Long Bones

April 18th, 2012

My lesson about long bones went seemingly well today. It was a lot of instruction for the activity I used. I modeled this for students before beginning. Students were to predict how long their leg is (in centimeters) and then measure how long it actually is. I actually let them use string to help them measure the length. They would hold the string and hold it up to their leg & cut it. Using the string worked well for students. Then students did the same thing for their stride. After measuring and predicting the students compared the two strings. They should have been similar in size. Your stride should be the same as your leg.

Next time I would focus on predicting or measuring, not both. Some students didn’t understand the concept of predicting. Some students also needed help measuring with a ruler. A math lesson may be needed before teaching this lesson that highlights the math concepts used. It is Wednesday and I feel so worn out! When is the weekend?!? After rereading this entry I feel like it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Wow I really am tired! I am setting a bedtime for myself tonight!

A sleepy & exhausted,

Ms. Schmidt 🙂

Long Bone Estimation Worksheet



April 17th, 2012

Today I taught a lesson about skulls. The main idea of the lesson was to teach my students ways to keep their skulls safe. I had students group together and talk about discussion points I had given them. They worked very well in groups and had interesting answers. Then we created posters advising others to keep their skulls safe. I am really excited to see the final product, since they look nice thus far!

My supervisor came in to observe me during this lesson. It wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I had thought. My voice trembled a TINY bit and I stumbled over my words once or twice, but it all worked out fine 🙂 At recess one of my students gave me a huge handful of dandelions. She had rubbed them so close to her nose that she and a dandelion mustache. I had never seen a dandelion mustache before today! 🙂

A great day,

Ms. Schmidt

Skull Discussion Questions

Some examples of posters my kids created! 🙂 They were all very unique!

I also created a bulletin board to display their work. (Well there wasn’t a bulletin board I could use, so I used a bare wall. It’s just as good). I was pleased with my results 🙂


Archeological Dig! How do bones change over time?

April 16th, 2012

Today I taught a lesson about how bones change over time. At first I wanted to do a timeline with my students, however my teacher informed me that they had made timelines in the beginning of the school year. A timeline would have been an easy way to teach this concept. This forced me to put my thinking cap on and let my creative juices flow! Instead I chose to have my students do a pretend archeological dig.

I gave each group a bag of pictures of different hand bones (baby, child, and adult bones). Their job was to work as a group and identify the bones as baby, child, or adult. They then had to create a bar graph based on these findings. I feel that I could make this lesson a lot stronger the next time around. [Though it did work very well the first time! :-)] Next time I would like to use different bones along with the hand bones. This would make it more challenging for students. I would also like to present it in a different way. For example, I could put the pictures of bones in a small box/envelope. It could have a stamp that says “Confidential”. I could give the students a lot more background information as well. Example: Saying the countries in which the bones were found. Geography standards could be integrated then! Next time around I would really like to build up the anticipation before giving each group their set of bones.

So many ideas!

Ms. Schmidt 🙂

P.S We are reading “Where the Sidewalk Ends” at the end of the day. The students love it! 🙂

Here are the following resources I created to help teach this lesson:

Pictures of Hands for Dig | Graphing Bones Worksheet

Inside our Bones

April 13th, 2012

Today I taught a lesson about the inside of bones. I didn’t feel 100% confident about this lesson working, but it actually went well. I showed my students a video on BrainPop as an opening. I used manipulatives while teaching them about the 3 parts of a bone (compact bone, spongy bone, and bone marrow). Each student received a drawing of a bone with the insides showing and a bag of items that represented each part. Two pieces of foam represented the compact bone, sponge for spongy bone, and silly putty for bone marrow. The silly putty wasn’t an issue like I thought it may be. I just needed to remind students to leave it alone once it was on their papers. I had students put on each piece as I gave them information about it. After giving all the information I had the students label the paper with the different parts we had just talked about. Then students got out their flip books and recorded information about the inside of the bone. Next time I will have the students create a key to color code the parts instead of drawing a line. Some students had difficulty labeling with lines. Overall this lesson worked out much better than I had anticipated. 🙂

Happy Friday!

Ms. Schmidt 🙂

Taking notes 🙂

An up close view of how we learned about the inside of bones!

Skeleton Pokey!

April 12th, 2012

Today marks the second lesson of my bones and muscles unit. Today we talked about different bones, specifically the cranium, ulna, phalanges, tibia, and pelvis. We did the skeleton pokey to review these names (using the hokey pokey song). The kids had a blast with it! I think they were amazed to see me singing and dancing in front of them. As I am sure my cooperating teacher was. We created a flip book for this unit to take notes in. They are not very large, however it is helpful for the lessons that are a little more dry.

After taking notes about the skeleton in their flip books students worked independently to match animal skeletons to their bodies on a worksheet. I had created an adapted version for my students who are in learning support, however next time I want to give them the same paper as everyone else. I don’t want to limit these students, especially since most of them were able to complete the other worksheet.

I will be in the classroom every day for the rest of the semester. The kids were very excited to hear this! 🙂

A very excited,

Ms. Schmidt 🙂


Doing the Skeleton Pokey!

Me getting REALLY into doing the Skeleton Pokey!:-)

Here is the skeleton worksheet I created for this lesson:

The Skeleton Worksheet

Observations with Animal Bones

March 30th, 2012

Wow! I had so much fun teaching my lesson today! It was an introduction lesson to my science unit about the bones and muscular system. My science professor lent me a box full of animal bones to use with my students. They were so neat! Two of the skulls were rather large and looked like they could be cow skulls. Some other skulls looked like smaller rodents or even a deer.

