Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Science Boxes: Getting Started

One of the weakest areas in my classroom used to be science. I had a science center but I wanted to do something else. I bought some plastic shoe boxes from WalMart for under a dollar each. I bought the Sterilite plastic 6 Qt./5.7 boxes found in the organization area. You can probably find clear boxes at other stores. Just make sure that they have a flat lid to attach the label. See the flat area in the picture?
We made some really cute labels to put on the boxes.
You can purchase our labels here. (coming soon)


I ran the labels off on Avery White Full Sheet Labels (5165). I love these labels. You can make any shape into a sticker by using these labels. You can find them in any office supply store.
After I ran off the labels, I covered them with clear Contac paper for added durability. You can also cold laminate them. Do not run them through your heat laminator as it will mess up your sticky side.  I know this from experience.  

Each sheet has 5 labels: one large label for the lid, 2 small labels for the ends and 2 longer labels for the sides. You box will be labeled on each side. 

Here are the first ones that we made.
  Then we found and made some activities to go into each box. The boxes were placed on a shelf for the students to use during center time. 

We found out that we had to train the students to use the boxes. We showed them each activity inside the box and told them how to use it and also how to clean it up. 

Here are our rules:
1. Only one person at a time can use a box.
2. After opening the box, the lid is placed underneath it. We had them put the lid with the label facing up because there is a place where the box fits in. 
3. They could only take out one activity at a time.
4. They were responsible for cleaning up the box and putting it back on the shelf.
5. If the rules are not followed, they will lose their privilege for the rest of the day. (We did this because if you have a lot of boxes and things started getting left out, you will have a mess.) Again, I know this from experience!

Check back soon. We are going to show what we put into each box. 


Friday, May 10, 2013

Hot and Cold


When teaching the concept of hot and cold to our little ones, we used lots of different materials.

Introduction: The first thing  that we used to teach Hot and Cold was a set of flashcards. 
 

Flashcards can be used in several different ways:
1. Use the flashcards to introduce the students to the new vocabulary words that they will be learning.
2. Place the flashcards in a center for extra practice. 
3. Have students sort the cards into groups using the Hot and Cold title cards.
4. Bind the hot words together into a book. Bind the cold words together into a book. Put the books in the reading center for students to practice. 

Writing Center: We made a set of tracing cards to help the little ones learn to write the hot and cold words. 
 

Reading: Even in PK, it is important to teach the little ones to read. So we made some really cute mini guided reading books to help them practice their vocabulary words while learning some early reading concepts.Each book is just one page that is folded to give the little ones the right amount to read. 

 

Coming very soon!!!
Center Games and Activities: We know how much fun the little ones like to have so we came up with some cute sorting activities and games. 
     1.  Cookie Sheet Sorting:
     2.  File Folder Game:
     3. Matching Game:
     4. Dress a Bear:  

Hot Cold Experiment:  
Science Journal Entry:


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Science Journals: Getting Started

Our district recently started a thing where every student had to keep a journal. In PK it was decided to use the journal for science. At first, I thought, "Really??" But, then after thinking about it, I decided that it was a good idea. So for each science lesson, we came up with an activity that could go into the journal. Then, the students could keep this as a keepsake for their science learning in PK. 
We used composition notebooks which can be found at a lot of different places. I bought some at the Dollar Tree for a buck. Of course, we just had to make some very cute labels to go on our journals. Here is what Debby came up with for our journals. And to help you get started on your journals, we decided to make the labels free for our followers (or guests). 
This is the front cover label that we used. It is in color so you don't have to color anything. Just add names. I used Avery White Full Sheet Labels to run off the labels. I just cut them apart and stuck them on the front of the notebooks.  


We really wanted to make the science journals special and wanted them to look like real books so we made a few more labels. We made a first page label to name the journal. We made it in black and white so that the students could make it their own by coloring it.  I ran these off on just regular paper and then glued them in using a glue stick. You can use regular glue but it wrinkles the pages a bit. So I just use lots of glue sticks. You can have your parent volunteers glue these in if you are lucky enough to have some good helpers. 


We also made a Table of Contents page if you want to use those. I do have to admit that I was kind of lazy getting these done. You can have your students write in the names of the subjects. I used two pages of these because I just put in the name of the subject such as Hot-Cold or Magnets and listed all the pages. I didn't write in each activity. If you use two pages, you will have 36 lines, one for each week of school. 


After I started making the activities that go into the journals, I realized that I needed some way to keep unfinished work. Some of the activities took me a week to get finished. So I made these labels to go onto a snack sized plastic bag. I would just put in any unfinished work into the bag and put it in the science journal. Then, there would be no stress to get activities done all at once. This helped because my PKers didn't have the longest attention span.
 



 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Welcome to our PK science blog

This blog will be about how to use science in the early childhood classroom. Each week, we will feature a set of science station activities to use as a center. We will also have activities listed by topics. Please follow our blog for a PK view into science.