I have been making posters, checking out at the door, and close activities. I think I am doing pretty well with this one! Can always add more vocabulary and test prep ideas. I am working on this one next week.

Goal 3... I have added three major units: Roller Coaster Science, Angry BirdsValentine Heart Healthy Science and an Olympic Science stations that one  has been very successful. I just started my Roller Coaster unit after school and the kids love it! I am also starting my own Valentine lessons this week with my 4th graders! I have more up my sleeve, but I wanted 50 products this year and I am not even half way there. I better get going.

In a nut shell, my goals were pretty good. Glad I didn't goal set for exercising. I would have failed miserably! Happy February!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Meet the Teacher Monday


Torri,  over at The Junior Mad Scientist is linked up with Ordinary to Extraordinary Classroom! I love Torri! Not only does she follow me... love that!... she also has great ideas and teaches science just like me! So, to all of you... here's getting to know me!

Five things in my purse ...
1. Lots of old receipts...should really clean those out!
2.  My wallet
3.  Lip balm (eos rocks!) Love the mint one... light blue
4.  Got some coupons, I forget about them sometimes
5. A picture of my grandma... want her by me always


List 5 things you love about yourself...
1. I never ever think about this... ever... so... I love that I teach science now! Best job ever!
2. That I am a hard worker and want to make people happy
3. That I think I am a pretty good mom that has raised some great kids!
4. That I got a farm to school grant... never planted a garden before... but plants grew... kids love veggies now! I love to see them learn how to garden, too.
5. That I am a go getter and always willing to try new things... right away... let's do it.


5 things that keep me entertained...
1. My children
2. The Housewives of...
3. Blogging
4. Making new products...I too have a goal of 50 by the end of the year... see goals:)
5. I am not very social at times. My kids keep me so busy, but I love spending time with some new co-workers. It is nice to start to do things with adults. Changing schools is never easy.


5 things that attract you to the opposite sex...(or same sex...I don't discriminate...)
1. Hard work
2. Family values
3. Ability to plan for the future
4. Supportive
5. All those good things that still connects me to my husband after 20 years...


5 things to accomplish in 2014:
1. A school garden bigger than last year... and a home garden build with my family
2. I would love to meet up with Midwest bloggers to share ideas and learn the tricks of the trade
3. Over 50 TPT products... and the ability to earn enough to help my children with college funds
4. A stronger relationship with family and friends
5. This next school year...I will be evaluated on the new system... so an action plan to keep helping my students succeed on their assessments and gain knowledge of science:)


Thanks Torri. It will be great getting to know more of you as we keep blogging together!


Friday, February 7, 2014

Peek At My Week ...FOSS Friday

First things first... I was called at school this week. My son was playing football and he hit his head and blacked out. Rough game. So, thank goodness I post my lessons on Peek at My Week.  I was pretty ready to let someone look at them and know what to do. I have to plan my week today, so that I can be home with my son this week as he recuperates from a concussion. Now, it's time to plan for the week as I sit in the dark with my son.


Kindergarten:
Kindergartners will be learning more about science predictions by forecasting the weather. We will be watching the weather forecast on The Weather Channel... We will then play a forecasting game that I made with a dice(clouds on three sides, sunshine on three sides). I also made a tally sheet for the kinders to fill out. You can find this unit on my TPT store at Science Patterns and Cycles: Weather for Kindergarten. 

First Grade:
First graders will be taking a quiz on their vocabulary words: stable, unstable, counter weights, and  top heavy.  After the quiz: the students will be working on a circus act. The firsties will be getting a golf ball to balance on after we read the book Circus. Then, my kiddos will be creating a circus clown to make and take...


Here is a video we watched that showed a circus performance of balance beauty... The kids were mystified!


Our balancing clown pattern...
                        balancing clown pattern
Second Grade:
Our second graders are finishing up their solids and liquids unit. Time for...what is between liquids and solids? Oobleck and toothpaste! I put oobleck in a baggie for them to feel. I show them at the end how to make it at home. I read Bartholomew and the Oobleck to start off our time after we review solids and liquids and words to describe them. I then ask what about toothpaste? Solid or liquid. From there... If you would like a copy of my sheets, click and print:) Oobleck Sheet  and Toothpaste Sheet . Hope that helps!

Third Grade:
Round two of the Water Cycle. Students will be watching Bill Nye the Science Guy and the Water Cycle. They will need to answer questions as they go.
 

