Interdisciplinary Approach to Science in the Middle Grades

by Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo

Interdisciplinary Approach to Science in the Middle Grades

An interdisciplinary approach applies interdisciplinary methods and terms from various fields to examine a theme.

There are many benefits to this approach:

 • Teachers can meet curriculum standards in more than one area by combining unconnected objectives.
 • Students gain a deeper understanding of the topic.
  • Creative activities motivate students and make lessons more interesting.
 • Students are more prepared for the real world,  where disciplines often overlap.

Thinking About Science Series Features an Interdisciplinary Approach to Science

Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo’s Thinking about Science Series comprises four books for the middle grades. They have also been used successfully in high-ability classes, grades 4 and 5.

Homeschoolers at various levels have also used the units with positive results.

Each book focuses on a different major theme:

• The Human Body
 • Our Ever-Changing Earth
 • Our Solar System
 • Ecology

Students will…

• use research skills
• use factual information to solve problems
• write creatively
• gain a deeper understanding of the subject
• develop important higher-level thinking skills, such as analysis, evaluation, and synthesis.

Use these comprehensive units as the foundation of your study of these subjects or use them to supplement and enhance your lessons; however, many homeschoolers have used the resources as a major component of their science curriculum.

Format and How to Use the Books

Each book provides a comprehensive coverage of the subject.

Section One: Sub-topics
Each sub-topic is divided into two parts: Background Information and Interdisciplinary Activities, which comprise math, social studies, writing, and art tasks.

1. Students read the Background Information to get a broad overview of the subject.
2. The teacher may assign all or some of the activities.
3. Some of the tasks may be assigned as extra credit.
4. The background information and/or the activities may be used as a springboard for further research.

Section Two: What’s the Question Activity?

What’s the Question? is similar to the TV show “Jeopardy” in that the information is given in the form of the statement and the student responses are in the form of questions. The questions in Part I are worth 5 points each, and those in Part II are worth 10 points each.

This serves as a fun, but comprehensive review of the subject!

How the Game Is Played:

1. The class divides into teams of 4 or 5 students.
2. The teacher may act as leader, or you may want to choose a student leader.
3. The leader asks the first group a question from Part I. Whoever raises his or her hand first gets to answer.
4. If the student answers correctly, 5 points are added to the team total. If the student answers incorrectly, 5 points are deducted.
5. If no one wants to answer, the leader gives the correct answer and the total remains the same.
6. If a team does not give a correct answer, the same question is then asked to the next group. If no group gets it right, the leader gives the correct answer.
7. When all the questions from Part I have been completed, the same rules are followed for Part II except that the points are doubled.

Section Three: Crossword Puzzle
A crossword puzzle is provided. This can be used as an assessment tool or just for fun.

Section Four: Answers and Additional Background Information

Review

The Thinking About Science Series comprises four 48-page unit workbooks…They are complete unit studies but could also complement your main science program. These differ from other science books because they provide “opportunities to practice crucial critical- and creative-thinking skills,” through creative writing, experimenting, research, analyzing, evaluating, and logic. Each book has an introductory page about the specific science to be covered. Informational pages with straightforward text introduce important concepts and vocabulary with the help of clear black-and-white diagrams.…Short but info-packed sections are followed by across-the-curriculum ideas for using and applying what you learn, and this often requires outside research….While there are some standard activity pages (crossword, matching, word search, and a Jeopardy-type game), most are unconventional. Math, art, history, and writing are all used.
….
Students who are really into science, especially those who love research, would enjoy these books. So would those children who like art and creative, “out of the box” thinking. For example, one of the ideas in Our Ever-Changing Earth is to “Create a detailed travel poster for a tour of the U.S.A. including at least 5 interesting land formations caused by erosion or weathering.” »
….
This is a great series for [homeschooling] parents who are looking for “thinking projects” to expand their science studies as a family. It would also be a super-fun way to teach research skills.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC

Barbara Peller, AKA Rebecca Stark, Author of the Thinking About Science Series,
Published by Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo

 

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Wendy’s Bookworks –50% off all products


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Using Bloom-Based Centers To Enrich Your Classroom Lessons

A learning center may refer to the physical space where students engage in a variety of learning experiences. It may also refer to the set of activities provided. In this article, the term “learning center” will refer to the set of activities.

There are three basic types of learning centers:

  • Enrichment Centers,
  • Interest-Based Centers, and
  • Skill Centers.

