We've been working on our science launch unit and I'm so happy with how well it's been going. I have to admit, science often gets the short straw in my classroom. With reading, writing, math, and word study pressures, when something's got to give, it's typically been science. I've made a vow this year to try harder to give science it's due. So far, so good!
We started by making an anchor chart of all of the things scientists do. We're using sticky notes so we can add ideas as we go. (One that did not make the list - one little boy said, "My Daddy said that one day, scientists will create a pill that will stop my mom from nagging him," LMAO!!!)
One thing that is new to us this year is the use of Science Notebooks. I haven't used then before so I spent a good bit of time figuring out how I wanted to set them up. I decided that I wanted a science notebook that would give me some structure but would also allow me to add some things along the way. I found a really cute, simple template on TPT that is working perfectly for us. (It's by Sandra Menhart and you can find it here. I also picked up her Rainbow Numbers and my kids LOVE them!)
I copied the pages single-sided, added a copy of our Anchor Chart as the first page and bound them together with my binding machine. They look so official, don't they?
We talked about all of the different kinds of scientists that there are and the different things that they study. I found a great Powerpoint over at Kindergarten, Kindergarten about this and the kids loved learning words such as paleontologist and entomologist. One smarty pants even noticed that many of the names ended with -gist. We added this new learning to our notebooks. This is where the format of the journal came in handy - we glued something on the left hand side, and wrote on the right - perfect!
Our next lesson was: "Scientists make observations by looking closely at things". We talked about the importance of drawing exactly what we see - no rainbow pumpkins, please! A cute little scientist craftivity added a little variety to our notebooks and gave us a chance to practice some fine motor skills at the same time.
When my sister brought me the last three green tomatoes from her tomato plant last weekend so they wouldn't freeze on the plant, I knew they were perfect for my next lesson: "Scientists notice changes and record them." We observed and recorded what the tomatoes looked like on Day 1, then we will draw them again when they ripen (or when I concede that since it's been a week they're probably not going to ripen and perhaps it's time to sneak in the ripened tomatoes I got today at Shoprite).
I hope you have a class full of eager scientists and a year full of wonder . . .