What are your units in science?

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by Ms.Jasztal, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    What are your units in science? What are some neat things you do during those units?

    We have geology, space, energy, simple machines, human body, environment, and the scientific method, but not in that order. :)
     
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  3. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    We do: Water, Weather, Simple Machines, Forces and Motion, Space, Solar System, Ecosystems, and Adaptive Habitats.

    Take a look at this blog we created at our workshop last week. It has games, powerpoints, lesson plans and links to websites. Maybe there is something on there that you can use.
     
  4. missdq

    missdq Rookie

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    what website???
     
  5. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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  6. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    1) human body mainly bones, joints, and muscles

    2) plant growth and development

    3)soils and compost piles

    4) earth moon and sun
     
  7. MrsCSoup

    MrsCSoup Rookie

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    In South Carolina, we teach weather, solar system, animal habitats (as well as the different biomes), electricity, and light. Each year we get an electricity kit to work with from a publisher---the kids just love making circuits and lighting the bulbs. We just adopted a new textbook this year that comes with classroom kits, so I am very excited about the hands-on stuff we will be able to do.
    The art teacher worked with us last year when studying animal habitats. After the students researched and animal (and presented), she helped them make a diorama of the habitat and a clay figure of the animal. The kids had a blast and retained alot of info.
     
  8. collteach

    collteach Comrade

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    Our units are:
    1) Electricity and magnetism
    2) Weather (focus on instruments and clouds)
    3) Earth, Moon, Sun (movement of these objects in space)
    4) Forces, Motion, Matter and Energy
    5) Plants
    6) Ecosystems (focus on VA ecosystems)
    7) Scientific Method and basic science skills

    We have almost no science materials, so I only did some really basic experiments and activities this past year. We made our own weather instruments, dissected flowers, did a variety of explorations on forces, created different circuits, tested the magnetism of objects, etc. I hope to plan some better things this year. We have a science lab, and a few years ago they had a science teacher. When she left, a bunch of the materials went with her :(
     
  9. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    We did a some really cool stuff with simple machines and forces and motion at our workshop last week. For F/M, we dropped different sizes and weight/mass balls to see which would land 1st. Then we discussed friction (air friction) to figure out why a sheet of paper didn't fall at the same rate. Then we had to figure out how to decrease air friction so that the paper would fall at the same rate as the balls. (wad it up). Later we dropped the same balls into a tray of sand so we could see that larger masses hit with a stronger force. (the gravity had to pull harder because the mass was larger). We also used balloon cars (purchased cheap from Oriental Trading Co.) to show that if you blew up the balloon different amounts, the cars would go a longer or shorter distance.

    Our instructor made inclined planes and pulleys for us and we measured the force it takes to move a piece of wood on the inclined planes, inclined different amounts. Then we put wax paper on the inclined plane and carpet, to see how friction effects the amount of force needed.

    Everything we did was lots of fun, even as teachers...and everything was failry inexpensive to get for the classroom. Remember that you don't need one for every child, just one per group or a couple if you set up various stations.
     
  10. collteach

    collteach Comrade

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    I wised up later in the year and asked for parent donations of items for science activities. I didn't have to buy anything when we made our weather instruments. I had parents bring in coffee cans, soda bottles, red food coloring, straws, fishing line, a level, etc.

    I just made a nice little template with my units and I am going to jot down some neat activities/experiments and the materials required. That way I am not trying to plan stuff at the last minute.
     
  11. Hamster

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    My daughter's 3rd grade teacher gave extra credit if you brought in something to help with a science experiment.
     
  12. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    we can't do extra credit but we could do homework passess or something like that...
     
  13. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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  14. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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  15. MrsCSoup

    MrsCSoup Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2007

    Just wanted to add...
    I took a workshop this summer offered in South Carolina called Science South. They gave us a couple of good websites to go to for lessons and free materials. One website:

    http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/becoming.html

    will send you free materials for the entire school (I believe). The materials would work well with a solar system unit (the sun). Another cool website:
    http://www.bottlebiology.org/

    uses 2 liter bottles to make rockets and habitats.

    Hope this can help someone. Good luck!
     
  16. yoda

    yoda Rookie

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    We study:
    1. earth and space science
    a. weather patterns and systems
    b. processes that shape earth
    2. life science
    a. plants
    3. physical science
    a. matter
    b. chemical & physical changes
    c. heat
    4. science and technology
    5. science inquiry
    6. scientific ways of knowing
     
  17. cinaminsweet

    cinaminsweet Companion

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    We have Scott Foresman Science, does anyone else use this?

    These are the units we cover:
    Life Science (plants, animals, ecosystems, systems of the human body)
    Earth Science (water cycle, weather, rocks, minerals, natural resources)
    Physical Science (matter, heat, electricity, magnetism, sound, light, motion, simple machines)
    Space and Technology (earth's cycles, planets, technology)
     
  18. MrsCSoup

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    Cinaminsweet,
    We have used Scott Foresman Science and just adopted their new textbook this year. I am really excited about using the new materials and the kits that come with it. Have you had experience with the new text and kits? How did you/the students like it?

