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Showing posts with label rock cycle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rock cycle. Show all posts

Dave's Down to Earth Rock Display: STEM Springboard Book

I think it is often difficult to add STEM activities to a rock unit, but sometimes a random idea can create a great activity! Every year I read the book, Dave's Down to Earth Rock Shop(it is a perfect book for a rock unit because it really covers some great rock concepts), but this year I started to find myself needing to find some new challenges to add to what I have to already teach in FOSS Earth Materials for my third graders.

I came up with a way for all of the random rocks that get brought to me from my students because they get so excited about showing me a rock they find! Why not use the book and Dave's various displays to display our own rock collection! Here is what you can do to rock your geology unit, too!

STEM Springboard book: Dave's Down To Earth Rock Shop written by Stewart J. Murphy is one of those perfect books for this kit or any rock unit. It allows for students to review properties of a rock and  the rock cycle as well . The book does a great job also using a ton of great geography vocabulary as well as it covers Moh's Hardness Scale which we do in class. Click here or on the book to find your own copy!
Dave's Down-to-Earth Rock Shop (MathStart 3)
STEM Activity: The beginning of the book shows a child's collection from pennants to marbles. He displays them in a variety of ways. Dave also displays his rocks to show them off. We used a collection of rocks that students brought in as well as some of my favorites. I asked them what we could do to show off our rocks just like the book. We decided upon a display.

Constraints and Criteria:  I set the constraints and criteria. It must be at least three inches off the surface, allow two or more rocks to be on display, and be made out of at least three supplies provided. I will say not all of our engineers followed the design criteria and in their record sheet it is a great place to be able to reflect.

Materials: egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, cardboard, cups, paper plates, paper and masking tape

What is so wonderful, it is an opportunity to have students bring in rocks they collect or find. It lets them learn how to describe the properties of their rocks and to be proud of their findings. It connects them to science and geology! When they got to display their rocks they got even more excited to let others see their findings!

I thought it would really "rock" if I gave you the sheet that I use with my students! Click on the link for my free Science School Yard Rock Resource!
                                                   Free STEM Springboard Book Activity

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Rocks CAN Rock: 5 Ways to Engage

Do you ever have to teach a unit that might not be your favorite? Did you ever have to pretend to abso-lutely love the topic you are sharing with them? Try to ever make a weak unit EXCITING and AMAZING?

Rocks are one of those topics that I have had to really work at in order to create engaging and fun lessons to get my students engaged.  Well having to teach FOSS Pebbles, Sand, and Silt as well as FOSS Earth Materials was my BIG challenge.

So how do you make science lessons more engaging? 

1. Find hands on activities to get them actively engaged! Hands on fun exploration! Bring in resources, dig around your house for ways to get your kiddos digging in and learning from letting them play with a purpose!

For example, bring in shells and sand from the beach to learn about sand. Let them play in it as a reward for working so hard! Have lots of great samples for them to learn from....rocks, rock! Introduce fossils...volcanoes...and even scavenger hunts around the school looking for how we use rocks!

2. Use digital devices to connect your students to their activities on line!

Not only do we use Explain Everything to upload our activities to our background, our first through 5th graders actually take pictures to include what we are learning about, record their voices to share what they learned, and even make animation!

 I have to say...now that we do this...my students are more engaged and are more excited about the topics.

3. Use resources that are unique to spur excitement.

Lava rocks...fool's gold, STEM activities, real fossils, dinosaur puzzles so they can be archaeologists, great video clips, great picture books, and interactive theme based games that are educational. (Write the Room, SCOOT, Vocabulary Go Fish, Match Game...)
4. Grab a great picture book and get to reading and engaging through the message of your non-fiction book! From rocks...to volcanoes...fossils...to sand... bring in an engaging story to springboard an activity off of. See the fossil puzzle above? See the play dough and an easy way to make fossils? See the buckets of sand and shells? Our rock unit is a great way to bring in the idea of soil and dirt as well as worms!

5. Find the time!

Be excited and find a small corner of time in your week to make YOUR science school yard...child's play! Need some help finding great resources that will rock?

Rocks, Pebbles, Sand, Silt, FOSS, Digital Resources, iPad, Computer, Resources, Rocks


Science Rock and Roll

It was that time of year...time to finish our FOSS Earth Materials Stations...Moh's Hardness scale... Calcite Quest...Properties of a Rock...It isn't always the most exciting and at times it loses the kids. The kit can be loooonnnnggggg.

I know I am not alone. We all have units that make it hard for us to keep the kiddos attention. Units that we have to follow because of district initiatives. We follow the plans...we try to add a fun twist...we think "how can we shake it up a bit?"

To finish up on the Rock Cycle lessons that I added, I also mixed it up with a little "ROCK" and roll. QR codes are a great way to get kids actively engaged in concepts such as vocabulary, studying for a test, and reviewing concepts.

Sometimes my students scoot around the room....sometimes they have the cards at a station...other times like this we make it a competition.

Here is how it works...
1, Playing some rock instrumental music sets the mood. I just have it playing in the background lightly.
2. I share with the group that they are going to be rock stars today. Each time they pick a new card, that lead rocker will read the question, working as rock stars to try to figure out the answer.
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Rock Cycle Questions and Record Sheet...my students ROCKED IT!
In a group of 3-4 they take turns reading, having everyone record, checking the qr code for the correct answer, changing it if they are wrong,  and passing it to the number 2, then 3 rocker.... Each leader must also make sure that the same process is followed each time. Read, record, check, correct, pass to next rock star!

3. When each box is filled in with the correct answer, the band of rock stars must come up to me and show me that they rocked it out together. If they are all finished...first...I give them rock candy and a polished rock.
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The Rock Stars LOVED the candy rocks! 
4. We finish up by reviewing the Big Ideas of our FOSS unit and I continue to find other students that are "rockin' it" with sharing what they know about the scratch test...vinegar test, the difference between a rock and a mineral...

Here is a link to your own Rock Star Rock Cycle Review Freebie!
Rock On My Friends...we all can be rock star teachers and get our students to be excited about what we are teaching! Sometimes it's nice to get a little help from your back up band (with a freebie!)

3rd Grade Rocks

One of our FOSS kits is Earth Materials. We use it with our 3rd graders for ENCORE science. That means that I am a "specialist" who teaches our kiddos science for one hour per week. The teachers this year are to teach science in their classrooms using our theme or unit. Our district six years ago went to this model to give our teachers more prep time, and to get science to our students. In some rooms it meant more science and in others...less. This year, we have a new schedule that allows for our classroom teachers to enhance science in their rooms so I made this for my teachers to help me make.
We are learning about the rock cycle in our 3rd grade science classrooms. I made a little activity that helps our kiddos review the three types of rocks using a graphic I put up on the projector. We are in the middle of creating this book for review.  I will post pictures next week when they get closer to completion.  Check it out at TPT.

I  used the following resources to share with my classroom teachers:



Our kiddos loved this song, they know the tune and can sing along!

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