Sunday, September 16, 2012

Science In A Bag Club and Linky

Well my first bags have gone out.  I am talking about my Science In A Bag Club that I started last year at my school.  I am the fourth & fifth grade science teacher and  I absolutely LOVE science.  This club was a way for me to share my passion with my entire school so I started this club.  Anyone in grades kindergarten through eighth grade can join and last year out of 150 students at our little school 77 students signed up for the club.Wow!   I was really overwhelmed because I had no idea what I was doing making adjustments along the way. Such as I eliminated the lab sheet since the families were telling me that it was too much work to do a lab sheet and a journal in one night.  Last year I managed this club on my own, this year I have an awesome friend who volunteered  was recruited, the first grade teacher to help Thank you! This year we have about 55 students signed up out of 160 students.  So far it is looking good.

I was trying to figure out how to do a "club" without meetings after school. Our school has a lot of bus riders so I did not think an after school club would work.  So I came up with Science In A Bag!  In the bag is an experiment of the month specifically for kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade and sixth through eighth grade.  I also include all the directions, supplies, tools and a lab book to write or draw their observation and if they liked the experiment.  The bag needs to be brought back the following school day so it can be reloaded with supplies and sent home with the next student. I change the experiment each month so I end up sending home about 8 experiments a month.  I try to keep all the experiments in a binder so I don't do repeats but I figure after year three I should be able to start rotating the experiements since the students should be in the next group.  Right?????

Funding????  Last year I had a wonderful parent who contacted Walmart who donated a $50.00 gift card. Boy did I had tears in my eyes!  This year I have been creative trying to find experiments that use common household supplies or supplies that we already have in our impressive science lab (It is huge, stocked and I want to live down there!  lol)   at school.  My sweet husband did go to Circle K last weekend and bought a pop so we could get some ketchup packets for the middle school experiment.

Here are my 3 experiments for this month...

Magic Ketchup 6th - 8th Grade

Capillary Action 3rd - 5th Grade

Magic Cup K - 2nd Grade

Also I am linking up with  Megan over at I Teach, What Is Your Super Power for the "What I am Lovin' Linky! Science In A Bag of course!

Happy exploring,

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fun Friday Linky & Facts, Facts, Facts

Hello Guys,
Well I keep slipping up on my blog posts.  It is not like I am short on ideas just time.  Aren't we all?  This time I wanted to link up with  Kelly at Teaching Fourth Fun Friday where we share something we are using in our classrooms.  This year I am trying to move away from the traditional paper and pencil timed multiplication facts quizzes.  This felt like it would take forever to take, peer check and then I would quickly check them again. Let alone the amount of paper I would use to print out the quizzes for the kids & the time to print all the copies.  Big time UGH!  If the student passed with 100% I would give them a sticker on the class chart. If not they needed to retake the quiz next week until they pass.

Now we take our quizzes on Fun 4 the Brain website which has math type games and self-checking addition, subtraction and multiplication quizzes.  The student types in their name and clicks start to start the timer.  There is 36 multiplication problems they need to complete.  When the student clicks finished and then print, it also prints out the date, time and score. I then collect the quizzes.  They can take home the quizzes under 100% and practice the facts they got wrong and then retake that quiz next week. Those that pass get a sticker on the classroom chart.  My only complaint is that my students with test anxiety (I have quite a few) get overwhelmed with all the problems shown at once and just freeze up.

 Does anyone know of a online quiz that only shows one problem at a time? Please leave me a comment!!!!  I would LOVE it!

 It seems to be going well after a bit of training with the kids.  I do not think it has cut down on time yet since I have not been setting a time limit.  So for those quick test takers I let them play a math game on the Fun 4 the Brain website while the slower ones finish up.  I told the kids as they get the hang of the new quiz I will be setting a time limit, I just hope it makes this new procedure quicker & more efficient for the kids & myself.  The kids love using the computers so the interest level is high.
Soooo I hope you enjoyed my Fun Friday.  Leave me a comment and enjoy the others that have linked up.

Happy Friday,