The Science School Yard: May 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rube Goldberg Visits Our Science Class


For the next two weeks we are finishing up our Simple Machines Unit...FOSS Levers and Pulleys have guided us...but now it is time to have some engineering fun with two weeks left to go we really need to step outside the box!

I created a pack for two reasons...I needed to find some fun Rube Goldberg projects easy enough to finish within our hour...as well as create a pack for my College For Kids Class. The majority of my kiddos are girls this year and I am excited to be teaching engineering classes for 4th - 6th graders at our local university! I used the following videos to guide me...
And...

These are two great examples of Rube Goldberg's for kids to get excited about! And...you got to get the game Mouse Trap to show the kids. It is a pain to set up...but this video is a great example to show if you want to have the kids make a mouse trap of their own!
I provided my kiddos with a bag of goodies. I told them they had to use everything in the bag in order to create a Rube to get a dinosaur onto an X marks the spot on the floor. Each team worked together to make it happen. Love it!
X marks the spot!



Rube In Action...Eyeing it up before it's in motion!

Teamwork to make it work!
Working backwards...helped this team with success!

Our second job was to work as a team to develop a picture that shows a pizza delivery using all 6 simple machines. The teams must work together to draw and explain it once they are done!
I love how this project shows a Rube like cartoon and they have to also work as a team!

Not sure if I would want my pizza to fly through an open window, but...gotta love the creativity!
Check out my Rube Goldberg Pack! What a great way to start or end your school year or anywhere in between!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mars One

My 4th graders during their space unit are always intrigued with aliens and science fiction. So, this year, we are learning about Mars One. REAL( possibilities) of  Mars colonization starting in 2020 with an unmanned space trip that will take 7 months to travel!  Around 2026, if all goes well 4 Earthlings will travel to Mars to start a colony...never to return. Whether the Mars One plan is true or not, this is a great opportunity to get kids problem solving as well a great way to get kids excited about space travel and the opportunities they may have in the future.

Today, we started our quest by asking what personality traits one would need to be one of 4 people to travel to Mars to never return to Earth. We then followed up with the question, what questions would you have if you were to be one of the four? What would you need to know or learn before you go?

We then went to the  Mars One Site and watched the video and looked at the links to explain some of their questions. Then...after saving a ton of recyclables... we planned as a team of 4 our Mars One trip and what our colony would look like if we designed it. We took into account what we would need such as food, water, shelter, medicine, entertainment... Here is a sheet we used to organize our thoughts before we build next week...
Mars One Freebie
Here are some of their Mars One creations...
Mars One Research and creations!
Mars One Sight For Background Information

Students each take a role in working as a team...just like they would have to do on Mars if it were colonized! We created a list of positive traits you would need to go to Mars and never come back!

Some questions posed..."How would you get air?" "How would you get food?" "How would you communicate with Earth?"
It was a great engineering project and a real science connection!

Live Long and Prosper!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Outdoor Science Antics

This week, right after testing three out of my six grades that I teach... we are participating in stations. My second graders did potato stations...we planted potatoes and still have even more to plant! My third graders worked on echolocation stations...did we have fun playing Marco Polo style echolocation games as well as learning about animals that use echolocation through reading and watching some quick videos, but two of  my favorite activities this week are planting our pumpkins that the kinder "gardeners" planted from seed. Now their babies are growing up and need more space. Take a look my little pumpkins in the patch!
Working as a team, digging, and gently placing their plants in the hole, then making a hill to support the stem. I demonstrated and they did it all by themselves! One of my little pumpkins said, "It was the best day of her life!" One little pumpkin said, "Now, we are really kinder gardeners!"

I love the pride in their own pumpkin patch! This is why we grow a garden! We grow more than plants!
The great thing about stations is that I allow my students to self pace, as well as set a grade goal for how many stations that they can complete. It is very exciting to watch them work harder when their "grade" is at stake. We set it up as a scale of 4, 3, 2, 1 and covert it so they understand if they have advanced, proficient, basic, or minimal. It really does motivate them and the 4's get to the front of the line regardless of line order!

Here is an example of their ant station. We hit the mother lode! An ant colony with eggs, larva, and adults. We lifted the rock and wow whee did we watch them scurry to take the eggs and larva to safety! We then went back in to use the freebie I am including! Ant Antics Freebie is part of my  Insects In And Out of The Classroom Pack on TPT.

