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December 15, 2016

Rocks and Minerals

I love teaching about Rocks and Minerals.  I have a side table set up with magnifying lens, rocks to sort, charts to help categorize, read alouds for silent reading time... It's such a hands on time.  I wanted to wrap it up in a fun way too.  

My teammate found a Dice Simulation activity from Teaching in the Fast Lane that was about the Rock Cycle, so I decided to buy it too.  I'm so glad I did!  I had tried her Explorer Dice Simulation, so I was already convinced of the process - 6 stations, and at each station the kids roll the dice to see where they would move next.  I printed off the stations, laminated the sheets, and then used bright sharpie to circle the process to get to the next rock.  

my whiteboard example - I love moving around the room to show the kids how to complete it

As the kids went from station to station they needed to record both the process and the rock they ended up at.  We went 20 rounds that first day as they recorded on the included sheet.  This was the Wednesday before winter break, so the kids were VERY ready to be up and moving, using up some of that extra energy.  :)   

found the beads on Amazon - since it's the first year doing this I chose a multi color bead box for $10

The next day we took out our recording sheets, and at each rock station I placed a certain color pony bead in a tub.  On my front table I placed all 6 of the process beads (again, one color per container).  Each student took a pipe cleaner, and walked through their recorded rock cycle, adding the rock bead, process bead, rock bead, process bead, etc.  We stopped as a class every 5 beads and took turns telling the rock story to partners and to ourselves.  I kept track of the amount of beads on the board.  The pipe cleaners held about 31 beads before we decided to call it a day.

Back at their desks, the kids had the opportunity to use the doc camera to share their rock story with the class.  Most of them could share it without using their paper by this point, they just needed to look at the beads to share rock, process, rock, process... It was an activity that I will definitely do again!  

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