Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oalf....What are you doing in Science Class!!!

So to learn about conductors and conduction this year. My super cool teacher BFF, Jakil and I create an explorations for our kids. 

So here you go: 
mini pie tins (1 for each group)
small Styrofoam plates (1 for each group)
small paper plates (1 for each group)
small plastic plates (1 for each group) We used the tops that came with our pie tins.
Candy Melts Note: *** (after doing this lab, I believe small chocolate chips will work better and they are cheaper)***
Styrofoam cups (4 per group)
Hot Water

As a side note, something I love about this lab, is if you was the stuff, you will only have to replace the paper plates and chocolate the next year. 

This experiment for me was done at the end of heat transfer unit, after a radiation and convection experiment. 
So here you go. Heat up the water while the students set up, and make their hypothesis.

Question: Which material will melt the chocolate the fastest?

I put the students in groups of four. Students created a chart to keep their data. (We talk about whether this will be qualitative or quantitative.)

The teacher comes around and puts hot water in the cups. The students then top with the different types of plates the the melts (or chocolate chips). I assign each student to one cup in the group. The students simply count how long it takes the candy to melt, and then record. (you could use stop watches if you had enough, I don't though)

After the lab, the students share out their results and we record on a class data chart, and take averages. We add in vocabulary: conductor, insulator, conduction. We right a conclusion to our lab together. Then I leave up sentence stems and key words and students write their conclusions on their own. 

Later in the week this Exit Ticket Appears, and I have to say it is one of my favorite exit tickets of all time. 

Here are some of their response! lol!!!

Well I hope you find the lab helpful. Oh and as a heads up I'm thinking of changing the name of my blog, and starting a TPT. Still thinking it through, but hopefully I will decided soon.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Let the Summer Post begin!

It's Summer time here in Tennessee, which means it is abnormally hot!! I missed you all!
However, it being to hot to go outside means, I get to post more of this years shenanigans.

As, you prep for next year maybe these ideas over the next couple of weeks will strike your fancy, or maybe you will just sip Mai Tai's at the beach. Which ever is fine with me ;)

So one of the Tennessee State Science Standards is to understand human and natural disasters impact on the environment. Well, I found that my students understood that humans impact the environment, but the vocabulary in some of the questions and answers in the sample questions in the state assessment really throw them for a loop.

So, there is a lab called Oh Deer;
link to original lab: http://arvinapes.weebly.com/oh-deer-lab.html
It is a study in population, and I thought the questions could be easily modified to focus on vocabulary and help my students towards mastery of this standard.

Well, this activity requires a lot of space, and THUNDERSTORMS ruined my life because we needed to go outside!!! or so I thought!
I modified the lesson into an indoor playable table top game, and the kids ate it up!!

Game set up: (all was just typed and printed on card stock)
Each student gets a set of deer (you can determine the number I did 12)

A game board that has three survival needs (food, water, and shelter)

The group gets a set of scenario cards

1. At the beginning of each rounds the students must put all there deer out on the game board choosing how many deer need water, food, and shelter)

2. the students must put at least one deer on each of the needs unless they have less than 5 deer; then they may distribute as the choose.

3. Once all cards are placed. The reader for the round draws and reads a scenario card.
Sample Scenario Card:
                                                                    Oh Deer!
A local farm has used pesticides that have leaked into the local river and poisoned the water. All deer that drank water this turn have died.

4. The students then take all the deer that have "died," and move them to the side. 

5. Students repeat steps 1-4 until all, but one player (the winner) has deer left.

Before the students played the game I asked them to take down observations in their Science notebooks about what happened to the deer in terms of quantity and well as how they died. 

After playing we went over key vocabulary from the cards and did a Science Reflection.

It was all a big hit and more importantly it increased the amount of students who mastered this standardized by an average of 40% per class. 

Here is a link of the printable (deer, cards, and game board) and ppt I used for FREE!! Happy planning, and keep having a great Summer!


