52 Science Journal Prompts to Integrate Writing in the Science Classroom! Updated for 2013-2014!!

Sometimes it feels that no matter how well I try to organize lessons, units, and long range plans, there never appears to be enough hours in the school day to cover all the curriculum expectations!  One of the best strategies that I have learned as a teacher is to take a cross-curricular approach when planning activities, lessons, and units.  A great way to cover many English Language Arts expectations is by integrating writing into the content areas; in this case, journal writing can be integrated into the science classroom.

We’ve created a student science journal with 52 prompts to help you integrate writing in your science classes.  The journal prompts are organized by week, so the entire 2013-2014 academic year is already planned out for you!  Each journal is labeled with the corresponding week of the year, provides a prompt and space for student responses.  You can either photocopy the entire bundle for your students at the beginning of the year and work through it each week or photocopy individual weeks as you progress through the year!

The writing prompts alternate between historical events, creative responses, opinion pieces, persuasive arguments, national awareness themes, and science process skills. A blank journal page is included for you to add your own ideas as needed.

We have updated the dates on the journal pages to correspond with the 2013-2014 academic year.  We also changed the order of a couple of journal topics to correspond with changes in dates (e.g. the full moon in October is earlier this year).

If you have purchased this product already, then simply log into your Teachers Pay Teaches account and download the updated version!

If you haven’t purchased this product already, then what are you waiting for?! Just click on the link below!

science journals

The Tuesday 12: 12 Exciting and Educational Resources for Earth Day!

12 earth day resources

Over the next few weeks, The Tuesday 12 will be taking on an environmental twist as we look at various activities focused on the environment. Just click on each link below!

1. Earth Day Canada: A great website that has tons of resources to get you focused on celebrating Earth Day! There are activities for kids, classes, and families, so you can find everything you are looking for in one place.

2. Earth Day Network: An international environmental movement group that provides tons of articles, activities, resources, action plans, and initiatives for everyone worldwide.

3. Think Green: Tons of Earth Day resources for teachers organized by grade level and are cross-curricular.

4. Environmental Protection Agency—“Pick five for the environment”: The EPA has a section of their website devoted to taking environmental initiatives in your life when you “pick five” and become committed to protecting the environment.  The resources are divided up into home, work, school, shopping, the community, and on the road.  Each category then has tons of resources to help you become more green and committed to making a change.   

5. Saskatoon Public Schools: A huge list of teacher resources for Earth Day, including literature, lesson plans, and printouts.

6. TeacherVision: A great collection of lessons, printables, and resources covering every curriculum area. You are able to view seven resources at no cost, but then you must subscribe for full access.

7. TeachersFirst: A very comprehensive collection of classroom resources from a variety of websites like The Nature Conservancy, Disney, WWF, National Film Board of Canada, etc.

8. EducationWorld: I love so many of the ideas on this list! So many resources that would be great in the classroom, like planting seeds/growing plants, various garden activities, math projects, upcycling art, and social justice projects!

9. Kaboose: This website can help you complement your classroom, home, and family initiatives with its range of resources.

10. DLTK’s Crafts for Kids: Not only does this site provide a great breakdown of the history and purpose of Earth Day, but it has links to tons of resources that would be great in the classroom.

11.TES (Climate Change Resources): If you are teaching high school students, tes connect has tons of primary and secondary resources that can be used to learn about climate change.

12. Earth Day Worship Resources: For those who want to look at the religious aspects of Earth Day and being stewards of creations.

Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12!

Computer Coding: An Essential Skill

We all wonder what our students and children will face in the future.  How will they be successful, what kind of work will there be for them, what skills are necessary to be able to be successful?  These questions are at the heart of everything we do!  We know that students need to be creative, able to problem solve and think critically.  Also, we know that our curriculum and our classrooms should be inclusive of technology.  But what about understanding where it all stems from?  What are we doing about that?  We need to realize that computer software coding is an essential skill that will be necessary for success. We need to be able to address this in our classrooms.

