Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Water Cycle Maze


This may seem a little on the young side but I thought it might be a good filler or morning work activity. Students have to complete the maze (I would make them label it as well) and then color.

The activity is a free downloadable PDF from THIS SITE.

Condensation, Evaporation, Precipitation Quiz


I saw this on line and while it is suppose to be used with Versatiles (can't say I am familiar with them) I thought the worksheet would make a pretty handy dandy Friday quiz. You could also use it whole group on the interactive white board (with student response systems if you have them) or add to the examples and make a Scoot review game.

Here is the site that I found it on -Water Cycle Versatiles. The worksheet is a free PDF download.

Weather Idiom Lesson

I came across this free lesson plan on TeachersPayTeachers that I thought would be a fun way to integrate ELA into science (specifically a weather unit). Most of our fourth grade teachers are teaching weather in the first nine weeks so I plan to pass it on.
 
Here is the authors write up of the unit - These are 25 common English idioms that have a weather connection, along with their definitions. Students first study and discuss these with classmates and the teacher using the provided discussion guide. This is followed by a set of 25 context sentences where students must use the correct idiom to demonstrate mastery. Answers provided. At the end is a list if five extension activities to take your students further in the study of idioms.

The lesson plan is easy to follow and not complicated. It is definitely something I would do in the classroom.



Reading Tables and Graphs Activity


I created a short, one class period activity, that can be used to give practice to students in reading tables and graphs (in the context of a weather unit).

The lesson plan, activity sheet, and answer key can be found on my TeachersPayTeachers site FOR FREE :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Season/Energy Activity Part II



Using the same concept in the post below the professor had solar powered fans that he purchased from Radio Shack (see second picture packaging). One was taped at the equator and one was taped at the north pole.

He took us outside and covered up the solar panels. He made a big deal of finding the most direct source of light from the sun and tilting the globe so that the equator was getting the most direct light. He released his hands from both locations and the fan at the equator was going full tilt but the one at the pole was going very slow (because it was getting less light).

This was a great demonstration of how certain parts of the earth receive more or less of the suns energy at different times of the year (causing our seasons).

Season/Energy Activity



I have been taking a physical science class as part of my graduate studies and our professor showed us this neat experiement that demonstrates how angles affect energy (specifically energy from the sun in relation to seasons).

Next to the two notecards with the thermometers he also has two metal plates that he painted black and put one on an angle using clay.

Grant Idea


First off let me start by apologizing for such a long absence from this blog. Budget cuts hit my department this year and instead of working between two school I now have four. I underestimated how much work it was going to be to get all four schools up and running at the start of the year and I final have room to breath!

This is a cute seating idea that I ran across in one of my new schools. She uses balls instead of chairs. I liked the idea so much that I thought it would make a great grant request. There is a lot of research supporting the use of balls to sit on from strengthing your core to help establish balance (plus it helps get the wiggles out).

The teacher has a lot of rules and goes over ball procedures at the start of the school year. Anyone breaking the procedures gets a chair for the rest of the day. She says that most children want to sit on the balls so rule breaking is minimal. Students who break or bust their ball must replace it (parents are told this as well). She said that she has had three students who jabbed their balls with a sharp pencil and deflated them beyond repair. She tells the parents to make the child earn the money to replace the balls and until they do they sit in a chair.

If anyone is looking for a cute grant idea this would be perfect.

A Picture is Worth....





I was admiring these student portaits outside a first grade classroom the other day and the teacher said that she has students create them within the first week of school. She says the pictures help her initally identify student skill level.

She pointed out that the higher readers/thinkers tend to put a lot of detail in their pictures. In the examples above Estralla has eyelashes, lipstick, hair in pigtails and flowers on her shirt. In Janasia's picture, next to her, you can see details are sparse. In the second set of pictures you can see that Daryl has added teeth, full eyes, necklace, and hands to his picture where Keion doesn't have as much detail.

She uses the pictures to help baseline her incoming students into appropriate groups until testing gets started.

I thought this was an interesting way to help identify student needs at the beginning of the year. Who knew that a picture could tell so much about a child!