Sunday, March 31, 2013

Feeling Froggy!

Hey Science Friends,
We are feeling a little froggy lately. We can't help it. We just can't! After investigating pond water and school water we just could not resist talking about frogs. We just love them. I found this picture on Sense of Wonder and it just made me want to make a light table for some fun investigations. My mind keeps coming up with all the wonderful investigative ideas we could do with a light investigation table. It is on my spring "to do" list for sure.
I was able to find these plastic life cycle models for my classroom on Amazon for a pretty decent price. These would go well on a light table or in a water table for some fun investigations. And if you are near a Dollar Tree they have plastic colored frogs and bags of rocks that would work well in a water table. I know my kids would love those too because we now know frogs are not always green!
We naturally were curious about the life cycle of frogs since we are working on some writing research in Language Arts and many children decided on the topic of frogs after we did some pond investigations about water clarity! So I created this for my class to help with their research writing that we are still working on.

A few water samples from around town and we are well on our way to observing and describing natural sources of water. And I knew just a soon as we were well on our way to taking a real close look at pond water that it would make us just want to know more about ponds and the life we see living inside a pond. So, I headed to my go-to place for books...Amazon!
Life in the Pond is one of the best books that I have found and it is perfect for some pond research for a budding scientist.  
I am waiting on the arrival of Pond Circle. I was drawn to this book because a young girl investigates a simple backyard pond and discovers a world of activity!
Turtle Splash is a new favorite of mine because it is a pond countdown book and it is a wonderful book to use with Number Talks in Kindergarten. This book really inspired us and made us want to create some pond counting books of our own. So, we are working on that this coming week. 
I am waiting on Pond Babies to arrive. I am a huge fan of Cathryn Falwell books so I had to add this to our collection. I love the theme of exploring the natural world that this book portrays. You know there is a scientist in all of us as we explore, discover and investigate the world around us. So, if you are looking around for some books you might want to consider Scoot by Cathryn Falwell too!
 And since we are looking at ponds you know we need to label one!
All my favorite Kindergarten teachers tell me A Frog Thing is a must have book. Who doesn't love frogs? And I just can't wait to read A Frog Thing... I am looking forward to ending the week with this inspiring book!
Hoppy Days Science Friends! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring is Here!

Hey Science Friends,
I think spring has sprung around my neck of the woods! I am so excited to finally see the end of winter. I love all things spring. And as I was doing some spring cleaning I thought of Life Cycles. Kids naturally have questions about Life Cycles. You can't avoid it especially when they see it in nature. I am fortunate to have a school garden right next to the playground. We do see the stages of a caterpillar right before our eyes in nature. We have also been known to find lots of other interesting creatures in the playground too. And since I was thinking about Life Cycles and spring it got me a little creative and led me to to create I Can Be A Scientist Exploring Life Cycles. All the things you will need for the Life Cycle of the Apple Tree, Frog, Chicken and Butterfly. But if you know me personally, I guess you are wondering if I am straying from my state way! I am using this unit as non fiction readers with some vocabulary development and some integration for the reading of some visuals which is covered in our Language Arts and Social Studies. You see, sometimes you have to just HIDE the Science... So in my neck of the woods what Life Cycles do we actually get to teach? Plants, good old plants. I love plants but it is hard to compete with a frog, butterfly and a chicken! So, plants will be it's own Science Unit! All in all, both are perfect for spring and some great outdoor investigations! If you are interested in the Life Cycles mentioned above this is what is included:
Life Cycles Included
-Apple Tree
4 Colored Printable Basic Needs Posters
4 Colored Printable Life Cycle Posters
4 Blackline Printable Life Cycle Pages
11 Blackline Printable Label It Life Cycle Pages
4 Blackline Printable Order The Life Cycle Pages
4 Colored Printable Teacher Big Books
12 Blackline Printable Student Readers
3 Alternate Versions For Each Life Cycle
3 Alternate Vocabulary Student Book Pages
8 Colored Printable Life Cycle Sequencing Cards
4 Colored Printable Life Cycle Model Making Mats
9 Blackline Printables For Notebook/Journal Making
Day By Day Lesson Plan Format Included!
Student Readers are perfect for non fiction independent reading!
Tons of Print and Go Science Fun!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Three Little Gators!

