Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hallway Display





We have a big inspection team coming to one of the school's I go between at the end of February and that got me thinking about hallway displays.

I wanted a hallway display that could be left up all year and simply added to as the year progressed. I originally thought of doing what I did in the pictures above but labeling it 1st quarter, 2nd quarter, 3rd quarter, and 4th quarter (which I still think is a good idea). I approached the fourth grade science teacher and she was game to let me put it up outside of her room (my old classroom) and pull children to put together the display for the first two units in science. The idea is that then the children would add items to the next unit they are moving into.

I have received a lot of compliments on the display and I sort of hope others use it to spring board their hallway decorations. It can be put up at the beginning of the year and just added to each quarter.

I added a sun to each unit as the connecting link between them. One teacher thought that the blank sheets could be laminated and reused every year.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Brain Breaks




I ran across this video on YouTube and really liked this brain break activity. The purpose of the activity is in no way related to academics (although if streched one could say it falls under the "following instructions" standard which seems to fall into our reading/ELA standards). The purpose is to wake student brains up by doing something that requires a bit of thinking or moving.

Often times I go into a classroom and the kids are zombied out and it doesn't matter how great your lesson is they are not "with it" enough to pay attention. Having them do one of these brain breaks is a great way to wake them up both physically and mentally.

There are several in the series and I have tried a few in classes. I definitely recommend giving them a look through to see what might work in your classroom. Just type in "brain break" in the YouTube search engine and they should come up.

Pollination Activity


I came across this pollination activity from this kindergarten blog and loved it. This is a perfect example of an activity that can be done and recorded in a science notebook for younger grade levels (although to be honest older grades would like this activity as well as it involves eating cheetos :)
Basically the kids go from bag to bag eating from the "flower" (bag of cheetos). They can not lick or wipe their fingers (the cheese dust represents the pollen). Afterward they have go visit the flowers of their friends "landing" on it with their fingers. Afterward they have to fill out a sheet noting what they learned (if I was notebooking in this grade level this would represent the "right hand sheet" students would complete.
In our district this activity is better suited for the first grade standards so I passed it on to all those teachers. One teacher emailed me back and said that she rushed out to get cheetos to do with her kids :)

Magic Tricks with Science


I did this recently with a fourth grade class as part of a "Magic Tricks with Science Day" related to the unit they were in - Light, Magnets, and Electricity (big shout out to Mrs. Lauricella who is always game to have me come in and teach her class!).
The day went something like this....
- Reviewed three things light can do when it hits an object (refract, reflect, and absorb)
- Discussed how when light refracts it can make an object appear bent in water. Students then got to pour water in a clear plastic cup and put a pencil in to observe this.
- I then told students that it can appear to bend other things as well and I did the trick above in the video. The teacher and I staged this elaborate senario where we were arguing about who was the best teacher and we decided to let the "magic arrow" decide. The kids LOVED it (we said they could try it at home with their siblings...as in who did mom like the most :)
- Students then got to draw arrows and try it themselves on each other
- After that we did the jello secret message activity (relating it to light absorption and refraction). See early post here. We used the coloring sheet from the Gems Color Analyzer Book.
It was a pretty fast paced activity filled day with the kids (which is always a good thing!)

Tool Box Idea


Earlier in the year I posted about an activity that was done with a third grade class regarding science tools (see second picture). Later in the year I ran across the top picture of a "Readers Tool Box" and it got me thinking about combining the two.
I could easily see larger versions of the tools that the kids would have to cut out label and identify their use (on the back) and put in the "Tool Box". The box would then open and close with velcro (which I love to incorporate in notebooks!).
It is a bit late in the year for the idea but I can see trying it out next year. If you want to try it this year it would be a good end of year "tool" review activity in preparation for any end of year state test.

Landforms



I saw this on picture on a Pinterest site and I loved it for third grade (that is when they study landforms in South Carolina). I could easily see having students draw it on the right hand side of their notebook. The picture came from the following second grade class BLOG.