Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Sale and linky party!

Winter Sale and Linky Party with Second Grade Math Maniac!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Candy Fun!


I have been doing several candy investigations and experiments with the kids lately. We are putting those Halloween leftovers to good use! It is amazing what you can do with a bag of skittles! :) I will be posting more about the experiments this week. Great activities that you can use for science and math!

Where does the time go?


     I have been so incredibly busy this school year! We have done every experiment or activity that I could find for pumpkins the last month. We even have our own pumpkin patch and they are growing! We cut the top off of our pumpkins and put soil in. A week later they sprouted and two weeks later, we dug our trench and everyone put their pumpkins in and covered them with soil. The students even hammered in stakes and roped their area off. We are fertilizing them with compost tea we made last year. We have pumpkin memories we will never forget and some we would like to (right, Mrs. Bowman?). These two pictures tell it all...in the first photo, this student brought in the pumpkin size that she was told to bring in and that was stated on the note home. In the second picture, well, you always have at least one student and parent who defy all rules and requests! Yes, the pumpkin was so large, she said it was too heavy to carry to my lab, but she had no problem hurling into our sink/float station when our backs were turned. It sounded like Shamu was in the room! Everything and everyone was soaked at the surrounding area! :)

P.S. Do not forget the cyber Monday sale at TPT: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Superlative-Science
Cyber Monday

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween fun!


Need some cool science demonstration to do for Halloween? Look no more! All you need is a raw egg, vinegar, and green food coloring. You can call it "Alien Egg" or "Monster Egg". Have students make predicitons of what will happen when you put a raw egg in vinegar. You can even talk about acides and bases. "What is vinegar, an acid or a base?" "What do acids do?" "What will acid do to our egg?" Place the raw egg in a beaker or glass of vinegar. Add food coloring and wait. Students can make several observations. After 24 to 48 hours, the egg shell will be gone and you will have the coolest looking "alien egg" ever! Your kids will be amazed!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Time Flies!


Wow, we are already at the end of October! The school year is flying by! We have been so busy in the lab, I am taking two classes, and I had the flu for 10 days... Unfortunately, I haven't had much time for blogging. Here are some photos of activities we have been busy with... 
First, we started off the year with our first unit "Mystery Madness" (school wide theme). I use GEMS Mystery Festival
along with my Mystery Madness Detectives unit.  Above is a picture of a first grade science journal. We studied fingerprints for a few days and now I think we know if everyone in the entire school is a loop, arch, or whorl! :) The students love solving mysteries and it is a great way to introduce the nature of science, inquiry,  and all of the science skills/tools we will be using throughout the year.


"Let's Get Physical" is our second unit of the year. We have been slimed, gooped, and we made alien eggs (very cool!) while learning all about matter and its properties. Both found in my Halloween Science Fun packet.  


My assistants: Forrest Gump, Lilo, and I are working on some new things right now, that we will be posting soon. :)

Forrest Gump
Lilo









Sunday, October 14, 2012

I've Been Boo-ed!

I have been Boo-ed!
 
By Lori Rosenberg at:
 


Maybe you've seen or heard of this fun "game" in neighborhoods or even at your school... but let's try a blog version! Here is how it works:

If you've been booed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.

1. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!

2. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else),

or freebie(s) that you love!

3. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers- make sure you check this link to make sure you don't boo someone again:
http://toristeachertips.blogspot.com/2012/10/ive-been-booed-fun-october-linky.html

And don't forget to tell them that they have been BOOED!

4. Link up {here} so that others can find you and read about your October ideas! And while you are there... check out the other great blogs!

My Favorite October Items:

1.  My Monsters Matter packet: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monsters-Matter

2. Nicole Heinlein's (http://www.teaching-with-style.com/) Pumpkin Unit: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pumpkin-Science-Life-Cycles-Experiments

3.  "The Candy Corn Contest" by Patricia Reilly Giff


4. "Dancing Creepy Crawlies": http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dancing-Creepy-Crawlies-Science-Lab


5. And something to make mornings complete... :)
 
Passing the Boo on!
 
1.
Field of Poppies
2.
joyin6th Homepage
 
3.
First Grade Glitter and Giggles
 
4.
 
5.
Ms. Mentzer's Kindergarten Class

Monday, October 8, 2012

Freebie and Matter

This week in the lab all grades K-3 are working on matter. K is being introduced to matter. First grade is reviewing matter. One of my first graders said to another on the carpet this morning, "Can you believe my brother is in highschool and doesn't know that there are more then three states of matter?! He had never heard of plasma or Bose-Einstein condensate!" To this my other first grader replied, "I know, my dad (a highschool science teacher) says I know more than a lot of his students!" I love how the little ones soak up knowledge like a sponge! This group did my "Monsters Matter" packet last week and loved it! Second grade is working on attributes/properties of matter and we are making slime and gooblin goop on Wednesday!

