Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Shout Out: Customary and Metric Measurement

Today, I want to give a big shout out to Jamie at Miss Math Dork !  She is a math specialist that creates fun resources to help students learn and practice math concepts.

In particular, I would like to highlight her Measurement Wars series of resources.  One, because it perfectly suites my needs to review standard and metric measurement.  Two, because I love to make learning more of a game, and task cards almost always fit that bill.

She has a length, capacity, and Mass bundle:

She also has posters that provide a handy reference guide for students while they are using the various units of measurement.  I plan to have these posters available to students as a review while they are playing the Measurement Wars games.

If you're looking for a specific measurement concept, she has the bundle broken down into:

Length Measurement Wars

Capacity Measurement Wars

Mass (Weight) Measurement Wars

I have been trying to have stations available to students for what I call "Experiment Day/Week."  I break the class up into groups of 3 or 4 and have them rotate through various stations.  They record their findings at each station on "report sheets" and turn the report sheets in at the end of the week for a grade.

I float through the stations to check for understanding and correct any misconceptions.  If I see that a group has completed the assignment, I sign off on their report sheets and allow them to get the materials for the next station.

I always make the station that requires the lab equipment the "teacher station."  That way, I can supervise the ssquirrels  students so that they use their time and the equipment properly.

I can't wait to make these task cards part of the game station!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

STEAM, Social Studies, and Language Arts! Oh, My!

In January, I will be teaching a series of Saturday Enrichment Program classes.  Teachers get to pick the topic of their class, and I chose STEM.  I also love art, so STEAM was my inspiration.  It was from this inspiration that my "Solve Architectural Problems in a Science Lab!" unit was born.  It's a 5-part unit that's designed to be taught in 2-hour increments.

The first lesson introduces students to what technology really is.  I call this one the "Paper Bag Technology" experiment.  A lot of students think technology is only things that require electricity.  This lesson shows that anything that is designed to solve a problem is technology.

The second lesson focuses on the concepts of team-building and engineering.  I call this one the "Build an Index Card Tower" experiment.  It is the first experiment in the unit in which they fill out the "STEAM Planning and Report Sheet" that follows the five steps of the Engineering Design Process.

The 3rd lesson is the "Build a Longhouse" experiment in which students work together to build a scaled longhouse.

The 4th lesson has the students building a scaled covered wagon in the "Build a Covered Wagon" experiment.

The 5th lesson has the students building a bridge of manila folders in the "Build a Bridge" experiment.

Each lesson has enrichment questions and/or activities.  All of them include research suggestions and reading titles.

I'm so excited to use this for the SEP!

You can pick up a copy by clicking here.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Shout Out Sunday: Ecosystems and Biomes

In a recent forum, it was suggested that we test out and give a shout out to other bloggers/TpT sellers that have products we love.  I, naturally, was all for it!

In this particular shout out, I want to thank Julie Smith from The Techie Teacher!  First, because she incorporates technology into almost every lesson.  Secondly, because her webquests for biomes, habitats, and ecosystems are great!  As soon as I saw them, I knew I wanted to use them this year as a lab/research project!  Last, but not least, her products are VERY reasonably priced.  This is always appealing to me.

Julie's Biome/Habitat Webquest

Julie's Ecosystem/Habitat Webquest

Thank you Julie for making science and technology blend so easily!

I was inspired to add on to this with an activity that extends Julie's concepts to include abiotic and biotic factors of the ecosystems, habitats, and biomes.

In this part of the activity, students are taking a nature walk around their neighborhood/school to find abiotic and biotic factors.

This part of the activity asks students to name the factors as well as to draw food chains and webs, and name the ecosystem and biome.

This editable PowerPoint includes:
Standards of Learning for this activity:
LS.6: c, d
LS.8: a, b
LS.9: a, b

~Teacher directions page for prerequisite learning, differentiation suggestions, and technology differentiations
~2 sets of student instructions, depending on whether you choose to use paper copies or use technology
~1 slide of a marine/beach ecosystem
~1 slide of a pond ecosystem
~Student answer sheets that ask students to identify the following:
The food chain, food web, ecosystem, biome, abiotic factors, and biotic factors.
~A Nature Walk activity that has students looking for abiotic and biotic factors around their neighborhood and school
~answer keys for the ecosystem student answer sheets

You can pick up a copy by clicking here.