Mrs. Beasley

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Project Based Learning

The school year is coming to a close and a lot of us are thinking about next year (well some of us are trying to get to the end of this year, but you know what I mean). I would like to share with you a PBL project I did this year with my sixth graders; that they really loved!!! 

First I got in touch with our local zoo and partnered with them for this project. The students were to design a zoo enclosure that would appeal to a tween audience because the average age of the a zoo goer was between 5-9 years old. The enclosure had to include two animals and come with a guide book. They could not use any animals the zoo already had. Students also needed to identify which area of the zoo the enclosure would most likely be located. 

Some of the questions my students came up with that they need to know:
What are biomes?
Which biomes are already represented in the zoo? 
What animals are already represented at the zoo?
What do the animals we choose eat?
What type of relationships do these animals have?
What types of plants exists were these animals live?
What is our budget?
What are tweens interested in seeing? 

Check out that interactive walk through in the middle
There were a lot more, but I am just saying building a fake animal enclosure is not only fun and interesting, but it makes kids think about how living and non-living things work together. What living things need to survive? Through this project we learned about biomes, so students could choose what type of enclosure to do. It was just wonderful all around, put your own spin on it. You'll be surprised all you can do, and how many subjects you can incorporate

waterfalls and pandas how could you want more

Yeah that is a slide (with a clear bottom)

Working hard!!!

 As you can see, they worked so hard and were very engaged!!! Happy Teaching!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Science...but it's only the first week....

I know that the beginning of the year can get bogged down in procedures, but I like to teach a little content too. Don't get me wrong, focus on procedures, practice them, live them. I know it saves you more time later, but I have a couple of activities that I would like to share; that I did with my students in the first two weeks of school (yeah, we've been in school two weeks already!!!)

First up is SAVE FRED. I'm not sure where this idea comes from, but my partner Science teacher (whom is brilliant) told me about it and I am now officially obsessed.
Materials: clear plastic cups, paper clips, gummy life savers, and gummy worms (I used bright crawlers)

Lessons taught: TEAMWORK (it is impossible to do alone), and Scientific Method

Challenge the students must get Fred (the worm), into the life preserver (gummy saver) which is stuck under the upside down cup. The kick is they can only touch the paper clips with their hands or any part of their body. If they drop Fred into the ocean (on the table) he drowns and they have to start over.

Set up: place the gummy saver on the table, turn the cup upside down and place it on top of the gummy saver, and stick the worm on top!

Here are some pictures: My kids loved coming up with hypothesis on how they could save him and testing them. :)

 That was week one, this week we are getting into abiotic (never living) and biotic (living, or has lived) factors of the environment. So we did a school yard search, we took those handy dandy Science notebooks out side and tried to find as many abiotic and biotic factors as we could. Then we came back and made posters. Excuse the spelling (I am trying to focus on whether or not they put the item in the correct place.

Here are some of the all girls class searching (yes I said all girls :), that mean I have an all boys class too :o).

 Now for poster making (this is one of my fifth grade classes). For those of you who are new to my blog I teach two blocks of 6th grade Science, then two blocks of 5th grade Science.
 Here are some of the posters. They turned out cute. Some spelling errors, but almost all were correct and all of my classes are about 80 proficiency on this skill now. Woot!!!!
 Bwah ha ha. Seament and Meatal (God love their little souls)
 Poster from all boys class (very direct not too fancy)

Well I hope you all are having a great start to the school year, and I will be back with more activities and post soon. Thank again for following.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Managing Classroom Behavior

Like all teachers we have our own little tricks of managing classroom behaviors. As many of you know, in the past year I changed schools to teach in an Urban setting, and I will be honest I was struggling at first to keep my spirited kiddos from deterring their own learning. So.......Last year I combined some different things to come up with a system that I felt like might work, and surprisingly it did. In fact it worked wonders.

Okay so here goes on my explanation. I have some of those paint dabbers that Kinder teachers use for art projects (bingo dabbers also work) and I just walk around the room and dot those suckers on note cards. That's it!! I keep it in my pocket or in a tool belt and I say things like, "You should be proud of how you shared that answer!" and then put a dot down on the card. ANYWHERE on the card. If a student breaks a rule I just right down the number of the rule they broke over a dot.

