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

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...

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!


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!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Science All-STAAR Review Resources


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?

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