The Science School Yard: February 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Science Circus and More

This week...is conference week. We are here until late...late...late. Today, we are hosting a baked potato bar for our classroom teachers. As a science teacher...I am seen as a specialist...ENCORE is what they call us! So...I have a few minutes to share what I have been doing this week in science...and to link up with a fellow science teacher... over at Teachers are Terrific.

Here is what is going on in my science classroom this week...

Kinders are taking a tour of the solar system. Here are the videos we are using before they get to blast off into space and find all 8 planets in our room...



Here are the kiddos going around the room actively searching and coloring in the planets...


First graders are participating in a circus adventure. We start off with Circus by Lois Ehlert.
Image result for circus by lois ehlert

We then move on to balancing for one minute on one foot and doing a graph in our science notebook. I made a pack specifically for our balance unit in FOSS and we used 4 activities from it. You can find it at the Science School Yard Store. We then worked on the balancing pencil trick...followed by the symmetry pictures...and a make and take clown balancer.
The magic balancing pencil...

Could we balance for one minute without wiggling? 

How is symmetry about balance?


2nd graders are working on wrapping up their FOSS solids and liquids pack. We used a sink and float book from EPIC which is great for teachers. Wonderful non-fiction science books! Then we did our sink and float sheet in our packet...followed by the lima vs. pinto bean competition. I make it a big deal...with a graph...winners have their hands raised as if they won something big...and we then figure if my game was fair. Such a better way to get them to remember why pinto beans always win...not just that lima beans are gross and shouldn't win.

3rd graders are learning about hydro energy. We made the FOSS water works...water wheel. They love this one. We start by introducing renewable vs. nonrenewable. We talk about how we use water. We then watch a quick video....
See... a water wheel right away! We finish up with a reflection sheet that I have for you...

Water Works Freebie

4th graders are working on the respiratory system and next week, will participate in different events that show how their lungs work. I will share a separate post next week when I have everything together. This week, we are introducing the system and watching Bill Nye as well as creating a diagram for our science notebooks. We have been doing one day intro...next day building a model...

5th graders are wrapping up the mixtures and solutions unit so we made our lapbooks and did our scavenger hunt using qr codes. We talked about the importance of studying and how to utilize a lapbook at home and in class. We shall see how they do on the test. It is documented for my Teachscape evidence. I will share the success rate using these study tools next week.

Have a great rest of the week! Friday is payday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teachers ARE Heroes Sale


Teachers ARE heroes to kiddoes every day! So, to thank my fellow teachers I am throwing a sale!

Save 20% off everything in my store...Wednesday, February 25th! I have added three new products this week...

Human Body Task Cards with FOSS in mind...
Mixtures and Solutions Task Cards for FOSS test readiness
Mixtures and Solutions lapbooks for take home help!

Task Card Scavenger Hunt in progress!

Get some great resources for your next test...or try a fun science pack today!!! 



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Scoop...Microgreens Freebie

As I was sitting here thinking about the Sunday Scoop over at The Teaching Trio....I forgot all about the microgreens growing at school. That I have to check on...coddle...talk to...so that they grow. Never grew them before, but let's just say those little shoots are getting taller and taller and the kids are so excited about growing something in the winter. So...here's the scoop....



I am sitting here over 45 minutes away from my laundry at my daughter's volleyball practice. Just a bit of alone time that I love. The sound of girls shouting "mine" and the bouncing of volleyballs is drowned out by the typing of my keys. Laundry can wait...

Funny thing...though...when you sit you remember all the things you might have to do when you are home. I have added to the things happy to do...help my son finish a large Egyptian project when I get home...then play cards. Homework first.

I will also add...I had to help my oldest daughter edit her paper for college...yes...since they were little...I have edited for spelling, errors, and doubles...and given pointers or two my childrens' papers. I was a pretty good writer and edited hundreds of papers in my day. Closing sentences the toughest. Now, that is done...I am looking to get down to business and figure out my task cards for my 5th graders for review. It goes with my PPG...SLO...all that jazz.

But, first back to microgreens...
Kale...look at those little guys!

Lettuce...check it out!


Taking care of business!
Microgreen Sheets Freebie just for you! I used these sheets with my 4/5 garden club group! A fun...winter activity that we will share in our upcoming harvest of the month.

Do you garden? School or home? Would love to here what you plant and when you start your seeds. Have a great week!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Starry Night


Our kinders are learning about the sky. We have studied the sun and the moon...now it is about the stars in the sky. Here is a great idea that my kinders loved! Popcorn constellations!
After reading Starry Night and learning about Constellations...the kinders got a handful of popcorn, tossed it up, picked up a piece of popcorn, ate it, and replaced it with a star. 
Once done...they tried to figure out what their constellation looked like. We then sat by the fire and told our story!
 We also used Constellation patterns from Full of Great Ideas Blog. Check it out my friends! You are a shining star...our kiddos know it!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Science...This Week

I use to do peek at my week, but wow is life busy...so busy I get my lessons done, get supplies for 6 science preps, and we are full speed ahead! I am sure glad last year I did that. I can look back and get some ideas, find my links and videos and more. So....I figure, I better post a peek so that I can once again get back on track to showing what I do each week in my science school yard!

Kinders- We are learning about the stars. We start with a great online book from We Give Books called Starry Sky. I made constellations from Full of Great Ideas Blog. As I read, I had the constellation cards shining on the ceiling when we saw it in the book. The kinders actually remembered them!

Our project consisted of giving each one a piece of black paper, 6-7 pieces of popcorn, and a piece of chalk. They tossed the popcorn on the paper, picked up a piece, ate it, then placed a star in its place. Then the  kids were able to see a constellation. When everyone was done, I played a virtual camp fire, they got a story stick to pass and share their pictures. We finished with a five little astronauts song.

