The Science School Yard: June 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Made It...Berry Pickin' Time

I am glad to meet up with you and share what we have been making. Thanks to Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for hosting this linky!


This is one of our favorite times of year, berry pickin' time. Every summer, our family goes strawberry picking and this year is no exception. We caught wind of a local berry farm that was selling their berries for $1.00 a pound. I know...right...cheap! It was weedy. It was mosquitoey. It was a bit harder than normal, but for $1 a pound, I am not complaining. We bought 11 pounds and went back for more.

With all this "hull"abaloo, we made a strawberry rhubarb upside down pie, YUM! We made a strawberry rhubarb pie, double YUM! YUM! Then we made freezer jam. With a child  apartment bound with homemade jam, who could resist having that in their freezer?



                                 Here is a Monday made it recipe that we made this weekend...

Rhubarb Cake
1 box yellow cake mix...mix as directed.
Pour into 9 x 13 pan.. Put 3 cups of rhubarb on top of the batter. Add 1 cup of sugar. Next, pour 1 pint of whipping cream over all of it. Bake as directed or a bit longer.

This cake forms an upside down cake that is soooo moist. Enjoy your Monday! I am glad we made it!

Monday, Meet Up

It has been a long week in many ways. My son has played baseball everyday since last Tuesday and won't be done until tomorrow. He is in the state tournament for Minor League and so the holiday week will allow some much needed rest. (I guess I am thankful for that! It is also our favorite holiday!) With that being said, those of you bloggers with older children, my oldest just went through a break up this week. I know she will be fine, but now it just plain stinks! This meet up puts things into perspective though. We all have a lot to be thankful for! Sometimes we forget that. I love my job, so finishing so late wasn't so bad, but wow I have only had off for this being my second week and it is July PEOPLE! Yikes. Time flies. Anyhoo...Glad to meet ya!

Today, the theme is three things to be thankful for! Thanks for meeting up with me!




Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday, on Friday

Yikes....time flies when your having fun! Went to the pool yesterday with my son, and today I went to school where it was nice and quiet...no summer school classes on Friday! I just came back from the energy fair and so my mind is on how to add an energy component to my science classrooms in some way. I figure that we could probably add a bit of energy science into our fourth grade curriculum as we continue to add more emphasis on the NGSS science standards. That...my friends...is now on my summer bucket list. Energy. Take a look a the great book I found to guide me and the resources I bought at the event. So, thanks Deanna for this fun linky!


The Shocking Truth About Energy by Loreen Leedy


Solar bugs, solar cell with motors, and even UV sun detectors! Stations, here we come!

Simple reading and fun pictures!


Easy to copy and place at a station for kids to read and take notes!

I hope I have the ENERGY to do this next week!
It is always fun to find a good book that excites you about Science! This one did.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Worksheet Wednesday...It's Raining It's Pouring

So, I am sitting here looking out the window and thinking...what to do....what to do...with my garden class today. Obviously, we can not go out in the thunder and plant, weed, and pick. Plan B...worms! I have over 5 bins of worms that I can have the kiddos learn from. I am pulling one of my favorite worm books...

I will be using the worms with our littles and using a free worksheet download from First Grade Blue Skies...Worm Day, but for my bigs I will be using some gardening activities that allow for some taste testing. Here is the sheet I will be using with them today.

Playing "ketchup" Freebie

Wish me luck with 60 students indoors...out of the rain... Stop on by other school yards for great freebies at
 The Teaching Tribune


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two For Tuesday!

Okay...friends...you will notice that my Monday Meet Up was posted on Tuesday. I had it all written and then...my husband needed to print something for his class today. Long story short the printer wasn't working. It took until 2 AM to get it to print...then ink was out. Really people...true story. Forgive me for the late post then. So now it is Two for Tuesday and it is Tuesday! I am on it! One of my goals was to finish what I started. Ever wish that? Well, a few months ago I started a skeletal system review for my kids to put on TPT. I used it, but didn't love the lack of activities. So, yesterday morning...as the house was still sleeping and no one needed me to do a single thing...I finished my Skeletal System pack. What a great way to get it out there.


Here are my items to check out at my store. Each of these items are 50% today!

QR Code Skeletal System Review is now $1.75...great deal today. Also, as I get ready for my new lessons tomorrow in the garden, I am so glad that I made these lessons for my Wednesday Garden Day Class! Today, my  Farm To School Garden Pack is on sale for $2.00. Stop on by my store to see what I have at The Science School Yard's TPT Store.

Monday Meet Up

Well, I have been working hard to make the most of my vacation. It just started! I taught a college for kids class last week, so I am finally on break. It is fun to get to know other blogger teachers out there! Can't wait to meet some of you as I read your posts. Thanks to The Teaching Tribune for this fun linky!


