Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Water Cycle (Song and Foldable)

For our unit in Science (Earth Systems and Patterns), after the four seasons comes the Water Cycle! My kids absolutely love the Water Cycle. We started off by watching a video that I found on Safari Montage. As we go through the video, I pause to clarify things and ask questions.

After the video, we sing the Water Cycle song! It is sung to the tune of She'll Be Comin Round the Mountain. It takes a lot of practice but the kids love it! They will sing it all throughout the rest of the year!

After the song, we start out water cycle foldable. This is something I found on Pinterest years ago and changed it up to fit my class a little bit better. Here is what mine looks like.

Here is the inside of the foldable with all the steps in detail. 

This is just a close up picture of the inside. We define what each step does so the kids and make the connection by writing it and drawing it. 

Here are some pictures of the kids foldables!

*As I stated before, I found these things on Pinterest and just adapted them for my students.

- Kate

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Four Seasons

In Science, we have been discussing the four seasons. I had my kids brainstorm in groups what they knew about the four seasons. I heard some great answers. I showed them a YouTube video on the four seasons. I then had them write down a season and one thing about the season they picked. Based on the seasons they wrote down, I put them into four groups (each group was a season). In the four groups, everyone had a job. Two would be writers and two would be the drawers. The groups had to come up with 2 sentences and 2 pictures to draw about their season. It could be what you do, what you see, what you wear... anything. After they were done with their sentences and pictures each group shared what they wrote and drew for their season.

Here is the finished masterpiece! :)

At my school, we follow Marzano, so collaborative structures are a big deal. I love having the students work in groups because all of the students are able to participate. I have a student from Africa who speaks no English. However, he was still able to participate in the group work with his teammates. He learned the word pumpkin and drew the pumpkins for Fall.

I decided to have my students complete a Bridge Map for the four seasons as well.

Here are a few of their Bridge Maps!

Last, the display of our their hard work on the four seasons!

- Kate

Monday, October 20, 2014

Setting Brace Maps

As a part of story structure, I want my students to understand the setting of a story. This is one of the most difficult parts for my students. They simply say outside or inside for a setting. A Setting Brace Map is a great way for students to understand a setting and take it a step deeper.

These are Setting Brace Maps some of my students completed on the story Diary of a Spider. They could pick any part of the story and describe the setting. With a Setting Brace Map, the students write down what the setting is by describing it and then draw what they wrote. It has my students go more in depth and just saying inside, outside, or at home.

- Kate

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bridge Maps in Math!

Bridge maps are by farther hardest Thinking Maps for my students to do. Before finishing up our unit on place value, I had my students do a Bridge Map. I modeled how to draw the Bridge Map and we did the first one together. On the top, we picked a three digit number. On the bottom, the students had to write it in hundreds, tens, and ones, expanded form, and draw it in base-ten blocks. The other three numbers they picked themselves. This was a great way to see if my students understood
the different ways to write a number.

Here are some pictures of their great Bridge Maps!

- Kate

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hands-On Science Inquiry - Soil

We have been learning all about rocks and soil in Science lately. The kids have been so into it and it was great to see. After a few days, it was time for a science inquiry lesson. The inquiry was basically in the students hands and it was great to hear and see their thoughts and opinions on how to complete this inquiry!

Pictures of the inquiry lesson are below. See how my class completed the lesson!

I decided to split the inquiry lesson into two days.The first day we reviewed the three types of soil we had been learning about (humus, clay, and sand). I passed out the three types of soil for students to see, touch, smell, etc. We made a chart to discuss the similarities and differences of each. I asked students to discuss which soil they thought would be better for growing a seed.

We reviewed the steps of an investigation and came up with questions - How do soils differ? Which soil is better for growing a lima bean seed? Next, it was time for our hypothesis. I let the students come up with their own hypothesis. I wanted to see what they predicted without any help from me. I had students share their hypothesis with their groups. They had to explain why they thought that soil would be best. Some students used that information to change their hypotheses while others defended their thoughts. Lastly, I asked students to think how we could figure out how to test out our questions. They came up with some great ideas and two groups actually came up with the idea we would use on the second day.

For the second day, students reviewed their hypotheses. Each group was given three cups and three types of soil. The groups determine how much soil should be put in each cup. Next, they were given the lima bean seed  and had to decide how to plant it in the soil. Then the groups had to decide how much water to give each cup. This was where a lot of the groups differed. Some groups put it way too much water, while others didn't put in near enough. I wanted this inquiry to be in their hands while i was an observer and helped if need be. Once they were done planting and watering their soils, they had to pick the best place in the classroom to have their plants.

Everyday it is their job to remember to water their seeds and determine how much water each one needs. Everyday they are going to record what they seeds look like and see if they think their hypothesis will be correct/ incorrect and why. After a week, we will see which seeds grew the best and why. Students will record their observations and communicate their results.

I think it is so important to have the students do the inquiry on their own. They learn that mistakes are normal and accepted!

Here are some pictures from the actual inquiry lesson - Enjoy!

- Kate