Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sneaking in {extra} Science...


I don't know about you, but teaching Science is my nemesis.  While I love to teach it, I just don't have the time it takes to do it all.  In 5th grade in Minnesota, students take a "high stakes" test on science....and this year the test is being given the end of March, the week before spring break.  This test encompasses all the standards they should've been taught and have built upon from Kinder-4th, not to mention the new material they are to learn from the 5th grade standards.

There is a heavy weight on 5th grade teachers' shoulders to fit it all in; to review science from previous grades that may not have been mastered or a standard that may have been overlooked by a teacher, as well as make sure students are up to speed with 5th grade learning.  It's a lot to digest.

As we head into the final 3.5 weeks before we take "The Test," I have thought a lot about how I am going to sneak in that review,  bring topics to the forefront of my students' frontal lobes, and in general, just make them curious about the world.

Here are a few ways I am going to amp up science, while also making sure we continue our progress through the gajillion other 5th grade standards:

1) Science Reading
I have a plethora or articles and resources involving science topics.  We will work on these to not only learn/review the science concepts, but also to look at text structures, vocabulary, tone, etc.  Many of these I got from TpT from some of my favorite teacher-authors!  Its a win-win when I can do cross-curricular activities with the students; killing two birds with one stone.

2) Bill Nye

Not gonna lie, I love Bill Nye.  A lot of good videos can be found on YouTube to discuss concepts that I can't necessarily create a lab for in my classroom, or will at least provide them with some exposure to concepts I don't understand (like Black Holes...I just don't get them!)



3) Quiz Wiz

We have been doing this all school year, actually.  Daily, my students have a question to look up as homework (it takes approx. 2 minutes each night for them to complete!)  My students love finding out new terms and information...often they will find the answer and continue researching about the topic or will come with new questions to ask me!  I have a TON of questions, but have created Weather, Animals, Human Body, and Inventors....so far!

{Find all my Quiz Wiz Sets on TpT}

4) Study Island
My school has purchased this to use for all 5th graders.  I plan to assign a task each day to complete, something they can get done during the school day, hopefully.  I don't find this platform to be super user friendly, and some of the games students get bored of quickly, but if I can make earning badges/trophies a competition, I think they will buy into it and get something out of the review!  My school is Beta testing some reading and math programs for the Edmentum company, which I really like.  I hope that the company can get Study Island on track with those (called ExactPath) soon.

5) Mystery Science
This "show" and activities have been a game changer for me this year!  My students are curious about the world and this platform helps to solidify that it's okay to be curious and answers their questions in a straight forward, kid-friendly manner.  We have done a few of the activities they provide, like creating an "Xray" of the human hand, and my students always have a blast!



How do you sneak in {extra} science, or amp up any other curriculum exposure for that matter, into your day, when there is just not enough time?


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