Saturday, March 31, 2012

Student Blogging

Previous Post: Student Science Blogs

I had a brief hiatus from having my students write science blogs using KidBlog, but now we are back to it!  My fifth graders LOVE using the blog and even visit it when they are at home (I know, right?).  I moderate posts and comments by approving them before they are posted to prevent any funny business.  This week they wrote about things they've learned in science this year.  Then, the class and I went through and asked questions about what they wrote and they replied to the questions.  I was able to clarify any misconceptions by writing back and because blogging is so fun, they may actually remember what I said!  I've also started posting challenge questions that require some thought and research and the students reply if they choose.

Earlier in the year, I had my students research a science career and post about it.  Luckily, I have some friends in those careers who went in and wrote back to the students.  They kids really enjoyed that.  It's awesome to involve people all over the country in what the students are interested in.


 First, click to create a class and create a username and password.





This screen will appear!





Click the Users Tab.  Add your students in.  I use their district login information.



Click the Settings Tab and choose your theme.




Set your post and comment settings.  I have it so that I must approve posts and comments before they show up on the blog.




It takes about 20 minutes to set up a blog on KidBlog and enter in your students.  The experience for everyone is fantastic.  Anyone else use blogging in the classroom?  What type of things do you have the students do?

~The Science Penguin

What is Science Weekly Five?

How does it work?


Setting Up
Download the Science Weekly Five Start-Up Kit.
It includes the following items and information:
~About Science Weekly Five
~Setting Up
~Tips and Tricks
~Management Tips
~Grouping Bookmarks
~Station Signs
~Station Directions
~Student Recording Packet (2 types: one that folds like a booklet, and another that's stapled at the corner)



Print off the lesson of your choice and follow the simple directions on the Teacher Resource Page to prepare the materials.  The preparation is always as easy as possible and requires only basic supplies.  Set up your stations (you can have baskets, baggies, buckets) and label them.  Different color baskets clearly labeled with the station name work nicely if you don't have different areas of the room to store the materials.

Each student gets a Student Recording Packet for the week.  Either have students glue it in their science journals or keep them in folders to stay organized.   
Weekly Routine Bookmarks

Grouping Students
You may want to create the groups yourself at first until the students get used to it.  You can also have cards the students draw from a "Sorting Hat" that have the different activities listed in a different order, one activity per day.  There are 5 stations, so for a class of 25, you should have 5 students per group.  I ran 5 copies and laminated Weekly Routine Bookmarks and the students draw one each week to know what order they will go in. 

Establishing a Climate of Learning
Excellent management is key to maximizing time on task.  Chances are the students will enjoy the activities, but they do need to be taught how you want them completed.  Rules or norms for the classroom during Weekly Five time will help students understand the expectations.

What do I do while the students are working?
I see the teacher's role as a facilitator of learning.  The activities should be completed without teacher assistance for the most part.  You can pull a small group during this time, walk around and supervise student work, or work with students in a station you think your students may find more challenging.  The nice thing is that you have many choices that can meet your needs and your students' needs!

Getting Started
On the first day of the week, have students glue their Student Recording Packet in their science journals.  They need to fill in the title and complete the K(Know) and W(What I Want to Know) on the cover of their Packet.

Finishing Up
After completing the last activity, give students about 5 minutes to complete the last page of their Student Recording Packet with what they learned.  There is some blank space on there for anything you may want to have them include, as well.

Want all of the units?
You can purchase everything you need in one nice pack.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Science STAAR Review Folder

Updated 11/12
New One!


Print off physical, earth, and life science notes and glue to a manilla folder to help your students review!  Students can decorate the front to make it their own.

Get yours at The Science Penguin Store.


old one...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Science Weekly Five STAAR Review

With Science state testing coming up, Science Weekly Five activities can be used to review important testable content!  You can use them over a weeklong period OR use them as stations within a normal class day (about an hour and a half from start to finish).




I want YOU to learn all about The Science Weekly Five!

The Science Weekly Five is a program easy to implement and change to meet the needs of you and your students.  This program is great for grades 3-6, but could work at other grade levels as well!  The activities can be completed in as little as 15 minutes each day once your routines are in place. The preparation is very simple and is a great way to supplement your science program.  With the stress added to other subjects with standardized testing and NCLB, The Science Weekly Five is a great way to cover all standards in depth and keep students interested and motivated.

