Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Forms of Energy

Yesterday, we started learning about forms of energy. Our district prefers the 5E lesson structure, so I began with "engage". We watched a 'forms of energy' quick video on Brainpop (https://www.brainpop.com/science/). If you have a subscription, Brainpop offers quite a few videos and resources for different forms of energy. If not, StudyJams (http://studyjams.scholastic.com), offers a good variety of short videos and resources for free!


Next, we moved into "explore" by using balloons to make
energy... static electricity!
 
Today, moving into "explain" we learned about three specific forms of energy: sound, heat, and light. We journaled and added energy vocab to our interactive science notebooks and students sorted pictures representing sound, heat, and light energy.

Later, we "extended and elaborated" by making a bracelet with 'special' (solar) beads. We then went outside to see which form of energy made our bracelets change color.  Students were amazed by the 'magic'!



Tomorrow, we will be wrapping things up with "evaluate". Students will journal a real world example of energy using newly acquired vocabulary and then we will play "Energy Scoot"!


 




Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Surviving and Thriving in Second Grade

It has been a busy transition from the science lab to second grade! I have also been busy in my personal life with my daughter in high school marching band and getting my health in order (70 pound loss so far!). I think I have been on auto-pilot for awhile, but something snapped me out of it today. I was in a PLC (professional learning community) today at my school, during my planning period (although there wasn't a lot of learning going on) when I realized that my district was mediocre at best and I had accepted mediocracy in my own classroom! Here was someone from our district (in curriculum) who has at our school to help us become better professionals and she was teaching us how to "cut and paste" from another state's standards website to create "our own" 5E model (another rant!) lesson plans. WHAT? Not only are we micromanaged, but we are taught to "cut and paste"? That doesn't sound like teacher common core 101 to me? Where is the "think for ourselves"? Are we not educated enough to come up with our own? Then, she practically begged us to come up with as many 5E lesson plans (cut and pasting okay) and submit them to the district, so that all teachers could use them. I think maybe, our district might be wasting some dollars on curriculum personnel.
I am going to use this as a lesson to not accept "cut and pasting" and to think for myself and what is best for my students!  

Coming soon... original 5E lesson plans in math and science for second grade! :)