Skeptical, yes I know; I was too when I came up with this hair brain scheme  Well I have to add that they use the dots to buy class coupons, but all of the coupons are things that are free to me. THEY LOVE IT!! They will do just about anything to not lose their dots. This system changed my class from chaos to another world within the school. 
I display them on the board those small paper strips are for prices, which can be changed due to supply or demand. On Fridays, I have one student who runs the dot store and students can trade in for dots (this is during our Fun-Friday Brain Break so it doesn't take up lesson time).  I store the coupons that are being bought in a binder using trading card storage pages. 

Finally, everyone that has started using this system at my school has experienced great results, but everyone always ask me how do you keep up with the cards with multiple blocks without taking class time to pass them out. What I am doing this year is I have a bin that contains each tables Science Notebooks (more on those later) and the dot cards are stored in the notebook in a library card so that they never leave the classroom. Viola!!

Well I hope that you find these tips helpful, and that you have a wonderful year with zero management issues. Talk to you all soon!
Sorry had to post this pick of me and one my co-workers after our PBL project planning meeting with the zoo today!! Oh how exciting (more to come)!! Stay tuned!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Teacher Crafting Before School Starts

It's a Friday night, and since I love making things I decided to get crafty. Teacher crafty really. I went to a Kagan Cooperate Learning Training (paid for by the district :) ) and they had these useful mats they used for grouping and to help with the structures, called Team Mats. Here is a link if you would like to buy them directly from Kagan and save time, also theirs are two sided for the Fan-n-Pick activity.


I didn't really care for the colors of the mats, and it didn't seem like something I need to purchase because I wanted to buy literally every book they had. So I decided to make my own cute versions to put on my tables.

First I gathered the supplies: Notecards, Markers, Paper Cuter (scissor will work), scrap book paper

 First cut the Notecards so they are square instead of rectangles

 Then simply write 1 - A, 2 - B, 3-A, 4- B
 Arrange the cards like so and tape.
 Cut out into a square.
 And Presto!! I plan to laminate tomorrow, but my lamination pouches are at school. You can see how by doing it like this you could make them match any room theme, and if for some reason you hate your handwriting you always type out the letters print and cut. Note: if you plan on setting them out I would reinforce with poster board before laminating because they will be too flimsy otherwise. I tape mine to the center of my tables to they can't be moved.

In the mist of my creative Kagan haze, I also decided to make cards for my most used structures. I placed magnets on the back so I quickly add them to my daily agenda. I don't know if your schools require you to post an agenda, but mine does. I often find my self writing some of the same things. So I thought magnet cards would save on some time. Here they are below. They are just note cards on scrapbook paper that I will laminate.

 Well that's it for this evening. Hope everyone is having fun getting ready for school because Paul Stanley and I sure are. Isn't he the cutest helper ever!!

Talk to ya'll soon!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

It' been a while....

I know it has been a long time since I posted anything on this blog, I guess I am not the best at managing doing my masters and teaching at a very demanding school at the same time plus BLOGGING. However, since it is spring break I thought I would give you all a couple of post starting with this one.

My classes at Vanderbilt have taught me so much about being a better Science teacher, and teaching at a STEM school has very demanding with grant requirements. When you mix these two things sometimes true MAGIC happens. I would like to show you some pictures of one of the amazing STEM project I did with my kids for our PBL (Project Based Learning) unit the second nine weeks. The unit was on forces and motion. After learning about gravity, speed, potential and kinetic energy and forces the students had one week to create a working marble roller coaster. I am so proud of them because these students had zero templates for these roller coasters, just card stock, an engineering journal, and a lot of tape!!! Each day they would build and test, figure out what worked, then redesign.

I thought this would be a good post to start with so you could see how proud I am of my students and what they can accomplish!!! I will be posting some of the experiments and learning goals they covered throughout my break. I hope everyone is enjoying their year!!!

Thanks a bunch