## Welcome to my blog!

I hope you are enjoying your summer! August will be a busy month as teachers prepare for a new school year. If you are a new teacher, or a veteran teacher, looking for new science lessons and ideas to add to your curriculum, my website is here to help. Everything I have posted is free for you to use in your classroom. All of my Google Slides can be edited to meet your needs – here is a quick tutorial to help you make modifications.

To help you find what you need quickly, there are several options available:

Search box in the upper right corner – click on the magnifying glass and enter key words to find lessons.

Tag cloud – scroll down, on the right you can choose either a topic or standard. Each blog entry also has tags on them to help you find related lessons.

Category Menu – scroll down on the right and look for lessons related to your topic, such as ‘Life Science’ or ‘Skills’

Enjoy the rest of your summer and best wishes for the 2018-19 school year!

## Qualitative vs. Quantitative Observations Worksheet

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 🙂

## Mineral Cube Project

Mineral Cubes hanging in my classroom:

Sample of slides of information for Wavelite by Isabella:

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Distance Learning Edition May/June 2020

Mineral Cube 2020 – Distance Learning was not going to stop us from completing this annual tradition! Students chose their top 10 Minerals and we completed the 2020 Draft Pick using a random name picker to determine the order of each pick. We used one of our Live Zoom Sessions for me to explain the project, go over tech issues, answer questions, and to complete the draft pick.

Using Google Classroom, I made a copy of the template for each student and was able to review their work each day. Students then spent 3 days researching and designing their slides, then a few days building their cubes. We then shared our cubes using Google Slides – each student added their info to one slide and were able to see each others completed Mineral Cubes.

Sample Google Classroom directions:

For the next 3 science classes – you will work on your Mineral Cube Research and gather supplies for your Mineral Cube. I will grade 2 slides each day and give you a classwork grade. When we have LIVE classes, you will sign in and I will look at your slides in real time and answer questions and make suggestions.

• Lesson 17: Slides 3 & 4 – the TOP and BOTTOM of the Cube
• Lesson 18: Slides 5 & 6 – Chemical and Physical Properties of Mineral
• Lesson 19: Slides 7 & 8 – About and Uses of Mineral
• Lesson 20:
• 1. Finalize your slides – make corrections and read my comments, and complete your slide designs.
• 2. Print and cut out the 6 sides of the cube.
• 3. Assemble your mineral cube.
• 4. Add pictures and videos of your mineral cube by Monday to the slides posted for 5/11.

2020 Update Google Slides Template Link – Mineral Research

Completed Slides Template  – Students had the option to upload a video of them holding their Mineral Cube and showing all the sides in addition the images of each side.

Sample Slides of Student Work:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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:

• Google Slides Template – students will make a copy and share their slides with you. All information and images are placed inside of the 4in x 4in text box
• Students will research and work on their slides during 2-3 class periods, the rest is on their own time, including crafting and designing the mineral cube
• I give students a 6x6x6 cardboard box, but they can make one of their own out of any type of cardboard, such as cereal boxes.
• Mineral Cube Choices and Rubric Spreadsheet: Student can choose any mineral of their choice (there are over 3,000 named minerals) but their mineral has to be used for something, it can’t be a collector’s sample or very rare. We have a draft pick and no two students can have the same mineral.
• Mineral Guides:
• Websites such as:

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

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## 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:

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
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.

## Vocabulary Bundle – Google Draw Template for Cut & Paste Activities

Updated 7.14.22 – Thank you for sharing this Google Slide Template for Cut & Paste Vocabulary! Submitted by James from Oklahoma.

Older Entry

I created new templates to create your own vocab cut and paste worksheets. The files are located in the Google Drive Folder and were made using Google Draw.

To edit the template, you will need to select:

• “File” then “Make a Copy”
• Rename the copy
• Make edits for your science unit

Google Drive Folder (link): I have all of my vocab sheets posted in one folder so they are easy to find and access. If I find or create any more vocab sheets, they will be included in this folder.

Below are some fun ways to incorporate vocabulary into your lesson plans:

• Cut & Paste: Have students cut out the definitions and paste or tape them next to the correct word.
• Flashcards: Students will cut out each vocab word and paste it to the front of an index card, then they will cut out and paste the correct definition on to the back of the index card.
• Find Your Partner: Give half of the class a vocabulary word and the other half of the class a definition. They will look for their partner and record their answer. Have them come to you to pick up a new word and a new definition and find new partners.
• Quiz, Quiz, Trade: Using the flashcards, give each student one vocab word. They will go around the room and quiz each other. After quizzing each other, they will trade flashcards and find a new partner.
• Matching: Create a vocab set by laminating and cutting out the words and definitions. Place the words and definitions into a ziptop bag. Have each student or pair of students match the words with their definitions.
• Go Fish: Using the matching set above you can play Go Fish. Deal out 3-5 cards per player (depending on the number of students and vocab words) and place the rest upside down in the center. Students will ask each other for a vocab word or a definition, if they don’t have it, they will say “Go Fish” and the student will pick a card from the pile. If they have a matching set, they will place it down. If not, they will add the card to their hand. The first person to place all their cards down wins.
• Old Maid: Using the matching set above, you can remove one of the vocab words or definitions from the set. Students will deal out all the cards. Students will pick a card from the person to their right. If they have a matching set, they will set it down. The first person to place all their cards down, wins, the person left with the vocab word or definition without that doesn’t have a matching card is the “Old Maid”.
• Dominoes: Using the matching set above, you can have 3-4 students shuffle the words and definitions and deal out to each student. Have one person start by placing a vocab word on the table. If the next person has the definition, have them place it on the table touching the vocab word. The next person will place a vocab word on the table touching the definition of the previous word, and so on until all the words and definitions are used. The first one to get rid of all their cards wins.  If a students doesn’t have a definition or new vocab word to put down, they will skip their turn.
• Stations: You can set up stations around the room with different vocabulary activities and students can rotate through the stations.

