Saturday, January 30, 2016

ZOMBIE LEARNERS AND STANDARDIZED GROUP THINK IS THE NEW NORM

Our primary job and goal as teachers is creating a joy of learning
AND CURIOSITY. Students need to be inspired and experience wonderment. When students are curious, have academic passion, love learning and are inspired they will always thrive in school. Today we have standardized and reformed the fun, joy, wonderment and curiosity out of education. Basal reading instruction has become so parsed, over examined and endlessly tested and measured that teachers and students have disengaged from the joys of learning. We ability group, try to differentiate, try never ending interventions and see more and more students fail to thrive and connect with learning. Students that fake it, refuse to engage or have turned into zombie learners are screaming out, the only way they know how.

Try making fun and joy your daily goal and students will stop faking it and your zombie learners will amaze you with greater academic success. Imagine 100% engagement and students not just surviving but striving and thriving academically.  

How do you bring a love of learning and curiosity into your classroom in a short amount of time? You must use real engaging literature and strive to allow students curiosity to guide academic goals and curriculum planning.  

My students have the highest passing rates on state reading test in a high-poverty school district. How and Why is this possible? 

My students do not always come to my class with a love of reading or learning but after a year reading old school fairy tales, Harry Potter, Newberry award-winning literature and passing on the Common Core Basal reading programs my students have found their adroit passion. 

THE VALUE OF FAIRY TALES IN EDUCATION

In considering fairy tales for the child, the first question which presents itself is, "Why are fairy stories suited to the child, and what is their value ….?" Fairy tales bring joy into child life. The mission of joy has not been fully preached, but we know that joy works toward physical health, mental brightness, and moral virtue. In the education of the future, happiness together with freedom will be recognized as the largest beneficent powers that will permit the individual of four, from his pristine, inexperienced self-activity, to become that final, matured, self-expressed, self-sufficient, social development-the educated adult.

Joy is the mission of art and fairy tales are art products. As such Pater would say, "For Art comes to you, proposing to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments' sake. Not the fruit of experience, but experience, is the end." Such quality came from the art of
the fairy tale into the walk of a little girl, for whom even the much-tabooed topic of the weather took on a new, fresh charm. In answer to a remark concerning the day she replied, "Yes, it's not too hot, and not too cold, but just right." All art, being a product of the creative imagination, has the power to stimulate the creative faculties. "For Art, like Genius," says Professor Woodberry, "is common to all men, it is the stamp of the soul in them." All are creatures of imitation and combination; and the little child, in handling an art product, puts his thought through the artist's mold and gains a touch of the artist's joy. Fairy tales satisfy the play spirit of childhood. Folk-tales are the product of a people in a primitive stage when all the world is a wonder-sphere.

Most of our popular tales date from days when the primitive man took his evening meal of yava and fermented mead, and the dusky Sudra roamed the Punjab. "All these fancies are pervaded with that purity by which children seem to us so wonderful," said William Grimm. "They have the same blue-white, immaculate
bright eyes." Children are in this same wonderstage. They believe that the world about throbs with life and is peopled with all manner of beautiful, powerful folk. All children are poets, and fairy tales are the poetic recording of the facts of life. In this day of commercial enterprise, if we would fit children for life we
must see to it that we do not blight the poets in them. In this day of emphasis on vocational training we must remember there is a part of life unfed, un-nurtured, and un-exercised by industrial education.

Moreover, whatever will be accomplished in life will be the achievement of a free and vigorous life of the
imagination. Before it was realized, everything new had existed in some trained imagination, fertile with ideas. The tale feeds the imagination, for the soul of it is a bit of play. It suits the child because in it he is not bound by the law of cause and effect, nor by the necessary relations of actual life. He is entirely in sympathy
with a world where events follow as one may choose. He likes the mastership of the universe. And fairyland where there is no time; where troubles fade; where youth abides; where things come out all right-is a pleasant place.

Furthermore, fairy tales are play forms. "Play," Bichter says, "is the first creative utterance of man." "It is the highest form in which the native activity of childhood expresses itself," says Miss Blow. Fairy tales offer to the little child an opportunity for the exercise of that self-active inner impulse which seeks expression in two
kinds of play, the symbolic activity of free play and the concrete presentation of types. The play, The Light Bird, and the tale, The Bremen Town Musicians, both offer an opportunity for the child to express that pursuit of a light afar off, a theme which appeals to childhood. The fairy tale, because it presents an organized form of human experience, helps to organize the mind and gives to play the values of human life. By contributing so largely to the play spirit, fairy tales contribute to that joy of activity, of achievement, of cooperation, and of judgment, which is the joy of all work. This habit of school play, with its joy and freedom and initiative, is the highest goal to be attained in the method of university work.

