Jan 29, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year!

So...I have a confession to make.
I might just happen to be a Panda Express junkie. Ok, so I really am. In fact, my brother this year, knowing how much I love orange chicken, gave me a Panda Express gift card that was disguised in a cute little Chinese food box full of fortune cookies! I wish I had taken a picture of it! 

Anyway, Chinese New Years is right around the corner. And 2016 is the year of (one of my favorite animals) the monkey. So between orange chicken and monkeys...that surely must mean this year is going to be great...right?! 

Today I have a Chinese New Years Activity Pack to share with you. It's full of many different activities to choose from!
From emergent readers to a variety of craftivities...
...rhyming, beginning, vowel, and ending sounds...
...mazes, posters & pocket chart pieces...
...labeling worksheets, ABC order and counting by 2s...
...Write the Room, Flip Book, & Graphic Organizer
SO much is included! 

And now...I leave you with a virtual fortune cookie! 

Wishing you tons of luck this year 
(and orange chicken too)!
-Til next time
           

Jan 19, 2016

Weather Activities for Kids: Interactive Notebooks

Today, we're going to take a look at resources that will help you meet the "Earth's Systems" standard....which I just simply call the "Weather Patterns" unit. 

(Not familiar with the NGSS standards? Then take some time to read "Getting to Know the Next Generation Science Standards: Kindergarten" first.)

I'll show you all the different parts to my Weather Patterns Interactive Notebook and a few other resources too.
Are you teaching a weather unit? These interactive activities are a perfect addition to the rest of your spring lesson plans, ideas, and crafts. Whether for Preschool, Kindergarten, or First Grade, kids will love the interactive pages of this science notebook!
Each science interactive notebook set, including this one, comes with a set of corresponding classroom posters to hang around your room. But for this Weather Patterns unit, there are actually three different sets of posters that I've included. The first set includes basic types of weather:
The next set includes more severe types of weather:
And the third set includes tools that are used to predict weather:

The Weather Patterns unit also comes with its own interactive notebook cover.
The cover pages for each core idea will help your students keep their notebook well organized.

And just like all of the other core ideas covered, here is the vocabulary reinforcer for weather:
The Pocket full of Vocab matches the poster set (shown above). Have students pull the cards out of the pocket and review the meanings of the terms. They can quiz themselves, quiz a neighbor, and even write short definitions on the back to help them remember.

You'll also want to spend some time talking about meteorologists and the tools that are used to predict weather. Talk about how we use weather tools to help us prepare for the weather that is coming.
On the meteorologist page, have students flip up the flaps and write information they learn about meteorologists. Then have them color in the pictures of tools that meteorologist use for reporting and predicting weather. 

There is a great app to use with this unit called Kid Weather. It reiterates 
My favorite thing about this app? It was CREATED by a six year old kid (with the help of his dad)!  It's a great way to spend just a few minutes every day going over the weather predictions for the next day, plotting/graphing them out, and preparing for how we should dress for the weather.

Have your littles record the weather for ten days and see if they notice any patterns that will help them make weather predictions. 
Have them poll the class, tally up the results, and graph the predictions made by classmates.

Here are a few more pages that are included:
Use a pencil and paperclip to spin n' tell more about each of the pictures shown in the circle. What season is it? What is the weather like during that season? Also, keep track of how the temperature changes throughout each day by coloring in the thermometers as you record morning, noon, and night (or afternoon...before students go home).

As I've mentioned in each of the different interactive notebook post, I've noticed that kids LOVE to prove how smart they are. So I created this page that not only reinforces your class discussions during the Weather Patterns unit, but also give the kids a chance to feel smart, review their friends, and practice what they've learned.
Students simply pull out one of the many questions and either answer the questions or do what it says.

If you're looking for additional activities to use during your weather unit, this Weather Write-the-Room Set might be perfect for your class.
Are you teaching a weather unit? These interactive activities are a perfect addition to the rest of your spring lesson plans, ideas, and crafts. Whether for Preschool, Kindergarten, or First Grade, kids will love the interactive pages of this science notebook!
Hang up these posters and let your students wander around the room finding them. When they find one, they look for the corresponding picture on their printout, and then write down the words they see.

Next up, we'll talk about Earth & Human Activity...

-Til next time

Are you teaching a weather unit? These interactive activities are a perfect addition to the rest of your spring lesson plans, ideas, and crafts. Whether for Preschool, Kindergarten, or First Grade, kids will love the interactive pages of this science notebook!


Jan 16, 2016

Living Things: Interactive Notebook and Activities for Kids


(Not familiar with the NGSS standards? Then take some time to read "Getting to Know the Next Generation Science Standards: Kindergarten" first.)

