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Sounds Good!

I like FOSS and all, but the sound kit needed to be consolidated and added to a bit. I wanted to add some writing, vocabulary activities, and STEM. A conference I went to with other elementary science teachers and loved the engineering activity that our teacher had us do, so I tweaked it and I had my students engineer a communication tool as if they were grounded from all electronics and their best friend...who is their neighbor need to "talk" without getting caught. It was great.Forgot my camera at school, soooooo...I can post pics tomorrow. Hope this sounds good!
Sound Unit

Peek At My Week

Time to link up with other bloggers and take a peek at my week. Not only can you link up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings but you can also link up with Mrs. Will's Kindergarten.

Tuesday...prep day...first day of my new lessons...here we go. At our last in service we took a peek at our writing scores and oh man...we need to rock and roll in science. My goal is to really work the reflection and writing component in each grade level. I have worked hard on the vocabulary piece, but one thing we discussed for our olders is to continue to use our science reflection questions as great short answers. For our littles, we must continue to ask them to use their writing to show what they know. Any great writing ideas for a science classroom teachers that only see kids one hour a week?

This week, we will be learning about what can hurt and help plants. We will be using The Tiny Seed as our book focus...we will use our writing to answer the question "what helps plants...what helps you?"

Here is the sheet to go with it...
                               The Tiny Seed is Hurt or Helped

Our first graders will be focusing on life cycles and mealworms. We will read a quick book on mealworms...not before we take a quick quiz. We will use our observation and writing skills to show what we know.

We will be focusing on Wisconsin fast seeds and our kindergarten pumpkins. We will watch time lapse photography and writing about the similarities and differences between fast plants and annuals.
                                       Wisconsin Fast Plants

                       Versus.... typical annuals... like the pumpkin...

We will be using an engineering activity to help us understand how to send sound through a solid. They will be using an engineering lesson based on "telephone" which I am adding to my new packet on sound ready by the end of the week...I need it by the end of the week, so I guess I need it done. (procrastinator, oops). We will be using other sheets to review the process we take to figure out how to communicate with our best friend next door, after being grounded, with no electronics...problem solving 101.

We will be working on understanding the solar system along with the planets. We will be reading Postcards From Pluto. Each person will be picking out of the hat to determine what planet they need to write a postcard about and then that will turn into their group for planet research and presentations. We will have a cloze reading lesson and then each group will get books to help them create their own postcard to share next week.

We will continue the lever lessons from FOSS. We are working on setting up an experiment and following directions. Side note... I am giving them a rubric and reflection sheet to fill out on our cardboard arcade. They will self assess and then share with their groups what they think they should get. We will also be using an activity out of my packet that has students picking a card with a major invention. They must illustrate and explain that invention as it was in the past, how it is now, and what it could look like in the future.

Have a great week!

Our Butterflies and Mealworms Are On Their Way!

Well, it is that time of year when the sun is suppose to be out and insects are flying about. Well, it has to stop raining and be warmer than 45 degrees. Brrrrrr. The cold won't stop us though. The insects are on there way. So, I am getting ready by making a TPT resource for myself, my classroom teachers , and you my friends. If you,  as followers, would like a free copy...leave me a comment with your email... Or email me...at k5sciencegal@gmail.com,  and I will send you a free download of my Life Cycle of the Butterfly and Insect Connections. Check out what you could get.
Life Cycle of the Butterfly and Insect Connections


My Homework is Getting Done!

This Picmonkey is GREAT! I think I've got it. I was planning out what our garden club will be doing as it rains all week. We have to figure out activities that will sustain us inside. We will be packing up tomato seeds and other choice seeds for our Plantapalooza and we will also be making our stores for our farmer's market veggies that the kids are growing and selling. We will also plant some more seeds inside so that we can get a jump start on our shorter season due to the cold. We will also be creating scripts for our veggie videos and invitations for our plantapalooza event. Stay tuned...


