Let’s Play Memory Games!

Do your students need to practice a basic math skill? Do you want them to be more confident using that skill Would you like to send a game home so students can practice math with family members? While playing a Memory Game, students match up numbers with names, computation problems with their answers, fractions with their equivalents and much, much more! Print a set of cards and an answer key, zip both in a bag, and you have an easy to store game that’s an excellent way to spend a few minutes in class, review an important skill, or reward carefully completed work. When you create games …

Need Dice for a Game?

How is it possible I can buy dice and somehow they evaporate over time? I know it’s rare for a solid to sublimate into a gas, but every June I end up with far fewer dice than I had in September. And the ones I have can be in pretty bad shape. I hesitate to send dice home with math games because I know they don’t always come back to school. Many of my math games require dice so here’s my suggestion for you: use a six sided pencil! A student sharpens a pencil until it’s too short to sharpen. Do you …

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 …

More Poetry About Motion

  Teaching a unit about force? Poetry can be a great addition to your science resources. Read about ten ways to use poetry in your classroom from Reading Rockets. In addition to my list of poetry by Shel Silverstein, here are suggestions for poems you might consider sharing with your students.   The Butterfly Jar, Jeff Moss force: “London Bridge” A Pizza the Size of the Sun, Jack Prelutsky buoyancy: “We Often Walk on Water” magnetism: “I’m Practically Covered with Needles and Pins” Something Big has Been Here, Jack Prelutsky force: “The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven” These could support activities …

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 …

Vocabulary Cards Make Learning New Terms Easier!

While teaching a university class, my teacher participants asked me about strategies for learning new science vocabulary. What resources could be used to help students learn key words for a new science topic? I created a set of cards for a variety of topics that have an image, a simple definition in English, and the term in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Russian. You can choose from: astronomy, birds, wild cats, frogs, geology, insects, motion, weather, and whales. Consider these other resources: Increasing vocabulary is an accomplishment. Celebrate mastery of every word!– Marilee Sprenger in Education Week Teacher Rigorous and meaningful vocabulary activities can …

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 …

Let’s Play a Bingo Game!

Students in one of my classes are learning fractions so we’re playing Fraction Bingo. Bingo makes it fun for students practice a math skill. Visit Simply Math to find a variety of bingo games that your students will look forward to playing as they practice their math skills. Print the cards, cut squares of scrap paper, and then put both in a zip bag. Students keep their bingo bags in their desks so they can play when there’s just a few minutes to play one game. It’s the “If we finish our work and we’ve done it carefully we can play a game of bingo” approach. It can be a …

Make your spelling program SPARKLE!

How can we support students who may be frustrated with spelling while keeping it fun for the students who find spelling to be very easy? Each week, for my fourth and fifth grade students, I would assign 10 of the 200 most commonly misspelled words. I put the tricky homophones together, like one week was to, two, and too and another week was there, their, and they’re. If I didn’t put them together on the list, it would become “This is the week for two Os in too.” We took a pretest Monday and shared strategies for knowing how to spell words that sound …

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. …