Here is a link to a wonderful video, where world class athletes, musicians and great business people, discuss the importance to this very skill.

Well, what does that mean for us? Visit the website www.code.org and find out how students can learn to code in elementary schools, how they can develop their critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. Share with us what you think and what you have tried.  It is never too late for anyone to learn to code!

 

The Tuesday 12: Feel the Love with 12 Fabulous February Science Freebies from TPT!

During the month of February, The Tuesday 12 will be featuring 12 FREE resources available on TPT! Click on the title of each resource to be brought to the TPT listing.  You need a TeachersPayTeachers accound to download the free items.  If you don’t have a TPT account, what are you waiting for?! It’s free!  The description for each item is taken from the listing description on its TPT page. Don’t forget to check out the other awesome resources from these teacher sellers!

12 february science freebies

1. “Going on a Matter Walk” by Martha Sosa

“{FREEBIE} This product was one of my top sellers! Now it’s free for you and your students to enjoy! :) Students use this booklet (copy front to back) to record the solids, liquids and gases they observe while on a discovery walk around the school.”

2. “Life Cycle Sequencing Cards—Butterfly, Frog and Ladybug!” by Curriculum Castle

“These sequencing cards are a great visual aid for children who are just beginning to learn about the life cycles of a butterfly, frog or ladybug! Simply have them color, cut and arrange the cards in the correct order. They can even make a mini book about each animal’s life cycle.
These simplified cards are perfect for Pre-K and K students!”

3. “Weather Unit (Science Fun for Pre-School – 3rd Grade)” by Living Life Intentionally

“This Weather Unit is intended for Preschoolers – 3rd Grade. It includes a wide variety of activities, experiments, worksheets and more:
– Water Cycle (including experiments)
– Seasons (including creative writing)
– Temperature (differences in sun/shade, morning/afternoon, here/other countries)
– Weather Graphing
– Hot/Cold
– Hibernation
– Clouds (including experiments)
– Wind (including experiment & activity)
– Disaster Preparedness (including drill ideas)
– Preschool Skill Practice (letters – upper/lowercase, shadow match, counting, pre-writing, colors, numbers, which is different, fine motor scissor skills, addition, sentence structure, and more)
Kids learn best when they are having fun!! My goal is to provide a fun way to reinforce, review and teach sight words to kids.”

4. “Polar Bear Science” by Crayonbox Learning

“A fun science experiment where the question “Does ice melt faster in salt or fresh water?” is answered. Geared toward ages K-2nd grade.
This freebie includes a teacher guide, pocket chart graphing including header card and answer cards, tally mark sheet, record sheet, observation sheet, polar bear facts, polar bear writing practice!”

5. “Super Science Experiments” by Sparkles Smiles and Successful Students

“Looking to spruce up your science curriculum, or have an AWESOME science fair project well you have come to the right place!
This collection of truly Super Science Experiments is just for you! It contains chemistry experiments, experiments on matter, physics, and much more1
Includes:
– 70+ science experiments and demo guides
– detailed descriptions
– pictures of experiments
– material lists
These are only the experiments I thought would be the absolute coolest ones and that students would enjoy doing!”

6. “Penguins” by Penny Waddingham

“Interactive Penguin story along with science activities,recording sheet and physical education game.”

7. “Scientific Method for Young Learners” by Wild About Teaching

“Young students love to act like scientists!
This pack includes posters, 1/4 page cards to sequence and a generic science experiment recording sheet.
If you enjoy this pack, check out my other science packs I have available!”

8. “Science Acrostics Freebie” by The Science Penguin

“Thanks for checking out this file, Science Acrostics Freebie! I hope that these 12 pages will help your students use their higher order thinking skills to find phrases that describe each item. With an acrostic poem, you use each letter of a word as the first letter of a phrase.
Ideas for Use:
~ Create a bulletin board with your acrostics.
~ Use along with a craft.
~ Use after a lab activity.
~ Use after reading the textbook or a read aloud trade book.
~ Use as partner work in a center.
~ Fold and include in science notebooks.
~ Use as review before a quiz.”