It's all about stations!

Station 1- Read and Comprehend (one-page, low fluency, high level concept reading passage with summarization graphic organizer and sentence stems for students to complete)
Station 2- Exploration (hands-on activity to create a model or diagram)
Station 3- Organize It! (using a graphic organizer or diagram to help students organize abstract concepts in a concrete, visual way)
Station 4- Center Activity (hands-on activity to explore concept more in depth)
Station 5- Vocabulary (cut and paste matching of concept terms and definitions and a Vocabulary Four Square for one important term)
You can purchase units by topic OR buy all of them in The Ultimate Science Weekly Five Resource.

FAQ

What is The Science Weekly Five?
The Science Weekly Five is a supplemental program that consists of 5 stations that students visit over the course of the week designed for intermediate grades.  


How long does it take?
This program is designed to take 15 minutes per activity.


How much preparation is involved?
If you purchase one of my Science Weekly Five sets, all you have to do is copy the pages and prepare a few materials.  When I first set this up for my classroom, it took about 30 minutes to run copies, laminate, cut, make folders, and make grouping bookmarks!  It's super simple and ready to use!

Why is this good for my class?
Once the routine is taught, the students know exactly what to do each day.  You can use these activities to start off your class and your students get 15 quality minutes of work done without wasting a minute!

This doesn't quite work with my schedule.  How can I change it up?
Here are different ways teachers have used SW5.
~Complete ALL the stations over a period of 2 days.
~Use as review before state testing.
~Put in a center and have students complete the activities over 2-3 weeks.
~Use as enrichment.
~Do the activities whole class.
~Include in literacy stations.  I have heard about this from teachers A LOT.

What units are available?
Physical Science:
Properties of Matter
Light and Sound Energy
Force and Motion
Electricity
Mixtures and Solutions

Earth Science:
Fossils and Rocks
Landforms
Natural Resources
Slow Changes to Earth's Surface
Our Solar System
Our Moon
Weather

Life Science:
Animal Adaptations and Survival
Food Webs
Plants
Life Cycles

Where can I get these resources?
 The Science Penguin Store

How do I set this up?

Download the Science Weekly Five Start-Up Kit.

It includes the following items and information:
~About Science Weekly Five
~Setting Up
~Tips and Tricks
~Management Tips
~Grouping Bookmarks
~Station Signs
~Station Directions
~Student Recording Packet (2 types: one that folds like a booklet, and another that's stapled at the corner)


Print off the lesson of your choice and follow the simple directions on the Teacher Resource Page to prepare the materials.  The preparation is always as easy as possible and requires only basic supplies.  Set up your stations (you can have baskets, baggies, buckets) and label them.  Different color baskets clearly labeled with the station name work nicely if you don't have different areas of the room to store the materials.

Each student gets a Student Recording Packet for the week.  Either have students glue it in their science journals or keep them in folders to stay organized.   
Weekly Routine Bookmarks

Grouping Students
You may want to create the groups yourself at first until the students get used to it.  You can also have cards the students draw from a "Sorting Hat" that have the different activities listed in a different order, one activity per day.  There are 5 stations, so for a class of 25, you should have 5 students per group.  I ran 5 copies and laminated Weekly Routine Bookmarks and the students draw one each week to know what order they will go in. 

Establishing a Climate of Learning
Excellent management is key to maximizing time on task.  Chances are the students will enjoy the activities, but they do need to be taught how you want them completed.  Rules or norms for the classroom during Weekly Five time will help students understand the expectations.

What do I do while the students are working?
I see the teacher's role as a facilitator of learning.  The activities should be completed without teacher assistance for the most part.  You can pull a small group during this time, walk around and supervise student work, or work with students in a station you think your students may find more challenging.  The nice thing is that you have many choices that can meet your needs and your students' needs!

Getting Started
On the first day of the week, have students glue their Student Recording Packet in their science journals.  They need to fill in the title and complete the K(Know) and W(What I Want to Know) on the cover of their Packet.

Finishing Up
After completing the last activity, give students about 5 minutes to complete the last page of their Student Recording Packet with what they learned.  There is some blank space on there for anything you may want to have them include, as well.


I love answering questions and am happy to help you out!  Please just comment to let me know what you need!
<3,
The Science Penguin

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

5th Grade Science STAAR



In order to effectively prepare students for STAAR, we need to know what the test is assessing.  It's not as simple as saying that the test assesses the TEKS.  That might be a good thing because we do get more detailed information so that our students are prepared.

