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Showing posts with label freebie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label freebie. Show all posts

Cha...Cha...Cha...Changes: Life Cycles Freebie

Each year, in our FOSS Insects Unit, we raise butterflies in our science classroom. It is always an amazingly wonderful experience for the students to watch the Painted Lady Larva transform from larva...to pupa...and then to an adult butterfly!
This lesson helps students learn about life cycles as they observe a metamorphosis, bringing them closer to nature and the common standards that we must cover during a given school year. We tie picture books with writing activities...add in some science inquiry...and maybe a little math graphing. Whoa-la...we have integration!

At a recent conference, many of the teachers received a life cycle of a mosquito and life cycle of a worm freebie. I heard several winners say, "what am I going to do with that?"
Let's Take A Look...

Big Ideas:
  • Organisms reproduce, develop, have predictable life cycles, and pass on traits to their offspring
  • Organisms and their environment are interconnected
  • Changes (whether caused by nature or by humans) may effect the other parts of a system. 
Essential Questions:
  • How can we use models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles, but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death?
  • How can we analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and that variations of these traits exist in groups of similar organisms?
  • How does one's environment influence these traits? 
  • How do an animals traits help them survive, find a mate, and reproduce?
Thinking About Outcomes:
  • By bringing in worms or mosquito larvae can students learn about the needs of living things?
  • By starting a worm bin and learning about composting, or by looking outside for examples of stagnant water, can students learn about an animals' environment and how they survive?
  • Can students learn to observe, measure, chart, graph, and record with drawings, writing, and interpreting data though a life cycles lessons?
  • Can students learn about interdependence between animals and plants through worms and mosquitoes? (any animal for that matter)
  • Can students learn about the hazards facing us or an animal? 
Whether it be NGSS or TEKS...state standards or your district's standards, life cycles are the core ideas of each and every standards based curriculum at one point in K-5.

One of the latest classes that I took this summer to help me develop as a science educator was using the book Inquire Within. Inquiry based science is student-centered in approach. Set out the plastic life cycle pieces and see where the inquiry takes you. Let students lead the discussion. Bring in samples and show them what you have. Start with an I wonder...see where the process takes you!

We are always seeking to motivate students what better way than to use life cycles tools and real animals to get them excited and enhance learning for all different learning styles. Life cycles may be our students first experience with biology! By having students identify different species students are able to see the process that living things take and learn to appreciate different animals. In the spring, we study insects. You can take a look at my Insect pack HERE.  I mean all different insects and their life cycles...crickets...darkling beetles...ladybugs...butterflies...bees...I even get pond water with tadpole eggs to compare different animals. (Lenard the Frog was just released this week after taking him home and watching him through his changes!) From there my friends...bring out some seeds and grow! Another spring board to watching a life cycle, but this time plants!

For those of you checking out my blog this pack is free here! Enjoy!


A Sour Taste in Science...

Yep...friends! Science can leave a sour taste...because of lemonade that is!!! Especially if the recipe is too concentrated with lemon juice or too diluted! This lesson is one I use for many reasons...

1. A wrap up for our FOSS Mixtures and Solutions vocabulary review...
2. A fun way to connect what we learned with Kool Aide and create a way for my students to make their own recipe using math measurements!
3. Connecting reading into my science classroom!
4. Letting my students be facilitators of their learning!
5. A way to assess vocabulary and still have fun!

I have created a freebie for you...everything you will need to make this marvelous story come to life and make science simple! The kids will find that even though it might be sour...science sure is sweet!
George's Marvelous Medicine Freebie HERE
Science is marvelous!


A+ Images: Free Blogger T-shirts for Teachers!

Have you heard of TeacherShirts.com by A+ Images

A few weeks ago I heard about how I could get a custom teacher blogger shirt for FREE! I love freebies, and signed up for a blogger meet up in October...what a perfect way to share who I am...and my little blog in the middle of Wisconsin. I took advantage of their limited time offer and uploaded my logo on their easy to use online design tool. Within minutes I had created my own custom blog t-shirt! They had tons of t-shirt colors to choose from, and I love how perfect the color turned out! The material and quality of their t-shirts are excellent! I washed my t-shirt and it still looks great...no fading or shrinking!

A+ Images is a family owned business located in Indianapolis, IN. I love the fact that they are family owned, and anyone purchasing their products are helping support a family rather than a large corporation. My husband is a PE teacher and coach and routinely needs t-shirts for school. I can't wait to find a way to give back to a great business that sees what we do as valuable! 

You can purchase their ready made designs or create and upload your own. They can even add "bling" to your shirt using rhinestones, or if you prefer they can do custom embroidery. They are super easy and friendly to work with, and they ship fast! While on their website, I noticed so many awesome teacher t-shirts! I'll definitely buy from this company in the future.


I Am Thankful For...Freebie!

