My Store

My Store
My Store

Free Resources

Free Resources
Free Resources
Showing posts with label electricity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label electricity. Show all posts

Electricity Lessons That Help Learners Shine

Each year we start and electricity unit which allows students the ability to work hands on and to problem solve as a group...that to me is so electrifying.

The major focus in our electricity unit is to learn about the parts of a circuit. Whether that be the source meaning... the battery... the pathway... meaning the wires or the receiver which can be either the light bulbs or a motor.

We want them to be able to figure out ways to problem solve by learning what an opened and closed circuit is! We also want them to be able to work together to create a way for a switch to turn on and off the light or motor better yet... as we develop our skills in putting a circuit together  we can even add how to be able to work with insulators and conductors! 

 I love giving them a bag of insulators and conductors for them to test from spoons to sponges washers to paper clips they are able to connect and understand that all metal objects are conductors! 

The next big focus is to understand the difference between parallel and series circuits! By adding different light  bulbs to our circuit we can see the difference between the two, We really emphasize that series circuits work together one after the other after the other... just like a series of books or movies!  I like to use movies or favorite books like Avengers.  It sure can get kids to connect to the understanding of the difference between series and parallel easier!

 Here’s how I did it: Series vs. Parallel

For series circuits... I like the different types of movies that are put together one after the other so that if you miss one movie you might miss something really important in the story line. Why do Captain America and Iron Man have an issue with each other for example. 

For parallel circuits...We can look at the movie Avengers and see that there’s a parallel universe that can work separately from each other. What other movies show two things happening simultaneously without interference? That is the key to making those connections!

Think about a Series of Unfortunate Events. If you miss one of  the books, you might miss out of something that happened that led to it coming up in another book.  Using movies and books to be able to share the difference between a concept that might be a little bit more difficult is an important strategy to use in any classroom setting. 

Adding lesson such as static electricity as well as electromagnets are also really fun and hands-on ways to help students understand the concepts of electricity as well as magnetism and how they can go hand in hand. 

One of my new found favorites to finish up the unit...bristle bots.  I was able to use grant money to purchase this kits from Brown Dog Gadgets called Bristle Bots. There are some great step by stem picture tutorials that we used from PBS Kids site with video help, too!  

I love ending the school year with this unit because when these kids are so worn out from being tested they can be able to really work to gather any fun and engaging way trying to find an electricity pack that can work for you grab this pack below right here!
Electricity Unit and Resources

Hope I helped you find ways to add electricity activities to your science lessons. Thanks for joining me in the Science School Yard!
Shop Science School Yard TPT store!

Energy Goodies On My Christmas List

Now that my electricity unit is almost over, I wanted to find some new resources to add to what I am already doing. I remembered that this spring I got some really fun STEM lanterns from Tenergy, which was a new toy company building STEM products. I used them with my students and it  allowed me to teach how to read directions, as well as how we use energy in different ways. We focused on mechanical energy as well as the idea of potential and kinetic energy . It was amazing to see which one of my student teams could really understand how to follow each step to create a workable lantern!

On Thanksgiving...these lanterns will be on sale and I am picking up a few more to make sure that each group has one to work with!  You can find them on Amazon right here!

Some other fun items I have on my radar for my Christmas list are the GeoRobots which will allow me to add a solar activity to my energy unit this next spring. My eye is on this product because it is on sale on Black Friday! Here is the link for the GeoRobots! Whenever I can add a STEM kit at a reasonable price I am all for it! I have some STEM money left and this does hit two BIG ideas for me! Doesn't this look fun?
So now that I have some Tenergy items ready for my Christmas list...I have my eye on a great TomoRobot for our after school STEM class! I would love to build a robot and this Tenergy item is on sale Sunday! 
I love following companies that have great resources for my STEM and Science classes! Just thought I would share a few things on my STEM Chirstmas list....

What's on your list?
Here are some December ideas for Science and STEM from the Science School Yard~
something for everyone! Don't forget to check out my Gingerbread Activities, too!

Shop Science School Yard TPT store!

Science and Electricity Lighting Up Our Lives

Each year, with my fourth graders I work with the FOSS Magnets and Electricity Kit. It is one of my favorites I use with any of my Kindergarten through fifth graders. I love the discovery aspect of what each lesson can pose. I love the supplies that are in the kit, but I don't often love the lack of connections that it makes with the real world.

After attending the NSTA (National Science Teachers' Association) Conference last week, it reaffirmed the importance of story telling to make connections with our learners. Why are they doing an activity? What can they take away from learning a particular lesson? How can they connect to the information to retain it?

The electricity portion of FOSS is pretty good...we learn about circuits, but we add energy sticks to get a whole group participation and understanding of open and closed circuits...the small investment is big bang for your buck!

Letting students "discover" electricity is also an amazing ahaha moment in a classroom. Allowing them to find out how to light a bulb with a conductor, insulator, and source is key to their success in knowing how it all works! Let them "play" so that in the end experts can help novices and if you have an ipad it is also a great opportunity to have them video and record their results. We use Explain Everything App to do just that!

 Not only can they go back to see how to set up something they did the lesson before, but they can use it to study from. I also love the idea of using our iPads to review what we know about a concept.

When it comes to electricity, we use FOSS and my Electricity Unit and Resources Pack! I love the flexibility both give me to use the supplies in the FOSS kit, but utilize my sheets to teach the "BIG Ideas" such as parallel and series circuits, conductors and insulators, static electricity,  QR code game review, and electromagnets to just name a few topics we cover using both resources!

