Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tried it Tuesday...All things Science

Happy Tuesday friends!
It's time again for Tried it Tuesday with my sweet friend

This is long...I'm sorry!
Here in Florida...we are beginnin' to talk about "the test"
that should not be named...
3rd grade takes Reading and Math in April.
4th grade does Writing in February. Reading and Math in April.
5th grade takes Reading, Math, and Science in April.

As many of you know, I'm a loopin' teacher.
I had my lil' rockstars in fourth grade last year.
One of the major benefits of this is...
I know what they learned last year.
I know which areas I need to hit hard with them
and what concepts they instantly grasped 
and need just a little bit of review on.

Since Science is such a big deal in 5th grade,
I try to incorporate as many resources as possible to 
reinforce the different standards we are coverin'
and integrate this in my Literacy block...
not just the textbook.  
Here are some of the things I've tried:

These were purchased by my district to go with our 
Science series, Science Fusion. 
When plannin'...I will pull out the Science Saurus
and pair it with the text and vocabulary from our Science textbook.
I like that Science Saurus has the book pieced 
together by different categories.
Doing Science, Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, 
Natural Resources and the Environment, Science, Technology,
and Society, Almanac, Famous Scientists and Inventors.

Many years ago, a 5th grade teacher
ordered Bill Nye videos to match our standards.
She pulled out the questions that go with the videos 
and designed a Science video notebook.
For nine weeks, the 5th graders watch
three videos a week and take notes while tryin' to answer
a few questions that go with the video.
On Fridays, they take a Science video test
with the same questions from their note-takin'.
This week our videos are 
1. Earthquakes, 2. Erosion, 3. Rivers and Streams.
To help my students organize their notes,
I have them color code the titles on their papers
with the same color for one week.
This helps them visually know which video notes to study.
Week one: red
Week two: orange
Week three: green
After the video I put up my color-coded notes on the board to see if they 
wrote down the important points.  
They copy my notes into their binder.
If a student misses a video, I search my friend YouTube
and link the video to our Edmodo Science library folder
for them to watch at home.

Study Jams is somethin' else I use...a lot.
They have just about every topic in Science.
This summer I found a list of StudyJams videos
on TpT for Science and Math.
I printed this list and paired the titles with the units in 
our Science textbook.

 I have a classroom website geared towards upper elementary.
I have added over a thousand links to my site 
in the past few years.
In Science, I had over 250+ links.
They were a little overwhelmin'.
I condensed them to several Symabloo boards to make
it easier for the kids to search for the site they want to use.

Example of the Solar System Symbaloo board

#5: Science Leveled Readers & Digital Lessons
We use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt-Science Fusion
We are fortunate to have a digital version of our textbook with
virtual labs, lessons, and leveled readers.
The students are able to access this at home and school.
We also have a consumable textbook and leveled readers
that match each unit. We do complete a lot of
graphic organizers and extension activities to go with the leveled readers.

I really like the virtual labs because sometimes we might not
have all of the materials for an experiment in the class.
Students are able to self-quiz themselves also...
which in an added bonus.
It took me well over a year after our Science adoption to
realize the potential of some of the resources included
and which ones were just fluff.
There is NO possible way to be able to utilize every resource.
We'd be here on the weekends too if so.
Science links to accompany units in 4th Grade Science Fusion &
5th Grade Science Fusion.

#6: Science Vocabulary Word Wall Words and Definition Cards
We use these for word wall words and Science games.

#7: Science passages from ReadWorks
If you are a K-8 teacher and don't already know about 
the benefits of ReadWorks
be sure to check out their website.
Good stuff!
Recently I received an email about STEM passages.
Of course I can't locate it now.

The sample below shows one student's color coded answers
 and highlightin' of where she
found her evidence in the passage.
She came up with his method on her own!

This program is designed for Florida students in the areas of 
Reading, Math, & Science.
This is presented to us to use by the Florida Department of Education.
If you teach in Florida in upper elementary and middle schools,
but don't have this program...ask your Media 
or Technology Specialist.   

I'm sure after I post this I will think of a million other things I have
tried recently in Science.


  1. We love Bill Nye! My kiddos ask for him all the time!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  2. My kiddos still love Bill Nye. Every time we put on a video in science, they ask if it will be one of his. The girl I work with loves to chant, "Bill! Bill! Bill!" with the intro. lol

  3. Lots of great science ideas here! Science always seems to get the short end of the stick in 4th grade because we aren't tested on it... Those dreaded tests are coming up here soon too - a bet a little Bill Nye thrown into the mix will keep our afternoons more energetic - and I can throw in some reading comp with him. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Do you like looping? I don't know.. I feel like it's a really good idea, but then I also feel like if you have a stinker, they're going to continue to stink for another year! Haha! We use many of those same resources. We're about to be hittin' up FCAT Explorer fa' real!


  5. I found StudyJams a week or two ago. I love it and so do my kids.
    Fourth and Goal in Fourth Grade

    1. I've been using it for a few years now and it really seems to help a great deal!

  6. Such a great collection of resources, Allison! I wish I had more time for science in my day. I love the idea of a video notebook to go with the Bill Nye videos!

    Keep Calm and Hoot On

  7. LOTS O' RESOURCES! We have Science Fusion too and I'd like a private email telling me the potential of this resource because we didn't really have a training on it and I feel like there's so much we're missing out on! (Who has time to look through all of that when you don't get training?) I love how you have it all laid out using all of your resources!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. This post is just so chock full of goodness I don't know where to start. First - love Bill Nye and love singing the theme song - any time any place. Second, a list of Study Jams - score - I always think I should do that but then never actually do it!! I randomly remember to check Study Jams out - I really need to check it out while doing my weekly plans - ugh. Lastly - really, over 250 links - wow. I have not used Symbaloo but checked yours out - your whole website too - and may have to think about setting some up. Thank you for sharing all of your resource goodness.

  9. I was just introduced to Study Jams today by a teammate...what a coincidence! I can' t wait to dive in and see what's on there!
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  10. "Yeah, Sciene" (breaking bad fans will know that one).
    I'm so happy that the old Bill Nye videos are still used so much. I mean, the information is great but the presentation is even better.
    Just so you know, I'm going to share this with our 4th/5th grade teachers.

  11. WOW, WOW!! This post is full of wonderful ideas and I already pinned it (in several places!) You ROCK!!! :) xxoo
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  12. Alison,
    Shoot me an email with the info/links for your new buttons please. peschaff@bresnan.net


I heart readin' your comments and replyin' to you. Please be sure to check to see that you aren't a "no-reply blogger" so I can comment to you via email. Happy readin'!