I was very impressed with the way my students worked in their groups. They worked together as a team and completed their assigned roles.  The roles included a reporter, illustrator, measuring person, and recorder. The actual observations the students made were wonderful! The words ‘qualitative & quantitative’ were a challenge for students to comprehend, however the descriptions on the worksheet helped students. students wanted to get up and see other bones so they walked to other tables a few times. one way I could have fixed this was by having a time for my students to walk around and look at the other bones. I could allow them to do this at the end of the lesson. one student informed me that a tooth fell out by accident. She then asked me if the tooth fairy would still come because it was dead. I told her that I thought the tooth fairy liked her teeth so she would probably come.

I wish I had taken pictures during this lesson! I give my students exit tickets at the end of some lessons to see what they learned. Here are a few of them stating what they learned. I told them that it could be about bones, observations, or even group work.

My cooperating teacher observed me teaching during this lesson. I was a little nervous seeing as it was the first formal observation I have ever had, but it was a great lesson for her to observe me. She told me I did a great job 🙂

| Group Observations Sheet | Individual Observations Worksheet|

Scholastic lesson

March 23rd, 2012

Today I taught a lesson from the Scholastic magazine recommended by my teacher. The students were learning about Jackie Robinson. One of my students was particularly interested in the lesson (I like he is a baseball player). The students were very engaged during the lesson. I used a method for reading that I have never used before. I would begin by reading the article and stopping before I finished the sentence. Then I would tap a student on their shoulder and they would finish the sentence. The students followed along as we took turns reading the article. They did so well with it! I will have to use this method again.

The Scholastic Lessons were nice. They had ideas for implementing more lessons or activities around the theme of the article. I am happy that I got a chance to see what these lessons look like, however I would like to create my own lessons over using these ones.

Ms. Schmidt 🙂

Quiet Jenga

The other day on Pinterest I came across a neat pin about creating a quiet jenga game for the classroom. It’s an easy DIY, so I decided to make one! I ran over to the dollar store and got a few packs of sponges. I measured them and cut them according to size. And VOLIA! The Quiet Jenga Game. The only downfall is that the pieces are harder to move, however it does make for the game to be slightly harder. Here is a picture. 🙂

PSII Take 2- Math lesson

March 9th, 2012

Today I taught a math lesson that was review for the PSSAs. It was supposed to be a review of money concepts for my third graders. This lesson lasted 1 hour and 30 minutes which was much longer than the previous lesson. I definitely over planned for this lesson. I did not think that playing “I have who has” would take up the majority of the time. This just goes to show that what works for one class may not work as well for another.  I am glad that I was still well prepared in case we went through everything too fast. The kids seemed to be engaged in the game, however it was way too long. I should have realized beforehand that the game my mom designed for her class of around 15 kids would have way too many cards for my kids (22 total). One of the cards was also missing from the game (The $1.00 card). I improvised well and continued the game. I have who has games are great for any subject area and are a great review for students! 🙂

I also played a coin drop game with them. Each pair of students got a coin drop card (a paper with a bunch of different coins stamped on it), a paper clip, and a scratch sheet of paper. The students take turns dropping the paperclip and writing down the amounts of the coins that it lands on. Whoever makes it to $2.00 first wins! It is a great game for identifying coins and practicing adding up change. Here is a link to the coin drop card paper and a set of rules. The coin drop game went every well overall. There weren’t any problems other than students needing to drop the paper clip from higher up.

My teacher gave me some suggestions for my lesson. Apparently I have been saying ‘you guys’ a lot during my first and second lesson. I had absolutely no idea that I was saying this so I am glad this was brought to my attention. I want to be using proper grammar while teaching and also be referring to the whole class when I speak. I want to make sure I am addressing the girls in the class as well. To fix this I can say “Everyone will…” or “You will…” when explaining directions. Next time I would like to try to group more by ability.

Things didn’t go exactly according to plan, but if they did I wouldn’t be learning so much 🙂

A tomorrow will be better,

Ms. Schmidt 🙂

Compound Word Go Fish

(I have been keeping a journal of my PSII experiences. Since I have been so busy I have had limited time to type them. However, I will be posting all of my journal entries on here. Hopefully I can do one everyday until I run out of them).

March 12th, 2012

Today a lot of students were absent. There were only 13 during instructional time! I showed my students the ‘All About Me’ PowerPoint I created. They were very interested to share all the things we might have in common. They were especially interested in all the places I have traveled to. I will have to find a way to show them artifacts or pictures from the other places I have visited! After my introduction they took their spelling and reading tests. My compound words lesson plan went really well! The kids were very engaged with the game. We played Compound Word Go Fish. I created cards with their spelling words on it (which were compound words). They worked to try to make their spelling words. One girl told me, “I think you were smart to make this game and it is really fun!” I explained the rules well and there were very few questions regarding the rules. I need to explain to students that other students are not cheating if they know what their cards are. For example, if a student asks for the word ‘with’ the other students might know they have the word ‘in’ to create the word ‘within’. I would like to make a larger set of this game that includes other words besides the compound words from their spelling list. This would be nice to have in my future classroom someday. My cooperating teacher told me I did very well for my first lesson. I am eager to teach again!

An exhausted yet happy,

Ms. Schmidt 🙂

On a side note, lamination is NOT cheap. However, it is so nice to make things that will last!