Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Focus Wall and Welcome Bunting

Today marks the official last day of my summer break. We start back with teacher in-services this week and the kids come next week. So long, summer! Great memories.

I've been working hard in my classroom over the past week and I'm proud to share my focus walls. I teach K-2 Science, so I have one for K, and another for 1st and 2nd grade.
It took some time and planning getting them just right, but I'm pleased to share the results. 

I also tried my hand at creating a welcome bunting. I created it in PowerPoint using just a basic triangle shape and the free PeaAngedawn font by Kevinandamanda.com. 
I have it hanging right over my SMART Board for all to see as soon as they come into the classroom the first few weeks of school. I will probably take it down after that and hang it near the door.

Thank you so much TpT sellers for your ideas, graphics, and creative designs for my focus walls. I could not begin to take credit for any of them. 



Monday, August 5, 2013

FOSS Science Liquids in Bottles Smartboard

Today was definitely dig in and concentrate on school materials day.  It's so hard to concentrate knowing that there are only a couple more weeks of summer left for me. This next product is one of my favorite things to do with my students in Science class.

This Smartboard is the must-have companion to the FOSS Science Solids and Liquids Investigation 2, Part 1: Liquids in Bottles. It's a 14 pager that is perfect for using as a visual tool while teaching the steps of the investigation. Pages in this Smartboard include:

 1. Liquids in Bottles Essential/Focus Question

2. Liquids in Bottles Liquids Center Materials

3. (Guided) Exploration Questions

4. What We Learned Word Bank (Vocabulary)

5. What We Learned Student Page (Discussion/Completion sentences) w/Answer Sheet

6. Liquids (Properties) Four-Square

7. Home/School Connection (Homework) Project

8. Liquids in Bottles Writing Journal Page

My students' absolutely love this very hands-on, active investigation. They get to investigate different liquids to develop their concept of a liquid. They work at a center to tip, swirl, shake, roll, and spin seven liquids in small plastic bottles. The liquids include plain water, colored water, corn syrup, liquid detergent, liquid hand sanitizer, cooking oil, and fabric softener. 

My students have a ball spinning, shaking, turning, rolling their bottles down a ramp, and finally, seeing if they can swirl their liquids to make a tornado inside their bottles. Many actually do make tornadoes!

Your room will surely explode with outbursts of loud shrills, cheers, laughs, and even a few screams at times by what your students discover about their bottles of liquids.

I use the Smartboard pages as visuals to explain the steps of the investigation to my kiddos, from asking the question, to setting up the center, to explaining the materials, to guiding them through the exploration questions.  To record their observations about their liquids, I've included a Liquids Four-Square where they write and draw the properties of their liquids (fast, slow, bubbles, tornado (swirl)).

For recording what kiddos learn about liquids, I do an oral What We Learned student page with my kiddos, where we discuss and write down our findings and complete the sentences together on the student page. This year I plan to have my students add these pages to their Science Notebook or Journal.

As an extension, I've added a reflective writing component, where students are given an opportunity to respond to a prompt and illustrate a picture. I do this investigation in early October so I realize that my students will not be able to write much. To this end, I provide a page with a large space for a picture at the top and a few lines at the bottom with the prompt, "Some liquids..."
Finally, I include a Home/School Connection culminating activity, where I challenge students to find pictures that include both solids and liquids in them. I copy this activity as a double-sided page, and on one side there is an explanation of the project with an example. On the other side of the page I put the student page for mounting their picture/s. There are two sentences with prompts for writing about their pictures. I have my students bring these to their next science class, where they get to share them with their table partners and/or the class. This year I plan to place these projects on my Focus Wall.

As in past years, I'm really looking forward to this investigation this year. I will be sure to post pictures of this year's students doing the investigation. I'm sure they will be just as great.

Happy end of summer days,


Saturday, August 3, 2013

NGSS Science Focus Wall Labels *Freebie*

Summer is definitely winding down and August is here. It's the official start of my BTS prep. Something happens when August 1st comes around. My brain actually begins thinking towards the school year and will not shut itself down. I begin to make lots of lists and usually start my shopping for supplies and such. Yay! Up until this time I just window shop and make mental lists of what I want to do or get for my classroom. There are about three more weeks left of my summer vacation until the kiddos arrive. I'm looking forward to my new school year. 

This summer I spent a lot of time learning about blogging and positioning myself as a TpT seller. Hip Hip Hooray! I've really enjoyed getting to know so many bloggers and sellers and look more towards sharing ideas even more as I get more exposure as a seller and blogger. And if I can earn some extra cash doing it that would make my world even more peachy.

Today I finished creating some Next Generation Science Standards labels for my Science Focus Wall and wanted to share them as a "Freebie". 

Putting up a focus wall is one of my goals for the coming school year. I believe it will give my students and me a very good glimpse of what they should be able to accomplish this year through the FOSS Science Solids and Liquids Investigations on Matter.

Each label lists a WE CAN statement which is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards for Structure and Properties of Matter for primary grades (K-2) and are just as appropriate to use as general science standards statements as well, as they are virtually the same as the Framework for K-12 Science Education standards. 

These simply designed black and white beaded framed labels are a standard 8 1/2" wide and will coordinate well with almost any color pattern. They can be cut apart to serve as individual labels or posted onto your focus wall as two conjoined sheets or pages grouped together on your wall.

Go to my TpT store and pick up your freebie and don't forget to leave a comment or question as feedback.

Enjoy the rest of your summer if you have more of it to enjoy.