I Got Homework

I goal set this weekend...I want to add some cool things to my blog. How about a widget, what's a widget? Pinterest button...html...huh???? How about cool pictures with frames and text? Why not. Two amazing bloggers helped me on my way. So check out the side...Danielle over at Crayonbox Learning has a great post to help anyone, even me figure out how to make a widget for TPT. I also was helped by another great blogger, Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies who gave me an idea on how to make these cute photo collages. So here is a collage of my classroom when I first moved in this year. Now...let's just say it is a bit messier. Time gets by you and I know I have to get that paperwork in order.
Thank you blogger friends. I am so excited to learn something new.  My homework...how to add a slideshow called... A Moment of Science...cute huh?

Check out a few garden pictures, too. We are on our way to year two...bigger and better!


My Little Pumpkins... Kinders and More

We started our little kinders on planting pumpkins this week. Aren't they cute reading simple one word directions: Scoop. Pat. Poke. Drop. Cover. Water. The picture clues helped, too. They did it by themselves as I watched over them just a bit. Then we worked on sequence of events. We learned: seed, sprout, plant, vine, yellow flower, green pumpkin, orange pumpkin, pick, make a pie! We put the words in order and acted them out. We finished with the pumpkin patch sequence activity I shared in a past post.

 I also wanted to share an idea I came up with to review the parts of the plant and their definitions. I used my vocab cards from my plant pack to put them on the board. The kids were instructed to move a part of their body to match the definition. Touch toes for roots, Wiggle legs and hips for stems, Wave arms for leaves, put goggles on for seeds, and hands around head for flower. It took a few times, but they really got it. I am all about vocabulary and kinesthetic learning.  They loved it.

I forgot all about this fun song and the video I used for a quick life cycle clip...something only littles would say: two ladybugs are mating. One little says "oh so cute...they're hugging!"


Hmong Heritage Night and Cardboard Arcade

Last night, we held our Hmong Heritage Night and Cardboard Arcade. We started our evening off with a short introduction to the Hmong culture. We have a large part of our school's population from Laos and Thailand. We shared how our student's families were refuges and in April of 1979 our first family came to Wausau. This year, we are celebrating our first Hmong heritage month to celebrate diversity in our city. We then read Dia's Story Cloth...sharing one girl's story about why her family is here. (You know I am all about tying literacy to what I am up to...)

Now, for me getting dressed up in a traditional Hmong New Year Outfit...

Entertainment was fabulous. My fourth and 5th grade girls along with sisters and cousins practiced for three weeks in my room at noon every day and at home a ton of time, it was beautiful. I even had two girls sing a beautiful Hmong song...I didn't know until today that it was about their mothers and how they are growing up and will leave soon, but they will always love them (weep, tears, sniffle...) Now, I know why my Hmong moms were crying.
My Fourth Graders...White Hmong


One of the most quiet girls...shining!
This beautiful song brought tears to mothers' eyes!

We wrapped up with the explanation of the Hmong Ball Toss. A boy and a girl would toss the ball back and forth. If you dropped it you would need to give the other something that belonged to you. (it kind of sounded like strip poker...) We finished our evening with the ball toss. Fun stuff.

Before we went into the gym I explained the background behind the arcade. We shared the competition and that each person would get two tickets two play any game. Until the tickets were used, everyone would have to wait until we counted tickets. The winners of the most tickets were announced (those games will be featured at our Saturday carnival. Our winners screamed with joy...too cute!)

Here is our cardboard arcade! It was a blast! The best part was that we engineered these amazing games with tape, paper, boxes...and a ton of imagination and cooperation!

Everyone played endless games until the time was out and the ball toss started. It was a great success! Caine's Arcade...our inspiration! I have included a rubric and reflection sheet that I am using:)
                             Cardboard Arcade Rubric and Reflection

Peek at My Week

So now that there was a holiday and an in-service day my days are all mesSeD up. Today, is a day five and it is Tuesday. Yikes. That means that Wednesday is the first day of my week. I have to hunker down now that there has been a break in the organization of my week being Monday day 1...Friday day 5... Now, this is the way it will be until the end of the school year. BooHoo. While I am really not focused I have to tell you guys that this weekend we went to see our daughter in college. Very traumatic stay at our hotel. A fight broke out right in front of my hotel door at 11:40. I called the desk they told the men to disband. He left. More men joined and it got hairy and scary. Called again. They left. It became really quiet and we all slept. No noise until breakfast and no food. The hotel clerk was dealing with the men that returned from the hospital. The men left and 4 of them were shot. One died. They returned very upset and angry. We didn't worry about food. We went back to the room to pack up, but then the guys were outside our room talking about the shooting. OMG. Happy Easter. We got out alright, but it was SCARY! Called the hotel customer service to share the story. Figure that the only person working at the desk did alright considering, but I was pretty hungry.