Fairy tales give the child a power of accurate observation. The habit of re-experiencing, of visualization, which they exercise, increases the ability to see, and is the contribution literature offers to nature study. In childhood acquaintance with the natural objects of everyday life is the central interest; and in its turn it furnishes those elements of experience upon which imagination builds. For this reason it is rather remarkable that the story, which is omitted from the public school system of education, is perhaps the most valuable means of effecting that sense training, freedom, self-initiated play, repose, poise, and power of reflection, which are foundation stones of its structure. Fairy tales strengthen the power of emotion, develop the power of imagination, train the memory, and exercise the reason.

Every day the formation of habits of mind during the process of education is being looked upon with a higher estimate. The formation of habits of mind through the use of fairy tales will become evident during following chapters. Fairy tales extend and intensify the child's social relations. They appeal to the child by presenting aspects of family life. Through them he realizes his relations to his own parents: their care, their guardianship, and their love. Through this he realizes different situations and social relations, and gains clear, simple notions of right and wrong. His sympathies are active for kindness and fairness, especially for the defenseless, and he feels deeply the calamity of the poor or the suffering and hardship of the ill-treated. He is in sympathy with that poetic justice which desires immediate punishment of wrong, unfairness, injustice, cruelty, or deceit. Through fairy tales he gains a many-sided view of life. Through his dramas, with a power of sympathy which has seemed universal, Shakespeare has given the adult world many types of character and conduct that are noble. But fairy tales place in the hands of childhood all that the thousands and thousands of the universe for ages have found excellent in character and conduct. They hold up for imitation all those cardinal virtues of love and self-sacrifice,- which is the ultimate criterion of character,-of courage, loyalty, kindness, gentleness, fairness, pity, endurance, bravery, industry, perseverance, and thrift.

Thus fairy tales build up concepts of family life and of ethical standards, broaden a child's social sense of duty, and teach him to reflect. Besides developing his feelings and judgments, they also enlarge his world
of experience. In the school, the fairy tale as one form of the story is one part of the largest means to unify the entire work or play of the child. In proportion as the work of art, nature-study, game, occupation, etc., is fine, it will deal with some part of the child's everyday life. The good tale parallels life. It is a record of a portion of the race reaction to its environment; and being a permanent record of literature, it records experience which is universal and presents situations most human. It is therefore material best suited to furnish the child with real problems. As little children have their thoughts and observations directed mainly toward people and centered about the home, the fairy tale rests secure as the intellectual counterpart to those thoughts.

As self-expression and self-activity are the great natural instincts of the child, in giving opportunity to make a crown for a princess, mold a clay bowl, decorate a tree, play a game, paint the wood, cut paper animals, sing a lullaby, or trip a dance, the tale affords many problems exercising all the child's accomplishments in the variety of his work. This does not make the story the central interest, for actual contact with nature is the child's chief interest. But it makes the story, because it is an organized experience marked by the values
of human life, the unity of the child's return or reaction to his environment. The tale thus may bring about that"living union of thought and expression which dispels the isolation of studies and makes the child live in
varied, concrete, active relation to a common world." In the home fairy tales employ leisure hours in a way that builds character. Critical moments of decision will come into the lives of all when no amount of reason will be a sufficient guide. Mothers who cannot follow their sons to college, and fathers who cannot choose
for their daughters, can help their children best to fortify their spirits for such crises by feeding them with good literature. This, when they are yet little, will begin the rearing of a fortress of ideals which will support true feeling and lead constantly to noble action. Then, too, in the home, the illustration of his tale may give the child much pleasure. For this is the day of fairy-tale art; and the child's satisfaction in the illustration of the well-known tale is limitless. It will increase as he grows older, as he understands art better, and as he becomes familiar with the wealth of beautiful editions which are at his command.

