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Showing posts from November, 2009

Catch Up Grading

Another grading technique I use for the notebooks is assigning a "catch up" day (usually a Friday and in conjunction with a quiz). As students are finished their quiz they get their notebook and work on completing the required pages. Then they come to me to get their notebook checked. I have a spread sheet and I mark off that we met and what grade they received. I can do a lot of grading quickly that way. I am usually left with a handful that I still have to get after class to grade but it is less cumbersome. This is a great way to get the coloring done, which is the one thing that tends to get pushed to the side if we are running out of time.
If you periodically grade this way it is important to have something for students to do when they are finished. For forth grade that is can have them make a poster of some topic you have been studying to put up in the classroom, you can let them check out the nonfiction section of your bookshelf and read up on any topic they…

Lesson Plans - Astronomy Unit

Monday - Showed a PowerPoint I made comparing and contrasting the characteristics of the Earth and Moon and discussed with students. Showed an excellent ETV streamline video (A Closer Look at Space - The Moon. Approximately 20 minutes.) on the subject. No notebooking activity.
Tuesday - Read the left hand information reviewing characteristics of the Earth and Moon. Showed Brainpop on both the Earth and Moon. Worked on Earth/Moon popup books (I made the books and students colored and cut the moon and Earth gluing it in the popup location. Students had to list five ways the moon was different from the Earth and five ways the Earth was different from the moon. They also had to trace a path from the moon around the Earth in the popup and note the number of days it took to go around).
Wednesday - Lesson - Why do we see different phases of the moon? Right hand assignment was to start a moon calendar, which we will update daily until Christmas break. I made the calendar full page size and sh…

Unfinished Projects - Astronomy

I had quite a few students who did not use their time wisely while working on their planet accordion project. I could not dedicate any more class time to finishing so what I did was seal an envelope and cut it in half. I glued it into the notebook and put their cards inside of the envelope. On the outside of the envelope I gave them their grade, based on amount of work completed, and listed everything that was incomplete. I am giving students until we break for the holidays to complete for a better grade on their own (giving them the opportunity to come into class early, work on it during homeroom, or stay in for recess to complete if they wanted). The completed project will then be glued over the envelope once complete.
So far I have only had three students take me up on the offer.

Lesson Plans - Astronomy (Planets)

Whew...this week was one of those topsyturvy weeks that threw us off schedule slightly. We had H1N1 shots administered Monday, a field trip Tuesday, no school on Wednesday.....looking forward to a "normal" week :)

Monday - Showed students the International Year of Astronomy Trailer on YouTube and explained how 400 years ago Galileo used his telescope for the first time. Played the song "On the Shoulder of Giants" for students (video with the song can be found on my website - my students last year LOVED the song and had it memorized!). Showed a PowerPoint I made about the planets in order (had students line up as planets with smaller ones being the rocky inner planets and the taller students being the gas giants - threw some students in there to be the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. I picked a student wearing red to be Mars and I lucked out with twins in one of my classes so I made them Venus and Earth). Students got to practice trying to say the planets in…

Lesson Plan - Start of Astronomy Unit

We just got back after a week long fall break and it was a short week for me. I attended and presented at the South Carolina Science Council Convention in Myrtle Beach Thursday and Friday (notebooking and blogging) so there was sub work for the students.

This is what we did in the notebooks this week.

Monday - Put together the astronomy title page and reviewed the standards for the unit. I also went over the vocabulary for the unit with a Promethean slide show and, as I was reviewing the vocabulary, students were filling out their bingo boards for the unit.

Tuesday - We started with information about the sun and its importance to Earth. We did a fun activity that I had done at space camp last summer (with a sheet, a bowling ball, tennis ball, and ping pong ball) showing how the mass and gravity of the sun cause planets to rotate around it. We read our left hand sheet about the sun and watched a Brain Pop on the subject. On the right hand side of the notebook students had to list four way…