Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Science Lab Safety Package: SALE

Hello everyone! I just finished completely revamping all of my middle school lab safety resources. The PowerPoint has a new look and now comes with a student notes sheet, a teacher notes sheet, and a modified student notes sheet for SPED students. The questions on the quiz did not change but the quiz overall has a slightly new style.  The rules and scenarios activity has a new look as well.

These resources come in a thirty-two page package worth $8.50, but for the next few days they will be on sale for ONLY $3.50. Get them now and be prepared for your first science unit in the fall!

Get the Science Lab Safety Package here.

 Safety Package

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What's Growin' in My Classroom: April 2015 Secondary Smorgasbord

 Elly Thorsen's Teachers Pay Teachers Store

 Physical and Chemical Changes Card Sorting ActivityWhat’s growing in my classroom?  Right now I’m teaching English to Korean students of all ages, but science is always on my mind. Earlier this spring my mom and I got together and revamped three of my middle school science card sorting activities.  Each activity now has twenty cards with fun artwork that we created ourselves along with a useful student reflection sheet.

My seventh grade science students always enjoyed card sorts, which are especially easy to incorporate into physical science lessons. Students can classify cards into elements, compounds, and mixtures; homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures; and physical and chemical changes.

My students liked card sorts because they could work together with classmates while they used their understanding to classify the cards. It felt like a game. I liked the card sorts because they allowed me to meet the needs of all the students in my class. The card sort was great for my many ELL students because each card had both words and pictures. The kinesthetic learners benefited as well because they could move and arrange the cards.  The advanced students could provide rationale for each of their classifications or create their own examples to add to the card sort. Students who needed more practice with the content could work with partners who could explain the material while sorting the cards.

 Physical and Chemical Changes Card Sorting Activity
Another thing I liked about using card sorts in my classroom was the versatility. The activity could take as little as five minutes by having students quickly sort the cards and checking their answers. Or the activity could last up to forty-five minutes, which allowed for students to record their answers, explain and defend their classification choices, and answer reflection questions. It was also flexible because it could be used as a unit introduction, a way to practice new material, a quick check of understanding, or a review. The activity could easily turn into a fun class competition by seeing which group correctly sorted the cards the quickest.

Take a look at the physical science card sorts I used in my science classroom.

 Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Card Sorting Activity Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures Card Sorting Activity Physical and Chemical Changes Card Sorting Activity

Thank you ELA Buffet and  Desktop Learning Adventures for arranging and including me in this Smorgasbord!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Learning Regular and Irregular Verbs

About two months ago I began teaching English to all ages of students in Korea. Something I've noticed my Korean students are having trouble learning is the past tense of verbs. Regular verbs, like "play," are easy for most of my students because simply adding -ed changes the verbs to past tense. Once my students understood that, regular verbs became easy for them. However, irregular verbs are more difficult.

 Past Tense Worksheets with Regular and Irregular VerbsThe past tense of irregular verbs can be tricky because there is no addition of -ed; the irregular verb changes. For example, "run" changes to "ran" and not "runned."  Learning irregular verbs seems to be a matter of memorization. Because of this, my students need plenty of practice and repetition. To help them, I created three different worksheets. The first worksheet focuses on regular verbs only, and the second worksheet only gives practice with irregular verbs. The third worksheet is a combination of regular and irregular verbs. All worksheets have two parts and a total of fifteen questions. In the first part the students change verbs from present to past tense. In the second part the students change present tense sentences to past tense sentences.

The first worksheet, Past Tense: Regular Verbs, my students breezed through with little assistance. They needed a lot more help with the second worksheet. I started class by writing some examples of irregular verbs on the board. Sometimes the students knew the past tense form or were able to guess. Other times they needed to be told the past tense form. We did most of the second worksheet together in class.

Before the final worksheet, Past Tense: Regular and Irregular Verbs, I made a chart on the board with student given examples of verbs. I had the students then identify the regular and irregular verbs. We made present tense sentences with each of the verbs and then changed those sentences to past tense. The sentences we made together were simple so we were able to better focus on the verb changes. "They play in the park." turned into "They played in the park." After this practice, the students completed most of the worksheet on their own.

 Past Tense Worksheets with Regular and Irregular Verbs

Since my students still need practice memorizing the past tense of many irregular verbs, I'll have them make flashcards to practice with. I also might try a card game like Concentration. Or I might have the students sit in a circle and have one student give a verb and the next student say the verb and give its past tense. Going around the circle, each student would repeat what the previous student said and then add a new verb.

Find the worksheets I created for my classroom by clicking here.

Past Tense Worksheets with Regular and Irregular Verbs