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Showing posts with label fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fall. Show all posts

Six "Apple"ing Apple Science Connections

Apples this time of year can be an "apple"ing way to teach students about so many science related topics. I love to grab some apples from a the store or a local orchard, any way you organize it...I apple-aud you!

Here are just a few ways that you can add apple themed ideas to your science lessons...

10 Apples Up On Top

I use this really fun video to tie in math and STEM! I use toilet paper tubes, red pom poms, and green tongue depressors to have student balance the apples up on top of their tree that they make. Before we watch the video, we learn the parts of an apple tree! It is actually amazing that the students in kindergarten and first grade don't know words such as bark, trunk, stem, and leaves.

A fun tip is to have them hug their trunk, stretch their branches, sway their leaves, and wiggle their roots!

Apple Senses

Apples are a perfect way to teach the five senses! Not only can they look and observe...they can feel how wet and sticky they are...they can hear the crunch...they can smell the sweet or sour...and of course they can taste!

I love to give them options to even add some math for a quick survey! Do they prefer green, red, yellow, or a mix of color such as red and yellow?

                                 Here is a link to a free apple themed pack for you! 

Apple Layers vs. Earth Layers

An apple is a great way to teach the layers of the Earth! The outside skin is like the crust of the Earth. The next layer the pulp or the flesh is like the mantle, and the thin line that separates the flesh from the seeds is the outer core. The outer core can represent the inner core.  You can even connect the stem to relate to the axis.

Apple Perspective

I love this activity for older students...I get a jug of apple juice. I dye a pitcher of it red, a pitcher of it green, and a pitcher I leave plain apple juice. I then ask them to use their sense of taste and let me know what kind of kool aid the red and green are. Then I give them apple juice and ask them what this drink is. We discuss perspective because the color changes what they seem to taste.  This usually blows them away! This activity and apple perspective can be found HERE!

Apple Preservation

We use lemon juice, Milk of Magnesia, baking soda, lemon juice, and water to test how to keep an apple from turning brown.  We learn why apples turn brown through a fun controlled experiment! This is a quick way to teach variables and controlled experiments.

Apple STEM Connections 

Apples are great way to build structures with. I cut the apples into small pieces and give each student a cup of apples and some toothpicks. We look at objects and nature or how fall is represented: in hay bails, pumpkins, football...then they build that structure. Students then try to identify what someone built!

Another fun STEM connection is to make an apple picking maze on the wall with toilet paper tubes and  red/ green pompoms. The students must make an apple chute/maze to get the apples from the tree or top of the chute to the cup at the bottom for collection. They need so many turns and so many tubes.

This pack is ready for you! Find Apple STEM Connections HERE!

Flipping Over Apples

One of my favorite ways to teach lately is to use flip books. I use to feel that I needed to use every page of my flip books, but I love using two sheets printed out on one page to have students use as stations! I love that I can also use it through multiple grade levels and pick certain pages for a specific class to use, which allows me to utilize the apples on our school apple tree in a more diverse way!

I use to feel that I needed to use each sheet  with a class, but time is really valuable and I only have an hour per week with each grade level. Find this Flip book by following this link...
Together we can make Science Child's Play and much more...APPLE-ing!

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Popcorn and Five Senses In Science

This week, we are wrapping up our five senses in kindergarten. What a perfect opportunity to find an inexpensive treat for some science fun! Let me show you how to integrate math, reading, and writing as well all by using Popcorn!

I went and bought a new popcorn popper for my kindergartners so that they could utilize all five. Not only can they see the popcorn popping, the can hear it, smell it, then feel it once it cooled down, and then finally taste it! I add a bit of salt to the bowl and we are good to go!

Let's Get Popping:

1. First set rules for how far they need to sit away from the popper. They will worry they won't get to see, but to be safe set up a barrier or a table they need to watch from.

2. Once popped and the senses that were reviewed and property words shared, send them back to their spots where you can set out a napkin or paper towel. I give each group a cup of salted popcorn and share that this is what they will get for the five senses activity.