What I love is the new STEM activity that I added after going to the NSTA convention. I was inspired to make a story connect to what lessons we have to teach in our classrooms. I gave them supplies that I found in my car as I was camping...but I forgot the flashlight and I need something to light my way! What could I do to make a flashlight? What an amazingly fun STEM challenge and with their background in circuits as well as conductors and insulators they were up for building a Macgeyver like flashlight! This was perfect for a formative assessment of what they knew!

I have also found when I need to review a concept, giving the students the ability to work independently on a review by using a qr code and link on Google Slides helps them not only review, but check their work immediately.  I even found that if I want it to be used as a formative assessment check point I can put the slides on my smartboard and have them answer the questions by circling their answers and having me check their work.
Using all of these different hands-on activities such as the Digital Conductor and Insulator Review Pack has given me the flexibility to have my learners have multiple opportunities to show what they know! From discover...to experimenting...to assessing through QR codes or digital assessments their schema is building and that is what we want! Use  what you have to make those connections in any unit that you are working on...what supplies are available is the start... how can you make it make sense is up to you!

I would love to hear what fun activities you add to your electricity unit!!!
Shop Science School Yard TPT store!

Makey Makey Magic

STEM is about all four of those amazing letters! S=science...T=technology...E=engineering...and M=math! I was able to save some of my science budget money this year to invest in MaKey MaKey Boards for our school. My wonderful librarian and I are coordinating efforts to teach our students how to use them! I was a little nervous about setting up a lesson about something based on technology with no background in this product at all. I took a kit home...played around with it with my son...and wow it was amazing how exciting it was when I played my first banana bongo!

My students in fifth grade are two weeks ahead of schedule...so I decided to bring out the Makey Makey Boards...create a lesson linked with lessons found on Scratch and the rest is magic!

Here is what I did...
1. I first showed them the Makey Makey set up video...

2. I shared with them the scientific process and made sure that they knew that it was about trying...testing...troubleshooting...and then sharing!

3. Then, I shared with them how to get to the assignment...I set up a google classroom for the students to enter and find my sheet with direct links on. This is helpful when using one computer and one Makey Makey box per table.

4. Their goal was to first, make an instrument out of what was placed on their table. This is the fun part...on each table I placed a tray with different objects. (veggies, fruits, foil, play dough, school snacks, and treats) They are all great conductors!

5. I give them a piece of aluminum foil to ground themselves to. They can make a bracelet or arm band or even a ring.

6. I then let them have at it! It only took three minutes and I heard music once they got into the google classroom sight.
7. Once they play some music...they then have to create a controller for a game! They can choose Mario Brothers, Pac Man, or Tetris. Each of these games can be found at Scratch: Explore. I then looked for music and games then reviewed them.

I found this on my hunt to teach MaKey MaKey lessons...great fun connection to use if you want to!

8. We finish our fun up with groups able to create an art project that uses graphite to draw pathways that connect to the MaKey MaKey board! Not all groups get to this task...but before we wrap up we complete the sheet and rate the lesson! On a scale of 1-5 we averaged a 5 on this one!

MaKey MaKey Freebie Sheet and Links I used...
What I learned...using new technology might be scary at first, but the kids pick up on it faster than you think. Give something new a try...you might find out that your kids will love it! And so will you!

Rock On! Three Types of Rock...and Light it Up!Fi

There are three types of rocks in geology...igneous...metamorphic...and sedimentary! Sing it folks...

Great song to get kids flowing...I mean going!

Onto the book of the week for rocks...
What a great book for explaining the 3 types of rocks!

Now...onto the hands on part...I got this idea form Momma Owl's Lab. This is the easiest one for me to do five times. Crayons I have! This is just one of the grade level lessons of the week...

Next grade level FOSS fun...Let's see how electricity works...starting with this short, educational video...
Finding electricity conductors and insulators is a fun FOSS activity...but what can we do the rest of the time???? How about this website... BBC Conductors and Insulators Practice and... this great free worksheet...Conductors and Insulators Worksheet. Gotta keep planning...Have a great Wednesday.


Circuits are a SNAP!

I bought this great toy for my son a few years ago and it is so much fun, but doing the electricity unit and teaching vocabulary is not always easy with my fourth graders. So after I was Energy certified this summer...yes, I took three graduate credit energy classes through UWSP and now I have a cool certificate that I got to show my kiddos and share for my teacher effectiveness! I got some free money when I did that sooooo....

I bought some SNAP circuit kits! You can find them at Snap kit circuit kit site. We covered energy...
We covered what type of energy they were creating...mechanical? chemical? wind? Open and closed circuits! Amazing!


Schematic Drawings!

Wind and Chemical Energy!
Mechanical energy!
Going Green! The resource book in this kit is great!

What a way to tie in FOSS and Energy and give them a break from state testing!


Junk Yard Science and Flying Marshmallows

Found a great website to use to help the students use FOSS and yet connect it to what we are learning...variables. Here is the sheet I made to go with it and a quick video to show.
I included the answer key on the second page, and the link to the lesson I am using for the activity. 

Now, onto 5th grade. Here is the idea and sheet for my bigs as they build catapults for marshmallow shooters. I can't wait to see the marshmallows fly. 
                             Marshmallow Catapult Directions

Powered by Blogger.