The Science School Yard: April 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cardboard Arcade Fun and Games

Well...the cardboard arcade is upon us! We are in our second round of games. Take a look at these amazing games and all of the smiling faces! The idea of taking cardboard boxes and turning them into amazing carnival games...games that our students play then at our school carnival...making money for books and computers and all those things we have a hard time buying due to budget cuts...is simply amazing. This year's games outdo anything we have seen... and all our kiddos need is a bit of imagination...encouragement...a few supplies and...
Using simple machines...inclined plane and screws!

Battleship! Using pulleys and wheel and axle!


Skee Ball! Using and inclined plane!

This was a fun monster madness game using a pulley system and an inclined plane!

Seriously one of the most creative games, but lacked the simple machine aspect...

Color Dance using levers and an inclined plane to dance ...dance...dance!

The kiddos from other classes came in to play the games and vote for the ones to be in our school carnival! So many amazing games to choose from! This is a fun fishing game!

Here is my absolute favorite! Foos Ball! Using wheel and axle for the score keeping, inclined plane  for the slots, styrofoam handles, and a pickle lid for the foos ball...it was amazing!

Engineering at its best. I am using this for my College for kids class and can't wait to see what they can do!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Garden Time!

It is that time of year here at TJ Elementary! We are getting growing! Our kinder"gardeners" are busy learning about pumpkins and how to plant a seed. Remember these 6 easy words:
1. scoop
2. pat
3. poke
4. drop
5. cover
6. water

It works every time. How fun to have our kinders learning that it  takes time to grow. This video helps them visualize the process and what the pumpkin looks like from seed to pumpkin. Awesome song...time flies by and they can see the date change, see the plant grow and vine out...yellow flowers...then the pumpkin!
         Take a look at my little pumpkins!
 Here is a garden sheet that I use with them...Thanks to Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarden for such a great freebie...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cardboard Arcade

It is time for our simple machines unit! We love the cardboard arcade. Each year, our school has a carnival as a fund raiser...and now it is an annual event that our 5th graders host a carnival arcade to see which game gets the most votes and customers so that game can be played at our school carnival. There are some wonderful games that are being created!

Building...Diagramming...and planning!
Each lever system is different and unique! A great engineering project!

Some of the cardboard arcade games were build like this...
While other arcade games were built like this...either way...the kids love to build marshmallow catapults and tie it into our cardboard arcade simple machines unit!
 We also tie in our FOSS levers and pulleys kits! We learn about the three levers: class 1,2, and 3. We then create a marshmallow catapult to use in a cardboard arcade game that the kids make in less than 15 minutes. A quick...fun connection!

Here is our quick quiz I give after all the fun! Here is a copy for you!

Here is the packet I made for our simple machines...FOSS levers and pulleys....Cardboard Arcade Simple Machines Unit on TPT. Check out the video link for our inspiration!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

FOSS Morse Code Connections

This week in 3rd grade science, we are working with sound discrimination. We are learning that sounds can be identified by their characteristics. To make connections, we are suppose to use the items in our bags and our sound chambers to associate the sound with a letter. What better way to connect history in science! No student so far knew what morse code was. We watched a small video...I am sharing it here...
Then, we looked at dashes and dots... We projected this image on our smartboard and had the kids write their names.  Here is the Morse Code Link we used. Next, the FOSS connection lesson... This is a great way to make FOSS fun and connect it with other subjects.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Currently April and Break

Currently...it is spring break! It could have not come too soon. Everyone was getting a bit ornery and tired! My hubby took his baseball team down to Disney for some baseball and fun in the sun. The rest of the family has been hanging out at home. When the hubby's away the kids will play! That usually also means we paint or redo a room. We painted my daughter's room...ran out of paint...went back for more...they are out of our paint due to a bogo sale this weekend. Don't despair...we redid the bathroom. No more fish and bright kid colors...we went yellow, tan, and white. Not finished quite yet...otherwise I would show you:) Currently though...I am linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade to share with you what is going on Currently!



Listening... to 8 hours of Outlander. It was on my bucket list to do a show marathon. I LOVE this show! Good timing...it starts up again this weekend! I never liked scotch before this...ha
Loving... just being able to sit around and relax...which is something I don't do much of! Kids have had sleepovers...went to the indoor water park...painted rooms...went with the flow...loving not having to worry about preparing big meals...sorry hubby...
Thinking... I wanted to do so much over break...but when you lounge around and watch TV for a change...things on the list stay on the list. I am thinking...it is okay every once in a while! Mama needs a break too!
Wanting... everyone around my table at Easter. We chose to have dinner on Saturday evening...right before the Wisconsin Badger game...Go Badgers! Then our older kiddos can share a dinner with their boyfriends' families, too. I am at the point that I don't care the date...I just want my family around me! 
Needing...to finish up a space pack that I am working on for my 4th graders that I can use for 5th grade, too!  I am almost done...just need motivation. 
Egg-planation of My Blog Name:  After 20 years in the regular classroom, I had an opportunity to teach K-5 science...something new! This change needed me to rethink everything about how to teach science and what I heard from so many teachers was how they hated teaching science. It was too much prep or they didn't know the information...lots of excuses, so how do we make science fun? I wanted to motivate myself by creating a blog and making products for myself and others to make it something that everyone could do. So...something catchy and where kids like to "play"...so the Science School Yard was created! 

Happy Easter!