I spent the day organizing and planning for the week ahead. I think I've got it.

Kinders- will listen tot he story It's Pumpkin Time.

We then will use the sequence cards to put our pumpkin plant in order from seed to pumpkin. I used the cards and sheets from Preschool Printables. We then will plant pumpkin seeds and put them in our grow lab. We will finish off our time with a sequence activity...putting pumpkin pictures in order for our kinder "garden".

Firsties- will be be learning about insects in station format (okay tried this with the first group...will rethink stations for them they didn't focus at all) I will start off with a review using pictures of bugs. What makes them insects. We will then sing the song Head, Thorax, Abdomen losing a line each time and replacing it with buzzing. We will continue onto stations having students make a ladybug with sequence of the life cycle on the back. They will use bug info cards to research a bug and answer questions and then onto a game "what do you know about bugs?" I will show you when I bring my camera tomorrow. We will finish up with bug or not games. I show pictures and they must tell me insect or not.

Seconds- will be learning about the parts of the plant. I have different plants for them to observe. They will do some activities to draw and label and also some matching words to vocabulary from my  Plant Unit.
Plants... A Comprehensive Unit

We will finish up with an art project tracing a hand and adding to the parts of a plant bulletin board. Green for stems, brown roots, yellow flower, green leaves...labels and all.

3rd- will be using the FOSS kit to understand about vibration. They will do a quick quiz first, then sound through air, liquid, and solids. We will use the projectable sound book from reading a-z. Then we will do the tuning fork activity, sound through air activity, and sound through water. We will finish with the understanding of how sound travels best through a solid.

4th- will be working on moon stations. We are using several lessons that I am working on from other sites. Station 1...making a model out of oreos. Station 2...reading comprehension from k12Reader. Station 3... We will finish with a flip book to make and take from Science Notebook Chick on TPT.

5th- Cardboard arcade is ready to go. I will play the games...check for 2 or more simple machines, then a quick quiz. We will finish with the FOSS lesson on intro to levers. I can't wait to post pictures of our arcade in use.

Happy Tuesday!

Sun, Moon, and Earth...Sound Good?

Just a quick post on a quiz that I am giving this week to my fourth graders. We have been creating models and using some great sheets that I got from the science penguin. So, with that let's see what they remember...formative assessment...Earth, Moon, and Sun Quiz

Sound good? Well, onto the third graders. They are using the FOSS sound kit and it is time to see if they remember their vocabulary and some key understandings. Here is this week's quiz for them...


Cardboard Arcade and Simple Machines

We are almost at our finish line with our cardboard arcade. Our students have been working hard to learn about simple machines and with that create an arcade game that incorporates two or more simple machines. Next week, on Thursday evening we are celebrating Hmong Heritage Night with song, dance, food, and games. The 5th grade cardboard arcade will be present with 12 cardboard arcade games to play. Each person attending that evening will get two tickets to play games. No prizes or candy are allowed. This is a competition! The top two winning arcade games with the most tickets will be games that will be in our school carnival next Saturday. The kids are so excited and are not holding back. Check out their games...they still need a few finishing touches.
Inclined plane and lever on the side...

Inclined plane again...and pulley

The Claw...gotta love it!

This is the group that struggled, but this is a car game, so wheel and axle, inclined plane for ramps and hill, and lever to start the race...cool beans!

four girls trying to work a pulley...quite funny, but they figured it out!

Only one simple machine so far, they got to add something or the game is out of order...

We will be sending our arcade pictures to http://cardboardchallenge.com/
I challenge you to join the imagination foundation and inspire kids to think outside the "box"!
Here is the link to my TPT product I am using for this unit...Simple Machines Cardboard Arcade.

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