The Science School Yard: July 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wind and Solar Fun and Energy Island

Thanks to Mrs. Jump's Class and Book Talk Tuesday we can share some great books. Wind turbines, my friends. UV meters. "Egg"cellent STEM lessons. This week, I am starting a summer class with some of my colleagues that is based on energy. We got to make wind turbines and used UV meters to create a solar experiment. We even created a STEM activity to see if we could protect an egg on a zip line. We were given a copy of this book, Energy Island to figure out how we could use it in our classroom.



                                                 
This week, we are learning to find ways to use what we have, for example we use FOSS, to create inquiry based questions. Here is what question I will use to start my energy lesson off with. We are also trying to integrate more NGSS concepts even though Wisconsin hasn't adopted it yet.


                                      Wind Turbine Freebie





Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Apple Time Science

I love apple picking time! Each September, one of my favorite memories was when we would take our kids to the apple orchard with my grandma. We would pick apples, take a hay ride, eat an apple dumpling or turnover...YUM, and even feed the goats. I miss that tradition now that she is gone. When I taught little kids the apple theme was always a way to tie everything together, but there was never much for our older students to actually do that was interconnected. Now there is. Check out my Apple Time Science For Intermediate Classrooms.

Apple Time Science For Intermediate Kiddos...I can't wait for September!

Wordless Wednesday

I was so lucky this weekend to be able to be part of an annual girls weekend with my cousin and her wonderful friends. We went to the Porcupine Mountains in the UP and were able to see waterfalls and hike. This is Bond Falls on our way out of Michigan to get back into Wisconsin. It was Gorgeous...don't you think! Sugar and Spice and Wordless Wednesday is always a fun place to stop. Lots of great pictures that are wonderful!



Photo: Another angle of Bond Falls in Michigan with Terri Brandt, Kathy Brown Krieg, Toni Jobe, and Renee Heinrich
Bond Falls!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Took A Walk...In The Garden

Yesterday was my Garden Class and did we get a ton done. Littles heard the book I Took a Walk by Henry Cole. I love this book because littles get so excited about trying to find all of the hidden pictures on "their" walk. I then gave them a clip board, pencil, and paper I included in a previous post and encouraged them to meander (word used in the book...great vocabulary word) quietly looking closely for things to uncover.
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Take a look at what some of them found when they took a walk...



Our littles also planted asparagus in the new bed that our bigs worked on! They even got to make strawberry jam! All in 50 minutes!

Onto our middles and bigs...We planted donated plants, filled a new bed with dirt, made strawberry jam, weeded the garden, and then picked vegetables to take home. Zucchini, lettuce, radishes, peas...oh my!
Observing...

Americorp helpers cutting...

Bed is ready for plants...

Making jam with one of the groups...

Mashing the berries...

Some of our bounty!
What a great job I have, teaching kids about gardening! I am growing as a teacher everyday! 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Got ENERGY!

Well...it has taken me a few weeks to fine tune this new lesson pack. I went to three days of energy classes, reviewed the new NGSS science standards and pulled out my FOSS electricity kit to figure out what will work for a 4/5 multi-age class that has seen all of the 4th and 5th grade FOSS kits. Check out my new pack...Energy Lessons: NGSS and FOSS Connections

Science, Engineering, Core Concepts Through Energy Activities


Book Talk Tuesday...Jamberry and Jam Making

This week, I am teaching my community connections classes how to make homemade freezer jam. Teaching students how easy making jam is will hopefully encourage them to make some at home with their families. We will be making a list of berries that we have eaten, picked, or heard of. We will survey which jam is their favorite...then we will make jam together. We be Jammin'!
Thanks again to Mrs. Jump's Class for hosting this book talk.
I love this next book for many reasons...
1. It is such a fun rhyming book that allows little ones to rhyme along with the book.
2. It is a fun way to add some science of cooking into your classroom
3. It is a great way to make connections such as jam tasting.

Here are some ideas for Jamberry...Jamberry Book Connections
Jam with this book! Rhyme with this book...and more!
Here is the sheet I will be using to make a writing connection. A freebie for you...
                                   Strawberry Jam Sheet Freebie


Saturday, July 12, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Our school garden is in full swing. Each week, when I come to check the progress, set up my lessons, and pull weeds I am amazed at how fast vegetables grow in good conditions. We are fortunate to have an irrigation system that frees me up so that I don't have to water every other day. This picture shows just some of our plants. Can you name them? Which one is...
a potato, a pea plant, dill, a ground cherry, nasturtiums, zucchini, lettuce...and what yellow flower shows that our plant has gone to seed?
How cool that these pictures are from our school garden! We are incorporating art into our Community Connections time! I can't wait to see their snapshots! Here is a free download!