Hey Science Friends,
I was really excited to open up my mailbox and find this book inside. I had a feeling that it might be a book that could help me with some serious integration this time of year. The setting of the is adorable book is an east Texas swamp and this time of year that really caught my attention because in Social Studies all things Texas are heating up to be a lot of fun this time of year. And who could resist a little compare/contrast with The Three Little Pigs and The Three Little Gators? I knew my kids would just jump at the chance with this new book. But the science teacher in me was also drawn to the mention of the usefulness! Yep, rocks! And since we are wrapping up are study on rocks, this is just perfect for us. The first gator builds his house of rocks but the other gators think rocks are too heavy and too much work. The second gator builds a house of sticks. And the third gator builds a house of sand because it is the easiest one to build. When the big, bottomed boar shows up, which house is strong enough to stand up to the bump, bump, bump of his rump? I guess we will all have to read it to find out!
What objectives can we cover with this book?
Science-give examples of ways rocks, soil, and water are useful.
Math-compare two objects according to weight/mass (heavier than, lighter than or equal to) using rocks! 
Reading Comprehension-retell a main event from a story read aloud and describe characters in a story and the reasons for their actions and identify elements of a story including setting, character, and key events.
As you can see this is a book worth reading for so many different reasons!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Look At Landforms!

Hey Science Friends,
We have been super busy as we get closer and closer to Spring Break it seems we are moving at a fast pace... We have almost finished our unit on rocks but it is hard to stop because we keep getting more and more interesting rocks to explore. In Social Studies things are heating up as we begin to learn about landforms. And although landforms are covered under our Social Studies objectives, there is a natural connection to Science within these objectives. And with any topic we are always on the hunt for books to go along with what we are talking about. And sometimes that is such a challenge. Although I am still working on book resources, I wanted to share what I have found so far. I usually pair non fiction and fiction books when possible but sometimes age appropriate non fiction books are hard to find. So when that becomes an issue we use Pebble Go to fill in the gap.

We are going to learn more about four different landforms including the desert, mountains, prairie and forest. Some of our objectives covered are to identify the physical characteristics of places such as landforms, bodies of water, natural resources, and weather. As you can see Pebble Go will play a vital role in helping us cover these objectives.
By far this is my favorite new book find. I promise, this is worth every penny. Forest Bright Forest Night is like getting two books in one! You can learn about the forest in the day and the forest at night by flipping the book over. I just love it. Also, each page has a hidden number and animals to match each number. Additionally the pictures show what happens from day to night in the forest and what each animal does according to the time of day.
I can't wait for this one to arrive. I bought it because every single book I have from Dawn Publications is wonderful... This book is similar to Over in the Meadow, so I was sold on it with that description. Also, there is some great counting fun here too. Within this book there are some great opportunities for some ELPS strategies through gestures and movements for each animal.
Oh my! Moving into our discussion of mountain landforms! I have searched high and low for books on this landform that was age appropriate. Lucky me, I have a librarian that is like a fairy godmother. Into the Outdoors is our favorite pick for mountains BUT we are still on the search for more books on this landform. What I love most about this are the pictures and the fact that this book gives you a great opportunity to review positional vocabulary! I swear, your gonna love it too!
As we move our discussions to the desert we are looking forward to reading this book. This one is also a similar format to Over in the Meadow with rhyming text and counting to ten. What is not to love here? So much integration and so little time. We are going to pair Way Out In The Desert with Welcome to the Sea of Sand.
And finally, we move on to look at prairie landforms. A Day on the Prairie is our top pick because it is written by KIDS! What a great book written by third grade students at KILDEER COUNTRYSIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!
If you are looking for activities for Texas landforms you can find that here!
Have fun exploring and investigating!


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