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Happy Thanksgiving!

If you can't thankful then you will just be full!
My wish is that you will enjoy time with your family and your friends!

Science Investigations Packet for Grades 3-4

Learning to love math and science is important for so many reasons as our world becomes more dependent on technology. Science can spark imagination, initiate problem solving, require logical thinking, and so much more.  As any scientist knows, the best way to learn science is to do science. This is the only way to get to the real business of asking questions, conducting investigations, collecting data, and looking for answers. Active, hands-on, student-centered inquiry is at the core of good science education.
Only $4.30

Having children do science investigations can be fun, but having the students accurately record things can be extremely difficult. Since my husband teaches science, he helped me to create my newest product on Teachers Pay Teachers - a 12 page generic science investigation packet for grades 3-4. The inquiry packet guides the student through the six steps of the scientific method: 
  1. Investigating Properties 
  2. Interactions
  3. Making a plan 
  4. Determining the Investigative Question 
  5. Prediction and Data Collection 
  6. Writing a conclusion based on the data. 
This packet consists of an introduction, simple and clear step-by-step directions on how to use the packet, a three page student investigation packet, a blank graphing grid, a property word list, an optional student checklist and a four point grading rubric for the teacher. I hope you find it to be a valuable classroom resource.

A Go Figure Debut for A Texan Who Is New!

Laura's TPT Store
Laura is a physics teacher that started teaching in 1998. Her undergrad and masters are from Texas A&M University. She is a certified 6-12 Science Composite and 4-8 Math/Science. She originally wanted to be a large animal veterinarian but got the teaching bug after she taught horsemanship clinics for Texas A&M one summer. Laura feels she clearly was born to be a teacher!

She loves students of all ages. One of her biggest thrills is when she hears them use academic language when discussing a problem with each other. Academic language! Willingly! Correctly! She is addicted to hearing students having scientific conversations.

Even as a first year teacher, Laura wrote her own curriculum. The internet was in its early years, and there wasn't a huge amount of resources out there. Even now, she says it is very hard to find physics resources that are ready to use for the classroom. Because she has always written her class notes to clearly defined objectives that are based on the state standards of Texas, everything is in tight alignment with those stated objectives.

Back in the day before standardized testing was such a push, Laura had a tremendous amount of latitude to get her students researching and learning. They took a field trip to AstroWorld (now defunct) to do physics experiments. She took her Chemistry class to a SCUBA center and learned about SCUBA diving in correlation with her Gas Law unit. The students even got to dive in the center pool, so they were able to make those real life connections to science.

As you can tell, her teaching style is quirky, fly by the seat of her pants. Laura is willing to try most ideas at least once! She even made it into the newspaper twice with her zany exploits. In addition, she successfully won two equipment grants.

Fast forward to the increasingly focused high stakes era, and Laura has had to look for other ways to express creativity. To that end, she writes silly problems. Sure, her students learn about what the specific objective is, but she frames it in the zombie apocalypse. She has long thought she could write an entire year's curriculum in the zombie apocalypse as one long PBL. Maybe one day!

Laura’s store, Delzer's Dynamite Designs, contains 150 resources related to science; six of those
Free Resource
products are free. Her featured free resource, It’s a Gas, is the first item she created. It looks basic, but it is honestly a fun, hands-on way to learn about gas molecule movement as you manipulate temperature, volume, moles and measure pressure. The students act like molecules, and music is used to model temperature.

Claim-Evidence-Reasoning Activity and Lab is a paid resource. Enclosed in this resource is a set of
Only $3.50
Doodle Notes over CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning). Laura has included a selection of five commercials to practice CER skills as well as one of her super reliable labs to elaborate and practice CER. Doodle Notes act as a CER graphic organizer to help provide visual cues of how each component reinforce each other. This helps students to activate both hemispheres of the brain and make visual connections to the material, while helping to defuse anxiety.

If you are a science teacher, Laura’s Teachers Pay Teachers store is worth checking out. You will find many fun, engaging and creative resources that you can easily adapt to your classroom. AND your students will have a fun and exciting time learning science.

Glyphs Are Really A Form of Graphing - Completing a Turkey Glyph

Only $3.00
Sometimes I think that teachers believe a glyph is just a fun activity, but in reality glyphs are a non-standard way of graphing a variety of information to tell a story. It is a flexible data representation tool that uses symbols to represent different data. Glyphs are an innovative instrument that shows several pieces of data at once and requires a legend/key to understand the glyph. The creation of glyphs requires problem solving, communication as well as data organization.

Remember Paint by Number where you had to paint in each of the numbers or letters using a key to paint with the right color? How about coloring books that were filled with color-by-number pages? Believe it or not, both of these activities were a type of glyph.

For the Thanksgiving, I have created a Turkey Glyph. Not only is it a type of graph, but it is also an excellent activity for reading and following directions.

Students are to finish the turkey glyph using the seven categories listed below.
  1. Draw a hat on the turkey (girl or a boy?)
  2. Creating a color pattern for pets or no pets. 
  3. Coloring the wings based on whether or not they wear glasses. 
  4. Writing a Thanksgiving greeting based on how many live in their house. 
  5. Do you like reading or watching TV the best? 
  6. How they get to school. (ride or walk)
  7. Pumpkins (number of letters in first name)
At the end of the activity is a completed Turkey Glyph which the students are to "read" and answer the questions. Reading the completed glyph and interpreting the information represented is a skill that requires deeper thinking by the student. Students must be able to analyze the information presented in visual form. A glyph such as this one is very appropriate to use in the data management strand of mathematics.  If you are interested, just click under the resource cover page above.