Friday, November 11, 2011

Bill Nye Song with Lyrics - Whether the Weather

Just finished adding the lyrics to this fun Bill Nye song on the topic of WEATHER and posting it to Youtube.


I love love love the site Pinterest. For those of you have not heard of it it is a site that acts as a virtual pin board of things you come across the web and want to save.

What is the best part is that you can follow other pinners. I don't have time to look at everything I want to on the web but I can look at other peoples pin boards and repin things of interest to my site.

I have picked up so many great ideas for lessons from other people's sites that it is definitely my favorite new website of 2011.

My site is a bit of a mishmash right now. I need to start sub-categorizing items within my "school" pinboard because right now I have 245 pins in that category (don't get me started on my craft and recipe boards!).

If you haven't heard of it I highly recommend checking it out and start searching the education and school boards for ideas :)

Featured Website - Great Ideas

I had lost and found this site several times over the years and have decided to blog about it so I don't loose it again!

This site belongs to a middle school social studies teacher name Mr. Roughton. Under his assignment tab he has lots of great ideas that can be incorporated into a right hand assignment for notebooks. Often times he has PDF's you can download or details regarding the assignment.

I like to look at it from time to time to see if I can get any new notebooking ideas. I was on it today and was really looking at his game board template and I want to see if I can have students make a game board that will fit into the notebook (oooohhhh....I love a good project to try out).

3-2-1 Pyramid

I saw this done in a social studies notebook and I really liked the structure. It is called a 3-2-1 review, which I have heard of before and use when kids are watching science videos to keep them engaged (list three things you learned, two things you thought were interesting, and one question you had).

In this example of a 3-2-1 review for the notebook students drew a pyramid. On the bottom part of the pyramid the students had to list three facts. The second part of the pyramid they had to list two “whys” and at the top they had to write a summarizing sentence. I liked this as a right hand assignment.

I have friends that are in an astronomy unit and they can use this structure to have children write three facts about the sun, two reasons why the sun is so important, and then a summarizing sentence.

Cloud Viewer

This is an idea I saw on pinterest about making a cloud viewer. This is the site with the idea and here was the idea for the template I was going to use for the outside of the viewer.

I did this with a fourth grade class yesterday and in the planning stages I decided to nix the popcicle stick frame because of time…plus I decided I really wanted them to write on the back of the viewer. I also nixed using a prefab cloud viewer frame because I really wanted children to draw their own representation of the clouds – rather than have it handed to them.

So using the idea from the two sites students created their own cloud viewer. I was dreading the activity a bit mainly because I had never done it before, it was being done on a day before a three day weekend, there was a sub in the classroom, it was a full moon, AND I was being observed. Shockingly the entire activity went textbook perfect in all four classes despite all my concerns J.

The teacher the day before had introduced clouds to the class so they had some prior knowledge before I came in. I started the lesson with a water cycle review and then a review of the clouds. I went over a “recipe” for making clouds where the students got to act it out.


Take water vapor (kids stand up and make water vapor signs with their hands) and chill it well (kids went into a “brrrrr” stance with their hands and bodies). Collect more chilled water vapor (kids move toward each other until they are standing pretty close). Pack it as close as possible (children start squeezing in tight) and voila the water vapor turns into a cloud (the kids put their hands in the air and yell “Poof we are a cloud”). (I’ll video tape it and post it to give a better idea of how it looks in a classroom).

Sure it is a bit oversimplified but it got the kids moving out of their seats and the general concept that clouds form by water vapor chilling, collecting, and condensing.

Then I reviewed the three basic types of clouds (adding in the bonus fourth cloud not mentioned in our standards – cumulonimbus). We have hand gestures for that to help them remember the three types which I definitely will have to tape.

I explained that they were making cloud viewers and that they had to draw and label the clouds in the front and tell me something about the clouds on the back. Once they were done they came up to me and I checked it and handed them a blue colored pencil to shade in around the clouds on the viewer. Once we had everyone done we went outside and looked at the clouds through our viewers and tried to identify the three basic clouds. The sub came in handy at this point because anyone not done had to stay in with her while we went outside. I allowed 10 minutes for the outside part of this lesson (which included traveling in the halls and moving around the school to look for different clouds).

The viewers are going to be stored in inexpensive sandwich bags that will be taped in their notebook on the right hand side. The left hand side had the information the teacher went over the day before.

NOTE: The child in the last picture is looking through her viewer the wrong way. The kids should be looking at the drawings they made.

Thanksgiving Idea

Loved this idea! One of the school’s I go between is doing this project on the fourth and fifth grade hall. The idea came from Angie Peterson, one of the fifth grade teachers.

The teachers created and laminated a large turkey for the hall. They gave each student a feather to take home with the instruction that parents, or family members, were to use the feather to explain why they are thankful for their child. They (the parents) had the freedom to decorate anyway they saw fit. Students get to share their feathers with the class and then they get placed on the large hallway turkey.

They are precious to read and you can tell the children loved reading what their families wrote about them.

The two teachers heading up the project said that because November is such a short month for us (we have fall break at the beginning of the month, followed by veteran’s day off, followed by the Thanksgiving break) that they put a Santa hat and red nose on the turkey display and let the display ride through the month of December.