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Showing posts from March, 2013

Friday Freebie - a bulletin board idea!

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I've decided to link up with the Teaching Blog Addict for Friday Freebie!
Our entire building just got new bulletin boards.  Really big ones for right outside our doors in the hallway.
This was a wonderful donation but you know what it means when you get a big bulletin board.  It must be covered.  So I began the hunt for a fabulous idea.  Here's what I ended up with and how I did it.









I covered the board with some wrapping paper from the dollar tree.  It was pink with butterflies all over it.  I used a boarder that had a white picket fence and flowers to finish off the edges at the top and bottom of the bulletin board.  I found some laminated buggy accents and scattered them on the board.
I decided on the title: "Science Doesn't Bug Us!"
To make the title I used one of my favorite fonts and printed the letters. I cut the letters out to make my own letter templates and traced them onto a roll of bright blue contact paper.  I cut the letters out of contact paper an…

Science Essential Standard 4.E.2.3

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NC Science Essential Standard 4.E.2.3
 Give examples of how the surface of the earth changes due to slow processes such as erosion and weathering, and rapid processes such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.

Open any science book and you'll find plenty of ideas for modeling erosion and weathering.  One of my favorite things to do is take students outside after a heavy rain and look for signs of erosion, weathering, and deposition. But, none of this makes the STEM and career connections I want to afford my students.    

I specifically wanted to stay away from the typical, "let's make a volcano" that isn't really a volcano but more of a chemical reaction (vinegar/baking soda) experiment.  So I went looking for something specifically geared toward an interactive simulation of an earthquake.

I found just what I was looking for (and then some) at Teach Engineering.
I have a feeling I will be referencing this website a LOT!  They have tons of great ideas for…

Absolutely Explosive Professional Development

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Yes, there is a story here.  Our district professional development day in February was dedicated to science.  Exploding things in the name of science sounds like fun - right?  Wait a minute!  This explosive professional development didn't happen in February.  It happened at the March 8th, professional development for language arts and math.  As Paul Harvey would say... here is the rest of the story...

1 cold unopened diet pepsi can + 1 LCD projector (turned on and projecting away) = explosion an hour and a half later

Our presenter placed her cold diet pepsi can on the cart next to the LCD projector.  Heat caused the molecules to move more quickly and finally popped the top clean off the top of the can.  A picture is worth a thousand words so here you go.  Well... that was one way to get our attention.
The moral of the story... don't leave your soda can next to an LCD projector.  They put out a LOT of heat!!!




BTW - no LCD projectors were harmed.  Several educators jumped into ac…

5.L.2.2

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5.L.2.2 Classify the organisms within an ecosystem according to the function they serve: producers, consumers, or decomposers (biotic factors).

Last year, I purchased the "Follow That Food Chain" series.  These non-fiction adventure books are set up like a game.  Students begin by reading the introduction and then choosing a tertiary consumer from the ecosystem featured in each book.  From there, they read about the animal and continue to make choices that result in either survival and continuation along the food chain (which really becomes more of a food web) or a "dead end".

Although my students can learn plenty from reading and interacting with this book, I was looking for a way to document their learning.  I decided to create a guided reading focus sheet for this purpose.  You can get a copy of it here.  Basically, students record the tertiary animal they chose. Then they read and respond with 3 facts they learned about the animal.  Next they record the page the…

March Currently

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I missed February, but I managed to pull off March.
Love being part of the Currently Link Up with Farley.


So, I guess it is windy outside since I can hear the wind whistling through the windows.  March is coming in like a lion I suppose.

Let me just say that growing plants hydroponically is a big hit!  My 4th and 5th graders are loving this part of our science lab right now.  They've been helping mix the nutrients and adding them to the system.  Our first attempt is with some flowers - bachelor's buttons.  They are really taking off and the kids are very excited about it.  (so am I - truth be told)

Finished course #4 last week in my doctoral studies: Educational Research Methodologies culminated with the 1st milestone - the Topic Paper.  Thrilled to have pulled off an "A".  Even more thrilled to have a 3 week break from my studies.

Our youngest son, who is about to turn 16 next month, broke a bone in his hand but we don't know when.  It's been awhile.  Happe…