Alayna Maldonado

I teach 3rd grade.


Kaleiopuu Elementary

Recent Posts by Alayna

Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:56 PM in From STEM to STEAM?
I can definitely see the value in incorporating arts into the STEM process. With all of the pressures on teachers, we often forget to teach the whole child. In fact, one of the steps in the STEM-based lesson process is "design/plan". For example, yesterday I had my students create models of spiders out of construction paper, straws, tape, and other classroom materials. Their spider had to fi...

Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:26 PM in End of the Science Lesson reflections
I agree that end of lesson reflections are important in science. It helps students connect what they have learned to the real-world and make connections between learnings in other areas. Reflections allow students to recap what they learned and gives them time to process new information. This is also a time when students may want to write down any questions they have or ideas for further study....

Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:36 PM in Physics on-line simulations?
In response to the question about online simulations in physics and science: My school and district subscribe to Discovery Education. I am not sure what the fee is, but I highly recommend it. You can easily look up any topic from Math and Reading to Science to Social Studies and find tons of resources, such as videos with study guides and worksheets, e-books, songs, and online labs. My favorit...

Recent Reviews by Alayna

Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:11 AM
3 Energy SciGuide Useful
I found this SciGuide to be helpful in many ways. Although geared toward 5th-8th grade students, it has the possibility of adapting to the third graders I teach. The links to the Physical Science – Forms of Energy website links were user-friendly and extensive. One in particular that I find useful is the Children's Misconceptions About Science: website. There is an A-Z list by subject (Astronomy, Atmosphere, etc.) that details all of the misconceptions students have about science. For example, they think that stars and constellations appear in the same place every night in the sky. The third grade science benchmark in Hawaii states that constellations do move in the night sky, so it would be a great idea to start a lesson by clearing up misconceptions. This could be done through a What You Think You Know, What You Want to Learn, and What You Learned chart. Also included in the SciGuide are links to audio clips of teachers describing how they used these resources. This can give you a quick idea of whether or not this SciGuide would be useful for you. You can gain ideas from other teachers and add your own personal flare. There are two things I think should be added to improve this SciGuide. One thing is that I was expecting there to be more lessons to choose from pinpointing various topics on energy. Another thing I had hoped for was a lesson or two for the younger grades, maybe K-4. Overall, this SciGuide was useful. I might use the Children’s Misconceptions About Science as a lead-in for some of my lessons. The links provided are a good starting point for creating lessons.

Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:42 PM
4 Earth and Sky
I like how this SciGuide is divided into sections. The Internet links are divided into “moon”, “sun” and “planets” and are very relevant for teaching space science benchmarks. The links are also divided further into “teacher” and “student” sections so they can be easily navigated through to find what you need. I don’t remember this from the last SciGuide I reviewed, but this guide has a filter you can use to quickly sort through the links and find key items, such as “investigations”, “assessments”, etc. This SciGuide can be used in my teaching of third grade space science: *3.8.3 Safely observe and describe basic movements of the sun and moon. *3.8.4 Describe that constellations stay the same, though they “appear” to move across the night sky. The lesson “Hello Sun” has an inquiry element for observing movements in a day. The link to “Earth Viewer” shows daytime and nighttime portions of the Earth for any day of the year. This helps students to see the movements of the moon and sun by viewing where the sunlight is shining on Earth and where the darkness is. I like how this guide has many student-friendly sites and games for practice. My only suggestion is to include more teacher links to lesson plans.

Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:39 PM
4 great web resources
The key point that made an impression on me in this SciGuide was that students have many misconceptions about rocks and how they form. It is important to address those misconceptions early on so they do not impede student learning. This SciGuide has many useful interactive Rock Cycle links that can be used to let students explore the formation of rocks. One of the sites, Arizona State University’s Rock Around the World Program, lets students send in a rock to be analyzed using the same technology scientists use to analyze materials on Mars. My class sent in a rock and is eagerly awaiting the results. My only suggestions for this SciGuide are maybe more ready to use inquiry ideas on rocks and suggestions for adapting the lessons to younger grades.