Science in the City

May 5, 2014

Looking For Free Clip Art? Here's An Outstanding Free Clip Art Site

Hi all!

If you are like me you are always looking for new clip art to add to either class activities, or products for teacherspayteachers.

In many cases there are great artists on teachers pay teachers, but there are also some cases where I don't want to spend the money, or just want something small.

My favorite new soure for clipart is  (Note: As of March 2019 Open Clip Art has been down and it is unclear if it's coming back).  This site has been working to replace it, and it is also a great resource ClipSafari

There are tons of designs, and some are pretty technical (appropriate for science for example).

Here are the terms of use, and some examples, and they are pretty permissive!   

Upcoming sale!!

If you haven't heard, now is the time to do you teachers pay teachers shopping!!

There is a sitewide sale going on May 6th and 7th, and my store is on sale on top of that.  You will get 28% off 

If you have resources you are thinking about purchasing to wrap up this year, review, do a summer program, or get a head start on next year, this is the time.  Get organized, and get them at a discount!

Apr 18, 2014

The Complete Guide to Introducing a New Topic

When I start a new unit, I like to have some consistency, and I like activate prior knowledge, as well as let students know what is coming up and what the objectives will be.  I have done this for the past two years by setting up a new title page in their notebooks. This title page has two sides (for the two pages of their notebook).

On one side is the objectives listed.  I usually type these and give them a copy to attach.  I like to give them a spot next to each to rate how well they know it, and to make notes as we go through the unit.  I use a certain format for these, and I call them "Keeping Track of Learning."  

On the other side I have the students divide the page into four.  In the center they write the title of the unit (which I give them).  Then in each box they must draw a picture, with a caption, that is related to that topic.  Depending upon the topic of the unit, sometimes I think that they may have some prior knowledge, and I leave it open-ended, except that I usually point them toward the chapter or section in the book where they can find additional pictures and inspiration.  If I think it is a topic for which they won't have much prior knowledge, then I give them a list of maybe 4-8 main idea terms to choose from, and direct them to some resources. 

I like this system because it gets them thinking about what they already know, and previewing the chapter (or other resources), without specifically being directed to do so.  I provides a platform for them to discuss what they already know or what they think the upcoming topics will be about. 

I usually take about 15-20 minutes in class, and I think its time well spent.  Students get a chance to get their heads into what we are learning, and connect to it, and I get a chance to informally assess what they already know.

Here is an example photo:

I have also seen a teacher do a similar activity by creating a word cloud (such as from wordle) to include common vocabulary from the upcoming topic, and use that as a focus point or COVER image for the unit.  
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
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