Today, I'm going to focus on the "From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes" standard....which I just simply call my "Living Things" unit. I'll show you all the different parts to my Living Things Interactive Notebook.
You've found them! The best interactive activities to go along with your Living Things science unit. This interactive notebook goes with the Kindergarten NGSS but can also be used with Preschool or First Grade students as well.
This standard can really cover a lot. I mean, you could go into a whole unit on plants, and then another on different life cycles. You could cover different kinds of habitats...there's just so much that you could dive into. So you'll have to pick and choose what works best for you. As far as the interactive notebook goes, it might be something that you just pick pages from as you cover the units you're teaching.

Each science interactive notebook set, including this one, comes with a set of corresponding classroom posters to hang around your room. The vocabulary I chose for the Living Things unit are the seven characteristics of living things:

Each idea covered also comes with its own interactive notebook cover.
The cover pages for each core idea will help your students keep their notebook well organized.

Here is the vocabulary reinforcer:
The Pocket full of Vocab matches the poster set (shown above). Have students pull the cards out of the pocket and review the meanings of the terms. They can quiz themselves, quiz a neighbor, and even write short definitions on the back to help them remember.

After you've talked about the seven characteristics of living things, you can have students look at the pictures below and determine which are living and which are non-living.
Most of your kids are going to know the obvious animal pictures, but many might not realize that plants are alive!

Next, you're going to reinforce your lessons on what living things need in order to survive:

Students will flip open each flap and jot down what that specific picture needs to survive. This is a great opportunity to again bring up the similarities and differences in the needs of living things. The pumpkin needs dirt...but the jellyfish doesn't. The pig does, though! 

What about the habitats of living things? How do different living things get their nutrients to grow? 
Use a pencil and paperclip to spin and tell about where the different animals live. Cut, paste, and glue the correct form of nutrients on the "Where is My Food?" activity page, and practice your illustrating skills under the flaps on the "Where do I Live?" page! 

As I mentioned in a different interactive notebook post, I've noticed that kids LOVE to prove how smart they are. So I created this page that not only reinforces your class discussions throughout the various Living Things units you cover, but also give the kids a chance to feel smart, review their friends, and practice what they've learned.
Students simply pull out one of the many questions and either answer the questions or do what it says.

You've found them! The best interactive activities to go along with your Living Things science unit. This interactive notebook goes with the Kindergarten NGSS but can also be used with Preschool or First Grade students as well.

There are so many fun directions you can go with this standard. Use the interactive notebook to reinforce everything you talk about in the classroom. It will serve as a great "memory book"...a reminder, as they flip through each page, of what activities they did and what conversations you guys had on the topic.

-Til next time

Jan 14, 2016

Science Interactive Notebooks: Our Sun Warms

(Not familiar with the NGSS standards? Then take some time to read "Getting to Know the Next Generation Science Standards: Kindergarten" first.)

Today, I'm going to focus on the Energy Interactive Notebook.

Each science interactive notebook set, including this one, comes with a set of corresponding classroom posters to hang around your room. Here are the posters that come with the Energy set:
Each idea covered also comes with its own interactive notebook cover.

The cover pages for each concept will help your students keep their notebook well organized.

And just like the first standard we covered, the next page is the vocabulary reinforcer:
This Pocket full of Vocab matches the poster set (shown above). Have students pull the cards out of the pocket and review the meanings of the terms. They can quiz themselves, quiz a neighbor, and even write short definitions on the back to help them remember. 

This graphic organizer page will help your students remember all the things you talked about during class discussion time.
You could also project this page on your smart board and fill it out together as a class before students do it on their own.

After you take your students outside to experiment with shadow making, you can bring them back in to complete this activity page.
The boy in the picture is getting too warm on the beach. Your students will need to draw something that will reduce the warmth of the sun on his body. Some ideas might be a beach umbrella, a sun hut, or some type of tarp lean-to.

This is a great unit to bring up astronomers in! Who are they? What do they study? What do they use?
Lift these flaps and write some information down about them. 

As I mentioned in a different interactive notebook post, I've noticed that kids LOVE to prove how smart they are. So I created this page that not only reinforces your class discussions on Energy and the Sun, but also give the kids a chance to feel smart, review their friends, and practice what they've learned.
Students simply pull out one of the many questions and either answer the questions or do what it says.

