Are you talking about the kits that are mailed to you? We use them and the manuals are HUGE for something that you are only teaching 6 weeks! I pick and choose the lessons that I think the students will gain the most information from and which ones will work best in the classroom. I also leave out certain lessons that require the teacher to spend excess money. I tend to tweak them so that they work for me.
most part. There are quite a few lessons that are a waste of time. I don't do those. The others have some scripted questions, that aren't always effective when the kids are fully engaged with the hands-on items. Our district does a great job having everything organized for us and they buy the animals.
We teach a full year of Trees to get in all the seasons. Our 3 classes have to split one kit. That part I do not like. I don't mind sharing, but it is much more complicated logistically. We don't have to go buy a tree...we just skip that part.
We teach Animals 2 x 2: Guppies/Goldfish, Pill Bugs/Sow Bugs, Land Snails/Water Snails. They all just arrived this week. We each have our own kit for this. They LOVE the animals, especially the land snails and the snail race!!!
And the last one is Wood and Paper. Much of this one is boring and has little content to get any traction with [a wood hunt??? Seriously? a paper hunt??? I skip those!], but it has the best inquiry lesson about sinking the wood with rubber bands and paper clips without telling the kids how to set it up. They LOVE this one.
I fill in science with themes - apples, pumpkins, seeds, snow, penguins, kites, magnets, discovery bottles, etc. I also just got a grant through Donors Choose for a full set of Science kits from Lakeshore! I'm really excited to get them!
My kids and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE science. We make the most of the FOSS kits and vere off in our own directions and tangents as they come up.
over 5 years ago...but many of us scored some great left over supplies (I even use 3 of those big black/white boxes for a science "bench") then store wooden blocks in it. I love any lessons to do with trees so I actually have one called "My Life as a Tree" and you look at the rings on a slice of trunk wood learning about the years of life. Then the kids make one from yarn and paper and a legend for important events. They will only have like 4-5 years on theirs. Then mark birth, ride a bike, talk, start school, whatever. It's pretty fun. I found it on the internet quite awhile back.
Yes, we use the FOSS kits: Trees, Fabric, and Animals. The Fabric unit is, by far, the most fun and interesting. The kids LOVE it! It is time consuming with everything else that we have to do, though. We didn't buy or plant a tree, either. We only got through the goldfish/guppies last year...never did the other animals. The goldfish/guppy unit was cute.
"My Life as a Tree" samples and plan. Have you ever made paper with the kids? A friend of mine did a lesson with our church kids one year on how writing evolved up to the printing press. It was great since they went through clay and parchment (skin) and then put shredded paper in a blender. Then pressed out the water on screens. It was bumpy when dry but really cool. The kids got their own samples and wrote on each thing as they went. They could learn about recycle as well. Can you tell my friend was a teacher (reading specialist,actually) during her weekday job !!
Last edited by ThankaTchr; 10-07-2010 at 09:17 AM..