The students will then create a Water Cycle Poster to explain the water cycle. Here is free water cycle poster project that I made for my kiddos...enjoy!
The Water Cycle Poster Project and Rubric  FREE THIS WEEK! Get your copy today!

 They will continue to work on he activity in their homerooms. The make and take of the day comes from Pinterest... at GirlStart.

Fourth Graders:
Coordination Stations my friends. FOSS at its finest. The kiddos love the challenge. I am working with a small group of students to reteach ligaments and tendons while the others are writing and illustrating what they already know about ligaments and tendons. We will then take a 3 question quiz.   Students will then learn about the nervous system after reading a short passage with a partner.


We will then work on 4 activities that could work as stations. The first is the FOSS lesson on coordination (hand/eye). The students then can play...catch my finger.... tennis ball drop drill... and hand slap. (one person has palms up and one with palms down of the other. The bottom hands must try to slap the top hands).  Before the kiddos are done, they will write in their science notebooks what coordination means and how the nervous system works.

Fifth Graders:
Fifth graders will be following the salt concentration lessons from FOSS as they put the soft drink lesson, George's Marvelous Medicine Lemonade, and salt concentration together. Next week, the quiz. The students will get a study guide to help them connect the vocabulary with the lesson. Here is the sheet they will use...


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Roller Coaster STEM Unit

The thing is...my daughter had a car accident over winter break, and now it is time to get a "new" used one. Propane in WI is over $5 a gallon and yikes that bill was over $1000. So, mama has to get another job. We have an after school program that gets our kiddos another 2 hours of school. Our focus is to design activities that provide them with CORE lessons: reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. I created a three week unit based on KNEX kits we have based on roller coasters. I can't wait until it starts next week. We have an engineer coming to start the unit off, having our kiddos see their potential and know that they can do anything if they put that extra effort into it. I also am working on the next sessions unit...cardboard arcade. Stay tuned. 

Check out the roller coaster unit on TPT. You can use this great STEM unit for your classroom, too.
 Keeping it rolling as my son is home today.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentine's In Science

We are learning about the human body, so what better time then the present to include some heart healthy learning. Here is what I made for my classroom teachers to use next week... Find it on my TPT site...Valentine Heart Healthy Stations





Saturday, February 1, 2014

It's Currently February!

February has already been very busy! We started off at a 5th grade boys' basketball tournament, followed by driving our son to a birthday party, going out on a date with my husband out to eat (alone), then coming home to a messy house, my girls were in hot water...followed by my attempt to "catch up" on blog life. So currently...Oh' boy fourth grade is hosting a currently February! That Farley rocks!


LISTENING... to a quiet house is sure nice after a day of boys' basketball.

LOVING... that my lessons that I started on Friday...my day of of my five day week... went so well. The kinders love shadows and puppets! Firsties love Mirette and their try at a tight rope...2nds loved the What's the Matter With Frosty activities....3rds loved the water cycle lesson with songs, demos, and games...4ths showed me they really understood ligaments and tendons and playing a game of indoor soccer with leg models helped after a week of indoor recess (and counting!)...fifths are preparing to make George's Marvelous Medicine (homemade lemonade, a great mixtures and solutions activity, taste testing and all!)

THINKING...we had an in-service this past Friday and Monday. We are looking at the new way to be assessed, SLO's and SMART goals...yikes. A lot to take in. I have been teaching 22 years and am soooo lucky to be teaching science...I love it, but to set a goal with a percent when I only see my kiddos once a week for an hour makes me nervous. Has anyone created any for science yet?

WANTING AND NEEDING... my almost 19 year old to come home next weekend for her birthday...however, my husband and I are also celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary out of town, before she arrives home. I can't wait to have all 6 of our family members around the table! What a gift for dear ole' mom!

My truths, I am not certified to teach kindergarten, however I "facilitate" their lessons. I actually love those little buggers! They are sponges! I also am nervous for the future of my children and for the kiddos I teach. Education is a bit scary right now. However...my fib...I love science and with all of the testing right now, I don't really want to go back to a regular ed classroom. I love that my students can't wait for science each week and they fight for the PBIS extra science class with me! It is good to be loved by so many wonderful students k-5!

Happy Super Bowl Day!

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY SALE

I am throwing a SUPER BOWL SALE on my TPT site! All of my products are 20% off today! So take a little time out from watching the game and stop on by to see the great items you can get on sale!