Turkey Maps, Science Stations and Giveaway Winners

Teachers wear many hats these days. I am currently the school improvement co-chair in the area of writing. One strategy we are using  is graphic organizers for prewriting. A while back I attended training on Thinking Maps which was wonderful. What I like about the maps is they can be used in all content areas. The down side is that they need some "cute". I've been making my own organizers of all kinds in various themes for this purpose. Here is a set to be used with our unit on life long ago and Thanksgiving. Click on the picture to see them at my shop!

There are lots of them in the pack so it will take us through the rest of the month and get us through until Thanksgiving break!

I use some organizers as a whole group mini-lesson on the document cam following an informational text read aloud. Some are brainstorming sheets for various How-To writing pieces, some are great for word work during Daily 5 and others get the kids sequencing and comparing and contrasting with a high interest topic. I take full advantage of the excitement for the holidays with my little ones! I hope you will find something like this useful in your classroom too!

On another note~

My student teacher did her first hands-on science station rotation with the class today. She was nervous as to how it would go. It was fantastic! We discussed every possible problem that might occur with management ahead of time and ways to be proactive to be sure everything ran smoothly. I just love that kind of thing and wish there was more time in our day for investigations. My first job in our district was an elementary science specialist. Some days I really miss it! I loved how the children worked together, solved problems and had meaningful discussions like little scientists!

Some things that helped the activity go well were well thought out groups, spreading the stations far apart, clear expectations for turn taking and assigning one child to be the recorder for the group rather than everyone dragging materials around the room. Later all of the data was shared by the recorder and the students wrote it on their own recording sheet. A hand towel at the sink and float table was a great idea too!

Here are a few pics of our stations for properties of matter:

We chose just four simple items to have at each station and had the children record their data in the chart. We described properties like color, shape, size, mass, hardness, texture and the favorite of the class-whether it sinks or floats!

Here's what her chart looked like:

Today I was a proud mentor! 

Thanks for staying with me for all of this and thanks to everyone who played along in the 100 followers giveaway! I'm so THANKFUL to have all of you in my corner through this adventure of blogging in my ever so busy world! Your comments and all you have shared keep me energized! The winners are~

#166 Tanja
#583 Andrea
#520 Leea

Congratulations! Your gift certificates are on their way! Have fun spending them! :)

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