A few months back you may remember I was looking for advice on how to make my tight schedule work for adding in more reader’s workshop time. After pouring over our schedule options and not really getting anywhere, I was driving home from work listening to NPR’s science friday and it hit me. That’s it! Science Friday. As soon as I got home i reworked my schedule so that instead of a mini 10-15 minute lesson on science 4 days a week I repurposed that time and created a science Friday schedule. Now every Friday we do sciene all day. We read our science text and discuss non-fiction text features for shared reading. We read leveled texts on our science theme during readers workshop. We write about our science theme, document ongoing projects, and record observations during our writing block and at the end of the day during science we experiment. The kids LOVE it. I mean LOOOOVVVVVVEEEE it. They feel like they get to endcap their week with a whole day of their favorite subject, and focusing for the entire day on a theme instead of only 10 minutes means the knowledge sticks better. I love our new schedule to. Here is a peek at it for you:
Our current science curriculum theme is plants, and since it was also part of the first grade science curriculum it has been a challenge to keep the topic fresh for my students. For know the answer has been hydroponics. Instead of the marigolds and beans we grew last year, we are growing vegetables with no soil thanks to a little bit of inspiration from Shareandremember.
We are attempting to grow, celery, corn and sweet potatoes all with no soil. So far this is what we have set up:
I have never planted corn or celery this way, but years ago when I was teaching kindergarten I did grow sweet potato this way and it was really cool. It is fascinating to watch the potato grow and I can’t wait to share pictures of it with you. Want to be adventurous with your plants unit too? I have made a very simple observation journal for my students to use for this unit. you can grab it here for free if you like. Happy teaching!