Updated: Dunkin’ for Density using Google Sheets

Updated 2017

Spreadsheet that will graph 20 trials, along with Density of Water

Google Sheets: Dunkin’ for Density Spreadsheet 2017

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Updated for 2016

I updated my Dunkin’ for Density Lesson for 2016, I use this lesson with my 6th graders as part of our unit on properties of matter. I wanted it to be more data driven and have them analyze the data from all of their trials, and then compare their data to their classmates. I changed the objective to:

Change the density of the film canister so that 90-99% of the canister is suspending under water.

Materials:

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For more details about this activity, please see my original post. If you have used this lesson with your students, please let me know, you can post it on my Twitter feed @MSScienceBlog

Metric Ruler – Guided Practice for cm & mm

Ruler Practice (Student Copy)

Materials:

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I use this activity as a guided review of reading metric measurements in cm and mm. Each student receives one metric measurement, you can laminate and hand out individual task cards to students, or simply print and cut apart so that students can write on each card as well.

As the measurement is projected on the board, the student with that task card will come up to the board and draw a line on the ruler for to represent that measurement, and add the value. Each student will mark the measurement on their own handout as well. Advance to the next slide, and a new student will add their value to the ruler. Continue until all students have added their values to the ruler,

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Qualitative vs. Quantitative Observations Worksheet

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Quantitative vs Qualitative Observations

Click link for the PDF of this worksheet: Qualitative-vs-Quantititive-Observations

This is a nice review sheet to practice identifying Qualitative and Quantitive observations. Qualitative (think quality) are observations you can’t really put a number on, while Quantitative (think quantity) are observations that are measurable or have a number value. In this exercise, I have the students also underline the word(s) that help them decide if the observation is Qualitative or Quantitative.

For fun, and to review Inferences, I have the students infer what the dog is thinking as s/he listens to the human given directions 🙂

Power School Learning Management System

Our school has been using Power School, formerly known as Haiku, to post homework and resources for our students. This is how I have my 6th grade page set up:

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It also ties into Google Drive and I am able to create a shared folder for each unit which allows students to access handouts, Google Slides, Google Sheets, etc… I simply drop them into the folder and kids have instant access to all files. I can also add links to additional resources such as videos or interactive websites.

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There is also an assignment calendar feed that aggregates all of their classes homework onto one calendar. For assignment details, they can click on the link to see homework specifics. I also use the gradebook which is a great feature. Students can see all of their science grades as well as current average.

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If you use a Learning Management System, how do you use it with your students?

Making Predictions

Here is a simple experiment to incorporate making predictions and reading graduated cylinders. I have two 1-Liter graduated cylinders set up, one in a glass cylinder with blue food coloring and one in a plastic graduated cylinder with green food coloring.

I filled both with water a few days before the start of school and an equal amount of drops of food coloring. Students will make predictions on small post-it notes and place it on the drawing of a large graduated cylinder. Where do they think the water level will be at the end of school? Will it evaporate before school ends? By what date?

I will also have them come up with factors that affect the rate of evaporation on larger post-it notes. What affects evaporation? Will the air in our classroom be drier in the Winter when the heat is on? Is our classroom humid now since it is warm out?

I will post their predictions and questions next week. At the start of the month, I will also post the volume so they can see the evaporation rates over time.

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Post it Notes for seating charts

 

I started using Post-it Notes on construction paper for my seating charts and it makes changing seats and groupings really easy. What do you use?

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Mineral Cube Project

Mineral Cubes hanging in my classroom:

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Sample of slides of information for Wavelite by Isabella:

 

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This activity has become a yearly tradition and I leave the mineral cubes hanging in my classroom from May of one year to the following May, then return it them in 7th grade.

Materials:

Sample of a completed cube with information cut out and cube assembled and decorated:

 

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Balancing Equations: A Hands on Activity

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Balancing Chemical Equations Activity – one of my long time favorite activities. Students will learn how to read formulas, count atoms, create and read chemical equations, and balance chemical equations using a hands on activity with color coded formulas cards.

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Lesson Resources: Create one set of materials for each pair of students. Store in a large zip-top bag

  • Worksheet: handout with directions (pdf)
  • Formula cards (pdf) – laminate and reuse each year
  • Coefficient cards (pdf) – laminate and reuse each year
  • Answer Key for the balanced equations (pdf)
  • Google Slides (NEW) – Balancing Equations Answer Key Public Link
    • These slides can be used to review answers at the end of the lesson
    • You can also print the slides then laminate to use as Task Cards at a hands on station with beads to represent each atom
    • For more advanced students, you can use molecular models and build each model.
  • Practice balancing equations worksheet (pdf) and more from ScienceSpot.net

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Famous Scientists “Wanted Poster” Using Google Draw

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Sample Wanted Poster

This is one of my favorite projects of the year and using Google Draw allowed the students to work on it both in class and at home. In the past, we used a software program to design the posters, but it had a lot of restrictions as to when and where they could work on their posters. By using Google Draw, students were also able to share their posters with me and I could proofread it much more easily and offer suggestions.

