Carolina Biological OSE - December 2023


Forums / Evaluation and Assessment / Science Notebooks for Kindergarten

Evaluation and Assessment

Science Notebooks for Kindergarten

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Lauren Bridgeman Lauren Bridgeman 600 Points

Hi, Everyone, For those of you that teach science in a K classroom, do you have pre-made science notebooks with fill-in-the-blank type questions for your students, or do you write what you expect their notebook to look like on the board and then have them follow those instructions? As of now, I have it set up for my students to follow instructions from the board and write their observations in their books, but I am worried it may be too much writing for their little hands. Thanks!

Zaida Serrato Zaida Serrato 1770 Points

Hello I don't teach Kinder but I did teach 1st grade before and found that it was a little overwhelming to them to write everything down and I would imagine that it would be even harder for the Kinder kiddos. I recommend having your journal pre-made and have copies made of the thinking maps, questions, etc. You are right their little hands are just learning and need practice but we have to remember not to overload them. Maybe in the second semester they can try and do more of the journaling themselves. I hope this helps.

Lauren Gray Lauren Gray 590 Points

I have worked in first and second grade classrooms and I see the best way to do this is have preprinted graphic organizers for the students. The most important thing is you have the students relate what they observe to pictures instead of having them write complete sentences. This can be modeled early on and then scaffolded so the students can observe and draw on their own. I have seen success in this is first grade, so I am not sure if it would carry over into kinder but I hope it would!

Antonella Castro Antonella Castro 1775 Points

Hello, I am currently a student but this seems like a great strategy for your students. I believe it is important to start students off from a young age to get use to doing their own assignments in their notebooks. I would love to try this out in my future classroom and write the instructions on the board and have them write their observation in their notebooks.

Pamela Dupre Pam Dupre 92364 Points

When I taught 2nd grade we used science journals/notebooks but we drew most of the items and labeled some things if needed. We saved leaves and did leaf rubbings, I gave them small envelopes and snack size ziploc bags to keep their treasures in and we taped them into the journal. We always started the year off with measuring how tall they were, like a bio page. At Christmas we measured their height again, and at the end of the year we did the final measurement to see how much they had grown. I would give them 1/4 of a sheet of graph paper so they could plot the points and then connect the points to see how they grew over the year. Since you are working with kindergarten I would rely heavily on the drawing and collecting aspect which is enough to start the habit of journaling.

Bethani Hoelzeman Bethani Hoelzeman 240 Points

Hi! I am a pre-service teacher, so I haven't actually tried to have a group of 20+ 5 and 6 year-olds compile science notebooks. However, in my teaching science class, we were discussing science notebooking and how to notebook effectively in the earlier grades. Instead of having your children write everything out (as you said, it could be very time consuming or tiring for little hands) or printing out sheets for them to fill in the blanks and have everyone's notebook look exactly the same, you could try having them record things how they feel most comfortable. In doing this, it would be important to allow your students time while working in their notebooks. This method would allow children to draw pictures, write in sentences, record data with bullet points, and whatever else they see fit. As the teacher, you could set ground rules, and one of those rules could be to have your students label (after modeling) any pictures so that you can see what they know and use their knowledge to advance your lessons. This could solve your problem of too much writing while still allowing the children who can write to write if they choose to. Good luck!

Alexis Hartzell Alexis Hartzell 2405 Points

I am a pre-service teacher, but from my time spent in kindergarten classrooms, I have found as an observer that many students tend to fall behind when their notebook layout has to be made by them in class. The question to ask yourself is, "what do I want them to get out of this page in the notebook? What to I want them to learn?" If the information you want them to learn can just be a fill in the blank, I would save yourself the hassle of waiting for 20 little hands to finish outlining and just make the outline yourself. That way you can focus more on the lesson you want them to understand for that day.

Meagan Schrull Meagan Schrull 750 Points

I am in a K class and we do not write it all out for them, however, it is something I will do next year. It is overwhelming for them to do it all while trying to learn and focus on the lesson.

Alexis Rodriguez Alexis Rodriguez 1350 Points

I would create sentence stems and print them/cut them. This could help them with their thoughts and limit the amount of writing, but still get some practice.

Diane Soto Diane Soto 845 Points

I would recommend having pre-printed handouts.

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