Writing this post probably helped me more than it will help anyone reading it.  "They" say that teaching something to someone else is a sign of understanding, so here it goes.

There are four Reporting Categories: 
1- Matter and Energy
2- Force, Motion and Energy
3- Earth and Space
4- Organisms and Enrivonments
In the table below, you can see how many questions from each Reporting Category appear on STAAR and STAAR-M.
Questions on STAAR based on Reporting Categories
Readiness and Supporting TEKS
Percentage of Test that is Readiness or Supporting TEKS
Dual-Coded Questions

In Texas, our TEKS are categorized as Readiness or Supporting standards.  In the table below, you can see that 12 Readiness TEKS are tested and 22 Supporting TEKS are tested.
 Now here's the fun (?) part.  Readiness standards are tested at a higher percentage than Supporting standards. A much higher percentage.  Basically, those 12 Readiness standards make up 60-65% of the test.  

Here's another thing that is important to know.  About 40% of STAAR is dual-coded.  A dual-coded question is one question that assesses a standard from a Reporting Category and one of the Scientific Investigation and Reasoning Skills.  On the Released STAAR from 2013, the most commonly tested process skill was 5.2D. It appeared in 17 of the 26 questions that were dual-coded.

5.2D: analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations from direct (observable) and indirect (inferred) evidence

 There is an EXCELLENT document on Lead4Ward that has all of the tested TEKS categorized as Readiness or Supporting and lists the Scientific Investigation and Reasoning Skills.  If you haven't explored the Lead4Ward site, look around a bit.  There are some useful tools.

The Raw Score Conversion Table for 2014 has not been posted yet, but we are still in Phase 1 so it should be similar to 2013.  

A score of Satisfactory (passing) in 2013 was about 57%. 
Advanced Performance is about 91%.  

This is scheduled to be different 2015, but should still apply for 2014.

When reviewing for Science STAAR, my main focus will be on Readiness TEKS and using direct and indirect evidence to construct reasonable explanations.

Click each picture to learn more about the resource.

Upper Elementary Science Warm-Ups
These warm-ups reinforce skills and concepts learned throughout the year!

Science STAAR Review Folder
Use this folder as a study guide for your students!

Super Science Test Prep Lessons {Physical Science}

Super Science Test Prep Lessons {Earth Science}



Super Science Test Prep Lessons Bundle
20 Lessons Bundled for a Great Price
Science Process Skills Questions





This contains 115 activities and templates for using science notebooks.

While students are rotating through stations to review, you can pull small groups to reteach and reinforce concepts!  Learn all about Science Weekly Five stations.  There are stations for many different topics!

I have been working on a lot of task cards!  These can be used in a variety of ways to review!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Science STAAR Review


After teaching 5th grade science for four years, I've come up with a lot of ideas and resources to use for test prep!

STAAR Wars Earth Science Review


STAAR Wars Physical Science Review

Upper Elementary Science Warm-Ups
These warm-ups reinforce skills and concepts learned throughout the year!

Science STAAR Review Folder
Use this folder as a study guide for your students!

Science Process Skills Questions

Vocabulary Posters and Quizzes

The Ultimate Interactive Science Notebook Kit
This contains 72 pages of great ideas and templates for using science notebooks.

Science Weekly Five Stations
While students are rotating through stations to review, you can pull small groups to reteach and reinforce concepts!  Learn all about Science Weekly Five stations.  There are stations for many different topics!

Task Cards
I have been working on a lot of task cards!  These can be used in a variety of ways to review!

Check out other resources in my posts!


What resources are you using?  What are you doing to prepare?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Upper Elementary Linky Party and Updates

Thank you to Lorraine for hosting an Upper Elementary Linky Party.  While I love the primary blogs, it's nice to find some other teachers in 3-5!  


I've been super busy lately...taking 3 grad classes while teaching was so not smart!  I finished my comps last week, so now I just have classwork and teaching to worry with.  Also, I'm moving in the summer, so I'm starting to deal with all of that nonsense!


HOWEVER, I have not forgotten about my readers!  The Science Penguin will have some new STAAR Science review resources soon.  I've posted physical science, so be sure to check it out!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover

Receive All Free Updates Via Facebook.