Thursday, October 13, 2011

Munching on Matter

We're studying matter in science right now, and what better way is there to learn about science than to eat it? Here are a few matter ideas I stole from the web. Check out my pics and follow the original links to the amazing teachers who came up with the ideas.

1. Matter's Molecules with Froot Loops
States of Matter Froot Loops paper thanks to Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes

Froot Loops Matter Bulletin Board thanks to Beth Sawyer

2. Checmical and Physical Changes with s'mores
After our study of the states of matter, we learned all about changes in matter. For the section on physical and chemical changes, I thought it would be most fun to see the difference between these two processes by making and eating s'mores. Many of my students had never heard of or made s'mores before so it was a real treat!
Chemical Changes:
-Burning the marshmallow     
-Eating the s'more               
Physical Changes:
-Breaking the graham cracker
-Melting the chocolate           

 I was inspired to use the s'mores activity by the lesson idea I found on The idea was originally submitted by Diana, a 7th grade teacher from Kentucky.

CHAMPS in my classroom

CHAMPS (which stands for Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation, and Supplies) was introduced to our school at the end of last year. During our back to school staff meetings this year, each of us teachers received a CHAMPS board made especially for us by our wonderful TAB and SEDOL ladies. Here is my board:
I use this board everyday with my students. Before we start a new activity or lesson I just switch the cards around to provide a visual reminder for students of the behavior expected of them.

Conversation: I use the numbers 0-4 to tell the students the voice levels they should be using (0 = silent, 1 = whisper, 2 = group work, 3 = whole class, 4 = gym/recess only)

Help: This category tells the students the ways in which they can get help if they need it. On the board posted you can see that students can raise their hands or ask a buddy. I also have a card for walking up to the teacher's desk and for re-read the directions. It is important to remind students that if the card is not shown, it means you should NOT use that method for help. For example, the teacher isn't shown here because this is the board set up for centers work, and I am with a guided reading group and cannot be interrupted.

Activity: There are probably twenty different cards for this section of the board. You can see the seat work picture shown, but I also have cards for group work, tests, reading, art projects, game playing, computer time, writing workshop, etc. I use the three different velcro dots to put the activities in order for students so they know what they are expected to do next.

Movement: This is probably my favorite category, and definitely the most helpful. Movement tells the students what they are allowed to do during the activity. You can put up the bathroom, drinking fountain, pencil sharpened, book shelf, and many more cards to show when and how students are permitted to move around the room. I am also planning to make some cards with the "not" sign (like on a no smoking sign) to re-emphasize when it is not appropriate to get up and go to the bathroom, get a drink, or sharpen pencils. Providing the students with visual reminders of these rules has helped keep students from getting up while I'm teaching or giving directions.

Participation: The participation category is a reiteration of the help and activity sections rolled into one. It shows students how we will be working; whether it may be in centers, independently, as table groups, or as a whole class.

Supplies: I added supplies onto the board myself, so that's why you don't see the pieces up yet. I made different cards of our textbooks, notebooks, and school supplies to help show the students what they will need for each lesson of the day. This saves me a lot of time explaining to students what they need to get out. I love this category!

*Oh, and please note that the velcro dots across the top are for the subject cards. This way I can put up "math" or "centers" to specify what the board is for.