    Thanks!
     
  19. patti2

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    Hi! Our district used SF and the kits last year. We really liked the texts, but the experiments were only so-so. A lot of them are mismatched to the real meaning of the unit or are "beneath" the kids. Also, in the upper grades, a lot of the experiments did not work as planned. Did you district buy access to the online stuff? If so, there are experiments there that are much better than the kit experiments and really use everyday objects. I think it is under "Lab Zone" or something. Overall, we really liked the series and the kids seemed to also! :)

    P.S. I teach 2nd and we all decided that Unit A-plants and animals needs about 12 weeks to get through everything! So-it doesn't fit the usual quarter if that is how you usually plan.
     
  20. cinaminsweet

    cinaminsweet Companion

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    We used the SF kits last year for the first time when I taught third grade. I was pretty good with keeping up with the experiments at the beginning of the year, but by mid-year they kind of fell by the wayside. I agree, patti2, they were kind of mismatched with the unit.

    We do have the online access, so I will look into some of the Lab Zone experiments for this year :)
     
  21. MrsCSoup

    MrsCSoup Rookie

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    Hi Patti,
    When I went to textbook caravan, we were told that the online stuff was included with the adoption of the textbooks. I know that all the experiments in the kits won't be appropriate nor will we have time for all of them. But, until this year we had no classroom materials unless it was purchased by the teacher or donated (which did not happen often). I hope we can use some of the projects.
     
  22. patti2

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    You'll like it!

    You WILL be able to use a lot of the projects-it will be nice to have the kits! They do make it quick and easy to pull everything out! I just really like the book-it is so colorful and the kids just really liked it! That first year we all pretty much stuck with exactly what the teacher's manual said and this year we've tweaked it:D I really do like the units themselves and all of the teachers in our district have said the same thing!

    The only other minor problem that we saw was that each grade level has A LOT of overlap---not just spiraling---exact same things (each primary grade is supposed to hatch butterflies and make food webs, etc) Our district went through and kind of cut some things out without jeopardizing the spiraling concept and made room for expanding some concepts at each grade level. We also tweaked some experiments so that the kids were actually doing more of the experiment without prior knowledge of the outcome.

    I will tell you this too-don't miss out on the Processing Skills p. 1-26 in the Activity book. They are fun and important to the program. Do those first thing!
     
  23. patti2

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    me again-to get the online activities from the website
    Go to the "Take It to the Net" section and you will see Lab Zone Activities.
     
  24. yoda

    yoda Rookie

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    We just adopted SF last year. I was able to use the kits the second half of the year. How is your district replenishing the supplies that are used up?
     
  25. MrsCSoup

    MrsCSoup Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2007

    Patti,
    Thanks for the reply and the comments. All very helpful. Unfortunately, our school does not necessarily use the same publisher for all grade levels. The textbook is chosen by grade level and if there is disagreement, well then there are 2 different publishers. We would really like to see this change, but I am not sure if or when it will.
    One more question: Did you all get a paperback text that was based on your state standards (as well as a hard bound text)? Just wondering if you stayed more with the regular text or the paperback?

    Yoda,
    We were told that our state has grant money to take care of replenishing the kit supplies for the entire period of use. Because the kits were a huge selling point, I called the representative to make certain and he reassured me that was the case. Time will tell though if that really happens.
     
  26. patti2

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    If you aren't using the spiraling curriculum, then it should be EASIER to just go straight from the books because there will be no overlaps! You will like it, I think!

    I did not get a paperback text, but the hardback is based on IL state standards. My sister-in-law uses the same company and hers re based on IN state standards. Hmmmm....I wonder what the difference is between the paper and hardback copies?
     
  27. yoda

    yoda Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2007

    paperback vs. hardback

    It was my understanding that the paperback version were of the different units within the hardback. Same book, just more "books" to store.
     
  28. MrsCSoup

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    The paperbacks were developed specifically for your state's standards. Each student gets a hardbound book and a consummable S.C. Science, as well as a PACT book (for state test practice). The paperback covers the concepts that might not have been covered deeply enough in the textbook. It also serves as a workbook. The students may mark in it (highlight, underline, take notes, etc.) and answer the end of the lesson questions in it. I thought it was neat that the kiddos would be able to "write" in their books. We always need work in finding the main ideas, etc.
     
  29. bina1357

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    Aug 3, 2007

    We have no text books for Science. We have FOSS kits which are usually mostly hands on so we supplement a lot.

    My major themes are:
    Animals-adaptations
    Scientific Method
    Magnetism/Electricity
    Erosion

    There are many many more strands that I just can't recall now.
     
  30. missdq

    missdq Rookie

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    Aug 4, 2007

    any one use macmillan/mcgrawhill
    science a closer look
     

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