Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Elements of the Periodic Table

I LOVE science-all science. I think it is amazing, fascinating, mind-blowing, and so much fun. There of course have been some units of study that are more difficult, abstract, and/or even content intense to teach, but I have learned that the more hands on you are and diverse in your teaching, the better the kiddos understand difficult concepts and above all enjoy the learning.

As I have mentioned before, being new to 5th grade has had some challenges, but it is fabulous teachers such as Stephanie, from Teaching in Room 6, that have saved me time and time again. When it was time to tackle the periodic table (by now we have done chemical reactions left and right), I went over to her blog to see what fabulous ideas I could "borrow". Well, like I said, she is great!

We started out by reading our science resource book, other articles I found online, and The Elements by Scholastic. They loved the graphics and real life examples in the book. We did a lot of the reading in small groups and they took notes as a group. This eased the pressure for students that were having  a little difficult time with the content.
The Elements

I downloaded the PowerPoint she suggested from The Science Spot  (the site many other great resources) and they had a blast with the chant.

The other thing I did, was show them videos that dealt with the topic in fun and engaging ways:

Bill Nye--Chemical Reactions

Scholastic's-Study Jams

After we had done all the background building and understanding, students had a project to do.  I used, Stephanie's All About the Elements --totally complete project. Students did all the work by themselves. I only provided the poster paper and some computer time in class. the rest they completed at home. They could not stop talking about the things they were learning and about how they never knew how many things could contain their element. It finally solidified that ALL things are made of matter. Of course that made me happy! I totally recommend you get yourself a copy at her TpT store. It comes with student directions, samples, and criteria checklists. I loved it!
TpT, for sale, project, fun

Here is a collage of my students work. My students also had to present their findings/poster/diorama. I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I was/am.

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This is a larger picture of their posters.

I truly enjoyed teaching/learning about the elements with my kiddos and I know they like it too. :)

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