Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Life Cycles

Sorry for my long absence.  I was not feeling well and my boys, and husband have all gotten sick or had some needs lately that have taken me away from the computer.  My husband and I were able to take a quick hike, to an amazing waterfall.
Taking a picture of yourself with a cell phone camera never turns out right.

At my school we work in trimesters and have a science-based integrated unit that we focus on that trimester.  The last trimester seems to be the most fun for me.  In our last unit we discuss interdependence on the mountain behind our school and the systems and cycles that take place to create a sustainable environment.
We have worked our way beyond living things and their characteristics.  A trip to the pond near by actually allowed to see toad reproduction in action.

We went back today to follow up and check out the toads' life cycle and we found thousands of tadpoles.
It was just so awesome to be able to observe what we are talking about.  The students really get to understand the cylces and systems when they are able to experience it.

Back in the classroom we began talking about life cycles by looking at their cycle.  Students created posters of what their life cycle would look like.  The drew pictures and wrote descriptions of each stage of their life cycle. 

We then looked at the life cycle of the American Shad.  Our eggs come next Monday and students will be able to care for the eggs and release the fry for one week.  It will an exciting experience to see the beginning of the American Shad life cycle and work on a conservation project.

Our next step is to look at different life cycles, then move on to photosynthesis.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Plot Hike

Today the weather in Pennsylvania was very warm for April.  I took full advantage of the weather and had my students out for a hike this afternoon.  I took them on a new trail and we were able to travel farther than we have been able to go in the past.  In my classroom we are currently working on plot and science fiction.  We have to talking about how the plot of the story was like a mountain.  So on our hike today I took the science fiction book that I was planning on reading.  I read The Secret Science Fair Project that Almost at the School by Judy Sierra.
The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School (Paula Wiseman Books)
So at the beginning of our hike we discussed how we have the back ground information, which happens at the beginning of the mountain.  So I read the background information then we proceeded up the mountain.  The Trail has some dips and valleys as you are working your way up the mountain.  So I stopped in one of the valleys and we compared it to the raising action, then read the story.  I proceeded as we continued.  It worked out great.

I was also able to use the hike to discuss what we are also studying about living and non-living things.  We are mostly focusing on water so, at the different creeks and things we passed we discussed living and non-living things.
Here are some activities that I have created to go with our unit on living and non-living things.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First Day Back

We had a short break for the Easter Holiday, and all the work that I did over the break did not seem to matter.  I was behind the eight ball all day today.  The third grade at my school was to begin our service project of raising American Shad.  Our morning was supposed to consist of building he habitat for raising the roe into fry.  Which didn't go as planned because one of the parts was not included to build the stand.  So we adjusted to schedule to try again in the afternoon.  All 45 students worked on assembling all of equipment, only to run into another problem.  We had a pump that was not working.  AAAHHHH, why couldn't anything go right.  The first day back from a break and it was not a good one.  Only 9 more weeks to the school year.  I need to make it through.

On a positive note I was able to finish this little activity set for pronouns.  You can find it in my TPT store.  You can find it here. 
Pronoun Pack

Tomorrow will be better!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Culminating activity for government Unit

Today we finished our government unit.  It was a long unit that dealt with history to government through the services provided.  We wrapped up the unit with interviews the past two days.  Students were able to interview local borough councilmen as well as one of our board of trustees yesterday.  We made a connection of our school being run similarly to the government, so they were able to question all of the people about their roles and what they did for the government. 
Today they were able to interview different services.  They interviewed a representative from the Department of Labor, DCNR and our local Public Works.  The students seemed to really make the connections to government and learned a lot about each person.  They then reflected and wrote about what they learned yesterday and today.