Rena Roybal




Mililani Uka Elementary

Recent Posts by Rena

Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:49 AM in Composting
I have personally had a vermicomposting bin at my home with red worms for the last 4 years. At our school, the 5th grade classes use this in their science curriculum and our Kindergarten teachers are (reluctantly!) going to start using these bins next year. Initially, my family was reluctant to start our bin for fear that it would smell but it has no smell at all. In fact, if it does have a smell ...

Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:05 AM in Digital Assignments and Drop Boxes
Thank you, Sandy, for posting this website. I am a Tech Coordinator and am always looking for ideas. To be honest, I've been reluctant to dive into Google Docs and have not had any experience with it in my own elementary grade level classes. I know that there are teachers at our school that are using it within their grade level but not with the students. I wanted to find out if anyone else has use...

Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:24 PM in Technology in your science lessons
One more thought about using technology... As students start using PowerPoint and other programs that allow them to add images, don't forget to teach them proper ways to cite their work, how to avoid plagarism, and using non-copyrighted images, videos, and music. It is so easy these days to cut and paste but students need to learn even from elementary school how to use information appropriately. ...

Recent Reviews by Rena

Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 PM
5 Rocks Rock!
This SciGuide covers the themes of Formation of Rocks, History of Rocks and Soil. The guide provides excellent web resources and activities that can be incorporated into the standards based classroom. I love how it is organized and laid out with a map. As a Technology Coordinator I teach multiple grades. This SciGuide is wonderful because it includes numerous resources. My suggestion would be to focus on one theme and identify what you can use from that theme and build from there so you aren't overwhelmed. This SciGuide includes lessons and case studies geared towards grade 5 and above. I found that many of the resources can be used in the lower grade either as a teacher resource or something that you share with your students rather than having them go out to explore it on their own. For example, I plan on using this resource for some of my grade 3 lessons but I know that some of the material is beyond what we will be studying. The student misconception resources included in the SciGuide (and SciPack by the same name) are helpful in identifying where the students are at so you can appropriately challenge them at their level and according to the standards for your particular grade level. Overall, this SciGuide Rocks!

Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:43 PM
5 Organisms SciGuide
The Organisms SciGuide is a useful tool for identifying technology resources and lesson plans that would be appropriate to teach about communities, environment, and ecosystems. This SciGuide complements the Coral Reef Ecosystems and Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems SciPacks. One thing that I liked about this SciGuide was that it was easy to follow and find appropriate technology resources which is important to me as a Technology Coordinator. These resources will help me to integrate technology with content area to help students learn the content. I also found the SciGuide Map that is on the first page useful in giving me an overview of the topics covered in the SciGuide and a quick way to access information that I found relevant to what I wanted to teach. One of the things that I did not like about this SciGuide is that 2 of the 3 lessons included are for 5th grade and above while the SciGuide is K-4. I think that all of the lessons should be aligned to the grade level indicated for the SciGuide. Overall, the Organisms K-4 SciGuide will provide additional resources and insight to help you teach lessons related to food webs, life cycles, interdependence, organisms and many other related areas!

Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:05 AM
5 Solar System SciGuide Review
The Solar System SciGuide was a perfect complement to the excellent content provided in the SciPacks. The SciGuide was organized into four themes: A Look at the Planets, Earth in Space, Formation of our Solar System, and Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites. The guide provided good resources for teachers and students that could be integrated into existing lessons that you may already be doing as well as including a complete lesson in each theme. One of the wonderful things about the resources is that they are sorted by type (hands-on, lesson ideas, online, etc.) which makes it easier to identify resources that supplement your units or will help you build units that contain well-grounded tools to assist you and your students. Even though this is a middle school SciGuide, I envision using the technology resources in this SciGuide in a lesson I’m doing with fourth graders. Beyond that I think it provides a good collection for lessons that I need to teach in other grade levels. One of the tools that I find useful are the sims that are available in the SciPacks and this SciGuide has all of the relevant sims listed under each theme. This will save me an enormous amount of time locating the sim and finding the ones that are relevant to that topic of the SciGuide. I’ve used the sims from other SciPack/Guides but found that it was cumbersome to use when I had to go through the SciPack to find them. My suggestion on improving all of the SciGuides would be to organize and include the sims for the Packs in the Guides like they were done in this particular SciGuide. I find the sims very useful to teach content to elementary students and would love to see them available for students to access independently.