This is a fun resource excellent for display during a California Gold Rush unit! Click the picture to link to free download. :)
Below is an older version used in my classroom a few years ago. I have since updated the font and added a frame :)
With summer school finally finished, I finally get a break! A break that I will most likely spend hiking with my dog, cleaning my house, and perfecting the art of Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator! Once I figure Illustrator out I will post some tips- I see a lot of people using PowerPoint to create and edit resources but that has so many limits as far as unleashing your creative side goes!
Wish me luck with my new venture! I spent some time yesterday creating a new banner for the site on Photoshop- my husband insists Illustrator is easier to use so I am excited to dive in!
Here are a few great resources for students during Science Fair Project time.
In the end, the kids create amazing reports. This is definitely Common Core ready and aligned! It requires kids to read and comprehend non-fiction texts, form and write opinions, use multiple sources to write a report and of course, revise and edit well structured reports with introductions and conclusions!
This activity is definitely an "adult supervision only" activity. It involves the use of a hot stove and handling hot liquid.
How it works
When you mixed the hot water and sugar you made a saturated solution. A solution is saturated when the liquid holds as much of the compound dissolved in it as possible. In this type of solution, the molecules are constantly bumping into each other. As they do this, they sometimes stick to each other. In a saturated solution, the molecules bump into one another frequently because there are so many of them. This begins a crystallization process and is called nucleation. Once several molecules are already stuck together, they attract other molecules to join them. This is a very slow process that makes crystals grow.
As the water cools the sugar is forced out of the water solution. The skewer (and sometines the glass itself) gives the sugar something to grow on. With some luck and a whole lot of patience you will have a tasty scientific treat! Enjoy!
This is a fun at home craft to do as a family- Make your own paper!
Back in September I was asked to teach a summer Robotics Class. Nine months later, here I am in a quaint little classroom filled with robots, challenge boards, computers, and future programmers.
Using Lego Mindstorm robots, I gave the kids a choice between two programming platforms: NXT and RobotC.
NXT is a picture based software aimed to fit the needs of younger students and is best suited for grades 4th and 5th. Using NXT, kids are able to program their robot to perform various tasks in order to complete challenges. They do this using a sequence of blocks with more advance skill sets involving the use of loops and "if then" statements.
For older students, or more ambitious younger kids, I highly recommend using RobotC. RobotC is a programming language similar to C+. Students are able to program the robot using the same skill sets used in NXT, but will do so using actual code. This software can absolutely be more frustrating than NXT but is absolutely worth the time and perseverance. Students using RobotC will need more help, guidance and encouragement as it can become frustrating quickly. Leaving out one semi-colon or neglecting to capitalize one letter can and will through off the entire program and mistakes are often hard to spot- even for seasoned RobotC programmers like myself. This summer I gave students a chance to try about both. Students who stuck with RobotC comment on how "boring" NXT was after they got used to RobotC.
Pictured is the summer class' "Ultimate Challenge." The challenge incorporates every skill students learned over the summer and involves the use of every sensor on the Lego Mindstorm. The challenge board is harder than it looks! Students were asked to follow lines until the robot touched or saw an obstacle, they had to circle around the world before crossing a bridge, stop at the line, spin around while the robot shouts "Hooray!" before finally having the robot continue to the finish using the sound sensor. "Clap your way to the finish!"
It took the kids an average of nine days to complete the challenge. Working in teams, they were able to collaborate and problem solve to get the robot through each check point.
Why it Works
First of all, you need to understand that everything is made up of atoms. You're made of atoms; the record is made of atoms, even the cereal is made up of atoms. These atoms are made up of smaller particles; protons, neutrons, and electrons. Electrons have negative charges.
When the wool rubs the record, electrons from the wool stick to the record. This gives the record a negative charge. Negative charges don't like to be near other negative charges. In fact, when they come in contact with negative charges, they repel them. On the other hand, when they come in contact with positive charges, they attract to them and stick!
The negatively charged record will push away negative charges and pull positive charges close to it. As you hold the record above the cereal, it will pull the positive charges from the cereal up to the record. The cereal will stick to the record.
When the cereal touches the record, electrons on the record move to the cereal. Now the cereal has a negative charge. Since the record and the cereal both have a negative charge, and negative charges don't like to be near each other, they repel each other and the cereal jumps down from the record.
This will happen over and over again until the charges balance out and become neutral.
To make it start again, you need to rub the record with wool!
This is my favorite Thanksgiving project but, it could be an any time of the year project if you swap fall color leaves for green ones! Below you will find step by step instructions with pictures.
For this project you will need:
The template has various types and sizes of leaves. Choose which one will work best for the size of paper bags you have.
Start with a paper bag. I use over sized bags but the standard size works well too.
Split the bag into fourths. Stop cutting about 1/2 the way to the end of the bag.
Cut the bag into fourths.
Next, stick your hand into the bag. You need to open the bottom of the bag for the base of the tree. Once you have the base, grab the bag just above the bottom. You will begin twisting from here. It helps to do this on the table with two hands. Have one hand hold the base on the table while the other hand twists the bag. This will make a nice sturdy trunk!
Continue this process until you have a sturdy trunk with a nice base.
Your tree should now look something like this. All of those pieces sticking up will soon be your branches.
Now, take each piece and carefully twist them into branches.
You are almost done! Once you have every branch twisted, you will be able to move on to the leaves.
Put the tree aside, it should look something like this. Now that you have a tree, you can get started on your leaves. If this is a Thanksgiving project, be sure to print leaves on fall colored construction paper. (Regular paper will work too.)
Now, using a leaf template (click here for one!) cut out as many leaves as you want. Write things you are thankful for on each leaf. After you are finished, staple, tape or glue each leaf to the tree. There you go! Your very own thankful tree!! The tree shown below was made by one of my students. This tree is more of a science tree than a thankful tree, but you get the point. :)
Below several different types of leaves were used. You can have students pick and chose leaves, or they can stick with one variety. I leave the choice up to them!
When I made the jump from elementary school to middle school, writing a syllabus was a bit of a daunting task. I would have loved it if someone would have given me a template to follow so... for any of you beginning middle school or high school teachers out there- here is the syllabus I used. I hope someone out there finds it useful!
"The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see." - Alexandra K. Trenfor