This weekend, I attempted a cootie catcher...
I have all but given up on making cootie catchers. :) So here is my first attempt.

 https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BwO4fqwIC0ztbWFhMVNaTG9LOE0

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Acceleration and Enrichment

I am taking a curriculum class right now for gifted learners, so I have been putting a lot of though into how I differentiate learning in the lab. Science is actually a great subject to differentiate learning and  a great subject to challenge your high students in. Science instruction can be differentiated to allow students to explore topics of interest (huge plus for the gifted student), expand their research skills, and receive instruction on discrete science and inquiry skills. I try to do tiered lab sheets as often as possible. I usually do three levels, making the highest one challenging in science and math skills. I also try to let instruction be student interest driven. Real world problems and applications are always popular. I also group my highest students together at one table. You could also use learning contracts. I have not used them yet, but I am considering it.

I found an interesting article tonight:  http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1653653-1,00.html

I included different level lab sheets on my Monster Madness update: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Monsters-Matter

 
Pictures are from Monster Madness labs this week. :)


Monday, October 1, 2012

October is here!

October is here...I just we had the cooler weather to go with it! It is hot in central Florida! I am happy to be thinking about fall activities and Halloween! Halloween can be so much fun in the lab. We definitely are mad scientists! I have a new item on TPT filled with 6 fun, easy, exciting Halloween Investigations. Check it out... http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Halloween-Science-Fun
This week in the lab, we are beginning our chemistry/matter unit in grades 1 and 2 and of course, pumpkin investigations in K. We might actually make a pumpkin explode this year. :)
Today, we did "Dancing Creepy Crawlies" in first grade. We replaced the traditional raisins with broken up cooked spaghetti dyed different colors with food coloring. The red ones looked so gross... just like real worms. Mystery potion A was sprite and B was tonic water. They had to determine which made the worms dance more.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sick, Sale, and Sleepy!

 

 I have had a cold which turned into bronchitis...I was managing. Until yesterday, when the stomach bug entered! Needless to say I have been ill and confined to the house for two days. I think *fingers crossed* that my stomach woes are over, but I have this lingering cough! Being asthmatic, this means I am having a serious relationship with my nebulizer!
     Enter fall...although it still feels very much like summer in central Florida! I am having a sale and I have joined a blog hop..."Happy Fall Y'all!"
Thank you to Casey@ http://secondgrademathmaniac.blogspot.com/
I love her blog!
Finally, my meds are making me very sleepy...goodnight!



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Publisher Secrets

Did you know that there are airplaine templates on microsoft publisher? Yes! And there are also origami templates...get this...with directions! They are in templates under "paper folding." You can edit the words, pictures to be whatever you would like. :) There are four aircraft designs. I usually give one design to each group and we go through the scientific process or engineering design process (or both!) with them.
Problem- Which aircraft goes the greatest distance?
Hypothesis- I think that _____ design goes the greatest distance because _________.
etc.
We do 3-5 trials and the kids love it!
 


Saturday, September 8, 2012

A great giveaway...




Check out Corinna's great giveaway! Each day she will feature some fabulous bloggers and give away items from them. Congratulations, Corinna!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Science ipad apps

I am so excited! I finally go the cord to connect my ipad to my smartboard. My first favorite science app is National Geographic Kids. You can download free explorer magazines for grade levels from K-8. They have embedded video and pictures/facts and for the younger kids, it has audio to read it to them!

National Geographic Kids
 
I also like Science 360. There are unlimited science photos, videos, and more!
 
 
Next week, I will post any new apps that we explore in the lab!
 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Science Resources


     I thought I would share some of my favorite online science resources.
I love scholastic's studyjams! They have short math and science videos about many topics and the kids love them. I usually use a short clip for an activating strategy.

Next, I love simulations! PhET offers FREE fun, researched based online simulations. http://phet.colorado.edu/
My husband loves BBC for the show "Top Gear" but I love BBC for all of the free education resources. They have games, lesson ideas, video clips, and more! http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/

PBS has great short videos on cool science jobs! They also have science experiments and science fair help. The kids love the games. http://pbskids.org/dragonflytv/

Check out these sites...they are full of science fun and information!

My TPT store:

I am currently working on science units (force and motion with Mercy, prediction, observation, and inference with Epossumondas) to go with several of my favorite books:



If you have never read a Picture Perfect Science book, I highly suggest it! A great resource for teachers!



Also, check out my latest post on "Critters in the Classroom"!