February 18, 2013

Rocks & Minerals Unit

My class just finished learning about rocks and minerals. They LOVED it! We haven't focused too much on science before this, but our principal wants lower grades to start emphasizing science more. I am all for that! I designed this unit to help my second graders understand the 3 types of rocks and recognize characteristics of rocks and minerals.

One day we had to skip science (to go look at the book fair) and they all got so worried. As soon as the class looked at our schedule I heard:
"Why don't we have science in our schedule?"
"We're not stopping science are we?"
"When will we do science again?"
and on and on...

Seeing how much they enjoyed science and how much their vocabulary and knowledge grew makes me want to continue teaching science this way. It is very activity-based in hopes they will remember it for longer.

When we were doing our rock stations I had a student get checked out (her sister was sick and so mom was just going to check them both out). A few minutes later the office called and said she was coming back to class because she didn't want to leave. She came and told me she didn't want to miss science. How cool is that!?!

Here are some pictures from my class:
Our bulletin board (all these pages are included in my unit)
Each student brought a rock from home and went through my Pet Rock Stations to discover more about their rock. They measured it, tested to see if it floated, compared its weight with a friend's rock, tested to see if it was magnetic, sorted rocks by size, and compared rocks using a Venn diagram.
After the pet rock stations they got to paint and decorate their pet rock.
I love looking at their finished rocks!
A short story I made to introduce the three types of rocks and how they are formed. I put the pages in page protectors in a three-prong folder.
We did 3 edible activities to help students understand how each rock type is formed.
Rock stations: students researched rocks and minerals from books, they used magnifying glasses to observe rocks and minerals, they tested to see which rocks could float and which were magnetic, they compared the weight of rocks with a balance scale, they played a definition matching game, a board game with review questions, and sorted rocks by rock type.
My students LOVED all the activities and I am so impressed to hear them talk about rocks. Here is a peek at my unit on TpT:
I went on a little shopping spree on Amazon to collect books that would be good for read-alouds and student research. Here are some of the books I bought:
I also bought a set of magnifying glasses and magnets to help them investigate rock properties.

 This unit took for-ev-er to make, but it was so worth it! I feel it was very successful, and I can't wait to plan my next science unit! 

You have a chance to win this unit for FREE by entering Apples, Books, and Crayons 100 Follower Giveaway!
I also want to share the love with some of my followers. I'll email this unit to the first three people to comment on this blog post!

Check out 2nd Grade Pad's linky for more science activities!

February 17, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

We had a great Valentine's Day on Thursday! I had a little fun using my Silhouette to cut out decorations. :-)
The day was a little crazy, like all holidays are, but we all had a lot fun. My cute husband also works at my school so he gave me a nice Valentine surprise! He sent in some of his students each with a rose and a reason why he loves me. By the end I had a dozen beautiful roses! My students were FREAKING OUT, haha! One of my students said, "Now that's true love!"
I made these cute little labels for small packs for Oreos for my Valentine gift to my students:
I made some Valentine Party Stations and the kids had a blast! I love using stations during parties because I feel it controls the chaos better and the kids get to do a variety of activities. 
You can check out my pack on TpT.

Overall, Valentine's Day was a success!

February 3, 2013

Rocks and Minerals Freebie

I'm linking up with Rebecca from Teaching First for her February Freebie Linky Party. She has a super cute Groundhog Freebie available. I love looking through all the great links and finding so many awesome freebies in one place!

My latest freebie includes 18 vocabulary cards to go along with studying rocks and minerals. Download it here.

It includes some of the pages from my first HUGE unit on TpT. It's all about rocks and minerals. It's 28% off today at TpT with the coupon code "SUPER." I'll do a post another day to share all the fun my class is having learning about rocks!

Now check out all the great links at Teaching First!

Edited: Check out my blog post on my full unit here.