Friday, July 31, 2009
Stumbled upon this website from Glencoe...has great stuff for foldables! Print, cut out, and paste into a foldable template or use for Notebooking/Lapbooking.
Some examples are:
- Physical vs Chemical Changes
- States of Matter (Foldable for Solid, Liquid, Gas Notes?)
- Phase Changes
- Elements, Compounds, & Mixtures
- Atomic Theory (Foldable with Scientists and Atomic Models?)
- The Atom
- Periodic Table
- Bonding - Ionic & Covalent (Shutter Foldable?)
- Chemical Formulas
- Chemical Reactions
- Balancing Equations
- Conservation of Mass
- Acids and Bases (Cut 'n Paste Venn Diagram)
BrainPOP has a great collection of movies for chemistry - I use just about all of these during my unit.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
They have strategies for:
- Starting a class
- Hooks and explanations for starting lessons
- Keeping Your Students Engaged/ Cooperative Learning & Group Activities/Assessments/HOTS (almost 300 tips!)
- Ending & Exiting Your Class
Monday, July 27, 2009
Link for activity
I made a booklet for this lab activity with instructions and room for data collection and analysis. You can use this as a SmartBoard activity with students coming up to take turns, or you can have students do this activity on laptops or desktops.
Students will find the mass and volume for each shape, then place it in the tank to see if it floats or sinks. I usually have them calculate the density after they have recorded all their data, they can use the calculator on the computer or a hand-held one. Once they have the first data table completed, I have them categorize the objects into the two groups: Float or Sink. They should see a pattern where objects with a density less than 1 floated, and objects with a density greater than 1 sank.
Note: the graduated cylinder does not use displacement, it gives the volume of the object directly. And technically, objects that float in the tank should float in the graduated cylinder instead of sinking to the bottom. I always smile if a student points that out.
The kids usually enjoy this activity and when completed on a laptop/desktop, they can work at their own pace. Some students will need help with using the density formula and entering the information into a calculator, as well as rounding to the 100ths place.
Students will answer the analysis questions and write a conclusion.
Here is the activity as a pdf
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
For now I will mirror this blog on my edublog account and see which program I like better until I really figure out all there is to know about each blog service.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
When I introduce Buoyancy, we have already been talking about Density for a few days and completed a variety of activities. I show the Bill Nye Video Clip on Buoyancy (part 1) and we discuss it afterwards. Parts 2 & 3 have a few things that I would like to show once I figure out how to edit them and take out the parts that I don't want or need.
After Bill Nye, I show the BrainPOP movie for Buoyancy. I made up a handout for the students to work on after they watch the video clip. To complete the notes, they work with a partner after we have watched the movie the first time. When they are done, I show the movie again and they fill in anything that they missed. Afterwards, we go over the answers as a class. I find this works much better than having them complete the sheet while they are watching the clip the first time. The students become so focused on what they are writing, that they end up missing a lot, and its hard for them to focus on both writing and watching.
As a review, the students complete the cut 'n paste vocabulary for buoyancy. They can use the notes we took in class and work with a partner.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Using Publisher, I made a 4 door foldable for the three density related formulas: D= m/v, v= m/D, and m = v x D. The 4th door has instructions on how to solve a word problem. I used the 4 panel brochure template and on the 1st and 4th panels, I made a guide line at 4.25 inches. To make the flaps, simply cut on the dotted lines.
Along with the formulas, inside the foldable are 3 practice problems, and a few notes about mass, volume, and density. I need to make a ppt to go along with the foldable, it will be posted on my notebook page soon.