I am so very thankful for my blogging friends...visitors...and anyone else who pops on by my site! I am appreciative that you are here and that you stop by to see what I am doing in my science school yard with my 400 kiddos! To thank you for being here...I have posted a small freebie that my second graders were working on as they finished the acorn trees and mazes. They couldn't get enough of the fun hands on STEM activities. Check out the  pictures of their hideouts! You can have fun with this one this week as we get closer to Thanksgiving.
Can the turkey hide in here???

Maybe a scary sign will deter the hunters...

Bars might keep them out!

Here is what to do...
1. Pick a fun Turkey Trouble story where poor turkey might be dinner...
2. Set out materials for them to get or have them ready at the tables...
3. Let them build their own little turkey hide out to help the turkey not be dinner!
4. Place the paper turkey inside the hideout and then...
5. Let the kids share their ideas and reflect with their sheets.

A little writing...a little reading...a little science and engineering! If you like this freebie...take a look at my STEM stations on TPT.

Download your freebie station HERE.
Thanks for stopping by! I am thankful for you!

Camping Trip Engineering Fun!

We are in the middle of a weather unit. We have made pinwheels, anemometers, wind vanes, wind gauges, and more! The words are hard and the kids like that, but it was definitely time to do an engineering activity. I took a look at the NGSS science standards based on weather and climate. Low and behold I found a great kindergarten NGSS standard based on asking a question to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.

We started off by setting up for our camping trip. We read an EPICs book about camping and discussed what you have to pack and do once you get to a campsite. I then send the campers to different tables to set up a site. I give them a little time to gather materials on my supply table and outside in our school garden.

As they are working I announce loudly, "Weather Alert! Weather Alert! Please view your television for further information!" I give them a picture of a television with their city and a severe weather condition. From heat wave to flood...hurricane to wind storm they needed to adjust their site to now deal with the new forecast of severe weather. I added water to the flood tray....a lamp for heat wave...a fan at the wind sites...snow (cotton balls) to add to the mood!

Here are the results...

Our students then presented to the group their campsite so that we could see how they would survive severe weather. This activity was a great success! Here is their sheet we used...Enjoy!

Here is the   Weather and Camping Engineering Sheet for you!!!


Lifeboat Engineering Challenge

This week, after learning about the Titanic...we did our FOSS lifeboat lesson. Why do we start it off with the Titanic? To make history connections with science and make it meaningful to why we are making lifeboats in science.

The book we read is from Epic books, but before the kiddos come in I meet them at the door and have them each pick a steering ticket. When they come in they go to a lifeboat that is numbered. The closest boats to me are first class, then second, and then finally third class.

We use the book to share the background. The students get an idea as to what happened and how the lifeboats were used or not used. Then, we use the video to continue the importance of why we are learning about lifeboats!
Now...time to build our lifeboats. We create a harbor for all of the boats that are created. Each table group is a Boat Company who has a company name. When their FOSS sheet is done, they can work on the engineering project!

I then prep them for the engineering part...I am a rich entrepenuer who has a business where we give boat tours. For every person that buys a ticket...I make MONEY! So, I want to comission each company to build me a boat that would fit the most passengers on it...capacity! The winning boat company will earn 100 Grand! (a candy bar!)

Here are some pictures of the events in class...

Using Tier 3 vocabulary words to get students more excited about making FOSS lifeboats helps them build experiences! Check out the boats in the harbor. We have a fleet of boats ready to go!

Students work as a team to finish their FOSS activity and graph...once done they get to engineer a boat for me (a rich business owner who wants to invest in a tourist cruise line. I would charge $100 dollars a ticket...so the more the tourists the more I will make!)
Each group got only one piece of aluminum foil. The key to each getting paid $100,000 was that more tourists must fit in their boat compared to any other boat company! (100 Grand Candy Bar...FYI)

 Here is our Lifeboat Reflection Sheet Freebie that we used to wrap up our activity!
Happy Sailing!

Digging For Gold In Science

Funny thing is...I was a social studies minor. I never really had a great science teacher to get me excited about science. So...when I can take a social studies topic and combine it with a science I am golden! Here is an idea for your school garden...

Last year, my second graders planted potatoes. Little did they know they would be digging for gold...Yukon Gold to be exact. This little lesson is a great way to teach the gold rush, measurement,  and Earth Materials. Here is the Freebie Link For You!!

First...I had the kiddos come in and get them excited about digging for gold. I put the book Gold Rush on Epic books up on the Smartboard. I shared the book and compared what they would be doing outside. When the story was done I had each student pick a card: either I will get to California by boat or I will get to California by boat. They found a partner with the same card. (Just a fun way to find a new partner....) The boaters got to pick a tool at the mercantile...then they were off to stake their claim (using spoons with their names on them as their stakes.) Each spot was in a grid pattern.
Marking a grid in the potato patch...staking a claim...and digging for gold!
The students had a set time to dig for gold. The boaters got three extra minutes in the garden...finally the covered wagon crew. When they found gold...it was magic!
Look at that gold! This is a great way to start our FOSS Earth Materials unit! Digging in the Earth to find rocks and minerals!
Next, we needed to see who had the "mother lode"! We spend two weeks learning how to use a scale and measure in grams. Once again using a garden helps tie in social studies, science, and math!
Using a scale to measure how much each prospector was able to find was a great connection to math! 
Next, it is time to record our weights on our graph. Keeping record allows us to see which group out of 4 classes doing this activity actually hauls in the "mother lode". You can see some kiddos in the background even weighing their potatoes again!