Friday, July 11, 2014

Tops and Bottoms In The Garden

We read the story Tops and Bottoms this week. The kids just love that book! Now, onto the garden...we went out in search of tops, bottoms, and middles to eat. We got to have the tops...lettuce. The middles...peas (sweet as sugar!)...and bottoms...radishes. Aren't they so cute picking and eating???!!!
Tops...lettuce!

Pulling radishes that have gone to seed!  The bottoms!

He pulled out the biggest radish. Gardening is so much fun!

My little sweet pea...he's my cousin!

Shucking peas! The Middle!

Would love to see your garden growing, too. Anyone out there have a school garden? We are adding harvest of the month and taste testing this year! Let me know if you have any suggestions! Would love to connect!

Our "Herb"an Jungle

What is an urban jungle? Well...it is the city. It refers to the streets, alleys, and subway systems, as well as the inner-city neighborhoods, playground, and schools. It can also be seen as a decaying industrial section of town. However, we want to redefine an urban jungle. Yes, we live in a city, and maybe even in one of the harder areas of our town...but that does not define our school. Our kiddos here are over 80% free and reduced, but that does not label us. Our farm to school grant proved that even if our families struggle a bit, we as a school community want to teach our students how to learn healthy eating habits, how to create a school garden, and learn the value of  being outside, actively learning in our outdoor classroom.

People ask me, what next for your school garden. First it is our school garden. One where we are always learning something we can take with us outside of our garden. From GMO's to plants going to seed. Perennials vs. Annuals or even growing seasons and what vegetable look like (I had volunteer teens in the garden this week that didn't know what vegetables we were even picking, yikes!) The garden is a tool to teach kids life skills! Our next goal, to make sure we create a fun learning atmosphere in our garden...in comes the "herb"an jungle. We planted herbs throughout our perennials that we will use to cook with, understand their value, and add to the bounty of our garden. We are hoping to connect the high school art department and shop to make large scale animals that we can place within the garden. Then hosting an art show to get more community members to see what we are doing. Check out our herbs...chocolate mint, orange mint, sage, thyme, chevil, rosemary and more! Next week, we will be making sun tea with our herbs! Stay tuned for what we will make to eat on Tuesday!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday...Tops and Bottoms

Time for a book talk. Thanks to Mrs. Jump's Class for hosting this linky!


This book is one of my favorites for many reasons. For one, it is turned sideways to read...how fun. Two, it teaches some good lessons. Three, it gets kids in our garden and connects them to great book. Here is a video to watch the reading of the book. Then you'll know why this is one to have in your collection!

      I also have a fun freebie for you that I made for my gardening class this week. Enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Meet Me!



This week... the last week in the series of summer linkies with Teaching Tribune, we are getting to know each other a bit better. Some of the questions were easy...and some were hard. My daughter is still feeding me names that I should be. We are down to Amaya and Avery. I still like Violet after my grandma...who was also my best friend. Thanks Teaching Tribune for getting us all together!



1. I loved playing school, but a close second was catching tadpoles in the pond or Barbies and Dawn dolls. Still have them. Anyone have a Cher doll...have her, too.

2. Fun trying to think of names. I kind of am okay with Renee, but boy are there some bad ones on the top list.

3. And this was coming from a first grader. This was followed by the little kindergartner who in the garden told me he had to pee. I told everyone to line up to go back into class...letting him go after we walked back in...he walked to the door and peed right on the mat going in. All we could do was walk around it...guess I was glad he peed outside and not in the room. I also recall doing a web search with a student and up popped a wrong picture...I hurled myself in front of the screen. Yikes.

4. I love historical fiction romances. I love Pride and Prejudice and that time period. Would love to meet her...she reminds me of me.

5. One sister that is 37. Six years younger...do the math. I am getting O...L...D...

6. I worked in a restaurant for six years putting myself through college. It was a breakfast place and boy they sure did a great job! Loved the German Apple Pancake, but it took over 20 minutes to cook, so I would go for eggs bennie or Crepes with this amazing sauce...orange suzette.

Some of these answers date me. Oh, well. Nostalgia is always fun. I am going to get out my Bionic Woman game for a round with my kids. Have a great week!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Okay, so I can't count how many times that I have read on a blog that your first few TPT products are funny to look back at. I agree. So this last week, I focused on sprucing some of them up. I started with this post way back in DecemberHuman Body Rewind . Haven't been blogging this long...blogger buds. I am linking up today with The Teaching Tribune and Teacher's Desk 6 for throwback Thursday!

                       

Here is my new and improved TPT unit. I added a ton of stuff that I worked on with my own 4th graders, but didn't seem to have time to add. I can't wait to use it again this next winter. Kids love scavenger hunts and games. The first round all I had was the QR posters which was nice, but now BAM! I am going down the line and learning from all of you how to make my products better. Thanks a ton!
QR Code Skeletal System Review

Have a great Thursday. It is finally a bit warmer. Time for some boating, swimming, and  relaxing!