Sunday, August 18, 2013


Hey Science Friends,
I know I have said it before. But the spirals are on sale again. This time around they are a penny. When this happens I always call ahead and talk to the manager and ask for a class set. I make sure that they will honor what they always have in the past and allow teachers to get a class set at the sale price. I have never been disappointed and they have always been very helpful. And I am super excited to see this sale this late in the year. I am stocking up because I know this year will be a big notebooking year for me and I am going to need two per child.
Go grab those spirals and then if you find that you need some super cute Science labels just click on the image above and grab that on sale too. You will be ready for notebooking in no time.
What about some super fun weather observations this year? Weather observations can be fun and can be easily integrated into your daily Science Block in a breeze. And it could give you an excuse to make this!
All materials can be found at Dollar Tree! All you have to do is add a little Sharpie and ribbon and your weather reporter will be in style!
And if you need a place to start science I Can Be A Super Scientist just could be your answer! Either way, get out there and get those last minute sales and don't forget your spirals because more notebooking is coming soon!
Happy Days Science Friends!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Weather Report!

Hey Science Friends,
You have to try out the free app Sock Puppets! This one is sure to make you smile. Although not an official weather report, it sure was fun to be able to play around with this app and have a good time getting used to it. Honestly the kids will have a great time with this one and it will be easy to teach them to use this independently. It is perfect for reporting the weather. I love this app so much I keep thinking of ways to use it in the classroom.
The Sock Puppet App would be perfect to use as a variation to the weather report. And if you are in my neck of the woods you know we are reporting the weather daily so this sure could add some fun to it! And the free trial version will give you enough time to report the weather for sure. If you need resources to get daily weather observations going in your class just click on the image above for more information.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Notebooking On The Cheap!

Hey Science Friends,
Oh my...poly binders are on sale at Office Depot this week and they are 2 for a dollar. And even better than that, folders are on sale for a penny! At my store I am able to get a class set and I sure hope you are too. This really makes notebooking affordable for an entire class. It is time to get your feet wet with just a little investment. Notebooking is a wonderful extension to what you currently do in your classroom for Science and it is what I call...a second chance for literacy!
If you missed the post on considering different kinds of notebooks you can click the image above to get the information.
And if you need labels in small, medium and large for spirals, composition books, folders or binders just click the image above.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

My Five Senses Update!

Hey Science Friends,
Just stopping by to on this beautiful day to let you know that if you have previously purchased my I Can Be A Scientist-Developing Young Scientists Through Scientific Investigation Using My Five Senses, it has been updated and I have sent a notification to let you know that you need to download again to get the updated version and the new additions. I am excited about the new look and the new readers included in this unit! Have fun investigating friends!

Friday, August 9, 2013


Hey Science Friends,
If you have been following along you know we are talking a lot about Science Notebooking. And maybe your head is spinning with ideas. You probably need a break by now. So you are all excited about notebooking this year and I don't blame you but what about stretching it a little bit and setting up a small corner of your room and creating a Science Center? It doesn't have to be big. Maybe just a place to hold your materials and display a few things. Not every single child has to fit in the center or any at all...maybe just your Science Tools? Because when you think about it...Science happens everywhere, not just in one little corner of the world! And when you think of it like that the entire idea just seems to feel a whole lot better. You have it in always had it in you. You can be the Science teacher that you always wanted to be. Just small steps towards a bigger's no big deal. A good plan, a couple of investigation posters, some notebooks and some tools and nobody is going to know that you didn't have some master plan...unless you tell them. Just keep your poker face on and smile like you have had this plan for weeks!
If you recently purchased or previously purchased these posters from TpT please be sure to download again because they have had a severe facelift and now you get both versions and both white versions as well. These are great for adding a little color and reference to your little Science corner of the world. It's simple..print, laminate and go!
And they now coordinate with these labels. Ahhh, coordination it just makes you look like you had a well mastered plan all along. And with large, medium and small labels for notebooks, journals, folders or binders it is really starting to look like a plan in a few little clicks. So, if you purchased this pack from TpT recently, you need to get the updated and expanded version so everything all goes together just like it was meant to be.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Science Notebooking 103! Freebie

Hey Science Friends,
If you have been following along you know the hot topic right now is Science Notebooking. And I am so excited for each post about it because this year is going to be the best one yet. So, if you have followed along you probably have some idea of what your Science Notebook is going to look like. And if not you can read up about it here by clicking below!
And then we moved on to talking about goal setting for our notebooks. If you missed that you can catch up by clicking the notebook below! And if you are getting your Science Notebooks ready and need The Smart Science Teacher Label Pack, you can check it out by clicking the image below.