And finally, though not of least moment, fairy tales afford a vital basis for language training and thereby take on a new importance in the child's English. Through the fairy tale he learns the names of things and the meanings of words. One English fairy tale, The Master of all Masters, is a ludicrous example of the tale built on this very theme of names and meanings. Especially in the case of foreign children, in a tale of repetition, such as The Cat and the Mouse, Teeny Tiny, or The Old Woman and her Pig, will the repetitive passages be an aid to verbal expression. The child learns to follow the sequence of a story and gains a sense of order. He catches the note of definiteness from the tale, which thereby clarifies his thinking. He gains the habit of reasoning to consequences, which is one form of a perception of that universal law which rules the world, and which is one of the biggest things he will ever come upon in life. Never can he meet any critical situation where this habit of reasoning to consequences will not be his surest guide in a decision. Thus fairy tales, by their direct influence upon habits of thinking, effect language training. Fairy tales contribute to language training also by providing another form of that basic content which is furnished for reading. In the future the child will spend more time in the kindergarten and early first grade in acquiring this content, so that having enjoyed the real literature, when he reads later on he will be eager to
satisfy his own desires.

Then reading will take purpose for him and be accomplished almost without drill and practically with no effort. The reading book will gradually disappear as a portion of his literary heritage. In the kindergarten the child will learn the play forms, and in the first grade the real beginnings, of phonics and of the form
of words in the applied science of spelling. In music he will learn the beginnings of the use of the voice. This will leave him free, when he begins reading later, to give attention to the thought reality back of the symbols. When the elements combining to produce good oral reading are cared for in the kindergarten and in the first grade, in the subjects of which they properly form a part, the child, when beginning to read, no longer will be needlessly diverted, his literature will contribute to his reading without interference, and his growth in language will become an improved, steady accomplishment.

BY LAURA F. KREADY 1916 “A STUDY OF FAIRY TALES

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Top Ten Things Teachers Hate About Common Core!

WHEN RIGOR TRUMPS REASON AND COMMON SENSE IS REPLACED WITH COMMON CORE?

Top Ten Things Teachers Hate About Common Core!

1. Rigorous untested Common Core standards are creating Toxic stress in the classroom for teachers and students. The largest social experiment in the history of humankind is being conducted based on the ideas of a few pedagogically nieve scholars.  Our children will be sacrificing creativity, happiness, connectedness all in the name of college and career readiness.

2. Giant waste of money and not a deft use of dwindling dollars

3. Teacher ratings, rankings and retention based on students test scores

4. Informational text that supersedes and usurps "Socratic Reason" liberal arts literature in high school

5. Standards that are age and developmentally inappropriate and or are out of logical order

6. Test, test, test, test and more test at earlier ages

7. The rush and push to prepare students with no thought if it is a sound education practice

8. Bill Gates and Arene Duncan

9. Published Common Core Curriculum

10. Will never work if the socio-economic status of students, a biased culture against education and real funding via full finances are not forthcoming

PLEASE SHARE YOU CONCERNS! 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sample Daily Finnish School Recess Schedule

Sample Daily Finnish School Recess Schedule | Finnish Schools Are Ranked Number One in the World on Many Academic Indicators. American Students Need to Get Up and Move More! This is a Sample Finnish School Schedule with Recces and Brain Breaks. 

A Sample of My 4th Grade School Schedule.


Time 
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
8:35- 9:05
Breakfast in the Classroom
Breakfast in the Classroom
Breakfast in the Classroom
Breakfast in the Classroom
Breakfast in the Classroom

8:35- 9:05
Flipped Classroom
Language
Arts Lesson
Flipped Classroom
Language
Arts Lesson
Flipped Classroom
Language
Arts Lesson
Flipped Classroom
Math Lesson

Flipped Classroom
Language
Arts Lesson
9:05- 9:15
Brain Breaks
Music
Handicraft
Music
Handicraft
Music
9:15-10:15
Language
Arts Centers
Language
Arts Centers
Language
Arts Centers
Math
Language
Arts Centers
10: 15-10:30
Recess
Recess
Recess
Recess
Recess
10:30-11:05
Math
Math
Math
Math
Language 
Arts
11:10-11:15
Brain Breaks
Dance
Dance
Dance
Dance
Dance

11:15-11:55
Math
Math
Math
Computer Lab
Language
arts
11:55-12:35
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
Lunch and
Recess
12:35-1:15
Science
Science 
STEAM
Science
Science Lab
1:15-1:30
Recess
Recess
Recess
Recess
Recess
1:30-2:15
Science
Science 
STEAM
Early Out
Fun Friday

