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October 26, 2014

Science Dioramas

In past years I always had the kids bring in a shoe box to make our Ecosystem Diorama.  It was always a rush to find enough empty containers to make the project.  We would paint the setting, the room would stink for days, and it would take a long time to complete.  This year I didn't have that kind of time, so I used construction paper.

My 8th grade TA is a past student of mine.  He's responsible and I'm sure he appreciated prepping the paper for this project.  :)  At least he is too polite to tell me differently.

He put a kleenex box on a piece of 9 x 12 white construction paper and made a dot on the 4 corners where the box touched the paper.  Then he made slits in the paper  - a little cut from the corner to the dot.  

Then we handed the paper out to the students.  They folded the paper up to create a frame.  It was at this point that they were able to decide if they wanted a land (forest) ecosystem, or an ocean one.  They colored in the background with their crayons (no paint this year).  

Then they came over to myself and my TA to staple up the edges.  Just a quick staple in the four corners.  

We have been using these free workbooks that I received, and inside there was 2 food webs, an ocean and a forest scene.  

They cut out the pictures and labels and glued them into their dioramas.  Then the kids took a piece of paper and identified producers, prey, predators, herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores.  They glued it onto the back of their ecosystem boxes.  

It was nice turning a big project into something that was less smelly and took less time (since this year we are constantly running out of it).   

Hope you have a great day!

October 21, 2014

Starting Our Business Unit

Our second unit of the school year is entitled Dollars and Sense.  It's a lot about different businesses.  Last year I found this fun project by The Science Penguin that has kids design their own stores.  It's mainly a math project, but it ties in perfectly with our first story which is called "Starting a Business".  

The kids have to brainstorm their own business - complete with a store name and products, answering questions that tie in perfectly with learning about a business.  They have to realistically think how they are going to set up the inside of their store (great perimeter and area lesson), and then figure out the outside of the building.  

Highly recommend this if you need your kids to design their own store.  

October 18, 2014

Book Tunes Book Report

I wanted to share my students' first major book reports of the year.  Usually I have the kids make up their Cereal Box Book Report for their first trimester report, but then there is always the issue of where to store them in my small, cramped room.  This year (during the BIG SALE), I found a book report bundle from The Peanut Gallery that had a project called Book Tunes Fiction Book Report.  It had the kids create paper CD's for the different parts of the report, and they presented it in class in a CD case.  LOVE it!!  

The kids had guidelines and due dates along the way, some that I added.  For instance, they had to choose an AR book and take a test on it as part of their grade.  My past students came in this week and hung them up for me.  We just used large binder clips and push pins to hold them on the wall.  Little things that did not take up a lot of room.

I love this project and highly recommend it!  Definitely motivating for my students to complete.