Thursday, February 21, 2013

Science Journals

One of my favorite times of the day is science! My kids love science- experimenting and exploring is so fun to them. As much as I am ashamed to admit in past years,  there have been days that science got passed over! I know horrible! This past summer I decided that I really wanted to challenge myself to be more consistent with my science lessons and experiments. I have spent time "beefing up" my lessons and adding rigor AND relevance to them. With the high demands of the other subject areas and at times the lack of time, I added science journals into our activities. These are great for monitor learning, adding literacy components into science and letting the students show what they know in a creative way! My principal (love her!) always says that kids need the opportunity to talk about what they are learning, for my class our science journals are the starting point for "science conversations"! :)

Each student uses a composition book...

 At the beginning of each new unit the students add the vocabulary words for the strand. This is a great tool for vocabulary development and oral language. We also always add some reading skills when we practice reading the words- like looking for initial sounds, ending sounds, vowels, syllables, etc!

Sometimes I use the journal as a "prompt" for the students after we have read nonfiction books or had a class discussion about a topic. The science journal is also a great way to write about what you read and learn- a great prep for the PARCC!
"I am a volcanologist. I study volcanoes."
This was at the beginning of the year when we were learning about what a scientist is and what a scientist does. 

This was an entry after we explored gravity. 

Sometimes the students might complete an experiment. We may do the experiment as a whole class, small groups or individually; however, to save on time and paper instead of each student or group having a recording sheet the students use their science journals. After they are done with the lesson the students record their observations and learnings.
This was done after we complete a light and heat experiment. I know it looks like lots of arrows and letters, but to this little scientist it all meant something! And when she explained it I was in awe! I would have never known how deep of understanding she had with a simple worksheet.

This entry was done after my students made ramps. How awesome was it that he understood that when you make the blocks higher the car would go faster! Wow!!

Mostly my kids love the science journal, because after writing in the journal there is always a few moments to have "science talk" with your friends and share what you learned...and the feedback that they give each other is priceless! :)

Do you use science journals in your classroom?! I hope you feel inspired to be a bit more "science-y"!

Find all my science units here! These science units have lots of printables, vocabulary picture cards, emergent readers and more to help you teach science! Enjoy!!
What is Science?
Five Senses Mini-Unit
What's the Matter?
Full of Energy {Science Unit on Sound, Light and Heat Energy}
Movin' & Groovin' with Newton {A Science Unit to Explore Force & Motion}
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