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Science Resources - Upper Elementary - Causal Patterns

I am so excited to share a free resource I learned about today. The brilliant minds at Harvard developed some elementary science lessons that focus around clearing common misconceptions that students hold about scientific phenomenon. I had the opportunity to read through their lessons for 5th grade Ecosystems (which ties to 4th grade animal studies, and 3rd grade living things) and I was blown away by their guiding questions. It is a very different way to think about science. For some curriculum resources click here to go to the page on the Harvard website. 

There are 2 full units available to download for free, and 5 downloads of curriculum materials. 
Be sure to check out the whole website. The information is great and you will find some activities to complete with your students that are easy and engaging. You might even learn about a misconception you've had!

Thanks for reading. If you check out the resources, I would love to read what you think!
Brittany Washburn
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Technology Teacher Planning and Data Binder That Will Save You Hours

Technology Teacher Planning and Data Binder

I am way too excited about this one. I've been working so hard on creating a product that will help technology teacher accomplish all of their required paperwork in an organized and efficient way. Introducing: the Technology Teacher Planning and Assessment Binder
This binder includes 4 components and totals a whopping 145 pages! I will start with the Planning Pages because they are my absolute favorite part of the product.

Technology Teacher Planning Pages

These are so cute I can't even stand it. I provided 2 formats for your convenience. You can print and hand-write your plans, or you can type and print. The I Can statements are included to help inspire and organize your process. If you are interested in full page or half page I Can Statements Posters, you can find them here.

Next, your administrator probably wants to see a curriculum map, right? Well here is a great way or organize your year and see at a glance when you taught each standard.

Technology Teacher Curriculum Map

There are 2 sets of these organized for grades K-2 and 3-5. Just print them and put them in a binder, then fill in throughout the year with when you taught each standard to each grade level. 

Naturally, you need to record your students' progress. I have 2 things to help you make this process so simple. For all grade levels, you can fill in the names for your students, print, and collect formative assessment data while they complete your lessons. For your intermediate students, take it a step further and hold them responsible for recording their own progress. Ideal for schools that keep a portfolio of student work. All color coded by standard to keep it simple. 

Technology Teacher Data Records

And there you have it. I hope you find this product to be inspiring, helpful, and keep you organized in an efficient way. Check out some more cute pictures and help me by pinning them to spread the word. 

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Brittany Washburn
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Pi Day Sale!

Join us in Celebrating Pi Day (The Ultimate Pi Day) on Saturday, 3/14/15. To reward our fellow nerds we are each having a sale in our TpT Stores. 

My entire store will be 20% off for one day only, 3/14/15. This is the perfect opportunity to grab one of my big bundles, or try something new.

Click on any of the pictures above to go directly to that product listing, or click here to go to my storefront. 
Thanks for celebrating with us! Check out the other sellers participating.

Brittany Washburn
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Chromatography- Separating a Solution

My 3rd grade students are learning about how Matter changes. We've reviewed the processes that change states of matter, so we've moved on to Mixtures and Solutions. They know that a mixture is a combination of 2 or more substances, and a solution is a special kind of mixture in which one substance dissolves in another. I told them that a black marker is a solution, and we came up with our testable question.
Since I'm working with 3rd graders here, I developed a worksheet to walk them through the steps of the experiment and the scientific method. (I made 2 versions and ended up using the 1/2 page version to save on paper). You can find both versions and the directions sheet in my TpT Store

To cut down on as much chaos as possible, I set up the tables with most of the materials they would need to complete the experiment. The only thing they had to do was put water in their containers. For this experiment, we did our data collection with iPads. We used a stop-motion app and took a picture of the progress every 30 seconds. This was an ideal way to record the data because they were then able to look back at the pictures to complete their worksheets. If you don't have access to iPads or a stop-motion app you can still complete this experiment, just skip the technology component. 
Ok this is the moment you've been waiting for! You came here to find out which type of marker is the perfect marker right? Well, after trying several (we're really talking dozens), I took a chance and tried one of my old wet-erase markers and it was PERFECT! All 3 primary colors came out and it was pretty to look at. The green one separates beautifully into yellow and blue too, just in case you were wondering. 

Here is an example of the finished product, which I loaded from the stop-motion app onto my youtube channel.

My students absolutely loved this experiment! The worksheets walk them through the steps so at the end we had to write conclusions. We had a bit of time left so I let several students share what they wrote and show their stopmotion videos. It was a hit!

