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Dr. Seuss Connections in Kindergarten through 5th Grade!

Read Across America week and do we have things planned! My Media Specialist and I have come up with some clever ways to integrate Dr. Seuss into library and science time! Teaching K-5th grade science allows me each and everyday to see the rotation of grades...so each day I see bigs and littles.

Sometimes, my bigs come in (3-5th grade) and they see all of the projects with art connections that my little are doing (K-2) and they get a little jealous...funny I also think my littles get jealous of the fun science activities that my bigs are doing, too!

I decided that I would challenge myself to find a Dr. Seuss book and idea that fits into what we are already doing!


Digging Dinosaurs In Science

Kids really DIG building and creating! I love to try to find ways then to add STEM activities.

We just finished our first grade FOSS kit Pebbles, Sand, and Silt so it was time for a STEM connection! We learned about Paleontology and Fossils and now its time to build our own dinosaurs!

Let's set up a STEM lesson to see how easy it can be for you, too to add some STEM to your day!

First, Grab a Picture Book!

 I started with this great interactive book where we get up and do hand motions for each of the pages. Dig, dig, dig those dinosaurs...This is a quick book to get them remembering what Paleontologists do as well as what a museum looks like!

Dig Those Dinosaurs

Next, I ask them a question to get them thinking. 

I asked them what types of characteristics did dinosaurs have that helped them survive when they lived on Earth?

We made an anchor chart that helped us write our ideas down before and after the book.

We are going to take a look at another book that will help us see the adaptations that helped both herbivores and carnivores survive.

This is a great book that shows how dinosaurs were different sizes and how they compare to animals that they know. I make sure that they are constantly looking for ideas to build their own dinosaur.

It also shows how herbivores and carnivores lived as well as how they defended themselves.
The students are able to see the spikes, clubs, plates...to add to our list of adaptations.

I share with them the supplies that they can use to make their dinosaur. I ask, "can you see how to make a dinosaur that has legs to stand on and ways to protect themselves or survive? Remember all the adaptations that they can have."

I show them toilet paper tubes, cubes, ten frame, 100 frame, and 1000 frame blocks, masking tape, construction paper, and pipe cleaners.

How Big Were Dinosaurs?

Once you share the items and your anchor chart  list is complete it is time to follow the Engineering Design Process! 

1. Ask
2. Imagine
3. Plan
4. Create
5. Improve

I send my dear students back to their iPads where they open up their Science Notebook in Explain Everything. They start to design and plan what they will create!

Once they have a labeled diagram, they can go to the supply table, get a bucket, and fill it with what they put on their supply list.

Now it is time to create! Sometimes they get stuck. I try not to do anything for them, but I do give them ideas to try. I really want them to problem solve!

When time is almost up, I let them know it is almost time to share. They must share what items on our anchor chart they incorporated into their design. This gets them thinking about the list again which helps them remember what adaptations are.

Time to SHARE!

Sharing is a key component to the engineering design model. It allows your learners to put into words what worked and what they could modify. It also is a chance for others to give compliments and advice!

This is our favorite part. You can do this with partners, table groups or as a large group. We then set up a museum for everyone to come and see.

Kids love learning about different types of dinosaurs...did you ever worry that you said one of the names wrong? Here is a quick video that does a nice job explaining the names and what they mean.

If you are looking for a fun song to share with your kids as they work...here is a fun little ditty...

Need these lessons all laid out with writing connections and STEM activity sheets. Check out my new line of STEM products, STEM Let's Build...



Milk Makers: Changing Liquids to Solids

I love opportunities to help my students learn a little bit about the jobs provide us with products that keep our community in the spotlight. The Dairy Industry helps our own community as we have several cheese factories as well as Dairy farms even just a mile down the road.

The dairy cow is our state Domestic animal. We see them as we drive in the country…However even if you are NOT a dairy state this lesson is a great opportunity  for you to do an easy and quick lesson on how butter is made.

Literally, all you need is a jar with a lid, whipping cream, and a bit of salt! Get your kiddos in a circle and shake. Two minutes later or two times around the circle and you have yourself butter! I love all of the other connections we can make. We use math by creating a survey and vote on if we like butter or not. Seriously…it is so tasty and after the kids get a taste on a cracker…they are hooked!

Here is what I do:
1.     I ask them what are things we get from a cow. We make a list on an anchor chart

2.     I ask them if they know how milk is produced. I  then proceed to share with them that we will be learning about milk makers. We make mammal connections, but we discuss specifically that we will learn about dairy cows.

3.       I show an old Reading Rainbow that reads Milk Maker by Gail Gibbons, but it also does a               great  job adding lots of great details about cows.

4.       I then share with them how we will make butter.

5.     We make butter and then before we taste test we write the process of how to make butter.  A           bit of inspiration in order to taste test…work first then eat!

6.     When we are through taste testing we make a dairy cow art project.

7. We follow it up with our math connection graphing! If you are interested in making butter in your room and need some help…check out my Milk Maker Let’s Make Butter Pack!

Find the Milk Maker: Let's Make Butter Pack HERE

Help butter them up with fun and engaging activities that can teach a bigger concept...Changes in Matter! 

Science Hand in Hand with STEM Prosthetics

I am always looking for ways for my students to feel like they can make a difference. Always looking for ways that my students who come from poverty don't always have to worry about buying supplies to make a cool project. During our 5th grade FOSS Levers and Pulleys Unit, for example, we use the video Caine's Arcade to incorporate STEM and the Engineering Design Process to show how something that one person can do does make a difference. The video also inspires young people to be creative even if you don't have a lot of supplies...a plain cardboard box can become something more than a container. It can open up new possibilities and allow for a young brain to think outside the box...so to speak!

If you are like me...you might be trying to find ways to make your science lessons more engaging while making sure that you still cover the standards that your district requires of you. Our district requires me to use the FOSS units and for our 4th grade right now, we are in the middle of the FOSS Human Body Unit. I was thinking...how can I have an engineering project that still focuses on the human body, but lets them get a break from the FOSS kit. I came across a video that once again inspired me! Take a look...

Just like Caine's Arcade, young people are making a difference and changing people's lives this time! What a great way to spark their interest and get them hooked. Now...how to set it up...

How To LOVE Science...Use A Holiday!

Valentine's Day is just two days from now. This post is either too late or just on time. It is harder and harder these days to fit some science into your busy schedules...oh I know. Even as I teach science everyday...getting our kiddos engaged and focused on tier three words is often very difficult.

One great way to add a little holiday science into your day is by attaching it to a holiday and bringing in all of your components...reading, writing, math, STEM, and science!
valentine's day, STEM, digital activities, science connections
I am all set up for next week's second graders as we get ready to see what happens to candy hearts...our solid...as they get added to a liquid...water, vinegar, and soda! What a great way to add some fun as we are in the middle of our FOSS Solids and Liquids unit! To add to the fun I created a math connection, STEM activity, and writing! I use the writing sheet on our iPads by taking a picture, next saving the image, then air dropping to my kiddos! These activities will be used with my Kindergarten, and First graders, too!
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