The Create-a-Center units fall into the first 2 categories.

Enrichment Learning Centers

Enrichment centers are usually used after the teacher has introduced the subject, most often near the end of the unit. Tasks should extend and enrich the students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject.

The teacher may focus on one learning center at a time or may provide several. The multi-subject set-up is often used when the teacher is responsible for more than one subject.

Interest-Based and Exploratory Learning Centers

Interest-based learning centers are designed to capitalize on students’ interests. In this approach, a variety of centers are made available so that students can choose an area of special interest to them. The subjects addressed in the learning centers may or may not match those being studied in the class.

This strategy works especially well in classes for gifted students. In fact, the Create-a-Center units described in this article were originally created for this segment of the school population.

Specific periods of time should be set aside to work on the centers. You might also want to allow the students to work on the tasks during free time at the beginning or end of class or when they complete their classroom work ahead of the rest of the class.

Skill Centers

Skill centers are primarily used in the elementary grades. Teachers use them after the skill has been introduced and instruct the children which tasks to work on in order to reinforce what is being taught.

Set-up

How you set up the center area depends on several factors:

  • how much space you have for the display(s);
  • how much space you have for furniture;
  • how many centers you want to make available at the same time; and
  • storage options.

Possibilities range from simple table-top displays to elaborate furniture arrangements. If you want to provide a selection of centers from which the students can choose but do not have the room, it is always possible to keep the tasks in large manila envelopes. While it is nice to have the centers on display, the activities are what really count!

Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo’s Create-a-Center Series:
Learning Centers Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy

There are 8 social studies and 10 science centers for intermediate and middle-grade students and 4 centers for the primary grades.

The activities in these centers…

  • expand students’ knowledge and understanding;
  • develop important language and literacy skills;
  • encourage critical and creative thinking;
  • help develop important problem-solving skills; and
  • foster independent learning.

You may also use the centers to provide opportunities for the children to work together in teams or small groups, which can improve their social skills.

What’s Included

Each intermediate and middle-grade center focuses on one subject area. Primary units include multiple areas of interest.

Activities expand students’ knowledge of the subject and help develop important higher-level thinking skills.

Each center is divided into 6 strands or sub-categories.

There are a total of 90 tasks based on the original Bloom’s Taxonomy with 3 tasks for each level of the cognitive domain.

One or 2 additional activities, such as a word search or crossword puzzle, are also included.

Instructions on how to set up the center are provided.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy was created in 1956 under the leadership of educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom. The committee first identified three domains of educational activities of learning: the cognitive, or mental, domain; the effective, or social, domain; and the psychomotor, or physical, domain.

The taxonomy deals with the levels of the cognitive domain, which comprises knowledge and the development of intellectual skills.

According to Bloom, there are 6 main cognitive levels:

  • Knowledge,
  • Comprehension,
  • Application,
  • Analysis,
  • Synthesis, and
  • Evaluation.

These levels are hierarchical. In other words, learning at the lower levels must come before learning at the higher levels can be achieved.

Save hours of time with these ready-made learning centers!

Your students will love working on the tasks!

Barbara Peller, AKA Rebecca Stark, Author of the Create-a-Center Series, Published by Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo 

New Products for October 2017

Look what’s new from our publishers!

Charlesbridge Publishing– 18 new titles

Charlesbridge is well known for their engaging non-fiction titles but also their topical studies on things in our everyday life.  Check out their newest editions to their library and add them to yours!

Carson Dellosa Publishing– 11 new titles

Carson Dellosa Publishing holds strong in our top selling products for a reason.  Created by experienced educators, crafted to work in your classroom keeping your students engaged while appealing to the excitement of the season.  Two new series this month with a collection of activities for Halloween and November.  Need some lessons this week for Halloween… Carson has you covered!

Edcon Publishing Group – 6 new titles

Edcon Publishing Group has added a new series of six titles to their library here at DedicatedTeacher.  The series is called Thoughts Into Words.  This program will add color, vividness, clarity, and proper mechanics to your students’ writing.

Dawn Publications – 2 new titles

Dawn Publications has added two new thought provoking and entertaining titles to their collection.  Be sure to check these out and add them to your collection!

Be sure to have a look at all these new titles!

