Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Science and Literacy...a Natural Connection

Where have I been? Busy teaching in my classroom!  Between the start of the new school year and the duties of parenting a teenager and a ten year old (sports, band, etc..) I haven't had time to sit down and work on my blog.  It is something I miss terribly...especially with all the amazing connections we have made this year in science.  I'd like to share a few things we have been working on.

First, all of my science lessons start with a hands-on activity.  Our first unit was Environments - a FOSS third edition unit that explores environmental factors and how they influence organisms.  We have looked at conditions such a light with isopods, salt with brine shrimp, and temperature with mealworms. The kids have observed these organisms thrive and die.  We have watched the mealworms go through their life cycle already in the span of six weeks!

Many of you know that I have fought for science instruction in the elementary school and have made a case for at least 45 minutes of instruction.  We have worked really hard to integrate our reading/math lessons to tie in elements of graphing, equations, data collections and literacy.

Here are some ways that I have included vocabulary instruction in my science classroom. I have found that by introducing a topic with concrete materials and then moving on to the conceptual level most children are able to "hook" on to the vocabulary.  What do you think?

PS...I HATE my white walls.  My principal had them painted this summer and I absolutely HATE them.  I have two autistic students and finally realized that the bright white walls, white ceiling, and white tile floor combined with the fluorescent lighting was not a good combination! Luckily I have two sets of lights and have taken to only turning one on (dimmer setting) and that has helped.  I am thinking of at least painting a long rectangle between the bulletin board where those posters are to accent my posters.  Of course, that takes time!  ha ha!



  1. Hey Leslie!! I found your blog!!! Thanks for all you are doing to make science awesome for elementary students! Check out my blog! You can find it here:

  2. Hi! I just stumbled across your blog and saw that you had multiple entries about using FOSS. My school just adopted FOSS (after YEARS of an out-of-date books were older than the 5th graders I teach!). I'm excited to see some of the things you have been doing in your classroom. Thanks for sharing!