To make any of these games more challenging, you can combine 2 or 3 related sets of vocab into the mix. If you have any other fun ways to review vocabulary, please add to the comment section below.

Note: If you are having trouble seeing the handouts in ‘preview mode’ and it seems to be stuck in the loading phase, click on the boxed arrow (pop-out button) on the top right to open the pdf and view the rest of the pages.

## Element, Compound, or Mixture? Identify & Sort

Materials:

Different ways to use this activity:

1. Vocabulary reinforcement
2. Students can review the slides independently as added practice and self check.
3. This can be a guided mini-lesson for a whole class to reinforce the concept.
4. Students can work in pairs to sort the cards into the 3 different groups, then discuss the answers as a class. Challenge – categorize the mixtures.
5. Give each student one of the larger cards and have them do the activity “Quiz, Quiz, Trade

For more lessons related to this activity, please click on the tags below.

## Science Prompts, Starters, Warm-Ups, & Do Nows

I used Google Slides to create my science prompts and students accessed the slides via Google Drive to complete for homework. They kept a marble composition notebook and wrote the questions and answers into their notebooks and we discussed each one at the start of class.

Next year, I am going to try a different approach. Some students had difficulty keeping their notebook up to date. Using a pocket folder with prongs (like this one) I am going to print 4 prompts per page and photocopy them ahead of time, essentially making a workbook with about 100 prompts on 13 double sided pages. This will help keep students more organized and have access to the information for review easily. This is on my summer list of things to do 🙂

You can download the pdf file of the prompts (Science Prompts 2015-16 Public) I used this year with my 6th graders. Please keep in mind that many are from ScienceSpot.net and you can find her starters with answer keys sorted by category here and her Mystery Photos here – (the kids loved the mystery photo challenges!)

You can also use Activity Pages from BrainPOP.com (here is a free example) as starters or writing prompts. Almost every video has an activity page that you can download and use with your students.

Additional samples of science prompts available – see the images below:

## Transition Metals Bingo Card – Free Template

During our chemistry unit, playing games is a fun way to become familiar with the elements and the vocabulary associated with the periodic table.

Different ways to play:

• Say the element symbol
• Say the atomic number
• Say the name of the element
• Describe the properties of the element:
• “I am the only metal that is a liquid at room temperature’
• “I am used in light bulb filaments and have 74 protons”
• “My atomic mass is 52”
• “I have 29 electrons”

Different ways to win:

• Any 5 spaces in a row that are vertical, horizontal, or diagonal
• good for quick games
• An “X”, “L”, or “T” formation
• takes longer to win
• “L” or “T” can be in any orientation such as sideways or upside down
• After a few rounds, have students switch cards with their seat mate, if either one wins, they both win
• Collect all bingo cards, shuffle and hand out, if someone wins, the person with the card and the person who made card are both winners
• Small prizes such as stickers or other knick-knacks are fun to give out

## Free & Ready to Print: “I Can” Statements for NGSS and “Big Idea” Posters

Update 9.9.15 – Link is updated

Ready to print, with a choice of backgrounds – thank you Science Class

• “I Can” statements (link)
• Big Ideas (link)

## Mystery Footprints – Observation vs. Inference

Materials:

• Updated for 2015 – Mystery Footprints – Observation vs. Inference (Google Slides Public link)
• You can download this Google Slide Presentation in any format
• Click “File” then “Download as” and choose ppt, etc
• Handout for Mystery Footprint Activity (pdf)
• projector

Background

This is one of my favorite activities to practice making observations and inferences, it really helps the students differentiate between the two. As I mentioned in my ‘Boy in the Water‘ post, students tend to clump their observations and inferences together, they think they are the same thing.

For example, after viewing the first panel of the image, they will say that they ‘see two animals running towards each other.’ and my response is, “I don’t see two animals running towards each other, but I do see two sets of tracks”. After a few tries, they refine their answers and start to see the ‘facts’ of the image. Then we talk about the ‘story’ behind the facts.

When doing this activity, before I show them the first panel for the image, I stress how important it is not to share, or shout out, their thoughts or answers as soon as they see the image. Why is that important? Why can’t we share our answers right away? I stress to them that when they share their answers, they are taking away opportunities for their peers to think about what they are seeing.

For example, if someone asked you to name a vegetable, and I shouted out BROCCOLI, my answer would creep into everyone’s thoughts and BROCCOLI would push away any ideas about vegetables that didn’t have a chance to develop. Instead of sweet potatoes, or even yucca, you are now thinking about broccoli. It is important to let everyone have a chance to see the image, think about it, and to process and form their ideas. Their ideas may end up being the same as yours, but they may also think of something totally different. Once everyone has had a chance to process their thoughts, we can share our ideas and have a discussion where everyone can contribute and develop their thoughts further.

This activity was originally published in Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998) and the book is available as a free download. You can find more details on pages 87-89 for this lesson.