I love August. It's a time of renewal since I look so forward to starting the new school year. It's almost more refreshing to me than January 1 because my life cycle really revolves around August/September to May/June. Today I had to take Middle Child to the doctor for a checkup and on our way home, we stopped at the local dollar store.
I love that place. They have some really cheap, icky stuff but sometimes you can find really good deals. I did so today. I picked up some wicked sweet resource books to use with my class this year.
I got this science book for $1.50! It has 35 experiments and covers ALL of my Science standards except Sun, Moon and Stars! And the activities are such that I can put them into a center area and let the kids do "discovery learning" and then meet with groups to check their understanding and correct misconceptions. I am LOVING that idea. Our science kits have way too much teacher talk and not enough discovery time and I think this book will help me to give them that discovery, which we all knows is when kids REALLY learn.
I picked up this gem for $2. The last time I taught 5th grade I picked up Basic Division Facts and More and Multiplication of Larger Numbers, also by The Mailbox (also for $2 each) from this same store. I love to use these as homework since these are the skills my kids struggle with the most and it helps me to reinforce these skills all year and the kids actually don't mind these sheets too much. I was excited to find a Decimal version this year since they can be tricky!
Finally I picked this book up for $1.50 as well. It's a social studies book for 5th grade that covers everything from Columbus to the American Revolution. I am planning to use this one for content area reading homework once a week to reinforce what I am teaching my kids in class. There are also a couple of bonus plays/readers theaters in there and I think those will be fun to implement in our class.
Now I just have to find the TIME to implement science and social studies! It isn't easy these days, especially not with our focus on math and reading/writing. I'm adamant that my kids need to be exposed to these subjects, however, because I find it appalling that 5th graders take the science MEAP and don't know what the Scientific Method is.
I feel so unaccomplished when I read everyone's blogs and see how much they have done for school already! I have lots of little projects started but I haven't finished too many. I will just blame summer school for that *wink*