Our Puget Sound ESD Series!

Hi everyone!

We had our first workshop through PSESD this weekend and it was so exciting to see teachers from all over come and learn about Forces and Motion!!

We are holding three more workshops in the coming weeks:

The sessions are currently full, but you can be added to the waitlist if you're interested! We definitely had some spots open up this last weekend, so don't give up hope! You will be notified if anyone cancels.

For those of you that attended our Forces & Motion workshop on May 4 - THANK YOU!! If you liked it and want to see more, please have your district's science coordinator contact us! We would love to work with more teachers motivated to teach science :) 

We are working to add even more units and offer more workshops! Please let your local ESD know if you want to see more from us! Your support really helps! Thank you! 

Stay tuned for more updates! 

Forces and Motion

Hi everyone!

We have officially released our Kindergarten Forces and Motion unit! This is one of our absolute favorites!! We have done so much work with this unit and we're so excited to share it with you. This unit is designed for kindergarten NGSS standards and incorporates Ambitious Science Teaching practices.
Check it out!

This unit has so many fun hands-on activities for students to learn about pushes and pulls, ramps, gravity, and energy transfer. We usually teach this unit in the spring, so kindergarten students can use all of the science techniques they've learned throughout the year to engage in deeper discussions and more collaborative learning experiences. We love to hear how 5 and 6 year olds describe energy and gravity!
Some example charts from the unit

One of the learning experiences has students design, plan, and build their own simple machines

We may have some professional learning opportunities coming up if you're in the Seattle area! Make sure to sign up to get e-mail alerts and follow us for the latest news!

More Units!

We've been working hard to put out more of our units! We now have a unit for each grade level: K, 1, 2, and 3! You can check them out in our TpT store!

Our third grade unit: Orcas was coauthored by NOAA and tells the story of Springer, an orphaned Orca that was found in Puget Sound. We know that Springer has been thriving after being reunited with her pod, and recently had her second calf!

You can read more about it on the Ocean Wise Marine Mammals Facebook page!

Weather Unit Up!

Our Kindergarten Weather Unit is now posted on our TeachersPayTeachers store!

We are so excited to share this first unit with the world. We've been working on it for many years and have revised it using real classroom experience.

Weather Book List

Hi everyone! 
 I just finished putting together a book list that goes with our Weather Unit. You can check it out under the Resources page!

Reading books is such a great way to incorporate new learning into your lessons. We use books all the time to teach about new ideas and to introduce new concepts.

We will continue working on building our recommended book lists for our other upcoming units. Stay tuned!

The Discussion Stoplight

Hey friends!

In this post, I wanted to flesh out one of our tools - The Discussion Stoplight!

The idea behind the stoplight is simple - name and track the talk moves that students are doing during discussions.

The stoplight is broken into four talk moves: New Idea, Add On, Repeat, and Critique.

The Discussion Stoplight is great because it can be used in many different ways! You can put tally marks next to each talk move to track how many of each you have during your discussion. You can show trends in which talk moves are most common with your group and use this information to vary the student contributions. For example,  you might say "I see we have a lot of new ideas. Does anyone want to add on to one of the new ideas?"

Another way I like to use the stoplight is to add accountability to our discussions. I do this by using photo magnets to move students next to each talk move. In this way, we can track individual student contributions and connect student thinking.

As students are sharing, I verbally name what they are doing. I say things like "It sounds like you're adding on to ___'s idea." or "Oh, that's a new idea!" Using common language with students is a great way to transfer the learning to them. They begin to pick up on the different talk moves they are making, and begin to talk to each other more effectively.

This tool is great to use anytime you're having a discussion! I've used it mainly in science, but I've also used it when doing a read aloud discussion (when doing a close reading section).

I hope this was helpful for you! If you're interested in getting a stoplight of your own, head over to our TpT Store to download one for free!

Starting Strong 2018

Hi everyone!

Michelle and I had an awesome time presenting at the Starting Strong Conference in Lynnwood, WA this week! We are so excited to share what we've learned about science instruction over the last 4 years.

We know many of you are looking for our Weather Unit! We are putting some finishing touches on it and it should be posted by this weekend. You can follow our TpT Store to get notifications for when we post new products.

For now, we have our Discussion Stoplight up as a freebie in our store! It is a simple, but effective tool to help you manage whole group discussions.