Quick Demos for Light

Need an idea to introduce light to students in your classroom or their parents at an open house or after school meeting? I’ve collected a few for you to consider. From the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco Bird in a Cage – color Hole in Your Hand – illusion Magic Wand – reflection Exploratorium Science Snacks are fun activities in many areas of science. They have suggestions for family friendly science activities you might suggest for your families.   From SteveSpanglerScience Magic Arcs  – video – illusion Disappearing Color Wheel  –  video – color Science Clips at the BBC are great although they’re not being updated so check them …

Quick Demos for Sound

You’re starting or finishing a unit on sound and you need a fun demonstration to share with students. Maybe parents are coming for an open house and you want to impress them with a science activity. What will get kids excited about sound? How can you integrate science into an open house conversation about school? Consider these suggestions from SteveSpanglerScience: Singing Glasses Singing Glasses Toothpick Mover – video Musical Straw  –  video Screaming Cup Talking Cups –  video Water Whistle – video In addition to Steve’s resources, here’s a few great videos you might add to your sound unit. I actually own a Chladni Device and, …

FREEBIES: Life Cycle Mobiles

Are your students learning about the life cycle of a frog, bird, bug, whale, or cat? Are you collecting resources to meet NGSS 3-LS1-1? (Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.) With this FREE product, students cut apart squares that represent the stages in an animal’s life, glue them back-to-back with a piece of string between the images, and then suspend the images in a spiral from an embroidery hoop or a loop make from a folded piece of construction paper. Choose from blackline images, color images, or blank …

Mess Up On Purpose!

It’s 1985 and I’m a “new to science” teacher. The principal and the parents haven’t expected me to teach science, just the basics, so that’s what I’ve been doing. Then a life changing event occurs. Marie came to see me to talk about her son and offered to teach anatomy. Sure, I’m not teaching science, why not let her? Students who couldn’t pass a spelling test learn how to spell the muscles she was explaining. (Did you know the levator anguli oris, levator labii superioris, orbicularis oculi, risorius, zygomaticus major, and zygomaticus minor make it possible for you to smile?) Students who couldn’t focus in my lessons focus during hers. I …

Web Resource: NGSS Evidence Statements

  Do you find a page from NGSS with several standards and the Science and Engineering Practices, and the Disciplinary Core Ideas, AND the Crosscutting Concepts all on one page to be a bit overwhelming?? Consider downloading the Evidence Statements.   What are Evidence Statements?   They are resources you’ll find at the Next Generation Science Standards web site.               In the pages shown above, you can see four physical science standards from third grade are saved on four different pages. Notice the grey boxes at the bottom of each page? That’s the  “Observable features of the student performance by …

Do you need a few free seek-a-word puzzles?

A fun way to help students learn how to spell science terms is with seek-a-word puzzles. To get you started, try these FREE WORD PUZZLES from my Simply Science store, including: five senses people make sounds animals make sounds weather volcanoes layers of the Earth butterflies cells bones muscles circulatory system   I’m still adding seek-a-word puzzles so check back often to see what’s new in my store. Let me know if you have a topic (and a list of terms) that you want me to add to the Simply Science store. To create your own puzzles, visit Discovery Education where you’ll find an easy puzzle maker. …

Quick Science: Walk through Paper

Do you have a pile of scrap paper, scissors, and a few minutes for a quick science demonstration? Challenge students to figure out a way to walk through the paper. If you have any students familiar with the activity caution them to explain after the demonstration. They might have a variation to share like a spiral cut or be able to help classmates with the activity! Fold a sheet of paper in half along the dashed line and then make the vertical cuts along the solid lines. Cut the center section of the fold itself along the heavy solid line. …

Any Skeletons in the Closet?

You might be surprised at what has been stored in bins, boxes, and closets from past science adoptions. It takes a bit of snooping and a willingness to sort through supplies that might be unfamiliar to you. I am amazed at the materials I have collected for my science class! The title of the post is a reference to an actual skeleton we found in a box. A bit of wire (unbent paper clip) and a cleaning and it was a great greeting when students came into our classroom! If you find supplies that may not be familiar to you, check with colleagues, the company online, …

Short Can Be Great!

A science lesson doesn’t have to take 40 minutes or even several sessions of 40 minutes. It needs to be focused on the science you’re presenting, be interesting, and, of course, be fun! I’m teaching inertia and gravity in a fifth grade classroom. Between my 40 minute classes I want to keep students interested and talking about the topic. I could use a few short demonstrations to review or reinforce inertia and gravity. Do you have a meter stick? Try this Center of Gravity demonstration. Do you have a large glob of clay to add to the meter stick? Try this Balancing …