2:15-3:00
Physical
Education
Art
Library

Music
3:05
Dismissal 
Dismissal
Dismissal
Dismissal
Dismissal

Grades 4, 5 and 6 CCSS ELA Writing Test Questions

CCSS ELA Writing Test Questions
Online Grades 4, 5 and 6 CCSS ELA Writing Test Questions

This is an Onlne CCSS ELA Practice Writing Test for Grades 4, 5 and 6 CCSS ELA Writing Test Questions


Printable Practice Test for Students and Teachers
Grades 4-5 FSA ELA Writing Paper-Based Training Test [PDF]
Grades 6-8 FSA ELA Writing Paper-Based Training Test [PDF]
Grades 9-11 FSA ELA Writing Paper-Based Training Test [PDF

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Top Science Fair Websites and Science Engenering Projects and Ideas

Top Science Websites for science fair ideas, classroom science projects, engenering fair projects, science experiments, science fair experiments, science reserch papers, science fair guides and firsts place science fair ideas

Science Buddies
Science BuddiesFree Topic Selection Wizard, science fair project ideas, step by step how to do ascience fair project, Ask an Expert discussion board, and science fair tips for .

Discovery Education Science Fair Central offers ideas for ...
ideas for science projects, science fair projects, science experiments, science fair experiments, science fair ideas.

SCIENCE FAIR STUDENT PROJECT GUIDES 

[PDF]Science Fair Student Guide
My child and I have read the Science Fair Student Guide in its entirety. ... section is due and that the project display board, science journal, and research paper ...

[PDF]Student Guide: How to Do a Science Fair Project
State University of New York at FredoniaA science fair project is simply your independent research of a science topic .... AStudent Checklist (1A), Research Plan, Form 1, Form 1B and Continuation ...

[PDF]STUDENT'S PACKET FOR THE SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT
SCIENCE PROJECT STEPS. 1. Choose a topic. Be sure it interests you. Don't pick one because you think it will be easy. Talk it over with your parents and when ...

[PDF]Holt Science Fair Guide - Paterson Public Schools
Paterson Public SchoolsExplore Your World The whole point of a science fair is to give you a chance to ...Students and adults should wear ultraviolet safety goggles dur- ing operation of ...

[PDF]Elementary Science Fair Planning Guide (pdf)
University of Texas ElementaryJan 9, 2013 - Types of Science Projects (The Good, the Bad and the Scientific Method)… ...... Title Page: This contains the title, the name of the student, grade ...

[PDF]Science Fair Project Guide for First-Timers - Home Science ...
well on your way to having a display at your local fair. Though the information is most applicable for middle school students, it can be adapted for use with ...

[PDF]Science Fair Fun: Designing Environmental Science Projects
United States Environmental Protection AgencySCIENCE ProJECtS for StuDENtS. GraDES 6-8. United State ... developing environmental science fair projects about reducing, reusing, and recycling waste materials. ..... EPA530-K-10-002 http://epa.gov/wastes/education/pdfs/sciencefair.pdf.

[PDF]Science Fair Student Guide
My child and I have read the Science Fair Student Guide in its entirety. ... section is due and that the project display board, science journal, and research paper ...

[PDF]STUDENT'S PACKET FOR THE SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT
Cyber Fair: See sample fair projects, look through other student's examples, ... SuperScience Fair Projects: Guide to projects, topics, experiments, and tips for ...

[PDF]Student Guide: How to Do a Science Fair Project
State University of New York at FredoniaMassachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair. Student Guide: How to Do aScience Fair Project. Authors: Karen Martin-Myers ~ Upper Cape Regional ...

[PDF]Elementary Science Fair Planning Guide (pdf)
University of Texas ElementaryJan 9, 2013 - Elementary. Science Fair. Planning. Guide. Okay, now get to work ... Types of Science Projects (The Good, the Bad and the Scientific Method) ...... Title Page: This contains the title, the name of the student, grade level and date ...

[PDF]Science Fair Project Guide for First-Timers - Home Science ...
A Science Fair Guide to Get You Started ... middle school students, it can be adapted for use with elementary students and can be a great resource for first-time ...

Science Fair Guide for Students - Go HRW - Classroom
A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txtlearn more.

[PDF]The SMARTS Guide to Science Fairs From Starting a Project ...
University of VictoriaYOUTH SCIENCE FOUNDATION CANADA THE SMARTS GUIDE TO SCIENCE FAIRS. 3. INTRODUCTION ... some students who still do these types of science fair projects....... 

