One of the common things I hear almost in every state I visit with every set of teachers who come to my sessions is that teachers are in need of more science resources. Not just an experiment to do here and there, but science with "meat". Science activities that have cross-curricular connections and can be fit in at any time during the day. Science lessons and activities that not only reach specific standards for a set amount of time, but lessons and activities that span a variety of concepts and skills so that instruction and practice can be reinforced through spiral review all year long.
I get it! I do!!! Science is SO very important and yet it seems like there's just not enough time in the school day to do it all. I mean, isn't science the first thing that always takes a backseat when we're furiously trying to reach all the math and ELA standards...and testing!!!!....we're required to teach and test?! But really, the kids LOVE science don't they?! They love to investigate and experiment. They love non-fiction texts. They love applying what they know and what they've learned and we have to be able to give them opportunities to do that. But what happens when we don't have any...or many...resources to work with?! And how exactly can we carry over our knowledge about science into ELA and Math?
Well, we've been listening. We really have! In fact, my dear friend Abby and I have been racking our brains and working many a late night (with LOTS of caffeine ...and really messy houses) to bring you something that will make planning for science...and cross-curricular connections...effortless. And let's be real...we could all benefit from a little help with planning! Amiright?!
Abby and I have just released our first unit in a series of science based resources that includes detailed lesson plans for 4 weeks along with cross-curricular math & ELA activities. We've included lots of vocabulary, too! Here's how the month of January looks at a glance....
As you can see, vocabulary is a big focus and that's because it's SO important! Did you know that there is a 30 million word gap between economically disadvantaged kids and kids who come from more financially stable households? WOW. When you step back and take a look at the bigger picture you can really see how important it is to give our kids...ALL of them...every advantage possible to build their word base. Not just by introducing words, but incorporating those words in meaningful activities aimed to strengthen their knowledge and encourage their use in everyday language. Our resource is jam packed with vocabulary cards, science notebook activities, games, and comprehension checks to make this portion of planning easy as pie.
We made sure to include a list of suggested books for each week, although ANY book to which you have access that covers SNOW, ICE, WINTER, & ANIMALS IN WINTER will work beautifully for these activities. We even included three non-fiction books in this resource that you can print out and bind or project and read.
The main focus of this resource is Science. Everything else...the vocabulary, craftivities, ELA, and math connections are all centered around these concepts. Sometimes we look at each subject area as one-dimensional. I teach math during math block...I teach literacy during our reading block...I teach science...well...when I have time. Ha. Instead of looking at teaching in blocks, consider integrating all the subject areas together. That makes it so much easier to fit in skills and objectives when you can integrate it all throughout the day. That's exactly what this resource provides...a way to help you fit it all in!
For me, personally, I think it's the easiest to integrate science skills and concepts into literacy. Filling our libraries with concept based literature...read alouds....writing. There are SO many opportunities to integrate science concepts into literacy. We created this resource with not just a passion for science, but a love of literacy, too. Some days we're doing good just to fit in ELA and Math, but we can absolutely fit in Science, too!!!
I personally LOVE math and will take any thematic opportunity I can to work in other subject areas into my content & instruction. We made sure to include many math activities to incorporate into your instruction and they're all based on the science concept for each week. These hands-on math games are great for getting your kids up and moving and providing them with a kinesthetic experience in the content. We also provided instructions & explanations for differentiating the activities to meet a wide range of learning abilities and experiences.
If you've been following Abby and I for any length of time, then you are very familiar with our love of craftivities. NOT as a filler or something fun, but as a way to provide our kids with a hands-on visual to help them make connections and provide them with tangible experiences in subject matter. These are not "fluff". Sure...craftivities are cute..but that doesn't mean they don't have purpose. Just an added dimension to learning that always gets the kids (and me!!!) excited!!!!
If you're interested in implementing these activities and plans into your classroom, just click on the pic below. We are SO excited about this resource and can't wait to see how you incorporate it into your plans!!! This was a labor of love and we hope you love it as much as we do!!!!!