Here is a little bit about me...background, school, family life!
I have quite an extensive to do list. I want to make the most of every day. I am helping my oldest daughter paint and fix up some used and gently loved furniture. I was hoping that every Monday I could show you on Monday Made It, but time flies when the DIY list is so big. I am truly inspired by you amazing teachers out there that have me pushing myself...both making new products and working on things around the house.

On my list this summer, is to build my knowledge of science and how I can add to our FOSS science kits. This weekend, I took a one credit class at the Energy Fair in Wisconsin. It was amazing! I walked away with a ton of information. From composting to sustainability, seed saving to solar energy in the classroom, it truly was a learning experience. I even won a prize!
The energy fair was held in a big open field near Central WI energy center

Look what I won! Over a $50 kit...I felt SO lucky! Can't wait to test it out with my son!

Bought these cool solar bug kits from Brown Dog Gadgets. He gave me a zillion new ideas to try this next year!

Learned about vermicomposting and how to make worm tea! This is how we can package our own castings! 

Our power company had an educator session on solar energy...this activity was fun. Can you get a sunburn when the sun isn't out? Can solar energy work through materials? Inspiring!

Went to a ton of vendor sites. I got my neck measured for issues. See all the red? I had a migraine that day. I am a mess!

Just a little about me here in Wisconsin! Glad you stopped by! Enjoy your summer and I hope you get some of your bucket list items checked off! I need an adventure with my family...any ideas on a budget?


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kahoot!

What a great find this evening! Kahoot is a great way to get our kiddos actively engaged using any device along with a smartboard or even a projector. You can create discussions, surveys, and quizzes and use the results for formative assessment! The site provides step by step directions, videos, results and so much more. Have you found any great apps lately? Do share!



                           Kahoot!

Tuesday Linky...Let's Read

It's Tuesday, my friends. Time for some summer reading. I am linking up today Mrs. Jump's Class to talk about books.



I have some great professional books to read this summer, and some I don't even want to crack the cover on, but as a science teacher, this book has some great ideas that use the NGSS science standards that I noticed right away that I could use and even modify to make it work within my hour classes.

Preparing for tomorrow is what this multifaceted book is all about. If you’re an elementary school teacher, you’ll see your unique perspective reflected in material designed to get you ready for both a new generation of science students and the new Framework for K–12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
This book, shows the reader the framework for the new standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessments as well as common core connections. There are a ton of great lesson plan ideas from physical science and sound, to life science with decomposers. There are some great literacy tie ins and ideas on how to engage our students in the classroom through engaging, exploring, explaining, elaborating, and evaluating. There are set objectives and core ideas that lead the reader to an easy, organized way to deal with crosscutting concepts and engineering practices and then some.
Assessment ideas...

Common Core Connections, too!


One of the lessons it models is about decomposers or worms. We vermicompost, so lessons on worms work well for all of my kiddos k-5. This summer, I am working on creating some activity sheets to go along with the ideas in this book. Our district uses FOSS so these lessons fit right into the core kids that we use. The performance tasks are great along with questions and answers about worms to give any teacher a great background into the topic. Some great books I suggest are:

One of my summer reading adventures. Can't wait to figure out more ways to integrate this book into my science classroom! Happy reading!

Made It Monday...Vacation Finally!


Okay, so vacation officially started today, but I am teaching a week's worth of college for kids at our local university. I am teaching a STEM coarse in Roller Coaster Science. I have a great group of 8 kids each session. Today, we worked on building up our vocabulary, working as a team to build paper plate roller coasters, and earning money using our new words, finishing our recording sheets, and working as a team. That "money" will be used to purchase items at our store. Lots of great math to tie into the science of roller coasters. Thanks to Tara, at 4th Grade Frolics for this week's fun Monday Made It!


Here is what we made today in class...

Here is what they made today...
Paper plates, blocks, tape, scissors, a cup, and a marble!

This group used their paper to create a tunnel...great engineering!

Gotta love how they used bumpers to create friction!


The Python!



My son was in a baseball tournament all weekend after a looooonnnggggg week of school, so I didn't get to make any products which was my goal. Next week maybe, but for Made it #2...my son made his very first tournament win! What a great Father's Day Gift. He made it happen! His team did a great job working together!
My little buddy is the one in the red cap...back row!

This Monday made it was our one little painting project this last week. It isn't much, but we really wanted to tackle a little something each week. This next week, though the dresser! 
Before...an ugly gold vase ready to paint outside. 

The finished product...blue to match my daughter's new apartment bedroom...with a touch of peacock feathers!

Next week's Monday Made It goal...a new product, inspiration from an Energy Class, and a finished dresser!