We hold a scientist ‘draft pick’ when making our selections. Students come up with a list of their ‘top 10’ scientists and each student draws a number. I select a number randomly and whoever has that number gets to choose first. Once a scientist has been chosen, no one else is allowed to pick that person. Sometimes students choose to spin the “Wheel of Science” when they are not sure who to pick and will allow the wheel to pick for them.

Basic Requirements:

  1. Google Draw to design your poster – Print in color on 8 ½ x 11 paper
  2. First, middle, and last name of your scientist
  3. Picture of your scientist
  4. His/her birthday (Month, Day, Year if available)
  5. ONE sentence of why they are famous or “wanted”  
    • This sentence has to be approved
  6. Country he/she was born in
  7. Where he/she did their work – was it at their home, at a school, a lab, etc
  8. Date of death or current age if living today
  9. Summarize His/Her accomplishments in your own words:
    • One paragraph using 3 – 5 complete sentences
  10. Your name in the bottom RIGHT corner of your poster
  11. List of your sources used for information, pictures, etc on a separate Google Doc.

Choose up to 4 of the following requirements to add to your poster:

  1. A quote by your scientist
  2. 1 – 2 additional pictures of your scientist
  3. A picture of what they worked on
  4. Where they went to school/college
  5. If they had any other jobs
  6. Family information: husband/wife, children, parents, brothers, sisters
  7. What else was happening in history when this scientist was famous
  8. Did this scientist work with another scientist?
    • Who was it and what did they do?
  9. Are there any museums or other places that are named after your scientist? Where is it?

Added 12/26/16: I first posted this lesson in 2000 (as Liz Belasic) here is a version from 2002 with  additional details

Password Game: Holiday Edition (free)

My students enjoyed playing “Password” and I created a Holiday Edition that I used just prior to our Winter Break. Here are the details:

Google Slides: Holiday Password (link)

Set up:
  • 2 chairs in front of the whiteboard, with their backs to the board.
  • 2 students stand behind desks facing the board and the seated players
  • rest of students on teams off to the sides.
  • students on each side will determine what order they go in.
  • once the round is over, the students giving the clues will now be the guessers
  • the seated person who was a guesser, goes back to sit with their team
  • a new person from the team stands to give clues
  • all students will rotate through
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Classroom set up with 20 students, modify as needed
Giving Clues/Points
  1. Team 1 – gives first clue to their partner in the chair
  2. Student in chair guesses.
  3. If they are correct, their team earn 5 pts
    1. their team will then rotate, team 2 stays where they are
  4. If Team 1 is incorrect, Team 2 gives the second clue to their partner
    1. If they get it right, they earn 3 pts, everyone rotates
    2. If they are incorrect, Team 1 gives the next clue
  5. If Team 1 is right, they earn 2 pts and everyone rotates
    1. If Team 1 is incorrect, Team 2 gives the final clue
  6. If Team 2 is right, they earn 1 pt and everyone rotates
    1. If Team 2 is incorrect, no points, everyone rotates
Next round:
  1. Team 2 gives first clue, continue following steps above
  2. Each team has an opportunity to start a round, alternating rounds.
  3. If either team guesses it on the first try, the other team will stay since they did not have a chance to guess.
  4. Add up points and see who wins.

D & T Activity Updated for 2016

New for 2016 – to see the older version with additional lesson details, please visit my post from last year.

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Before starting the activity, I set the stage that they are a group of archeologists and have discovered an ancient tablet at an archeological dig site. Unfortunately, the tablet is broken and as they excavate, they only find a few pieces at a time. What does the ancient table say? Scientists all over the world try to decipher the ancient text…

Materials:

  • Original Worksheet: (pdf)
  • Worksheet to compare posters (Google Doc)
  • Words to cut apart (pdf) – this year I removed the word “bone” to change it up a little
  • construction paper
  • white paper cut into 1/4ths or small index cards
  • glue sticks
  • colored pencils

This year, I wanted to try something different for this lesson. Instead of seeing how close each group came to the original phrase that was on the “tablet”, I wanted each group to analyze the findings from the other groups to compare their findings and look for similarities and differences. This would be similar to a gallery walk (see video below) but without students explaining their posters, they would view posters at their own pace and choose any 3 posters to compare for each category.

 

Note – this lesson plan is a modification of the original lesson plan from The University of California Museum of Paleontology (link)