3. I create an anchor chart that we then review with taste being the last one that we do. The words they describe are what I write down. We feel and describe, share what we smelled and describe, share what we see heard (it's hard to say anything, but pop...), and then we taste it!

4. While they are eating, I love popping up Epic Books, free to teachers, and finding The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola. I paraphrase for my kinders so they can understand the pictures.

5. When everyone is finished we head to the carpet for our Google Interactive Smartboard game! These slides are the best! I can have students come to the board after rewarding them for making good choices, listening right away, doing their work. I give out Smartboard Sticks with numbers on them. If I have 8 slides I give 8 sticks out and so on.

The students one at a time then go up and use the movable pieces to show what they know. It is a great way to assess if they understand the concepts! You can find the Popcorn digital activity and Stations HERE. 

6. When we are finished, we then work on more science along with writing and math connections. I use my popcorn packet to have students use the anchor chart to fill in a five senses chart of their own. The next station, I place out a jar with salt and seeds inside for them to observe. I also love dancing popcorn. Check out this video:

I included a free download for this activity HERE.

7. The math activity includes giving each of my students a popcorn bucket pattern or the real things from the Dollar Store. I make the different numbers on popcorn shapes that then go in a popcorn bag or bucket or even just turned around in the middle of the table. Students then turn two cards over, use real or paper popcorn patterns to count it out. They love this!

Popcorn and Senses a perfect combination! Pop on over to my store for other popcorn fun!
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Ten Apples Up On Top STEM and More!

This year has been a bit of a challenge with our classes of kindergarten that come into science this year. Roughly 1/3 of the kiddos already have an IEP... the majority of them are late birthdays so they are just 5...and academically they are very low. That poses a challenge in science because I so want them to start working on the NGSS standards and start learning basic concepts. I have had to really pull out of my bag of tricks to find ways to use my 30 minutes I have with them each week to first of all change up what I am doing every 5-6 minutes or I am losing them to wandering...giving up...not paying attention...interrupting. (Let's just say this 25 year veteran teacher after 15 minutes with them the first few weeks of school was sweating 15 minutes into the lesson...)

I am happy to report that I am starting to figure things out with this new group of kiddos! Not only do I use their reading program Super Kids to tie in the characters of the reading program, I also find ways to have them using STEM activities to get them actively engaged. Here is what we packed into 30 minutes this week!

We started off with a short story from EPIC books called I Eat Apples In Fall written by Mary Lindeen. Great book for kinders! It works on shapes, colors, senses, property words in a very simple format!

I Eat Apples in Fall (First Step Nonfiction - Observing Fall) by [Lindeen, Mary]
We then follow it up with this great song and video based on the book Ten Apples Up On Top! I am now singing it in my head at night after listening to it for five days in a row! Kids love it...I do, too!

The kinders got up and we snapped and clapped. Then we used our fingers to show the amount of apples up on top! 

STEM time! I placed in a bucket toilet paper tubes, tongue depressors, and red pompoms in different sizes. I even added extra tubes and depressors so that if they wanted to be creative with this activity they could! I told them that we were going to make trees with 10 apples up on top! I asked them to share (by raising their hand...and waiting to be called on) what the parts of a tree were. I pulled out the TRUNK... the tube...
the BRANCHES...the depressors...
and the APPLES...the red pompoms in different sizes! 
I sent them to a table where the buckets were setting out and let them build!

When they were finished they counted the apples up on top! Engineering and Math!

When finished...I gave them about 10 minutes, we went back to the carpet for a senses activity. I showed them the different shapes of the apple by cutting the apple in half to show them the circle and star. I cut little pieces in the shape of triangles. We then talked about our five senses. 
Not eating the apple slice yet...they shared what they smelled...saw...felt...and then I got them excited about being very quiet to listen to what an apple sounds like when we bite it! We then bit it and shared what we heard and what we tasted. I love when you ask how it tastes with suggestions such as sweet and tart and  every time someone says it tastes like an APPLE! 

Time for a quick graph! Did you like the taste of the apple? 
Yes...No...Kind Of

We color and place our vote on the graph as we line up at the door. We count the apples up on top of each heading~ in 30 minutes you can really teach many different science concepts!
From senses...to graphing...
shapes...to counting....
and my favorite STEM!
Grab a freebie here! This lesson is pretty "apple"ing!


