Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Workshop Wednesday...Science edition

Well hello there, Wednesday!
You are a welcome sight!
Today I'm linkin' up with one of my BBB's Jivey
for Workshop Wednesday.

This week's topic is Science.
I'm gonna kick you back to a post I wrote recently about
how I teach Science in my classroom and integrate it
into my Reading block.
I don't have a separate time set aside for
Science or Social Studies.
They go where Reading goes.

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 is 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.   

#9: I check out tons of books from the school library and Public library
to go with whatever units we are workin' on...or I let the kids go
check them out.

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


  1. Awesome post girl!! Thanks for sharing all this fabulousness!!! I loved looping too. I did it a few years ago and it was a great class to loop with! Thanks for linking up!

  2. It's so nice to find another Florida 5th grade teacher! We are using ALL these same resources and I couldn't agree with you more on their importance! I'm excited to check out some of your symbaloo boards and I'm really excited about that TPT link for the StudyJams videos! Thanks for the goodies!

    Teaching with a Touch of Twang

  3. I have an obsession with Bill Nye...I was like a fangirl when I saw him at the NSTA in Boston...embarrassing??? Perhaps. Needless to say I use his videos in my classroom to reinforce the concepts. The students love watching them and so do I! I love the resources you shared and will definitely be checking them out! Thanks!

    1. I will admit that my kids and I yell-sing his intro song to all of his videos. Lol!

  4. These are all great resources! Gotta love Bill Nye. He really cracks the kids up with his geekiness -- but they DO learn from him! I love how your organized your websites using Symbaloo. I've never used that website, but I hear it calling my name now. :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  5. My students LOVE Bill Nye! Did I ever tell you that I used to work for Houghton-Mifflin (before they merged with Harcourt)? I worked for their publishing division as a marketing coordinator. That's the job that convinced me I didn't want to work for Corporate America! haha

  6. Thank you for all the science resources! I really need to work on adding more science to my lessons next year, and this gives me a place to start.


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