Science Fair Parent Letter and Packet

Dear Students and Parents:

It’s time to start working on Rio Vista’s Science Fair! Enclosed is a schedule outlining due dates and important information regarding your child’s project. Ample time has been scheduled and work has been spread out, so students can complete the work at a comfortable pace.

This is a major project and will represent a significant portion of your child’s grade for the next grading period(s). The primary objective of this project is to have students approach a problem scientifically. This includes:
Asking questions and forming hypotheses
Creating experiments to test those hypotheses
Organizing data and drawing conclusions
Writing about scientific research
The project must be experimental in nature as opposed to research oriented. In other words, students must do a test, survey, or experiment to determine the answer to their question instead of just looking it up in a book. We encourage students to pick topics that they are genuinely interested in, since they will be working on these projects for the next several weeks. Topics must be chosen from Science Buddies and must be a level 4 or higher. Topics must also be “original” - something students do not already know.

Project guidelines state that all work must be done by the students; however, assistance may be provided by teachers, parents, etc. It is very difficult to work alone without the exchange of ideas, so we encourage you to brainstorm with your child on different ideas and possible topics your child may want to pursue. Please take a moment to review all the attachments with your child in order to generate topic ideas.

I am looking forward to working with you to make this a valuable learning experience for your child. I appreciate your support on this important project. As acknowledgement and part of your child’s homework, please sign, date, and return the bottom portion of this letter by Friday, January 15.

Sincerely,

Mr. Taylor

Science Fair Project Timeline and Due Dates
Due Date
Assignment
January 15 Signed packet and topic selection
January 22 Question and research
January 29 Hypothesis and Proposal
February 5 Materials and Procedure
February 12 Data and Observations
February 19 Data and Observations
February 22 Revised Procedures, Data and Observations
March 4 Results and Conclusion
March 7 Final Report Paper
March 25 Project Display Board

Science Project Topics
Directions: Please check the topic that your project will be focused on.
  • Topic 1: The learner will conduct investigations to build an understanding of the interdependence of plants and animals.
  • Topic 2: The learner will make observations and conduct investigations to build an understanding of earth processes.
  • Topic 3: The learner will conduct investigations and use appropriate technology to build an understanding of weather and climate.
  • Topic 4: The learner will conduct investigations and use appropriate technologies to build an understanding of forces and motion in technological designs.
  • Topic 5: The learner will conduct investigations and use appropriate technologies to build an understanding magnetism and electricity.

Homework Assignment DUE Friday, January 15, 2016
I have reviewed the Science Fair information and calendar with my child, ____________________, (Printed Name of Child) and we understand the requirements for a successful Science Fair Project.

_____________________________________ _________________________________
Parent Signature Student Signature


JUDGES' SCORE SHEET
Student's Name _______________________________________________________________
Grade __________________ School _____________________________________________
Category _________________________________________
Title of Project _______________________________________________________________
(circle score next to each category - 10 is highest)
  1. Knowledge Gained (Has the student acquired knowledge doing this project?)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1. Information (Is the information collected through research valid and appropriate to the grade level?)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1. Scientific Approach (Was a scientific approach and controlled variable used in conducting the experiment?)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1. Collection of Data (Were measurements accurately taken and given in metric units?)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1. Conclusions (Were stated conclusions logical and valid?)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1. Written Work (Was the abstract present and the research paper organized and complete?)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1. Oral Presentation (Was it well planned and interesting?)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1. Exhibit (Was it visually appealing, neat, and attractive?)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1. Effort (Was the degree of individual effort demonstrated?)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  1. Creativity and Originality (Does the project show creative approach or thought in design or presentation?)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Question- DUE January 15th
Your science fair question needs to be a testable question. This means that in order to answer your question you will have to conduct an experiment. Think about your question idea. Will you be conducting an experiment or just doing a demonstration? For example, growing a plant is just a demonstration, but determining how the amount of fertilizer in the soil affects the height of a plant is an experiment.
Most testable questions will fit into one of these question frames. Can you put your idea into one of these frames?
  • What is the effect of ________________ on _________________?
  • How does _______________ affect ____________________?
  • Which/What ______________(verb) ___________________?

