Saturday, August 30, 2014

Interactive Science Notebooks

So I decided to try and implement these this year. Still not exactly sure what the difference is in a science notebook and a science journal. I know with older kids they can take notes as they are working-with the little ones, that does not work so well. Our school requires title pages with a specific format in all our journals-name, grade, teacher, school, year--that was a traumatic experience for them in itself! We did not even tackle the Table of Contents yet. Sometimes I really think people do not understand Kindergarten-but I digress.

We personalized our notebooks in a very easy, quick way--with stickers!

And then we did our first experiment. It was called the Gobstopper Experiment which the kids copied as their title. Again, very simple--we put Gobstopper candies (who knew they were real, I thought they were a Willy Wonka invention!) into a bowl of water. We predicted what would happen and then observed and recorded like scientists what actually did happen.

Here are their notebook entries:

If nothing else it certainly got them interested in doing science. They beg me to do an experiment every day now! I wish we had time for that in our schedule. The really cool this was that we did this at the end of the day and I just cleared their bowls over and put them in our sink. I forgot to dump out the water that evening. So the next morning when I came in I put the stopper in the sink to catch the candies and poured out the water. The candies disappeared! They actually dissolved as I poured them out. I had to save the rest to show the kids when they got there!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Kissing Hand Activity

I like using the Kissing Hand the first week of school:

Of course, I have to warn them first that I'm going to say the word "kissing"! Otherwise I get a lot of ewwwww's. :) I read the story to them and then take the opportunity to introduce the concept of multiple perspectives. I ask them to imagine that they are a parent and taking their children to school for the first time. What would they do if their child was sad? Here's what they came up with:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Assessing Creativity

I keep digital portfolios for my kiddos. A little more time-consuming than just keeping a file of work for them, but well worth the effort for me. Parents can access the pics even if we do a phone conference and I can pull it up easily for the kids to see during student conferences. Because of this, in the first week of school it's very important for me to get some beginning-of-the-year work in the realm of creativity. But how do you assess that? 

One way I do it is with divergent art. I give them a shape and ask them to turn that shape into something using their imagination. I purposefully begin with an "S" shape. The first week of school I get a lot of snakes or pics where the student just draws around and doesn't even use the S. But I can continue to model for them throughout the year what it means to be more creative thinkers and by the end of the year I will have 25 different answers to that question.

We did our "S" shape yesterday-the first few answers are kiddos that I can see have already been bitten by that creative bug! :)