On the right side are practice problems. Students have to determine which formula is needed, set up the problem, and add the correct units. They can refer to their foldable for the formula and how to solve the problems. The problems are not that difficult, my main goal is having them choose the right formula, set up the formula by plugging in the known values, and adding the correct units when done. Some students may have a little difficulty with multiplying or dividing decimals and rounding to the 100ths place, so I usually go over that before we begin by modelling a few problems with them.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
10/2/09 updated Link: This is a fun interactive site found last year and used with my 5th graders as a laptop lab activity. What I loved about this activity is that it gave them a chance to practice the following skills:
- Using a metric ruler
- Determining what increments to use on the ruler
- Finding mass
- Determining what increments to use on the scale
- Using a data table to determine the correct postage based on length and mass
- If a student makes a mistake, they have to try again until they get it right, so they get immediate feedback
- practice collecting data
- the activity is self paced
- Fun Brain Measure it! Practice reading a ruler
- Pour to Score - logic problem using volume (kids LOVED this one!)
- Can you fill it? Fill the container with the fewest # of pours
- Can you balance the animals? Uses metric and non metric units, practice conversions.
- Can you balance the poddles?
Monday, July 20, 2009
This will be a stations lab with 10 stations. On each tray, there will be a beaker (200 - 250 mL) of colored water, graduated cylinders (10 mL, 25 mL, and 50 mL), two items to measure (rocks, small rubber stoppers, marbles, pennies, etc..) and a plastic spoon. The plastic spoon is a must have for this lab. How so? Lets say the kids are finding the volume of a small rock, they drop the rock into the graduated cylinder, find the volume, now they have to get it out. I show them how to tilt the graduated cylinder to pour the water back into the beaker while using the spoon to cover the opening of the graduated cylinder. Water pours out while the rock is stopped by the spoon. They can easily take the rock and place it back on the lunch tray.
If that doesn't work, and the rock (or whatever object they are finding the volume for) falls into the beaker, they can use the spoon to fish out the rock from the bottom of the beaker. Otherwise, the kids are putting their whole hand into the beaker to fish out the rock and their hand will displace the water in the beaker = spills. Another reason to use the spoon is that some objects, like metal cylinders or marbles, can crack the beaker when it falls out of the graduated cylinder. (also, to prevent the grad. cylinder from breaking when an object is placed in it, place a small rubber stopper inside the grad. cylinder)
I usually remind the students that when they fill up the graduated cylinders to only fill it about half way with water. This allows room for the object to be placed into the graduated cylinder without the water running over. I also remind them to record the starting volume, drop the object in, record the final volume, and to subtract the final volume from the stating volume to calculate the volume of the object. (1 mL = 1 cubic cm)
Prior to starting the lab, we will talk about Archimedes, how to read a graduated cylinder, what a meniscus is, what displacement is and how to use it to calculate volume, and how to determine the increments to read the volume. We will also do a few practice problems as a pre-lab.
- Practice: Reading a Graduated Cylinder and determining volume by displacement (page 1)
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I usually set this lab up as a stations lab. I'll have 10 stations set up around the room with a variety of objects for the students to measure at each station. Some objects include boxes of: tissues, chalk, crayons, colored pencils, scotch tape, markers, as well as wrapped package of index cards, a dry eraser, a textbook, blocks of wood, etc...
Students will travel with their lab partners and each student will measure one item of their choice at the station they are at (I usually have 2 objects at each station). Students will have a set time at each station and then rotate through 8 of them. When they are done, they can use a calculator to find the volume of each object.
Once everyone has calculated the volume, we go over the answers to make sure their calculations were correct. There is usually an acceptable margin of error for the volumes, depending on how precise they were with their measurements. Students may be +/- a few mm per measurement.
I created a measuring worksheet for cm and mm. Instead of a regular "measure the line and write it down" kind of sheet, I made it a little bit different. The students have to find the line that matches the measurement indicated, and this involves some higher order thinking and processing skills. For example, the first one asks for a line that is 2 cm long. The students look at all the lines and think, "OK, I need something that is small. There are 2 lines that are smaller than all the rest, let me see if one of them is 2 cm long." They continue this process for all the cm & mm lines.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
This is a work in progress and will be actively updated:
In labs where messes can occur, the lunch tray contains any liquids that may get spilled or solids (like powders, sand, dirt, rocks) that can get messy. I remind the kids to work on their lunch trays when they take items off and put them on their desks. When something does get knocked over and spills, its so easy to just remove a few items from the tray, take the tray over to the sink and dump the liquids right into the sink (we don't use anything that is toxic or needs special disposal in 5th grade). Much better than liquids all over the desk, on their clothes, or running onto the floor, and using a lot of paper towels to clean it up.