Excellent questions are creative and meaningful. If you found your question on the Internet, ask yourself if there is a way to make the question your own. When you develop your question, you also want to make sure your idea is meaningful. What is the purpose of your project? Who might it help?
Write your question in the space below
For my science fair project I am asking this question: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Research - Due January 5th
Before you plan your experiment it is very important that you understand the science behind your topic and your question. The more you know, the better your experiment will be. One way to do this is to think of 3 questions that relate to your science fair topic and question. For example, if your experiment is about plants, you will need to know what plants need to survive and why they need those things.
In the spaces below record the questions you want to answer through research. Then research the answers to the questions. Be sure to record your source (website, book, etc.) in the works cited section. You will include these sources on your final poster.
Question 1:

Answer:



Works Cited:
Question 2:

Answer:



Works Cited:
Question 3:

Answer:



Works Cited:
You must turn in your bibliography note cards and keyword outlines for at least 3 sources.
*Your keyword outlines will be in your Science Project spiral notebook.






Background Research Paragraph
Synthesize the information that you learned while researching your topic to write a background research paragraph. The paragraph should explain the science concepts that are related to your topic and question. You will use the information in this paragraph to help you form a hypothesis and design your experiment.

In the space below, write your background information paragraph:
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________






HYPOTHESIS- DUE January 29th
Here is what I am predicting the answer will be to my proposal question:
If: ________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Then: _____________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Because: __________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

How to Write a Good Hypothesis
Use the “If…, then…, because…” format.
  • If…(describe a change in the independent variable), then…(tell how the dependent variable will react to the change), because…(explain your reasoning or tell why something will happen)”
  • Independent Variable: This is the variable that you, the scientist, change or manipulate. This is the “cause” in the experiment.
  • Dependent variable: This is the variable that “responds” to changes in the independent variable. This is the “effect” in an experiment.
  • Controlled variables: These are variables that are kept the same in all experiments to minimize scientific error, and to isolate the manipulated variable.
Example:
  • Experimental/Problem Question: How does fertilizer affect plant growth?
  • Hypothesis: If I increase the amount of fertilizer on grass plants, then the grass plants will grow taller, because plants will have more nutrients to grow taller provided by the fertilizer increase.
  • Amount of fertilizer = independent variable
  • Plant growth = dependent variable
  • Controlled variables in this experiment would be the amount of water and light the plants would receive, and the overall growing environment.






Proposal - Due January 29th
What is the purpose of your experiment (what problem are you trying to solve)?
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Why did you select this topic?
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Give a brief description of your experiment:
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What are your variables?
  • Independent variable: _________________________________________________________________
  • Dependent variable: ___________________________________________________________________
  • Controlled variables: ___________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How will your learning from this experiment improve the quality of life for you, your family, and others?
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




Materials and Procedures - DUE February 5th
Design an experiment that will allow you to answer your question. Before you start, think about what you are changing in the experiment (your independent variable), what you will measure in the experiment (your dependent variable), and what factors you will keep the same in order to design a “fair” experiment (controlled variables).
For this section you need to list your materials and write procedures. Your materials should include quantities. Your procedures can be written as a paragraph or in step-by-step form. Be specific, after reading your material list and procedures someone else should be able to reproduce your experiment.
Materials
Please list all materials you’re using for your project:



Procedures
Step 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________
Step 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________
Step 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Step 4: ____________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Step 5: ____________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Step 6: ____________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________
Step 7: ____________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________
Step 8: ____________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________


Data and Observations- DUE February 12th and February 19th
As you conduct your experiment you need to record your observations and data in your Science Project spiral notebook. You must show this to your teacher on the two due dates as proof that you have conducted your experiment.

Collecting Data
Before you begin your experiment, it is a good idea to make a plan for how you will organize the data that you collect. Think about what you will be changing and what you will be measuring. Think about how much data you will collect. How often will you collect data and for how long? The more data you collect, the better your results will be. Consider doing more than one trial. This means you might end up conducting your experiment 3 or 4 times.

Sample data table for the fertilizer experiment:
In this data table the
independent variable (what is being changed by the scientist) is written across the top. The dependent variable is the recorded data throughout the table.