How exciting for the kids to reap the benefits of what they planted in second grade in a great lesson about history!

Prep: gridding a potato patch, getting spoons ready with markers, setting out a mercantile with tools, printing sheets and cards up, letting them dig, having them measure, then reflecting on learning. A highly productive lesson to teach science...social studies...and math! I love that we could use our school garden in such a successful way. These potatoes will be our September Harvest of The Month!

Measuring Up The First Day Back!

What a great first day of school. Working with every Kindergarten-fifth grader in our school is amazing. It may be a bit of juggling as I transition from a 5th grade class that is followed right away...not a minute between by a first grade, but I am up for it! Today, was called hit the ground running! Because I know all of them!!!! I can get started with not too much review!

My fourth graders worked on things that help our learning STICK! Then we worked right into magnets! See the transition! We did a KWL followed by them getting to just explore and play!
I love watching them figure out the balls...the magnet chips, and the magnets. I then add the vocabulary words attract and repel on the board. I ask them to show and tell their team what each word means. It is amazing that each student can show what they know! I then gave them a bag of items to test. This year...we are doing FOUR OUT THE DOOR! They must show me what they give themselves as a self assessment on my rubrics with four being the best! I have included the rubrics for you. One is for content...one is for writing, one is for analyzing, and the last is for effort.

                           Science Rubrics Download...FREEBIE

We use FOSS so we did a quick FOSS sheet and then I read a book from EPIC books about magnets! We learned about Iron and Steele and how they attract things that are magnetic! Great quick read and a free sight for teachers!

I also taught my firsties about scientists tools! The kiddos loved the stations! I had them using scales, thermometers, rulers, and timers! The hands on activities helped my little ones get through a whole hour with not too much fuss!
Third graders are also doing similar stations as they learn the metric system! Get them up and moving...get them working as a team! Get them self-assessing! Science=Success!

Happy Back to School! Happy Classrooms!

Scavenger Hunt Freebie

Always looking for ways to make your job simpler! Here is another fun way to get kiddos outside and working on science and math! Scavenger hunts are great ways to get our students actively engaged...working with partners...being outside...following and carrying out a plan! Whether in a school garden or in a school yard get the kiddos growing!

Here is a quick freebie to create a fun back to school "field trip"! Take your pick...School Garden or School Yard...


Scavenger Hunts...Fun Outdoor Field Trips

Always trying to find fun ways to get the kiddos outside! Here are two different scavenger hunt freebies that you can use with your students in the garden or in the school yard! Think of it as your own little Science School Yard!

I love finding ways to get them using math, too!  Here is a great book link as well that I use before we head outside...
Seriously a great book for having kids look closely at nature. This book allows them to practice what they will do outside as they take a closer look around them. With this book...you can also draw a picture after they come in and have them hide different things among their drawings and write just like the author. It is like a Where's Waldo...but all about the great outdoors!

Just click on the link for your scavenger hunt freebies! Scavenger Hunt Freebies...in and out of the garden! Thanks for joining me in my science school yard! Stop back regularly to find more simple science ideas, book links, and freebies!


Simple Science: Dadelions

This is the first in many posts that I will be sharing this year as we all find our niche. Several emails that I received or even blog comments have been about how to add science into the school day. Science is like that dandelion...you can see it as a weed, or a flower. Here, at the Science School Yard I will focus on how to help you make science simple.

Maybe it's just a science trade book and worksheet...maybe it's a book and an easy STEM idea with simple household items...maybe it's an NGSS science concept using the scientific method in an easy, set for you plan.

I know that your scheduled are packed with reading, writing, and math and sometimes science is hard to "fit" in, but if I can help you make it simple...that is what I am here for...

It is the end of the summer school cycle, our garden is in...and now it is time to learn about weeds. During the last week of summer school, my littles (K-1) will be learning about the dandelion.  My students love time lapse...here is a quick one to show the life cycle of the dandelion!

We use a great picture book to help make connections on how seeds can travel once we write our ideas down!

Next, we learned about the life cycle through pictures. We followed it up by going outside to find each stage. The kids love being able to go out into the school yard for their "field" trip. I give them the sheets I have been working on in a dandelion pack. Stay tuned...but here is A SNEAK PEEK FREEBIE.

Hope this small taste of science will get you thinking of how simple it may be to add some science to your school day! And for even more Dandelion fun and activities...check out my Dandy Simple Science Stations...A Dandelion Pack on TPT!

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