9. “Science Fair Project Planner” by Upper Grades are Awesome

“This science fair project planner is designed for group science fair projects. In the past my students struggled with each component and how to put them together to design and create their science fair project. Using this as a guide students are more confident through the process and complete higher quality work. Included is an agenda of target due dates that the students fill in to help keep them on track. Each step of the science fair project is included with a brief description/directions and a space for students to fill in. Students will also benefit from guidelines on putting together their science fair board. Finally, I have included the scoring rubric (based on the one my district uses).”

10. “Trash to Treasure—Free Activities & Lesson Using Recycled Items” by SciPi

“This FREE Trash to Treasure handout is an eight page booklet that features clever ideas, fun and engaging mini-lessons in addition to cute and easy to construct crafts made from recycled or common, everyday items. In this resource, discover how to take old, discarded materials and make them into new, useful, inexpensive products or tools for your classroom.
Learn many out-of-the-ordinary ways to use milk lids for math. Did you know two plastic beverage lids can be made into card holders for kindergartners or for those whose hands are disabled? Discover how to use butter tubs to create a fun indoor recess game that practices math skills. How about practicing math facts using egg cartons?
Because these numerous activities vary in difficulty and complexity, they are appropriate for most classrooms, and the visual and/or kinesthetic learners will love them.”

11. “Biology Lab: Simple DNA Extraction” by Science Stuff

“This is one of my favorite labs/activities that I do with my Biology I students. It doesn’t take long to do, it uses very simple, household materials, and it works every time! There is no number crunching or data analysis, but just a fun activity that your students will really enjoy.
NOTE: This product is also available in a bundled product called Biology Labs: 15 Must Do Labs for a Biology Class .
You will use ordinary Dawn dishwashing detergent and alcohol to extract the DNA from the cells of wheat germ. The download will include a lab handout that is ready to be copied and passed out to your students. Includes: Title, Introduction, Purpose, Safety Precautions, Procedure, and Follow Up Questions.
I have also included a “Teacher Preparation” page with answers to the questions and some additional set up information.
I use this with my high school Biology students, but this activity can easily be done with middle school students.”

12. “Luring Leprechauns—A Simple Penny Experiment” by Jamie Woodward

“This science activity includes directions and explanations for the experiment, two recording sheets and a place mat for the pennies. This science experiment can be completed as a whole group or in small groups. Your students will love “luring leprechauns” into their classroom. I would love your feedback!”

Don’t forget to check back next week for another edition of The Tuesday 12:  February Freebies!

Farming & Sustainability

Farming and SustainabilityWhile studying Physical Geography, students in grade 7 should be able to “explain the concept of sustainable development and its implications for the health of the environment.” (Ministry of Education, Ontario Curriculum Documents).  Concepts as these sometimes become too difficult to understand because students have not had many life experiences outside their community let alone rural life.  As I program plan, I have found that visuals and videos are helpful tools.  I would like to share two wonderful videos that I have just recently found.  Both videos demonstrate key concepts about farming, sustainability, human factors and activity and the connection to them. I know I will be using these videos to elaborate and start a conversation about these concepts.

The first video is entitled “Pickering Lands”.  This video is a presentation about the Pickering Lands close to Toronto, Ontario.  It delves into how and why the lands were expropriated and the loss it has presented over the years for the farming community and all the communities around it.  Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWwHJ5mH3mg

The second video I found on Facebook, it is a fantastic video with great visuals and concise information about importing and exporting food and the farming industry.  Here is this video:

Let us know what you think of these videos and if you have any other ones, do share!

 

 

The Tuesday 12: 12 Wonderful Resources for Teaching Students about the World’s Water Systems

In this week’s edition of The Tuesday 12, we’ll be looking at resources focusing on the world’s water systems.  I love to teach this unit to my grade 8 students because there are so many interesting and vital aspects to … Continue reading →