THIS SONG by Mr. Parr's (which the kids loved!).
It turns out that Mr. Parr has got a boat load of fun science songs that he put together for his 6th graders (so warning...some of the lyrics might be too advanced for elementary). To see a complete list of songs head to his YOUTUBE SITE.
The activity I had students do required that they listen (not watch) the song. I then gave them a print out of the lyrics (also found on YouTube) and they had to create a presentation (they used educreations) to illustrate and repeat the song back. This activity can also be done in Movie Maker Live or PowerPoint and is something I might try with an elementary class next year.
The lyrics can be glued into their notebooks as either a left or right hand reference.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Hoot is one of my favorite books to read with fourth graders towards the end of the year. It goes well with our study of animals and how humans impact the environment (and it has the added bonus of having a movie to show afterward!).
I talked a new fourth grade teacher into giving it a try (which turned out to be fortuitous because they are doing a birding day this week with a local birding group). We borrowed a class set from another school and checked out the book on CD from the local library as well as the movie (warning the word "dammit" is used in the book...I never noticed before but this teacher did...after the kids went "ooooooo" they got over it). While I was looking for some Hoot lesson plans online for her I came across a site that had an EXCELLENT Hoot unit plan. It was so good (they had sample pages online to view) that I purchased it for $20 (gasp!). I thought their questions and activities provided good higher order thinking questions (good practice for the upcoming transition to Common Core). It included chapter tests as well. Some of the items are "advance" (imagery, irony, symbolism) but definitely dobable.
The teacher LOVES it and would definitely consider other purchases from the same site. Here in South Carolina teacher's are given state money at the beginning of the year (I want to say $200) and often grade levels have some money to spend. It would definitely be worth it to review the site and purchase other book units. The units are billed as "Middle School" units but they have books that we read in elementary school (i.e. Because of Winn-Dixie, Bud Not Buddy, and Tuck Everlasting to name a few).
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I was looking for free end of year tech ideas on TeachersPayTeachers and I came across this fun idea. You make a Word document for each child in the classroom and then have each child in your class go into the document (centers or in a computer lab) and write a positive comment (what a great way to end the school year!).
The final version can be printed out and given to each child.
Activity can be found on this TeachersPayTeachers site - http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Graduation-Positive-Comments
A few weeks ago I wrote about a teacher who uses student self direction learning in her class every Friday - http://sciencenotebooking.blogspot.com/2013/01/student-directed-learning-form.html. Another teacher saw the post and has developed a game plan for next year and wrote about it on her blog (http://jessicaywinston.blogspot.com/2013/05/self-directed-learning.html). I really like her ideas and will be following her posts closely as she implements this great teaching idea (picture of her schedule above is from her blog).
Friday, April 12, 2013
The other day I taught an iPad science lesson with a group of eight graders. After the explanation and practice student were to work independently on their project. Unfortunately these 8th graders could not work independently and quietly at the same time (not a huge surprise).
The students worked hard to fill the void of silence with smack talk across the room distracting each other and getting off task. Luckily I had a Kidz Bop 23 CD in my bag and I put it in and immediately the talking stopped (the singing, the foot taping, and head bopping started but hey they were all working).
Surprisingly children have difficulty focusing in a completely quiet environment and they seek to fill the void with unproductive noise/chatter. Having some music that can play in the background will help to greatly reduce behavior issues in these situations.
I like the Kidz Bop CD's because they feature songs the kids know but they have been filtered so there is no inappropriate language. The 8th graders scoffed at the kids singing but got over it.
If you have had problems with behavior during independent work consider adding music into the mix and see what happens!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
A friend told me about this site www.readworks.org in conjunction with a grad school assignment. I was particularily drawn to the nonfiction reading passages you could download along with text questions.
Not only did I find applicability with the new Common Core focus on non-fiction text reading but I also thought it was a great site for supplemental instructional material for notebooks as well as substitute material.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Tomorrow is Read Across America Day and I have been asked to be a guest reader in two schools.
The first school I will be reading in a second grade class and the second school I will be a reading in an open time slot in their gym.
Because tomorrow is Friday, I can wear jeans and my Dr. Seuss shirt, I thought I would have a little fun. I choose to read Bartholomew and the Oobleck with the second graders. They study weather and the book can be tied to weather as the King in the story becomes sick of the normal things that fall from the sky and asks for something different. Then I asked the teacher if we could make oobleck afterward and tie it into what they had learned about solids and liquids. The teacher was pretty agreeable. I think that is mainly because most of the teachers have given up on tomorrow because, on top of guest readers and various reading events, everyone is wearing their PJ's (note to self - find Dr. Seuss PJ's!). The science teacher in me is happy that I can tie literacy into science tomorrow. As a tech teacher (now) I have also downloaded the YouTube video above (Steve Spangler on Ellen) to show the kids and I plan to video tape the kids making and playing with the oobleck for the teacher's webpage.
Here is a link for making the oobleck.