How many drops of water can fit on a penny? Is there a difference between using clean water and soapy water? What is surface tension? This is the lab I use after my surface tension demo and the kids have practiced using a pipette. I reformatted it to fit into a booklet using Publisher. The original lab can be found here.
This is the lab booklet in pdf: Drops of Water on a Penny
Thursday, July 16, 2009
When you select print, and your print menu pops up (it may not look like the one I have here) look for "Page Scaling". Click on the tab and select "Fit to Printable Area"
In the print preview, you will see that the page dimensions are now "8.5 x 11".
Click "OK" and a scaled down version of the legal sized document will print out.
At this point I pass out the rulers and we go over where the cm side is and how each number represents a cm, and the little lines between are millimeters. I have them count the small lines and they see that there are 10 mm for each cm.
The one thing that is different in this lesson than the original is that I am having them measure in inches, also. Mostly just for practice and that they can compare the values and see that the values for cm are larger than the values for inches.
So after we have taken those 5 measurements, I take the rulers away and they have to estimate the values for the lab table, width of paper, pencil length, width of chair, and width of a floor tile. This part is great because now they use the known values of, lets say their hand span or fingernail width, to find the unknown values of those 5 objects. (and while they are doing this, I call up one at a time to measure and mark how tall they are in cm)
- Metric Notes pdf (For this one and most of my in class activities, I would have the kids glue this into their notebooks after they have completed the lesson)
- Metric Notes Practice pdf - right side practice or hw
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I fill up a glass with water, but not all the way to the top. I ask the kids "Can this paper clip float on top of the water?" Kids usually say no. I add a little drama and try really hard to get the paper clip to float on top of the water and act really disappointed when it drops to the bottom each time. Then I "remember" how to do it the right way.
I slowly add more water to the glass and the kids watch as the water rises over the top but does not run down the side of the glass. It forms a dome. We talk about surface tension again.
I then take a paper clip (the smaller ones work really well) and hold it horizontally. I place one edge on the lip of the glass and slowly slide the paper clip onto the dome of water. I give it a slight tap and the paper clip slides across the top of the dome to the other side. The kids think its such a neat trick. We then make observations of how the paperclip is slightly indented into the surface of the water and that the surface tension is holding it up.
I then add another paperclip and we make more observations. Sometimes the paper clips bump into each other and float around the top. We keep going until I can no longer place anymore on top. I think we had 15 floating at once as our highest count.
After we discuss this demo and wrap it up, I show the kids how to use a pipette and have them practice using it so they are ready for our surface tension lab the next class. Using a pipette is a fine motor skill and takes practice so all the water doesn't gush out at once or come out in uneven large drops. I show them how to hold it with their thumb and first two fingers on the bulb end and to keep the pipette on a slight angle. You don't want to hold it perfectly horizontal because you want the water to be near the opening and reduce air bubbles. Holding it vertically doesn't give you as much control. You want to hold the pipette steadily and have good control.
One other key point is not to the have the tip of the pipette touch anything or submerge into the water. When they do the real lab, I remind them that the pipette tip should not touch the penny or any drops of water on the surface of the penny. I bring up that whenever I watch crime shows and they show some kind of testing liquid from a dropper touching the item they are testing it drives me nutty because they just contaminated the bottle they were using and its not using proper "CSI" techniques. =)
The kids then practice with different amounts of pressure and experiment on how to get a good even flow of drops of water, and to practice counting them. The kids really get into it and we see how many drops of water they can get in a row.
Using Publisher, I made a tri-fold brochure for this demonstration, here is the pdf.
This is my first attempt at making a foldable, I may make adjustments before school starts, but I think it might work as it is.
Using the Microsoft Publisher template "Blank Page Sizes-1/2 Letter Booklet-4.25 x 11 inches" - I placed dashed lines every 1 inch, leaving enough spots for each vocabulary word I wanted to use. I then used Word Art to type each word and centered it between the dashed lines.