Falling Into STEM

My 2nd graders just got done with their air and weather unit. I wanted to do something fun with them so I chose one of my STEM activities out of my new STEM Fall Into Thanksgiving Pack. I did this with older kids last week and I gave them more supplies. This week I tried it with littles and fewer materials made better trees. I love how they problem solved after we drew the parts of a tree in our notebooks and labeled the parts a tree has...

Take a look at their tree creations...
This tree's branches were sagging. I asked them what kind of tree it would be...we agreed either a tree knocked over by a tornado or a weeping willow.

This group struggled...but on their final attempt....the acorns and pine cones sat on top. They told me that the branches were together and didn't spread out.

I love how they started using the parts of the tree to describe what they still needed to include!

My two buddies on this STEM team started building a forest! They were able to make two and they were so proud of themselves!
The part I liked best is that I could let my students work on a quick and easy activity during this fall season. I am handing off the supplies and a fun book to my first and third grade friends for next week's first Paw celebration!

If you interested in this or 3 other STEM activities for Fall and Thanksgiving check out this pack!

Here is a treat for you...leave me a comment...I never get them...and I will pick one lucky winner to receive this pack for free!

I am Thankful For Teaching Science

Every day that I come to school, I hear teachers frustrated with the new math and reading programs. Their canned lessons do not allow for creativity and the joy of reading at times is being sucked right out of the classrooms.  I see teachers testing each week and progress monitoring ALL the time. I watch them as they drop off my kids and routinely say, "at least they will have some fun in science today...". I feel so fortunate to teach science to over 400 Kindergarten through 5th graders at my school. I guess I have made it my personal mission to bring joy...creativity...imagination... challenges... and hands on learning to each lesson I create each week.

Now...let me tell you...it isn't always easy.  I have a road map to follow with FOSS as my main lesson. The science teachers that teach the same lessons...now have a common assessment...so I do have to stick to the plan...but.....

it is really how I deliver it to my kiddos. Calcite detectives sure sounds better than we are now doing the calcite test.   Adding a fossil lesson to our Earth Materials lessons sure pays off...with Harbor Freight puzzles for 2.00 and the EPIC Book... Each team got a bucket of sand with the puzzle pieces in it. They had to dig for the bones...figure out what dinosaur they found...then just like the book make sure different people had jobs! The curators got to work setting up a museum for the dinosaur. It was EPIC!

Digging For Bones!
Researchers trying to identify their find...

The paleontologists putting their puzzle together!
 The excitement was contagious.  I am thankful that I am able to find ways to make connections with my FOSS lessons. Take for example the catapult lesson. Can be ok, but if kids know the background of catapults and then have a reason to learn about the variables so that they can storm the castle...well now we are talking. Here is the introduction video I used...they loved it!
Now for the connections...
Their castle calculations...what variables will they use to scale the castle walls?

The finished castles...

               These resources can be found in my Variable Pack...check it out at TPT. I also made a new STEM Fall Into Thanksgiving Pack along with five other STEM packs. I did this primarily because my teachers are able to have a 45 minute reward time twice a month and they needed some easy ideas. They are so excited to be able to add STEM into their classrooms and allow the students to learn and have fun! Here is the pack we are using this month!

What are you thankful for? I am thankful for everyone that comes to visit the Science School Yard. Let me know if there is anything you ever need!

Leaf It To Me

It is sooo cold here in Wisconsin. I had recess duty and yikes was I coooold. I watched the leaves fall from the trees and got kind of sad. So, tonight I thought I would make something my olders in after school class could do to capture what's left of fall.

I should read this one... I will check to see how sad it is considering my son just pointed out the one leaf hanging from our maple. I think I will use this with my olders... (so I am added my comments after I read the books, oh my what a beautifully illustrated book! Love it. I used this book for both groups. Too beautiful not to!)

and this with my youngers!

Click for more information on this title

Two good choices from our school library. 
Happy Fall Y'all!

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