Brittany Washburn
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TpT Store "Quote" GIF Tutorial

I am so excited that I figured this out! So you've probably seen that lots of people's TpT Storefronts now have a picture where the quote was previously. Well, I was determined to figure out how to have a GIF (or changing image file) in that spot. Keep reading to see how I did it.

I created mine using MS PowerPoint,, and the URL shortener

Create your slides and then save them as PNG or JPG images. Here are mine. I just made 2 for this example: 

Next, I upload my images into a GIF Maker. I changed the Canvas Size to 300 x 100px, and the animation speed to 1100 miliseconds. Play around with these until you decide how you like it. 
Load your images and then click the black button that says "Create GIF animation." This will pop up in a new tab. Click "View the high quality version of this animation." If you like what you see then you can go back and download your GIF (black button on bottom).
Next you need to publish your GIF somewhere online. You can use your blog, Pinterest, or somewhere else that you have the ability to edit. On Pinterest I pin it to a secret board and this still works perfectly.
Once it is published you will right-click on the image and choose Copy URL. From here you need to shorten the URL. Try out google's URL shortener. I like it because you can track the clicks. I use it for my Facebook posts and freebie google docs.

You also need a shortened URL for the product or category that you want your GIF to be linked to. Now it is time to set up the HTML code that you will put into your "quote" section of your store profile. Your HTML needs to look like this: <a href=“ShortenedLinkToProduct"><img src=“ShortenedGIFLink"></a>

Go to the "My Account" page and into "Store Profile." Scroll to the bottom and click the edit button. Take out whatever is in your quote section and copy and paste the code you just made. Click save and admire your work!
 I don't know about you, but I am so excited about the possibilities with this feature. The ultimate product promotion spot, another pop of color, perfect way to advertise sales, and so much more. What will you do with yours?

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Brittany Washburn
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How to Help Students Learn 4th Grade Fractions

I was inspired recently to help my fellow teachers with an issue they were having. The schedule for our curriculum is restricting. There is no time for reteaching or absent students. Plus, all of these snow days have taken 8 days from this quarter!

Introducing my line of Independent Computer Center pages. Did your student miss your lesson on 4.NF.1? I have a file for that. Did your student just totally not "get" 4.NF.1? Use this file for teaching and reteaching in a way that doesn't require your time! All you need is one computer per student (the computer does need to have Microsoft PowerPoint on it, as the file opens as a PPT Show).
This is what is included for each standard:

Here is what I do to set this up. There are 2 easy options so choose what works best for you.
Option 1: Save the file(s) to a flash drive. Each standard is saved as its own file to help you stay organized. Hand your student the flash drive and tell him/her which standard to access (such as 4.NF.5). As long as your students know how to access the files on the flash drive, this is probably the easiest way.
Option 2: If you tend to leave your classroom computers logged in to the same account all day every day (not my preference, but it works for some), then you can save the files to the desktop. You can then tell the students which file to access, or you can put it up on each computer for them. This would work great if you're using station rotations during your math time. The file will stay on the screen until you (or someone) presses the esc button on the keyboard. No one will need to bother you about accidentally closing the website because it doesn't close!

Here is the preview file for what you will get:
Just show your students once how to follow the arrows through the lesson. I have my students answer the 2 questions (in the yellow boxes) in their notebooks so I can check for understanding. This is my only involvement in these activities. Honestly, most of the videos teach the lesson better than I do anyway! Fractions are hard :-)

So far I've done a Fractions unit, and a single page for 4.OA.4. I plan on doing units for all of 4th grade first, before working on 5th and maybe 3rd grade units too. If I do any for the primary grades it will be in a different format since they aren't quite ready for this much time on task. 

What unit(s) would you like to see next? Leave a comment with your suggestions and I will get to work. Thanks for reading and don't forget to check out my Math Strategies Pinterest Board. 

Brittany Washburn
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March Pinterest Pick 3 Linky

I LOVE science. Here is a fun and easy science activity to do with students. 2nd or 3rd grade would be perfect for this experiment. You can talk about matter, chemical changes, phase changes, etc. 

In 3rd grade we look at plant growth and soils. How fun to show students that their plants don't necessarily need soil, just a nutrient source. Also could lead to a lesson on germs!
Density! Again great for 3rd grade when they are learning about matter. Density is an important property of matter and this experiment is colorful and realistic for them. 

I hope you've been inspired by this month's Pinterest Picks Linky. Check out these posts too. 

Brittany Washburn
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[name=Brittany] [img=] [description=Hi, I'm Brittany. I'm an educator obsessed with teaching with technology. I love creating and sharing teaching resources for technology teachers, media specialists, and technology facilitators. Thanks for checking out my site!]

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