Interactive Science Notebooks: part 8

Today I want to back up just a few pages, back to the first unit where I left some open pages. There is one thing that my students always need -- a place to store their AIMS books. We are fortunate at my school to have access to lots of AIMS activities both because our district pushes that and because we had some workshops a couple years ago that gave each teacher these books on our grade level:

They are filled with hands - on activities and printables. One of my favorite things is that they have many books to print and assemble. I use several through the year, and I like my students to keep them in their notebooks. I've tried many different things for this, some more successful than others :)

This year I'm stealing an idea from Life and Times of a Third Grade Teacher. Visit her blog to see how she sets up her notebooks with a great pocket page! Here is what I did:

1. Fold a piece of construction paper to make triangles.

2. Cut off the extra rectangle.

3. Cut in half to make two triangles.

4. Lay one triangle on a notebook page (this is page 13 of my notebook). Cut off the point so it fits on the page. Glue the outside ages with a glue stick.

5. Use a few pieces of tape to make sure the edges hold (the glue will not hold up through the year).

And now students have a pocket for the books. For some of my units we make several books, so I'll be experimenting with how many books each pocket will hold and adding an additional pocket as needed. Of course, pockets can be decorated and fancier paper can be used to dress things up (good use for extra scrapbooking paper).


Monday Made It: July 29th

Another Monday, another opportunity to link up with Tara's Monday Made It! Here is some of what I have done this week.


Last Monday I went in to school for a couple hours to do some more organizing and unpacking of boxes. I took along this bulletin board set I made for "evidence based terms." Last year I had an anchor chart that I made after our literacy coach did a lesson with my students, but this year I wanted to make it a bulletin board. I was inspired by this pin:


After working in my room I stopped by Target to check out the dollar spot and was disappointed that all the cool things I read about on other blogs weren't there :(  I did find these tumblers, though, and thought they would fit nicely in my room. They are melamine, but are heavy -- in fact, the cashier wrapped them up thinking they were breakable! I had just realized that I needed something new to hold pens and pencils on my desk. A little washi tape and they are ready. A stop at Big Lots turned up the supply holder - magnetic - which I had been wanting for my white board. I have a tendence to lose my dry erase markers, so hopefully this will help me keep my supply at hand!


Yep, those are paint chip cards. The last few years I've spent a good bit of time making bookmarks for my new students, which they promptly lose. At home I often use paint cards, so I thought why not? I cut off the top color, because it makes them a bit too long. I plan to let them pick their color, and then I have hot air balloon stickers for them to apply. The best thing is that they will be very simple to replace!


And the made-it I'm most excited about is a project I've been working on for quite awhile. This is the math part of a large sub plan packet I'm putting together for August and September. I'm still putting the finishing touches on the ELA - Science - Social Studies part, but hope to have everything ready to upload to my TPT store later this week. Now that I'm into my second year of blogging, one of my summer goals was to complete some thing for my store so I'm thrilled to check that off my list!

Fiction Friday, July 26th

Because I'm running out of summer vacation (!) I want to mention several of the Sunshine State books today and share the brochures I made to go with them. You can download the brochures by clicking on the book cover.

One and Only Ivan
by Katherine Applegate

What a sweet story! It will definitely touch the hearts of your animal lovers; I think it will make a wonderful read - aloud and am hoping to fit it in. 

Ivan is a gorilla who lives at a Mall in a glass cage. People stop by and stare at him, and every now and then he remembers a little bit of his life before captivity. He has two friends, an elderly elephant named Stella and a stray dog named Bob.

Ivan is an artist, whose work is sold there in the mall. He thinks a lot about his art and how to represent his experiences. One day a baby elephant, Ruby, comes to live with them and her arrival changes everything. Stella is adamant that Ruby should not be living in the mall, and it's her last wish that Ivan help her.

Ivan tells his own story, and you'll find yourself rooting for him as he tries to rescue Ruby from the only life he has known.

by Patrick Carman

Floors is a wacky story of Leo, who lives with his father in the Whippet Hotel where they handle all the maintenance needs. Leo becomes the recipient of several mystery boxes, and he must try to figure out what is going on; the hotel is full of secrets and plots!

Floors is book one in a series -- book 3 will be released in September.

Double Dog Dare
by Lisa Graff

A little competition to become the news anchor for the fourth grade Media Club turns into an all out dare war between Francine and a new student, Kansas. The two of them are archenemies, who discover they have something major in common -- their parents' divorce. There is a lot of humor in the book as things escalate in the war, but also a lot of emotions are dealt with about family issues. I think it could make a great read - aloud for your students; many will identify with the family situations and the humor of the "dares" keeps it from getting too heavy.


Throwback Thursday: Discovery STAR Educators

I'm going back to August 9th of last year for a post about the Discovery Education STAR program.