 

First Graders- Are working on balance once again. I created a pack that took the picture books I could find, the FOSS lesson concepts, but added a fun circus theme to it. There are a ton of great balancing videos that kiddos love to watch as well. Balance: Science Circus Fun is a great way to teach balance, add math, reading, writing, and more to your FOSS balance and motion kit and then some!

2nd graders-Are all about the Non-Newtonian Fluids. We once again used our What's The Matter? Pack to supplement mixtures and solutions. Last week, Oobleck, this week...toothpaste!

3rd grade- My middle children are finishing up on the water cycle. We are working with ice cubes. We used ice cubes to learn the three phases of matter. Here is a great time lapse I showed as they worked on the phases of the ice cube sheet...this fun 15 second you tube video Life Cycle of An Ice Cube.  This sheet is from my FOSS Water Extensions Pack.
Ice Cube Life Cycle FREEBIE


4th grade- The Digestive System...what a fun way to learn about our body... engineer a model of it! Take a look at what they did!
We used the site Kids Health: Digestive System to get information and a fun...quick video...
Then onto the team activity. They got 20 minutes to include the parts of the digestive system and then share it with the class. It was a great way to remember it!

5th grade- We are working on Chemical Reactions. The kids loved theses reactions and could remember examples pretty easily after watching this...
We then did this great penny polishing activity that had the kids reacting, too! Did you know that ketchup is a great polisher? Who knew...We also used BTB to test a color change in water as we blew into it and tested for acids and bases. We always do a ticket out the door...this one was 5 examples of chemical reactions and what does BTB indicate. They got it!
Using BTB...showed a color change from blue, to green, to yellow!

BTB showed cola to be an acid... and it cleans pennies!

But the winner...hands down...was ketchup!

It was a great week in the Science School Yard!
 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Oobleck! Science and more...

Today, I am linking up with another wonderful science teacher over at Teachers Are Terrific. We have amazing jobs teaching science all day!


This is just one grade level idea this week, however my kinders are learning about the moon, first graders are building stable, balanced towers, third graders are focusing on the water cycle, fourth graders are learning about the digestive system, and fifth graders are focusing on chemical reactions.

My second graders however...are focusing on Oobleck...

Solid and liquid...or not? Oobleck is a non-Newtonian liquid...that means...it has qualities of both a solid and a liquid. When you squeeze oobleck in your hand and add pressure it acts as a solid...as you relax your hand it acts as a liquid. What a fun way to add an activity to your solids and liquids unit or even when you study Dr. Suess...

Reading Bartholomew and the Oobleck is a long book...it can take roughly 23 minutes on a good day...but with changing voices my kiddos sit through me reading it...mesmerized. I made a quick pack to go with my science lessons and for my classroom teachers I made math and writing sheets. Love that they use all the extras I make!
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My kiddos use the science sheets to test the oobleck...

Do these items stay on the top of the surface or sink?


We wrap up by writing the recipe and how Oobleck works...what a fun way to take something home and make something with parents!

Check out my Oobleck Pack on my TPT store!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Why Wheat? Harvest of the Month

I know how those kiddos talk...why do we have to eat that yucky wheat bread? Why do we have pizza crust that is wheat instead of white. Yikes. Well, the low down for our kiddos at my school comes in the form of morning message. We create infomercials so that our students can here that nutritional values of what they eat and why it is so important to know what we put in our bodies. In an article by Teen Health, Why is Whole Wheat Grain Bread Healthier I shared with our kiddos the facts in the article.

We even tied in our second grade solids and liquids unit by making butter. We also taught the kiddos the difference between butter and margarine and how easy it is to make butter! What a great connection to healthy lifestyles and healthy eating.

Learning to vote...having a voice...butter vs. margarine....which tastes better?

Setting it up outside of our very busy lunchroom allows us to keep the line moving without stopping our cooks from serving lunch.

Butter wins! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Sunday Scoop

Phewww...a big sigh of relief, my formal observation is done. Check. My farm to school harvest of the month activity is done and butter was successfully made. Check. I am sitting here in a quiet...yes quiet hotel room. Check. Life is good. Time to reflect and plan for the week ahead! There are some wonderful teachers over at Teaching Trio that love to link up...Thursday are fun and so is the Sunday Scoop.

Here's the scoop...

Okay...Linky buddies...can't wait to see what your week holds, too! But...now I am off to another volleyball tournament! Enjoy your Sunday...but I have to scoot!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Currently...Late To The Party!

Do you ever have those weeks...where they all blend together...because you have WAAAAYYYYY to much going on? Running for kids, planning for observations, grades, yada, yada, yada...Well, the last four weeks have been like that. A blur! So...I am late to the party! Farley, Over at Oh, Boy 4th Grade is hosting the monthly linky party, Currently!  It is the 7th day of February...my oldest daughter's 20th birthday...and I am currently sitting in a hotel room again.



Loving: What a great testament to parenting when your child thanks you for how you raised them! It makes me cry just thinking about how beautiful that note was today. All four of my kiddos...amazingly awesome...kind...hard working...what every parent wants! I feel so lucky!

Needing: I have never grown microgreens before...but hey...being the School Garden Gal, we should try it! Over 1/2 of all of our 4th and 5th graders are willing to give up their recess to learn and grow winter greens. Wow! How awesome is that. Stay tuned the next two weeks for updates on our indoor gardening project!  Gardening has helped me grow into a better teacher...watching how it has also changed our students' point of view of healthier food choices...and the life skills of gardening...are priceless.

Here is the north...we get "cabin fever"...so we need to get our kiddos excited! Butter making...lunch taste testing...growing microgreens...has made this school garden gal busy...but not too busy to connect with my blogger buddies!