Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekly Lesson Plans

This was a short week because we had Monday off for Labor Day and I had a substitute because I was selected for jury duty on Tuesday (and we all know how we just love making sub plans...ha!...luckily it was only for the one day).

This is what we did for the week.

Monday (with substitute) - They started a mini science fair board in their notebook for an experiment that we did involving soda and different types of coozies (this is an example of how I abandon the right hand/left hand rule....I glued mini science fair boards on both the right and left hand side because we had done two experiments).

Tuesday - Group review of everything we had learned to date (lab safety, observations / inferences / predictions, qualitative and quantitative observations, scientific method, and variables). I explained that while we had filled out lab data sheets for our experiments we still needed to present our information in a more user friendly format (hence the mini science fair boards - I was trying to show how easy it is to put together a science fair board since they have to do one in a couple of months). I let them work independently on finishing up the soda and coozie board. I put Big Band music on in the background to control the noise....if I can't hear the music it is too loud.

Wednesday - We had not finished filling out the lab sheet for a button experiment we had done last week so we did that. The experiment was to see who adapts faster to having their thumbs taped down - boys, girls or adults? All groups had their thumbs taped down and had to button five buttons on a shirt and were timed. This was my first time with this experiment and I would change some things next year but the students enjoyed it. When we went over the information I had students isolate the variables, review hypothesis, and we discussed how scientific data is graphed on the x and y axis (used "dry mix" to help them out), etc. They then worked independently on finishing up the coozie and coke mini board and started the button up board. Again played music and circulated around the room to make sure students were on task.

Thursday - Gave them the day to finish up both science fair boards. I am grading this weekend. Students who were done were to work on a lab safety poster for the classroom. Students who were done that were given a scientific method puzzle to work on. I had two hard charging girls compete everything with time to spare and set them up making a title for where I was putting the safety posters. They did a cute job and I was spared from having to do it!

Friday - We are starting our weather unit next week so we did our title page in our notebook (one block had a weather tool, one block had a picture of severe weather, the third block had a weather safety tip, and the last block had a pictures of a weather map symbols). I asked students to tell me some tools that you would use to measure the weather, what kinds of severe weather people experience, what are some good weather safety tips, and then we looked at the weather map on and made observations about the symbols. This is a great activity for informally pre-assessing what students know. I then reviewed the standards for the unit (in kid friendly terms). Discussed what we will be learning. Showed off some of the weather tools they will be making and took them out to our weather station.

PICTURES - Top - A look inside one of our mini science fair boards. Middle - A weather title page complete. Bottom - A look at the outside of the mini science fair boards in the notebook.


John said...

Sounds like a busy week. great photos. I would like to know more about the adaptation/button lesson

5th Grade Science said...

Thanks so much for sharing your lesson plans, I love seeing what other teachers are doing in their classrooms! Love the mini-science fair board idea!

Eve Heaton said...

John - Students were isolating independent and dependent variables in several examples on the board. One example asked about the speed of buttoning a shirt with your thumb taped down vs. without being taped down. The students all wanted to try it. So the next day I got a couple of my husband shirts and tried it. It did not go well in my first class. Students weren't engaged, it was taking too long, etc. So with my second class I changed the question to who adapts better to having their thumbs tied down - boys, girls, or adults. We listed what we knew about all three groups (boys possess good hand eye coordination, girls develop faster, teachers are older but wiser, etc). They then had to make a hypothesis based on what we knew about the different groups. I was able to get two groups going and activly engage 8 children (rotating them) in three different rounds (one person had the shirt on, one was buttoning, one was timing, and one was making sure they didn't cheat). I minimized the button number to only having to do 5 buttons on the shirt and capped the time to 4 min. max. It went much better after that and we recorded the data. Really the point was to show them the steps of the scientific method, how to design an experiment and the importance of recording data. Was it the "best" experiment? Probably not but it was inexpensive and fun for my fourth graders.


Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and love it! I have a question about the weather title page: do you go over the information first and then have the students complete the title page, or do they do the title page first and then you go over the information? I would like to use this with my second graders and I am trying to figure out the best way to do it. Thanks!

Eve Heaton said...

In the case of my weather title page I drew a title page on the board and asked students what kind of tools do they think are needed to study the weather? I then drew a picture on that spot on the board. Then I asked what kinds of severe weather have they ever seen on TV or here in town then drew something in that block. I went through each block asking students to give me idea of what we can draw in each block. This really helped in preassessing their knowledge of weather (the third block had a weather safety drawing and fourth block had weather map symbols). I had one class that could only think of very basic weather tools and another class that was suggesting things like doppler radar and satellites. After we did it together as a group on the board I had students draw it in their book. They had the option of drawing exactly what I did or they could draw any of things that were mentioned when we discussed the specific blocks. I liked this method. You can also use the textbook to get ideas for pictures to put in the blocks (which is what I will probably do for our next unit - Astronomy).


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!

Vero McLane said...

I'm reading your blog for the first time!! What an awesome job you are doing with these notebooks. I'm starting my own version of the notebooks with my 3rd graders. In your lesson plan description you mentioned various activities you had them work on... the scientific methods puzzle, and others... would you mind describing them for me some or if you have those... maybe sharing those :) As a newbie to the ISN's I'm feeling stuck as to what to have them do when they are done... or finish quickly, Thanks

Thanks so much!!!