“Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It is who you are. You think differently. You experience life intensely. You care about injustice. You seek meaning. You appreciate and strive for the exquisite. You are painfully sensitive. You are extremely complex. You cherish integrity. Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble. Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are utterly fascinating. Trust yourself!”

Linda Silverman~Gifted Development Center Denver


Friday, 28 March 2014

Out of this world Science Stations!

the moon.

Picture of Moon Phases board from Teachingisagift.blogspot.ca
I love to teach about Space.  This is the Moon Phases board I created.  Students put their head through the middle and rotate the board counterclockwise to "see" the phases of the moon.  This year I attached labels of each phase, so that when students were viewing the moon face, they could confirm their ideas.
Picture of Moon Phases with Oreos Investigation
Students love to model the phases of the moon with Oreo cookies.
This year I had my colleague Steve Lang come from the Canadian Space resource center and teach the students about Canadian Astronauts and their contribution to space exploration.  He also organizes a Space Day each year.  Students from a local high school present a variety of hands-on astronomy concepts to students in grade six from across the board.  The event is so popular that they are holding 6 space days this year!  My student teacher did an excellent job of teaching many of the main concepts from the curriculum during her teaching block and we are lucky to have Brian Cheney from Cosmic Connections come and host a Star Party for our students and their families. Brian brings special telescopes with him and sets them up in our school yard during the day and evening.  Students and their families get the opportunity to view the planets and moon in a way in which many have never had the opportunity. 
Picture of Cosmic Connections Star Party
I was looking for an interesting way to review and assess my students learning.  While I was browsing on Teachers Pay Teachers I came across this Space unit which is meant to be run as stations.    
Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit


Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit
All of the materials were included in the package.  I printed them in colour on cardstock and laminated them.  You can see here a student working on "Sort It".  They sort the planets in order and then record their findings in a booklet which is included in the unit.
Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit
I used my Mac laptops to set up the Tech It station.  Students watched two StudyJams videos and wrote and drew about what they had learned.
Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit


Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit

For this station students were asked to draw a representation of the lunar cycle.  It was an excellent way for me to see if they had retained what had been taught in class and when they had created moon phases flip books at home.

Picture of Phases of the Moon Flipbook by Teachingisagift.blogspot.ca
Click on the image above to download your own copy.

Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit
At this station, students had to use their logic and mathematical skills to analyze a data table about the planets, and then make some scientific conjectures.  
Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit
The unit includes images such as the one above which help bring the actual concepts to life for the students.  Here they are asked to analyze a photo and explain what they observe.
Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit
Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit
At the match it station, students needed to match the concepts listed on one side of the card, with the scientific explanation on the back.  They then recorded their findings in their science notebook.
Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit
At the create it station, students are asked to use materials provided (pencil crayons, paper, etc.) to create a model of why the sun appears to move across the sky.  They then record their model in their science notebook.  
Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit
In this popular station, Explore It! students recreated an investigation we had already done as a class.  They used a styrofoam ball and a flashlight to model why we see day and night.  They had to explain the benefits and limitations of using a model such as the one shown.
Picture of Space a Science Stations Unit
I anticipated that each of the stations would not take the same amount of time for my students to complete.  I gave each group of three students 10-15 minutes to complete the assignment at the station.  If they finished early, they were to review their notes, tidy up the station for the next rotation, and were then allowed to move around the room in a scavenger hunt fashion to find the answers to the task cards I had laminated and scattered throughout the classroom.  
Picture of Moon Phases and Seasons Task Cards

The half sized recording sheet included with the task cards was the PERFECT fit for the back blank page of the science notebook from the Space Science Stations unit.  There are 36 task cards included. I encouraged my students to use the moon phases model shown at the beginning of this post to assist them if they needed to review.  The only change I made to the moon phases board this year was that I attached labels of each phase of the moon to the board, so students could confirm whether they had the right answer or not.

I only created one NEW thing myself for this unit, but I have to tell you I am really proud of how it turned out!  I made the signs for the stations using a chalkboard background and a great chalkboard font.  I purchased 4 x 6 plastic frames at the dollar store and voila! I had instant signs for my centers which can be used again and again.  If you would like to download your own FREE copy just click on the image below. 


Picture of 4 x 6 Signs for Stations





Thursday, 13 March 2014

Spring Giveaway!



It sure does NOT feel like spring has sprung here in southern Ontario!   We got another 25 cm of snow yesterday!  Luckily I am sharing a great giveaway with you to help cheer you up and get you through these last few weeks til spring arrives!

Tabitha from Flapjack Educational Resources has hit 10,000 followers the other day on Pinterest, so she decided to celebrate by asking a BUNCH of awesome bloggers (84 actually!) to donate spring-themed resources for 7 special winners! This giveaway is all about Pinterest, so be sure to check out some fabulous Pinterest accounts. Each bundle will have one winner, and the winners will be notified on March 20th, the first day of spring of course! 

Want to enter to win one of the fantastic prize packages?  Click on the image at the top of the page and head over to Tabitha's blog now!







Thursday, 6 March 2014

Throwback Thursday

I don't usually do "Throwback" posts but today I realized that really I don't have a lot to share which is NEW.  I DO have a great new bulletin board I want to share though...I bought the Academic Morphology poster set from Ladybug's Teacher Files this year and have been itching to put up a display.  My student teacher finished her Olympic unit and I was finally able to take down the bulletin board and put up the academic morphology posters.  

Picture of Academic Morphology Bulletin Board from Teachingisagift.blogspot.ca
This is the mathematics part of the board. 
Picture of Academic Morphology Bulletin Board from Teachingisagift.blogspot.ca
This part of the board focuses on parts of speech.

I just LOVE how these boards turned out. My students kept turning and reading them during the day!  I know I have made a good choice when they actually CHOOSE to read what is on the board!  Click on either of the images above if you want to purchase your own sets!

Now for the throwback part of the post.  I am currently teaching my unit on Space again.  Well, to be totally honest, my student teacher introduced the unit and I will be continuing it after March break.  Last year I posted about a Moon Phase board I created.  I just took it back to school and the kids were are totally intrigued. If you want to read about how I made this nifty little board and how to use it just click on either image below.  


Picture of Moon Phases Board from Teachingisagift.blogspot.ca

Picture of Moon Phases Board from Teachingisagift.blogspot.ca


For another great activity to teach phases of the moon click on the image below.  P.S. The activity includes a FREEBIE! Nothing beats teaching with Oreos!

Moon Phases with Oreos on Teachingisagift.blogspot.ca

I just found another great FREEBIE for teaching about phases of the moon.  You can grab it from Scholastic for FREE by clicking on the image below.

Picture of Moon Phases Freebie from Teachingisagift.blogspot.ca