An ice cube investigation is included too!
Here's what kids will be investigating:
Can you slow down the melting of an ice cube?
You'll need to make up some ice cubes ahead of time.
Have your students predict the outcome and write it in under the flap. Then they can survey and tally up the predictions of their classmates. Have them graph out the results.
Place an icecube on a tray or paper plate and set it somewhere in the room on or on the window sill. Time how long it takes that ice cube to melt. Draw and record the results. Then have students create two different types of structures that could reduce the warmth of the sun on the ice cube. Place ice cubes under them and time how long they take to melt. This will be something you'll want to do and then come back to from time to time. Maybe you do one of your center rotations and then come check on the cubes. And you can totally be flexible with the time it took. If your kids were out to recess when the cube melted, just create an estimated time for your kids. They won't know the difference! ;)

This 'Our Sun Warms' Emergent Reader is a great way to bring up initial discussions with your Kinders on the sun.
Each page gives facts and information about the sun and what it does to the Earth and living things on the Earth. 

Well, that wraps up the "Our Sun Warms" portion of the NGSS. Writing about the warm sun makes me wish it were summer time right now! Next up on our NGSS list will be "Earth's Systems"...which I call my Weather Patterns unit. 

-Til next time,
         

Jan 13, 2016

Force & Motion: Engaging & Fun Activities for Kids


(Not familiar with the NGSS standards? 
Then take some time to read "Getting to Know the Next Generation Science Standards: Kindergarten" first.)

Today we're going to talk about moving and grooving with your littles as you explore Force & Motion! I'm going to share a variety of activities and resources that you can use in your classroom that will keep even the squirreliest of your kids both intrigued and engaged.

To start off, it's important that your students know ahead of time what will be expected of them during this unit.

Here is a FREE poster set (choose Kindergarten or First Grade) that you can download, printout, laminate, and hang up around your classroom for your science lessons.
It goes along with the performance expectations of the NGSS.
There are three different styles you can choose from: Chalkboard, Polka Dot, or Less-Ink Option.
Kindergarten NGSS "I CAN" Posters*
First Grade NGSS "I CAN" Posters*

Now that you have that download, let's dive into some resources!

I'd like to first share what I have used and found to be most successful in helping my littles not only understand the concept of Force & Motion, but master it as well.

This is a Motion & Stability: Forces & Interactions Interactive Notebook.
(There is an Interactive Notebook section for each of the NGSS concepts taught so that you can collect them all in one composition notebook...a perfect way for students to review and reflect on past lessons learned!)
It comes with a set of corresponding Force & Motion Vocabulary posters to hang around your room. The posters break down the vocab as simply as possible so that even five years olds can understand what each term means. I remember the first time I learned that I had to teach Force & Motion to my Kindergarten class. I myself hadn't learned it until I was in high school...how was I supposed to help little kids understand it?! Anybody else feel that way? I had to really sit down and think about the fact that kids use force and motion every single day. Why wouldn't we teach them about it?

Here are the posters that come with the Force & Motion set:

It includes an interactive notebook cover so that your students can separate and organize all of the science concepts you cover throughout the year.

The next page is the vocabulary reinforcer:
This Pocket full of Vocab matches the poster set (shown up above earlier). Have students pull the cards out of the pocket and review the meanings of the terms. They can quiz themselves, quiz a neighbor, and even write short definitions on the back to help them remember. 

The next page has students simply determining which object are pushed and which are pulled...
...to get them thinking about how forces are involved in their daily interactions with the world around them. Give them some opportunities to walk around the classroom or playground and observe how they push and pull various objects. 

Also, take some different sports balls and bounce them around. Talk about direction and motion. How can they change the direction or movement of the balls?

I've noticed that kids LOVE to prove how smart they are. So this page that not only reinforces your class discussions on Force & Motion, but also give the kids a chance to feel smart, quiz their friends, and practice what they've learned.

Students simply pull out one of the many questions and either answer the questions or do what it says.

A bowling investigation is included, too! 
Can a bowling ball knock over pins without being touched by a person? Grab a soft ball and stack up some plastic cups and find out!
First, have the students predict the answer to the investigation question. Then have them survey the class, tally up the votes, and graph out the results of the survey.

Next, get experimenting! What happens if you blow on the "bowling" ball with your mouth? Does it move? Does it knock over any pins? What if you blow through a straw? Can you roll another ball into it? Place it on a ramp? 
Which way knocked over the most pins? Or which way was most effective in knocking over the pins? Lift up the bowling pins and draw a picture of what worked best!


That includes all of the Interactive Notebook components. 
But you may want even more Force & Motion activities for your class! 
Try this additional Force & Motion Activities Pack.
It includes a Flip Book, Emergent Readers, Sorts, and also has the same Bowling Investigation & Vocab Poster Set that the Interactive Notebook has. 

Have fun moving and grooving! 
-Til next time
             

*Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, the above resources mentioned.