Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Texas Science-Force and Motion

We just finished up a great unit on force and motion! I have done the spin, roll, and slide activities for the past few years, but this year I added a few more resources. 

In the science lab I set up 5 stations:

1. Spin: Students use Doodle Top Markers to spin and track the path of the spinning motion. I just use one large piece of butcher paper so that the spinners are free to roam as far and wide as they want.

2. Roll: Students roll marbles dipped in tempera paint on paper. They are given one marble at a time, one color at a time. When the marble gets dry, we switch to a new marble in a different color. I usually use 3. It works well using lids from copy paper boxes and 12 x 18 manilla paper. Be sure and have them put their name on their paper first. Students notice that it takes more force to move the marble when it rolls on to thicker parts of the paint. 

3. Slide: Students slide chalk on its side across colored construction paper to create a design. We also discuss the friction caused by the chalk and the paper. 

4. Ramps: Students use different sizes of card board, blocks, and tissue boxes to set up ramps. Then, they use objects like toy cars, wooden blocks, pencils, markers, rulers, and balls to explore speed, friction, and gravity.  I clipped felt on to one piece of cardboard and some silky fabric to another so the students could experiment with friction. 

5. Push/Pull Sorting Activity: This challenging partner activity generated discussion and critical thinking. Students sorted pictures in to push and pull categories. Some were tricky. A few pairs decided to make a third category that included both push and pull. I found this FREE activity from Number Two Pencils on Teachers Pay Teachers. 

Spin, Roll, Slide flip book: This handy FREE download from In That Room on Teachers Pay Teachers made it easy for my students to complete their performance indicator. They folded, cut, wrote and drew descriptions of each motion on the inside flap.  

Additional Resources:  I signed up for the 60 day trial of Discovery Education Science Techbook and was delighted to find videos and interactive activities to supplement this unit. They have a Texas version that is in alignment with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the lessons are set up in the 5E format with easy to follow links. Some of the activities are also great for interactive white boards. We will use some of the resources from the Techbook for our next unit on magnetism.

Check out our learning!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My 2nd Edcamp

Our official #edcampdallas photo

Yesterday I attended #edcampdallas with some of my favorite educators: @gpmorgan3 @janhodge2006 @margielsimpson and Karen McKenzie. We attended #edcampfwtx back in July so we knew what to expect this time.  We started by putting sticky notes all over a table with the topics we wanted learn about. Next, the sticky notes were storted (affinity map style) and then the sessions were created!

Session choices ranged from Skype, Augmented Reality, Genius Hour, PBL, iPad integration and more!  One of my favorite session was led by Jon Samuelson @ipadsammy: "Things that Rock and Things that Suck". Jon called out different topics and the participants went to one side of the room if they think it rocks or the went to the other side if they think it sucks. Neutral territory was in the middle. Topics included: flipped classroom, genius hour, digital textbooks, and a few others. Each time we moved to a new position we had an open discussion - which I really enjoyed. I think this would be a great learning model for my own classroom that would help get kids thinking and talking - I would probably change the name though :-)

I also enjoyed learning about digital storytelling apps for iPad led by Heather Russell @getheather. I don't have iPads in my classroom, but someday I hope to have a few. Tellagami was my favorite. It is easy to use and students could get very creative with it. Toontastic also provides a lot of options and opportunities for students to create and for teachers to assess their understanding.

In addition to all of the great sessions it was great meeting some of my Twitter friends. #2ndchatter @AllisonHoganESD and I met and it was also nice to see some friends and presenters from #ISTE13 and edcampfwtx: @Kenya75 @akbusybee @techninjatodd @lackeymartha @RafranzDavis and more!

#2ndchat peep Allison Hogan
Jan is proud of her new edcamp t-shirt!

Edcamp Swag

I won and "Ish" T-shirt!
A big THANK YOU is also in order for @Mattbgomez @8amber8 @kenya75 @akbusybee and the rest of the #edcampdallas team. It was an awesome day of learning and connecting!