Using Educational Bingo Games in the Classroom

Reviewing material at the end of a unit is an important part of your students’ learning experience. Unfortunately, it can also be the most boring part! People of all ages love bingo, and educational bingo games can be just what you need to liven up your review time.

How to Get the Most out of Educational Bingo GamesBingo games are fun for students and teachers alike.

Here are some suggestions to make the most out of the experience:

  1. Before you distribute the materials, tell the class the subject of the bingo game you are about to play. For younger students, be sure everyone knows how to play bingo!
  2. Distribute the list of terms and go over anything that was not studied. Use your discretion as to whether or not to allow students to refer to the list during the game.
  3. You may want to allow students to take notes during the game. (See #6.)
  4. If you are using a Bingo Book, there will be two or three clues for each term. Use all of the clues in one game or use a different set each time you play.
  5. You may want to play several short games, such as a straight line, a box, an X, and so on. For a more comprehensive review before a test, you will probably want to require players to fill all 25 spaces. 
  6. The winner should be able to show not only that all the terms on the card were called but also that he or she marked the boxes in response to the appropriate clues. Ask the winner to stand and to give an important fact about each term or name on the card. If you have allowed students to take notes, then they should be allowed to use the notes for their presentation.
  7. Praise the winner for a job well done but correct any misinformation.
  8. Present the winner with a prize. It can be an inexpensive item, a certificate, or even a special privilege.
  9. A fun option is to have students play in cooperative teams of two.
  10. Have fun!
Why Choose Bingo Books?

Creating your own bingo games is tedious and time consuming. Ready-to-use Bingo Books save you valuable time. 

Choose from more than 120 titles in language arts, science, social studies, and math.

Bingo books were specifically created for use in primary, intermediate, and middle-grade classrooms. The emphasis is on the content of the questions!

Each game provides comprehensive coverage of the topic.

Bingo books are great for end-of-the-unit reviews.

They can also be used as assessment tools. 

Math and analogy bingo books provide skill practice as well as a review of terms.

Teachers can customize the games by using the blank middle spaces to add additional terms or names.

Everything you need is provided: 30 unique bingo cards; 50 clue cards, with 2 or 3 clues per term; and a sheet of markers.

The use of markers is optional. Because the bingo sheets are printed on plain paper, students can mark them with a pencil. Reprint the sheets as needed. 

Barbara Peller, AKA Rebecca Stark, Author of the Bingo Books Series

A Few Reviews of Bingo Books:

Published by Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo
Written by Rebecca Stark

These reviews refer to the print formats, which are identical to the digital versions in content.

Teacher Try-It Review for the Indiana Bingo Game:

Recently I played Indiana State Bingo with my fourth grade students.  The first thing I did was look over the terms to make sure they had all been covered in my Indiana History class.  There were very few that had not been covered, but I talked to them about the ones they had not had so I could use all the cards.  The instructions were very easy to follow.  It took less than ten minutes to get the game ready to play.  We played several rounds, and the students really enjoyed transferring the knowledge they had learned all year into a fun game of BINGO.  I will use this game several more times this year because I feel that it is a good review for the students. 

Here is what a few of the students had to say about the game:

Madison: I like the game because it is about what we are learning in social studies.
Colleen: I liked the game because I got to learn new things I did not know about Indiana history.

Cindy Brogan
Fourth Grade Teacher
Princeton Intermediate

Review for the Elements of Literature Bingo Game (Amazon)
5.0 out of 5 Stars
Bymbmon
Verified Purchase
A fun and meaningful way to for students to practice and connect.

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New Products for September 2017

Look what’s new from our publishers!

Teacher Created Materials Today– 110 new titles

Teacher Created Materials is quickly becoming one of your favorites.  They provide countless ‘slices’ for study guides and core subject materials.  Be sure the check out these new titles and now available in our eStore!

Orca Book Publishers – 38 new titles

New non-fiction titles from Orca Book Publishers.  Titles that are sure to keep your teen students engaged and wanting to read more!

 

Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo – 10 new titles

Educational Books ‘n’ Bingo is one of our newest publishers in name only.  With years of experience behind them only they offer a  unique set of titles that promise to keep your kids learning and reviewing in fun and entertaining ways.

Carson Dellosa Publishing– 8 new titles

Carson Dellosa Publishing always provides materials that come to be your favorites and we are confident that these new titles will be no different.  My Take Along Tablet series as well as new titles in their Keepsake Stories series are just in time for your students travel plans during the holidays.  Classic stories they can read and workbooks that are fun to keep their knowledge and skills sharp!

