Sunday, March 9, 2014

Connecting Language Skills to Science

As I have said before, first you have to DO science...then you can connect language skills to it.

Let me share a story about a bored student.  Imagine sitting down to 30 minutes of grammar skills a day.  Sometimes they study possessives.  Sometimes they study fragments.  Nothing is connected.  Sentences are not meaningful.  It is complete skill and drill.

Now, imagine connecting these skills to something you are DOING in the classroom.  These skills suddenly become more meaningful and easy to do.  Enter the idea of the Language Board. 

What’s a Language board?
       I was introduced to the idea of Language boards from FOSS in the Spring 2012 newsletter when I read the article by Kimi Housoume entitled “Science and Language; a Good Mix for Learning.”  She describes connecting science concepts to language skills on a daily basis.  They called it a language board. 
          At the same time, I became fascinated with Shelley Gray’s “I’m Done, Now What?” board.  This is an actual board that you can switch out different activities for early finishers.  I purchased the yearlong activities from TPT and set to work.  These activities met many of my needs, but crossed over to activities for math as well as reading.  I used it for a year and my students loved it.

          Then over the summer (when I had time to think) I thought…why not combine the two ideas?  I thought, this would make a great activity for my kids to do as a morning work routine.  We can switch the activities out weekly and offer choice as to when to complete them.  Each child used one of their notebooks to record their thinking and have a place for me to check the work as they go.  So now, I am in the process of creating these for my students (upper elementary) as they connect to content (science and math).  
           I created different categories for students to practice and named them Making Words, Vocabulary, Word Work, Fix it, Write it and Think it.  (My students recently said that I need to add "Design it" as another category...maybe I will!) 
          I have recently posted my first Language Board packet on TPT where it is available for purchase for just $5.00.  It includes four weeks of language activities to use for morning work, literacy stations or even homework. These language board activities are integrated with the topic of ecosystems.  

Let me know what you think!  


1 comment:

  1. I totally agree about DOING the science before connecting it to language! Then language learning happens more naturally!