For page 2, I used word art again to type the heading "Picture or Example" and on page 3 "Definitions". Page 4 will be glued into the notebook when they are done making the foldable.
Print out the 4 pages (2 sheets of paper) and then double side it when you photocopy it. The bottom part where the directions are, can be cut off completely before it is glued into place.
Students will cut the dotted lines to make tabs, be sure not to cut all the way through, only the front flap. After they have cut the tabs, students can write the definition for each and either an example or picture, or both if they would like to, for each word. Students can use this foldable to study their vocabulary words by stating the definition and an example. They can self check by opening the tab and seeing the correct definition.
Here is the foldable as a pdf
Monday, July 13, 2009
I'll start with the power point and have the students write down their observations and inferences as I show one frame at a time. There is a lot of room for interpretation and I look forward to what they come up with!
- This is the power point I modified for my class: Mystery Footprints
- UPDATED 9.16.09 - (I had a few typos towards the end, so the corrected version is posted. My 5's are so helpful in pointing this out!) This is the booklet of notes and where they write down their observations and inferences: Footprints pdf. To make the booklet, copy two sided, fold in half, and glue the 4th page into the notebook. (I found this lesson last year but can't find the link I downloaded it from. I reformatted it, but other than that there are only minor changes)
- And this is the practice assignment for homework and review: Practice pdf
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
This is a lesson I first heard about last fall from the middle school science group . This is a very good group activity, it makes the students think like scientists, use their problem solving skills, and show a bit of their creative side. (I usually have groups with 3-4 students per group.)
Left Hand Side:
Each group is given the same exact 23 cards, each card has one word on it (such as dog, turnip, white, bone, bowl, etc... ). All the cards are face down, and they turn over any 5 cards. Using those 5 words, they have to guess what the story is about and make some kind of sentence out of it. After they write it down, they turn over 5 more cards and either try to continue their story, or make a new story now that they have new information. Once again, after they write down their new hypothesis, they chose another 5 cards and either add to their hypothesis, or make a new one.
Once everyone has uncovered 15 cards and made their 3rd hypothesis, I have each group share it with the class. Even though each group starts out with the same 23 cards, no two groups have uncovered the same 15 words (what is the probability of that happening...). Each group has their own hypothesis and we compare what is similar, what's different, if there were any common themes, etc...
Now that we have all shared our stories, we turn over the rest of the cards. They have to use all 23 words to make the final version of their story. This is not as easy as it may sound. By this point, they may have a story they really like and want it to work out, or they may not agree on a final hypothesis, or they may get stuck because they have narrowed down which words belong together, ie. red dog, red bowl, or red house? Big dog, little dog, fat dog, big red fat dog?
We now share our final hypothesis, or story, with the class and we discuss what we came up with. I then ask them, "If we all have the same 23 words, why don't we all have the same story?" The kids come up with some great reasons as to why. We talk about what challenges they encountered when trying to come up with a story, if there was disagreement in the group, if their stories even made sense, etc...
I then tie it into how scientists may have the same exact information or data, but come up with different hypotheses and disagree just like they did in this activity. I then bring up the topic of who has the "correct" hypothesis? How do I know what is "correct"? Scientists are always getting new information (just like they got more words to work with) all the time and have to either make it fit, or come up with a totally new hypothesis and start from scratch, throwing all their previous ideas out the window. You can then tie in real examples of that like how people thought the world was flat, sun went around the Earth, etc..
After all my classes have done this activity, I then reveal what the "correct" story was, and it usually is not even close to the stories they came up with! Then they always say that their story was better! =)
For the right side, I will have the students write a half page reflection about what they learned or experienced by doing this activity, and then a half page drawing showing a scene from their unique story.
When we do this activity in Sept, I will post what they came up with as well as some of their drawings. I can then keep a log for each year, will be fun to compare then with each new group of students.
