We are working on Greek Mythology in social studies and Space in science right now and the kids are so excited! We have been doing many different hands-on science labs about the planets, but this one may be their favorite so far! None of my students had ever tried Astronaut Food before, so this was quite an experience for them!
I got a Mission Pack from Amazon and then a few additional packs of strawberries and Neapolitan ice cream. Each table group had a selection of the different astronaut foods to sample.
I created a lab pack to go with this lesson. It has a non-fiction reading selection about astronaut food with questions, as well as three different labs.
If you are teaching a unit on space, you may want to consider letting your kids try astronaut food, it was an experience they are sure not going to forget! Click on the Lab #1 picture (above) and download the PREVIEW file to receive this lab sheet for FREE!
I am very lucky to be in a school district that has a department that will set-up and pay for video conferences in the classroom. The students just LOVE doing video conferences, it gives them an opportunity to experience things that are nowhere near our urban school location.
We have done 6 video conferences so far this year, with about 4-6 more to go! They last about an hour and they are really inexpensive (sometimes they are free). For many of the video conferences, they send you the materials you need for the video conference as well.
We just did a video conference with the Alaska SeaLife Center and it was AMAZING! The students got to dissect squids! They went crazy for this one. We also added octopus and cuttlefish in order to do a comparative analysis of cephalopods.
The SeaLife Center sent us the squids, but you can find all three (octopus, cuttlefish, and squid) at most Asian markets. Just look in the frozen section! We thawed them all out in tubs of cold water.
Students learned a lot and they will never forget the experience!
I am linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for Currently in January! Love doing these and I need to try to remember to link up every month this year! We are still enjoying our last days of Winter Break, but not really enjoying the 5 inches of snow that fell today! UGH! So sick of this winter weather already!
My 6 year old daughter and I LOVE to dance and Applause by Lady Gaga is one of our favorites right now! You can’t help but start dancing when you hear that song!
I have three kiddos of my own and it is always fun to slow down and hang out with them!
I am getting excited about our next units…Solar System and Greek Mythology here we come! We will be reading “The Lightning Thief”, by Rick Riordan, and it is one of my FAVORITE books! I already ordered personalized pencils from Oriental Trading Company to go with the book. The pencils have sayings like: “Property of Camp Half Blood” and “Aunty Em’s Garden Gnome Emporium”. The kids can earn the pencils by doing a great job on the comprehension questions and other activities I have planned. I am working on a HUGE unit right now for the book! Stay tuned!
I really want to work at least one day in my classroom (tomorrow is my last chance), but we just got hit with a ton of snow, high winds and freezing temperatures! Yikes!
As always, I NEED to get about a million (well maybe not quite that many) papers graded! I will be starting on those as soon as I finish this post!
One of my favorite traditions is when all the ladies (and little girls) in our family get together for cookie baking! YUM!
Happy New Year to all!
I don’t know about you, but I am a Pinterest junkie! I am on there at least once a day and I am regularly inspired by what I see on the numerous pins I see! Because of this Pinterest-Addiction, I have decided to join a great link up with Stephanie from Principal Principles (it is great to see administrators with blogs, by the way).
I went over to my Pinterest boards (click here and follow me if you like what you see) and here is what I found:
#5 STEM Home Challenges (with 89 repins)
#4 Card Bridges STEM Challenge (with 104 repins)
Pin #3 Paper Clip Chain STEM Challenge (with 127 repins)
Pin #2 STEM Challenge Ten Pack #6 (with 141 repins)
Pin #1 Sugar Cube Arches STEM Challenge (with 184 repins)
Obviously, STEM activities are HUGE now! I am currently in my second year at a STEM school and I love it. I am surprised that these have gotten so many repins, and many others have a ton of repins as well! AMAZING! I cannot wait to see what 2014 with bring!
Looking to get started in STEM? Here is the link to a great STEM Freebie! These are student role sheets that are great to use when doing STEM engineering challenges!
Happy Pinning and Happy New Year to ALL!
Every year, my classroom participates in the Monster Exchange Writing Project! It is a FREE program that you can find here: www.monsterexchange.org
Students first draw and color a monster.
Once the monster is drawn and colored, students must create a set of directions for someone else to use in order to draw their monster. They are surprised to realize that this is a lot harder said than done!
Your classroom is paired up with another classroom and your kids have to draw their monsters while they draw your monsters.
Why not try this amazing program with your kids today??? I promise, they will love it! , even your reluctant writers If you need a cheap packet to help you through the process, you can click here!
We tried our hands at close reading by using a non-fiction article from the National Geographic Explorer magazine we get every month. I am sure this could just as easily be done with Scholastic News or Time for Kids articles. Here is a picture of a completed poster.
We followed five steps in order to make the posters. Students needed the article and access to a sheet of paper or post-it notes.
Step #1 We quickly flipped through the article focusing on pictures, headings, titles, etc. Students wrote 4-5 questions about what they saw as they scanned the article.
Step #2 We read the article and students wrote any interesting facts they heard down on post-it notes.
Step #3 We looked through the article in order to find 3-5 vocabulary words relating to the article.
Step #4 We focused on one specific section of the article and wrote a summary of it.
Step #5 We used all of these parts to construct a detailed informational poster about the article.
They turned out great!
How do you use close reading in your classroom? You can answer and share your ideas in the comments!
About once every 4-6 weeks, we complete a class book on a topic we are studying. The students have to choose a letter and then choose a topic that begins with the letter. We started with zoo animals because we adopt an animal from our local zoo each year and students were familiar with the topic.
Students research their choice using books and/or the Internet and then they write their rough draft. Once they have edited their rough draft with a peer, they type it. Students can choose the font and size they use as long as it can fit onto one sheet of paper. The students also have to illustrate the topic. We glue both pages onto a sheet of 12 x 18 construction paper and then I laminate them.
We display them like this at first, then I bind them into a class book. I am always amazed at how many times my kids read these class books! They love them!
I have a pre-made packet you can use, or you can just have the kids write the rough draft onto notebook paper! Click here for the link to the packet!
Why not try this idea during your next science or social studies topic?