Height of Grass with no fertilizer (cm)
Height of grass with 1 Cup fertilizer (cm)
Height of grass with 3 Cups Fertilizer (cm)
Day 1
0 cm
0 cm
0 cm
Day 2
0 cm
0 cm
0 cm
Day 3
0 cm
0 cm
0.2 cm
Day 4
0 cm
0 cm
0.3 cm
Day 5
0 cm
0.1 cm
0.3 cm
Day 6
0.3 cm
1 cm
1.5 cm
Day 7
0.4 cm
1.2 cm
1.6 cm
Day 8
0.7 cm
1.4 cm
1.9 cm
Day 9
1 cm
1.5 cm
2.3 cm
Day 10
1 cm
1.6 cm
2.5 cm
Day 11
1.1 cm
1.7 cm
2.6 cm
Day 12
1.3 cm
1.9 cm
2.8 cm



Observations
While you are conducting your experiment you will also want to record observations. Observations can be photographs, drawings or written descriptions. Be sure to record the date for each observation that you make. Below is a sample observation.

Date: 11/21/14 All of the plants have sprouted. The plants that have no fertilizer have 2 green leaves each. The plants that have 5 mL of fertilizer have 2 green leaves each. Two of the plants with 10 mL of fertilizer have 2 green leaves each. One of the plants with 10 mL of fertilizer has one green leaf and one white leaf.



Revised Procedures- DUE February 22nd (along with any more data and observations you have collected)
While conducting your experiment, you may have found that some of your procedures needed to be altered.

Please write your final experimental procedures below.
Step 1: ____________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________
Step 2: ____________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________
Step 3: ____________________________________________________________________________________
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Step 4: ____________________________________________________________________________________
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Step 5: ____________________________________________________________________________________
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Step 6: ____________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________
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Step 8: ____________________________________________________________________________________
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Results-DUE March 4th
Graphs
The purpose of a graph is to create a visual display of your data. Graphs are helpful because they show patterns. The type of graph that you make will depend on the data that you want to display. Bar graphs are best for discrete data, e.g. comparing objects or events. Line graphs are best for continuous data, e.g. changes over time. Below is a sample of a bar graph and a line graph.
When you make a graph be sure that it has a title and that both the x- and y-axis are labeled. On the next page create your graph or make one on-line and paste it in your notebook. NCES Kids’ Create a Graph can be used to create amazing graphs: https://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/graphing/classic/bar.asp

Data Charts & Graphs cont’d
RESULTS (continued)- Due March 4th
Please write the results of your experiment (what does your graph show): ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Conclusion- DUE March 4th
The conclusion is a place for you to share what you learned from conducting your experiment and analyzing your data. Your conclusion should be one to three paragraphs long. In your conclusion you should:
  • Evaluate your hypothesis. Was your hypothesis correct?
  • Explain what you found out.
  • Use data to support your findings.
  • Infer why your experiment turned out as it did.
  • Explain why your findings are important. Who might benefit from what you learned?
Please write the rough draft of your conclusion below: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Final Report Paper-DUE March 7th
Your final report should be structured as follows:
  • 1st Paragraph: Background information about your project. What is the problem that you are trying to solve? (from your research and project proposal)
  • 2nd Paragraph: A brief explanation of your experiment and your hypothesis.
  • 3rd Paragraph: Explain what happened when you actually performed your experiment (this should include your observations)
  • 4th Paragraph: Results
  • 5th Paragraph: Analysis and conclusion

Project Display Board-DUE March 25th
Your display board should demonstrate all of the hard work that you have put into your science fair project. Don’t wait until the last minute! Use the information that you have recorded in this science fair notebook to help you decide what to write on each section of your board. The pictures show some examples of how to set up your board. Your board may look a little different, depending on the experiment that you conducted.


SECTIONS FOR THE DISPLAY BOARD

Question/Purpose: An excellent question is interesting, creative, and worded scientifically.
Research: This section should include why you chose this project or what makes it interesting. Also include the information you learned about your topic by doing background research.
Hypothesis: An excellent hypothesis provides a possible answer to your question. The hypothesis is based on your background research.
Materials and Procedures: In this section you explain what you did to test your hypothesis. Include your materials and procedures. Be specific so that others understand what you controlled to make a fair experiment. If you did multiple trials be sure to include that in your procedures. Pictures are very appropriate in this section, but your pictures should not show people’s faces.
Data and Observations: Include a chart or graph to represent the data that you collected. Results: Explain what your data shows. Describe patterns, trends, and any data that is unexpected.
Conclusions: A good conclusion will be 1 – 3 paragraphs long. Your conclusion should share what you learned through your investigation and why your findings are important.
Science Fair Notebook: Your science notebook should include the research you did for the project, a list of sources that you used for research, and all of the data and observations you recorded while conducting the experiment.