ISN Version: http://www.middleschoolscience.com/turnips-isn.pdf
Lab Journal Version (includes the 23 words, print out and laminate): http://www.middleschoolscience.com/turnips.pdf
Original Website with the Lesson Plan I made the lab sheets from: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/education/dynamic/session4/sess4_act1.htm
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
After everyone has had a chance to work on the scavenger hunt, we take our seats and go over the answers. For example, if I ask "Where is the fire extinguisher?" all the students point to it at the same time. There are a few tricky ones and its fun when they are all pointing in different directions thinking they are right! One tricky one is we have these pull down coiled up extension cords that hang from the ceilings with 3 outlets on each, we use these to plug in laptops if the battery power is low. Most kids point to the wall outlets thinking they are the ones we use for laptops, then I point up to the ceiling and they are like "Where did they come from!"
Here is the updated version that I will use in September. I used a landscape layout and each student will have half a page in their notebooks. http://www.middleschoolscience.com/scavengerhunt-isn.pdf
Monday, July 6, 2009
One of the first lessons I use after we talk about lab safety is the SpongeBob Science Safety Rules Challenge. The original lesson plan along with teacher notes is posted at http://sciencespot.net/Media/scimthdsafety.pdf .
I reformatted the information from the original handout using Microsoft Publisher and used a blank catalog template. I will use this new format in Sept, but have used the original lesson plan several times with my students. This template allows me to use a standard sheet of paper and double sided photocopying to make a 4 page booklet. I then saved it as a pdf file.
Students will fold it in half and glue the 4th page into their science notebooks. This is the new handout I made and Tracy posted it on her sciencespot site along with the original lesson plan: http://sciencespot.net/Media/spongebob-safety-challenge-isn.pdf
Left Hand Activity:
How I use this lesson is I have several students take turns reading the story outloud. After we read it as a class, each student works with their lab partner and underlines the broken safety rules in pencil. After several minutes, giving everyone a chance to finish up, we go over the answers. I have them take out a colored pencil and we underline all the goofy broken safety rules that SpongeBob and the gang make and discuss why we chose those.
If a student has a correct answer, they have a regular pencil line and a colored pencil line for the broken safety rule. If they missed one, its only underlined in colored pencil. As I walk around the room, it allows me to quickly assess their work. I only grade it as completed or not completed, not by the number of answers they got right or missed. The kids like this activity and its a good way to get them thinking about lab safety.
Right hand activity:
I am not sure what I will use yet, but a few ideas I have are to have students make an illustration of a safety rule either being broken or followed, draw a scene from the story with SpongeBob or Patrick breaking one of the rules mentioned, or make observations from different drawings and see how many broken rules they can find. All three are visual, but having students draw pictures about safety rules would be more creative.
The way that I set up my table of contents is that the left and right pages are next to each other, so it is a visual pairing of what goes together, instead of a linear type of list. When I give the students the table of contents to put into their notebooks, I may have the first few pages typed in to model how it should look, then have the students fill in the rest as we do each activity.
I am posting a rough draft of my table of contents, but I am sure it will change several times before September! http://www.middleschoolscience.com/ISN-tableofcontents-pgs1-33.pdf
Sunday, July 5, 2009
In 5th grade, the students have a homeroom as their base, but change classes every period. They do not travel with their homerooms, but rather in groups. From the two homerooms, they split into three groups that travel together for English, History, and Science. The groups are mixed again for Math, French, and their other classes.
We have a 6 day cycle with the 5 major classes having a drop day. So I meet each group 5 times a cycle with each group having a different drop day. So some days I see all 3 classes, and some days I only see 2 out of the 3. At first, it was really hard to plan my weeks and keep all three classes on track, but it got easier as the year went on. You can see my planbook to give you an idea of how I did that: http://www.middleschoolscience.com/myplanbook.htm
The students have a really full schedule Along with their 5 core classes they have sports Mon-Thursday, study hall, tech class, woodshop, art, music, chorus, bookies, advisory, club activities, Friday afternoon activity class, writing workshop, lunch, snack, recess, assemblies, and I am sure I missed one or two others!