So now we are moving right along. And now we are going to talk about how we are going to teach the children how to write in their notebooks. One idea I have used over the years I refer to is a Teacher Modeled Science Notebook. I love this idea for several reasons. This is the perfect size to model the expectations and it is made of materials you probably already have on hand. Clicking this picture will give you the information you need to make one and the free printables to get you started. Once you get your feet wet with this your mind will be spinning on a million different versions of this notebook.
Now that you seriously look like you have it all together and a great plan, it is time to think about the next step. Because you want some sort of structure each time the notebook is used what will the students record before they start to notebook?
Anything else?
There are also a few other things to consider here too. When you start notebooking in class you probably have figured out that just like everything else, the procedures need to be modeled which brings us back to The Teacher Modeled Notebook. Modeling is key in the beginning and it sets you up for a successful Science Notebooking year! And another consideration...are you going to let the children give it a try after the first modeled lesson? You know I am going to say just go for it. What in the world can it hurt? So it won't be perfect and who would expect that? This is great practice and actually perfect for the beginning of the year!
So the next question is probably what in the world does that first lesson actually look like? I hear you. I have asked myself that question too, about a million times. I promise we are getting to that. We are taking small steps towards a big goal of wonderful Science Notebooking in Kindergarten with some LA integration. But I have to ask...
As a Science teacher of young and budding Scientists, what would you like to see inside? If you have a quick, fast minute just drop me a line and let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts and I read every single comment, text message and email...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Science Notebooking 102!

Hey Science Friends,
There has been a lot of great discussion and talk about Science Notebooking but we are just getting started. Just in case you missed the Science Notebooking 101 post you can click on the image below to get you there before we jump right in to the next part.

Alright now that you have had time to think about what type of notebook you want to have your students use, now it is time to dig a little deeper. So now you might be asking actually what is a Science Notebook? A Science Notebook is a tool that Scientists use to record data and a place to record their thinking. That is it in the most simplest of terms. In the classroom a Science Notebook is used as a tool to help build processing skills and to help build Science content. The Science Notebook helps foster literacy as well. Inside the pages of a great notebook are wonderful opportunities for meaningful integration.
A Science Notebook does not replace a Science curriculum, it goes alongside any Science Curriculum that is used. For the young Scientist, a Science Notebook retells experiences, investigations, data and understandings. These experiences and investigations are recorded in pictures, numbers and words. An interactive notebook is used to help a child have repeated opportunities to connect and reconnect with the content inside.
Before jumping right in, it is important to consider what your goals are for using Science Notebooks. As I was planning my Science Notebooks for the year, I had to ask myself the same questions. I wanted to be able to use notebooking to extend literacy, to record thinking, to provide multiple opportunities to connect with the content, and to be able to use it as a tool during science discussions to foster oral language development. Additionally, I wanted my notebooks to support district, state and national Science Standards. And last, I wanted my notebooks to be loved and used on an ongoing basis for the entire year. And as an added bonus, I wanted my notebooks to serve as a tool for me to use to help assess the learning objectives presented and have a better understanding of what my students were learning.
Like I said in the previous post, I have tried and failed and tried again with notebooks in the past. My failures were based on not starting with considering the goals beforehand and taking the approach of jumping in and figuring it out as I went along. Based on my experience, I can honestly say that the "jump in and give it a go" method did not produce the notebooks I wanted and when it was all said and done, I still could not clearly define my goals. As with anything, begin with the goal in mind was never bad advice and you know your mom would agree!
So, where do we go from here? Next we will look at what Science Notebooks look like in the beginning. How do we start Science notebooking with young children?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Getting Started With Notebooking!