For my techie post this week, something just a bit different. I've mentioned using Discovery Education streaming a couple times recently. I know that not everyone is in a district that subscribes to Discovery so I hope you will be patient with me as I write to those of you who do have access. So many of my friends who use Discovery Education for the wonderful videos, the assignment builder tools, the assessment tools, etc. are less familiar with the Discovery Star Educator opportunity. If you are one of them, I want to persuade you to check it out!

It all starts with the DEN - the Discovery Educator Network. From Discovery: the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) is a global community of educators passionate about teaching with digital media, sharing resources, collaborating, and networking. With over 100,000 members providing professional development to over 600,000 educators worldwide, the DEN connects teachers both on-line and in-person. Discovery Educators have exclusive access to a wide range of resources, professional development activities, networking opportunities, exclusive Discovery Educator events and more!

When you log into Discovery you can access the DEN and all its resources. However, there is so much more available when you become a Discovery Star Educator. Here is a comparison:

Discovery EducatorSTAR Discovery Educator
Read DEN blogs
Comment on DEN blogs
Personal blog hosted by Discovery Education
Participate in DEN forums
Search and download from DEN Educator Resource Library
Upload materials to DEN Educator Resource Library
Attend virtual events (EdTechConnect, Virtual Conferences)
Welcome Kit from the Discovery Educator Network
Access to training kits to use during PD sessions and workshops
Weekly communication highlighting events and promotions for STARs
Exclusive promotions and contests (e.g., Teacher Appreciation Week, Spring Training)
Access to Discovery Communications events (e.g., Planet Earth premier, lunch with the Mythbusters)
Opportunity to attend local, regional and state-level DEN events (e.g., Days of Discovery, PETE&C prec-conference)
Opportunity to attend national DEN events (e.g., National Institute)
Eligible to become a DEN Leadership Council member

Let me tell you a little bit about what I've experienced as a STAR Educator.

1. A cool welcome kit back when I started.
2. Workshop materials that I have used to educate colleagues about using Discovery.
3. Special gifts during Teacher Appreciation Week (exclusive access to Discovery features, free accounts with other sites, etc)
4. Invitation -only events. My first was a Day of Discovery event at an Orlando resort. I received a Planet Earth DVD set for attending! Another was at Sea World, where I experienced the behind the scenes tour, plus a great day of techie professional education. Special meetings at FETC, a huge tech conference held in Orlando each year (the last couple featured Jeff Corwin and Phillippe Cousteau). Recently I had an evening at the Orlando Science Museum with a couple of great workshops.

If you are using Discovery Education, please take a few minutes to click on the DEN and complete the application to become a STAR Educator -- you won't regret it!

Interactive Science Notebooks: part 7

Today I want to share an activity that I do each year with my students. This year I've changed it just a bit, made a new recording sheet, and am sharing it with my wonderful readers!

For those keeping score, this is page 21 in our notebooks. I like this activity because it takes a month of observing the night sky. It's a great time to point out to students that scientists don't answer every question in a class period!

This year I decided to have students watch for five phases. We start with "The Moon Book" by Gail Gibbons.

I also check for the monthly moon calendar so I know when to have students start their observation.

If you would like the recording sheet for moon phases, click below to download.


Monday Made It: July 22nd

Made It Number One

With just three weeks before teachers report, there are lots of little projects to complete. One thing I've wanted to do is make something new to give my students on their birthday. After seeing many ideas, I decided to go with the Krazy Straws - six in a package at the Dollar Tree.

I had planned to make my own birthday cards to go on them, until I saw these from Positively Learning:

Such a fabulous freebie; I downloaded it immediately and printed the page that says happy birthday for my project! Because I want them to be durable, I printed on card stock and laminated. Then I just cut them out freehand, with a little white around the edges, punched a hole in the top, and slipped them onto the straw. 

I think my kids will love them, and I love that I can have them made up ahead of time (somehow there are always some birthdays that seem to sneak up on me).

Made It Number Two

I spent a little time in my classroom last week, and realized that the labels for my book bag hooks had to go! My granddaughter ripped them off the wall for me, and I have printed and laminated this set to replace them:

Unfortunately, this file didn't have the blog name in it. If this is your freebie, please let me know so I can link it to your blog.

Made It Number Three

Last year we had these great "bag tags" at school. Kids earned them for fitness during PE, and for reading and passing quizzes on the Sunshine State books. I thought it would be great to give out charms for some classroom things, like mastering math facts -- until I found out it would run into hundreds of dollars! I still wished I could do something, so for this year I decided to print and laminate the tags. I found the chains in an Etsy shop (schoollocker). These are the tags I made for students who meet their AR goal (it's a big deal at my school).

I have different colored stars for each quarter that they meet their goal. I have plans for several more awards; last year the kids LOVED their bag tags, so I think these will be a big hit with them.

Can't wait to see what everyone else made this week! Mondays are my favorite day in the summer. BTW, I made a lot of quilting progress this week, but will hold those projects for later. I'm making a cute little wall hanging for my classroom to go with our school theme.

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