Shell Publishing– 5 new titles

Always a favorite, Shell has released one new series, Guided Math Workstations as well as two other new titles, Taming the Wild Text and Culturally and Linguistically!  Be sure to check out these great new resources.

Edcon Publishing Group – 1 new title

Edcon Publishing Group has added the option to purchase their newest series, Personal Development for Success.  All 10 Volumes for one price!  One click and you conveniently have every title in this series!

Gallopade International– 1 new title

Gallopade International has added a new title to their America’s National Mystery Book Series.  Be sure to check out this title!

Be sure to have a look at all these new titles!

New Products for August 2017

Several of our popular publishers were busy working on new resources for the new school year, have a look!

Bellwether Media Inc – 104 new titles

Bellwether Media Inc added titles and resources for a large range of topics.  Such as Origami, Space, Robots, Countries, Trains, Bugs and more!  These colorful and engaging resources will be an asset to any lesson plan or classroom setting.

Bar Charts – 81 new titles

Bar Charts are famous for their Quick Study resources.  This month they released a large number of new charts for topics such as medical, various computer programs, history, writing and so much more!  Be sure to check out these amazing teaching tools.

Edcon Publishing Group – 27 new titles

Edcon Publishing Group added a new series of Literature guides for titles such as, Treasure Island, Adventures of Tom Sawyer and more. The also released a new series of resources geared toward the students personal development.

Charlesbridge Publishing – 17 new titles

Charlesbridge is well known for their fiction titles.  They’ve added several this past month along with valuable and engaging topical resources such as the celebration of the 50th anniversary of a Beetles album and a counting book!

 

Be sure to have a look at all these new titles!

5 Tips for Selecting Time Saving Resources

Teachers are always on the lookout for resources to help them in the classroom. Finding the right content, activities, and strategies are part of developing great lesson plans that resonate with students and ultimately help them reach that “I got it” moment! But how can teachers be sure that the resources they find are high-quality? According to Dona Rice, former editor-in-chief of Teacher Created Materials and Shell Education, it’s simple—“teachers know!”


#1 Does it meet teachers’ needs?

Materials that are created by teachers are easily spotted as the authors of these resources seem to have thought of everything including considerations for struggling learners, English language learners, assessments, etc.

#2 Is it research and standards based?

Resources that have a foundation of research and that support important national and state standards are preferred by teachers and are usually evident by the content and mentions in the materials.

#3 Do they work?

Materials that have successful track records are priceless, save time, and ensure the greatest outcome. Teachers stick with what works and seek out these products from sources they trust.

#4 Is it an easy-to-use format?

Teachers don’t have time to decipher complex resources! Although robust materials are preferred, they must be straightforward with clear direction. Rice notes that although some resources may have clear roadmaps “those roadmaps should be easy to recognize in a few manageable steps.”

#5 Will it pass the teacher test?

Teachers are the experts when it comes to their own classroom. They know what they are looking for! Their instincts and understanding of what is needed guides them to make the right choices! As Rice reminds us, “teachers know!”Click here to see all of Shell Educations top quality products!

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New Products for July 2017

It’s so exciting to see all the new products our publishers are releasing for the new fall session.  We have

 

Crabtree Publishing – 341 new titles

Crabtree Publishing has added a wide variety of titles, the three series shown above only scratch the surface.  There are titles on popular topics that kids are dealing with, such as dealing with loss and understanding digital dangers.  Titles on popular figures both past and present.  The list goes on and on.  Be sure to take a look at all the new titles now available from       Crabtree Publishing!

Edcon Publishing Group – 36 new titles

Edcon Publishing Group has and is still adding new titles to their collection.  This month, included a variety of study guides, Personal Development and much more.

Teacher Created Materials – 32 new titles

Edcon Publishing Group has and is still adding new titles to their collection.

Shell Education – 6 new titles

Shell Education released some great new titles this month.  A new study guide, Math Workshops, Content Area Writing, Social Studies and Close Reading.  Great titles to help you get your students back on track this fall!

Carson-Dellosa Publishing – 341 new titles

Carson Dellosa added a new Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten series to their inventory.  With subjects such as Basic Skills and Activities.  Carson Dellosa series titles are always a favorite this series won’t disappoint.

Be sure to have a look at all these new titles!