See the yellow clump...all eggs. Wish you could see them hustling. It was amazing to watch! What great observations that students were able to be part of!
Enjoy your antics whether you are out of school or finishing up the year!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Sunday Scoop

The Teaching Trio has another week's worth of the Sunday Scoop. Here is the scoop today...
I was such a lucky mom! I had all of my kiddos home for mother's day at one point. My husband tried so hard to make breakfast. I didn't go grocery shopping yet this weekend...poor guy. It was the thought that counts! I even got some pretty flowers for my pots today from my oldest! AWWW. That was so sweet, too! We finished it off with ice cream at our favorite local shop! Yum for the funky monkey...peanut butter, crunch, and bananas in a flurry!

Happy Mom's Day to all you mommies out there!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

This Week In Science...

Every day I teach Kinders through fifth graders. I love it, but each and every hour you have to change gears with a different topic.Here are just a few things we did this week!  I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world right now. It is my happy place! What is your happy place in your job?

Our School Garden Tulips...learning how to be insects!

This week...in space...the moon! 
 Check out this great moon phase song!
We also used EPIC books again! Love the non-fiction book choices! The Moon Book is great! Just enough for 4th graders! Great pictures! Check out EPIC for teachers!
It's Epic! - Books for Kids
I love this picture! Look at my kinders looking closely at our school garden. They were looking for treasures!
Here is a FREEBIE for you!


Darkling beetles and drawing a picture of a live specimen.

Looking at the indoor habitat of the mealworm!

I love the new pack I made for myself first...but for all now that I see how it works! Next week, butterflies!



Here is my insect pack that I have been using! Sorry to bug you, but it is a fun pack! Check it out...Insects In and Out of the Classroom.  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Sunday Scoop

Upnorth...and over 70 degrees here in Wisconsin. My boys are fishing...it's opening weekend, and Sarah and I are relaxing! I can't wait to work on a few of this week's projects. So...here is the Sunday

Scoop! Thanks to The Teaching Trio for this reflective linky!



I love insects. They are fascinating to littles, but sometimes FOSS doesn't have enough..."STUFF". So, I started making a new pack for them and it is going over big! Our painted lady caterpillars are now chrysalis...so next week we get to learn about butterflies! Our school garden is ready for planting...and this year with my 5th graders we are learning about Victory Gardens. I have been fortunate enough to have my father in laws WWII artifacts. Now that I teach science and not social studies...I don't get to use them, but I figured out a way to teach social studies in science!

So does anyone else feel that it is crunch time? I have to really start cleaning and getting ready for my summer classes that I teach for the first two weeks after school lets out. I just have to start my to do list and we are set to go...

This week, is scholarship night for my senior. Wish her luck! She is working hard to earn money for college through being a CNA this summer...she is certified...YES! But, scholarship money always helps!

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Currently May

It's May 2nd...my son's 13th birthday! He is my baby and now he is a teenager. Wow, time flies! It sure does...it is already May and I can't seem to be able to get everything done on my to do list! This month is going to fly by...it always does! Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade is once again hosting my favorite linky! Check out what I am currently doing...and while your at it, check out more of my science blog!



We are up at our cottage. So, let's just say we don't have a lot of options for television shows. So, MeTV has on an old black and white horror movie called Man-made Monster. 

Gotta' love that my BIG boy is now crashed out on the couch after being outside all day at dad's baseball tournament. Fresh air can do that to you, but before the kiddo fell asleep we went out to eat and all had YUMMY prime rib. We don't go out...hardly ever...it was a great treat!

It is time to start planting outside in our school garden. I have to plan what grade levels are planting outside this week! We are organizing a Victory Garden for 5th graders next week, but this week I think we can get our potatoes in the ground! How exciting!

I am needing to plan for my engineering courses that I teach at our local university for summer fun classes! I am really not ready...and I have to also set up the supplies for my oldest daughter to teach STEAM classes as well! Lots of things needing to happen this month...scholarship night this week, and graduation of our second, right around the corner! I need to organize it and so my to do list will need to be created and not lost!

MAY you have a great month!