Monday, August 18, 2014

Kindergarten Science Notebook {Fall Edition} - or The Story Of How I Will Actually Get To Sneak In Some Science This Year!

Happy Monday folks!  Lindsay here . . .

Today I'm here to talk about time.  As in time in your classroom .  . .

There's never enough of it - am I right?

One of my BIGGEST struggles is often how to squeeze everything in to my short kindergarten day (8:00-1:00) . . . . Between centers, leveled UA groups, pullouts, and mandatory grade level math and language arts time blocks my days and weeks sometimes seem so jam packed full before I even sit down to lesson plan! 

Last year my school district was introducing new math AND language arts curriculums for us to teach (Common Core aligned) and THIS year we have a new phonics program.

Is it possible that I am already feeling stressed and school hasn't even started yet?

Because as teacher we KNOW that there are other things students NEED.  They need art.  They need free choice time.  They need recess and music.  And, of course, they need to explore and experiment.

Which leads me to my newest time-saving idea: thematic science.

As I said earlier, with all of the new curriculum I was learning and implementing last year, I felt that my science instruction fell by the wayside . . . which was so heartbreaking!  Because if there is ANYONE who can get excited about a fun experiment it is a kindergartener!  Those kiddos are just oozing with excitement and curiosity . . .

So to save time this year (and my sanity?) I created a brand new thematic science notebook! 

(drumroll please) . . . Introducing my Kindergarten Science Notebook {Fall Edition}.


My goal for myself this year is to TRY to do science once a week with my kiddos - this fall notebook set includes one activity per week for the months of September, October and November (along with some added  extras for Halloween!). 

But tying in science and notebooking with the things we will already be learning about each month will keep me sane be so helpful and ensure that the science instruction WILL happen (and will probably be more meaningful) every single week! 

Winning!! :)

Here is how to get started:

These science notebook template pages are designed to be used with spiral bound notebooks.  (Summer is a GREAT time to find these for cheap!)

When the actual science activities are being done students can simply use a pencil, their recording sheet and a clipboard (if needed).  Once each activity is completed, the sheet can be trimmed on the dotted line and glued into each student's notebook.

If you are like me (and don't want your students' science notebooks to be glued shut forever!) you will probably spend LOTS of time in the first several weeks of school with routines and procedures using these notebooks.  The time you spend teaching students HOW to get out their notebook, trim the edge of their paper, glue their paper into their notebook, etc. will save your sanity your time in the long run.

{Random sidenote: Let's talk about science notebooks for a second.}

Some of you may be wondering WHY a notebook?  Why can't science simply be done as stand-alone lessons or worksheets that are completed and sent home?

Answer: Science notebooks are an important part of solidifying your students' learning.  By using notebooks your students will be modeling one of the most vital functions of ALL scientists: RECORDING information, figures and data!  Not only that, but your kiddos will practice their writing skills as they grow over the course of the year as well. Finally, a science notebook will create a sense of ownership in your students as they can look back at all of their learning over the course of the year!

Okay, back to the notebook . . . Also included is a "Science Safety Promise" that your lil scientists can sign and also put into their notebook - thus promising never to set their partner's hair on fire or something like that . . . Just kidding.  No fire experiments . . . this time. ;)
And every good science notebook needs an adorable cover (OF COURSE!) so that is included as well. (Please pay no attention to the bedazzled notebook - my kiddos will definitely NOT be getting one that is so fancy shmancy!)

So there you have it folks . . . easy-to-implement, efficient AND adorable!    You can get your very own Kindergarten Science Notebook {Fall Edition}  in my TPT store by clicking the image below:
Well, that's it for now folks!!  Hope your week is off to a great start!


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