Hey Science Friends,
One of the most asked questions I have gotten over the years has been about Science Notebooking in Kindergarten. No matter the year this seems to be one of the most lingering questions. I have had many questions myself about notebooking in Kindergarten. We all wonder what is the best notebook? What in the world is inside and most important how in the world do we do this with Kindergarten? Over the last several years I have played around with different ideas and discovered things I like and things I don't. I have tried and failed and tried again and probably again more times than I am willing to admit. But I never gave up on the idea of incorporating Science Notebooks in Kindergarten...successfully.
I am currently working on a yearlong unit of notebooking so this is a hot topic on my mind right now. And if you are considering notebooking with your class this year now is the best time to start thinking and planning a few things and set yourself up for success. Now is the best time to decide WHAT the Science notebook will look like in your classroom. You have options. And you might as well get the materials on the cheap when they are on sale, right? But before you buy be sure and think about a few things because you will probably be using them for an entire year.
So, what are the options?

Spirals can be used for notebooking!
They are cheap.
They come in different colors.
They have lots of pages.
They have a large surface area to record.
You can hold a pencil in the spiral.
You can glue, tape or staple things inside.
They have a sturdy cover and back.
They lay flat on the table.
They have writing lines...but they are small especially for Kindergarten.
Her Own Terms: Inside the Composition Book: The Stories We Tell
Composition books can be used for notebooking!
They are affordable when on sale but you have to hunt for sales and act quick!
They come in different colors.
They are more expensive than spirals.
They are smaller in size.
They have plenty of pages.
You can glue, tape, staple things inside.
They have a sturdy cover and back.
They do not always lay flat on the table.
They have writing lines...but they are small for Kindergarten.
You can find them with Kinder writing lines but they are more expensive. Two Pocket Folders with 3 Fasteners 9"" x 11.5"" Case
Folders can be used for notebooking!
They are cheap!
They come in different colors.
They have built in pockets.
They have brads to hold paper.
They are not as sturdy as spirals or composition books.
You can use a folder per unit study because they are affordable if you get them on sale.
You can glue, tape, staple things inside.
They lay flat on the table.
You can determine the type of paper that goes inside.
Paper Supplies
Teacher made notebooks can be used for notebooking!
Construction paper is cheap.
It comes in lots of colors.
They are not as sturdy but could be laminated.
You can make different notebooks per unit study.
You can easily make different sizes and shapes.
They lay flat on the table.
You can glue, tape, staple things inside.
You can determine what type of paper that goes inside.
Jr. High
Three ring binders can be used for notebooking!
You can get them on sale but they are the most expensive option here.
You might be able to use them for several years.
They come in lots of colors.
They are sturdy.
They lay flat.
They stand up!
They have pockets.
They hold a lot.
You can glue, tape, staple things inside.
You determine what type of paper goes inside.
Once you have decided on the type of notebook you will use you are well on your way but one more thing to consider in...orientation. Yes, I said it...orientation. This is just something to consider based on many years of notebooking with Kindergarten. First, there is no right or wrong here. This is all about considering what is best for you and your style of teaching. The more consideration and thought that is given in the planning and preparing for notebooking the more likely you will stick with it...just trust me here without explanation. Like I said, there is not right or wrong.
I guess your next question is going to be what are YOU going to use this year. I knew it was coming. I have tried them all and I love and hate each one for different reasons so let's break it down on the deciding factors for my personal choice. First, I have tried them all. But this year I am using spirals primarily and at special times in the year I may use teacher made paper ones. I know you will ask why, so here we go! Folders are too flimsy for repeated use and I do not want to buy a million of them or decide how many and what colors I need. That's too much for me to deal with. Composition books have too small of a surface area for Kinder writing in my opinion and they do not lay flat. Composition books are more expensive than spirals. Binders are too expensive for me even if I can use them for several years. I suppose I can't commit to loving them for that long. So it is a spiral for me. And as for the orientation...landscape. If you know me you knew it was coming. My primary reason for landscape is because the lines in the spirals are too small for Kinder writing so if you turn it landscape orientation then you eliminate that problem. If I have something to go inside the notebook and it is portrait orientation, we just flip it and just keep big deal.
This will get you thinking for sure. Stay tuned for Notebooking 102!
See you soon Science Friends!


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