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Showing posts from May, 2010

Fortune Teller Project

This week I have my students working on fortune tellers for each of our units that we have completed (weather, astronomy, light/magnets/electricity, organisms and their environment).
I am not sure all the other teachers are happy now that all the fourth grade know how to make them :)
I taped a quart size baggie in each of the notebooks to put them all in.

This was an "end of year" project but could easily be done at the end of each unit. I used the largest paper I could get from the art room (stay away from construction paper weight...it becomes too bulky for the notebooks...the closer you can stay to regular weight paper the better). Students had to come up with eight questions and answers related to the unit (using their notebook to come up with questions). They had to illustrate and color. Aside from the initial instruction this was a largely independent project (I played some Kidz Bop CD's in class while they worked) done over five days (one day for each fortune teller…

Decoupage Book Covers - Continued

The decoupage notebook covers were a hit with the students this past week. What I did was run this project concurrent with the ABC book project, which eliminated a bunch of students crowding me at once with their complete notebook covers. In order to complete the ABC book within the five days allotted they had to finish 5 ABC blocks a day. Once they had completed those blocks they could start working on their book covers. I quickly had to let go of my desire to check over every child's book cover layout and offer suggestions for improvement before they glued down. If they were happy....I was fine with it. Once they completed their layout and glued it down on the black cover paper they brought it to me and they started the decoupage. I laid out the books on the floor to dry and they completed their second coat the next day (to speed up time, in some cases, I did the first coat and the students did the second coat).

I am not going to lie...this was a very messy project. I had scraps …

End of Year III

We have three Friday's until the end of the school year and I have decided to make each of those Friday's a "movie day". This will give me an opportunity to show some science movies/shows that I was unable to get to during the year (I TiVo'd several episodes of Raging Plant, Storm Stories, etc.). There are some great "World's Greatest" videos on Discovery Streamline if you have in your school district that are approximately 1 hour long (World's Best - Swarms, World's Best - Animal Babies, etc...).

I told students that they can bring in a snack and drink (unless it gets out of hand).

This will help give me some extra time to grade and start cleaning/packing my classroom (I am moving classrooms this year). I will watch the program with my behaviorally challenged class but the other two will be fine with me moving about packing.

If you are looking for other year end activities....try a google search....I saw several that could be modified for my …

Don't Forget

Don't forget to put out a donation box when students are cleaning out desks and cubbies at year end. I always get plenty of pencils, sissors, and colored pencils which get added to my growing collection for the next year.

End of Year Activities II

I saw a variation of this at another school and wanted to try it this year. It is a decoupaged cover for student notebooks. Pictured above is my prototype (which I am glad I did because now I know where the problems are going to come up). I cut a black sheet of construction paper about the size of the front cover (you could also do this in white...or any other color.). Each student would get one. Over the school year I have had a lot of National Geographics and science magazines donated to the classroom, which I have been collecting. I went through the National Geographics and cut out any questionable photos - which ranged from naked tribesmen to graphic scenes of war violence. I had a parent volunteer help me. Each table will get a stack of magazines, enough for one per person, as well as a brown lunch bag (which they will put their name on). They will cut out pictures that interest them and can be tied to science. They will also cut out large letters for their names. They are not trimmi…

End of Year Activities I

For Mother's Day all of our fourth grade students made this adorable accordion book out of one sheet of paper and cardboard from cereal boxes (which we covered in black construction paper). Students took the word MOTHER and wrote and illustrated an acrostic about their mom. When they were done we tied a nice white ribbon around it and students decorated a brown lunch bag as their "wrapping paper" (the accordion book was put in the bag and folded over and they took it home this way). We took pictures of all the students and printed them in black and white on the school printer. As I sit thinking about end of year activities that I can do with my students in the three and a half weeks left of school, I was thinking how this could be modified as an "end of year" activity. Students could write the word SCHOOL and write and illustrate an acrostic of things related to the current school year or subject. Most likely we would not do this since we just completed the …

Notebooking for Next Year

I have had the pleasure of introducing notebooking to several schools in my district this year and at the South Carolina Science Council Convention (picture of me above).

Most of the presentations I made were at the requests of other teachers, not administration. To me those are the better presentations. I find teachers tend to be more receptive to ideas if they are suggested by another teacher as opposed to administration (to which the general reaction is...."Great something else we are being asked to do/try!" :)

If you are thinking about trying notebooking next year, or if you have started this year and would like to share your experiences with other teachers in your school, NOW is the time to speak at a facility meeting or a team meeting (feel free to download the PowerPoint I put together and can be found under the "video" label). This would give other teachers time to start thinking about it and possibly plan over the summer. If it is something that is introduc…

Mini Science Experiments

In preparation for our upcoming end of year testing in science I am reviewing all our standards from beginning to end in the next couple of weeks. One area that students typically do poorly in is inquiry skills. To help us score better I am creating mini science experiments in class that help us review the scientific method, independent and dependant variables, graphing, what makes a fair test, etc. My hope is that by doing three or four mini tests in our classroom, before the state test next week, that students will have more recent experiences to draw from when answering these inquiry type questions. This past Friday we did two of those experiments using baking soda and vinegar. Most student knew that when you add baking soda to vinegar you get a reaction. My question I wanted students to answer was, "Does the type of vinegar change the speed of reaction?" Since the supplies were quite costly there was no way I could do this with five tables in each of my three classes with…

Testing - End of Year (Game Websites)

We are currently reviewing for our state end of year testing (PASS test) in science. I put together several online review games, i.e. Jeopardy and Who Wants to be a Millionaire, for students. These are linked on my website so students can play at home as well as in school.

Students like the Jeopardy games and I prefer the Who Wants to be a Millionaire game because you get four choices and you have to find the right answer (which is how our PASS test is set up).

Next week is our last week of review and I booked the computer lab for each of my classes. Students will be able to bring in their science notebook to the computer lab to help them out. My higher kids don't use the notebooks but some of my struggling students will use it as a reference.

The three sites I used to make games were:

www.superteachertools.com
www.classtools.net (I used primarily for vocabulary games)
www.jeopardylab.com

Many of these games can be played whole class. When I play in class each table group is a team. I …