Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Independent/Dependent Variables

I was online looking for independent/dependant variable lesson/practice for students and came across this excellent site. The teacher has posted PowerPoint lessons and activity sheets that can easily be modified for incorporation into science notebooks. I saved quite a few and plan to cut and paste what I think will work with my groups this year both for the notebooks and for quizzes.

Not looking for variable information? I still encourage you to check it out because she has PowerPoints from "What Is a Scientist?" to using the metric system.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

School Supplies and Sales

Today is July 21st and Walmart currently has composition books on sale for .45 (a great deal considering the cheapest I have ever been able to find them is .50).

I tend to buy what I need ahead of time - which helps if you want to pre-glue pages or reinforce the binding and edges with clear packaging tape. Once students come in with their supplies I collect a composition book to replace the stock I just purchased. Those get stored so I am ready for the next year. It is nice having the notebooks ready to go the first day of school.

If you don't want to put out that much money ahead of time I would recommend getting a few so that those students who are slow to get their supplies will have them when you get started notebooking (that is generally about 3-5 students per class in my experience).

If a child has purchased a Hannah Montana composition book or something they are really attached to I don't make it a big deal. I've only run into that problem a couple of times and they keep it and I quickly get their book up to speed.

In other sale news....KMART has Roseart brand colored pencils currently on sale THIS WEEK for .25 each (12 count). That is also a good deal. I stocked up on several packs for the classroom. Most students bring in colored pencils, per their supply list, but toward Christmas they tend to start disappearing and it is nice to have extras on hand. At our KMART the bin was not marked but it was listed in their Sunday ad. I was all prepared to point it out at checkout but they rang up correctly (they are actually listed as 4 for $1).

Business Cards - Our school does not provide business cards but they can be ordered for FREE at You pay shipping and handling (about $5.50 and you get 250 cards). I mention it primarily because shipping can take up to 20 days, per their website, so now would be the time to order them. I normally give my parents two cards during open house (one for them and one for anybody else who may be responsible for their child). There are a lot of cool things you can do with vista's free products. A colleague of mine put together a short slide show on her website of all the ways you can utilize Vista for the classroom (just scroll to the bottom of her page to view).

Happy school shopping!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Science Safety

Here is a link that I got from Marcia Krech who posted in response on My Science Lessons Blog (link to the right "my blog list").

It is a lab safety "What Not To Do" activity that I thought would be easy to add to the notebook, with the picture on the left hand side and the match up sheet (found at the linked site) that students have to fill out on the right hand side.

Thank you Marcia!

Bloom's Taxonomy Wheel

This wheel was posted by a 5th grade science teacher in NJ on her science blog (also linked to the right titled My Science Lessons). If you look at the green outer circle there are ideas for right hand assignments based on the various bloom's levels of taxonomy.

She has a lot of great notebooking ideas and pictures. I loved her PowerPoint mystery footprint lesson for observations and inference, which is downloadable.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Writing Strategies for Science

I met with another fourth grade science teacher (thanks Mrs. Felts) and she recommended the following book Writing Strategies for Science by Sarah Kartchner Clark. I looked through it and found several ideas that I could use in the notebooks that I could use or modify.

The book is kind of expense on Amazon $30 but you can buy it used or try (my favorite place for puchasing books...although sometimes the shipping can cost more then the book!).