Penny Boat Challenge

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Crushing the 500 + barrier!


  • Rules & Jobs for the challenge (Google Doc)
  • Google Sheetsto keep track of results
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
    • 15 x 15 cm for prototypes
    • 30 x 30 cm for competition
  • 2 or more large storage tubs filled with water
  • tub for ‘boat graveyard'
  • tray
  • towels – at least 8+
  • box of pennies – 5,000+
  • cups to hold pennies


Finding the Mass,Volume,and Density of Water Lab (Google Sheets)



  • Students will practice their measurement skills using a graduated cylinder to determine volume and a triple beam balance to determine mass.
  • Students will determine the density of water by completing 10 trails and finding an average.

I use this lab to tie their measuring skills together and introduce the concept of density.We then do further explorations of density and practice using the formula.

This lab is a modified version of the lab posted at Middle School 威廉希尔真人百家乐Chemistry – for furtherWilliam Hill轮盘 details about the lesson,please click on this link.

Reading a Graduated Cylinder – Rotation Stations

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Lesson Tips

  • Introduce how to read a graduated cylinder using the meniscus.
  • Review how to determine the increments for each graduated cylinder.

Free Science Starters,Bell Ringers,Warm Ups,Writing Prompts

Public Copy of Science Prompts 2017-18.jpg

Google Slidesclick hereto access my Science Prompts from 2017-18.The slide # is the prompt #.For example,slide 14 is prompt # 14.These are the ones that I wrote – I deleted copyrighted material from other sources such as science starters fromScience Spot.

Prompt Notebook Paper(Prompt Templatepdf) – print 20 sheets double sided and place into 3 prong poly-folder,add more pages as needed

I start each class with a science prompt – which was assigned for homework the night before.On Monday,I post the prompts for the week and students are able to work on them for homework instead of the start of class.They can do more than one each night,but we only go over one each class.  I found this to be a much better use of class time and started each class with a 5 minute review of skills and content.

When students come in,they come to my desk for the ‘stamp' of the day,take a seat,and once everyone has arrived,we go over the answers and discuss.A stamp counts for 2 HW points.They have to follow the directions to earn 2 points,if they just write an answer,they only earn 1 pt.I do a quick spot check,but don't make any corrections at this point.I randomly pick on students each day to give an answer and they make corrections as needed.

Welcome to my blog!

I hope you are enjoying your summer!August will be a busy month as teachers prepare for a new school year.If you are a new teacher,or a veteran teacher,looking for new science lessons and ideas to add to your curriculum,my website is here to help.Everything I have posted is free for you to use in your classroom.All of my Google Slides can be edited to meet your needs –here is a quick tutorial to help you make modifications.

To help you find what you needquickly,there are several options available:

Search boxin the upper right corner – click on the magnifying glass and enter key words to find lessons.

Tag cloud– scroll down,on the right you can choose either a topic or standard.Each blog entry also has tags on them to help you find related lessons.

CategoryMenu– scroll down on the right and look for lessons related to your topic,such as ‘Life Science' or ‘Skills'

Enjoy the rest of your summer and best wishes for the 2018-19 school year!

FREE Periodic Table Battleship Handout

We are having a tech-free day and thought betweenTransition Metal Bingoand Periodic Table Battleship,my students will really get to know how to find elements on the Periodic Table.We are just learning William Hill轮盘about how the Periodic Table is arranged according toFamilies,how to determineShells and Valence Electrons,and how to drawBohr William Hill中文网站DiagramsandLewis Structures.Click on the links to for detailed lesson information.

I wanted a simple handout for my students to use and that was easy to manage.Most of the Periodic Table Battleship games involve expo markers and file folders,but that is time consuming to set up and clean up.Using this handout,they can use two different colored highlighters,crayons,colored pencils, keep track of their boat placement,hits,and misses.I have ‘privacy screens' that we use during tests and quizzes that they can use to keep their papers hidden from their opponent.

Periodic Table Battleship Handout 2018 (1)Periodic Table Battleship Handout 2018 Color

Metric Ruler – Guided Practice for cm & mm

Ruler Practice (Student Copy)



I use this activity as a guided review of reading metric measurements in cm and mm.Each student receives one metric measurement,you can laminate and hand out individual task cards to students,or simply print and cut apart so that students can write on each card as well.

As the measurement is projected on the board,the student with that task card will come up to the board and draw a line on the ruler for to represent that measurement,and add the value.Each student will mark the measurement on their own handout as well.Advance to the next slide,and a new student will add their value to the ruler.Continue until all students have added their values to the ruler,

Making Predictions

Here is a simple experiment to incorporate making predictions and reading graduated cylinders.I have two 1-Liter graduated cylinders set up,one in a glass cylinder with blue food coloring and one in a plastic graduated cylinder with green food coloring.

I filled both with water a few days before the start of school and an equal amount of drops of food coloring.Students will make predictions on small post-it notes and place it on the drawing of a large graduated cylinder.Where do they think the water level will be at the end of school?Will it evaporate before school ends?By what date?

I will also have them come up with factors that affect the rate of evaporation on larger post-it notes.What affects evaporation?Will the air in our classroom be drier in the Winter when the heat is on?Is our classroom humid now since it is warm out?

I will post their predictions and questions next week.At the start of the month,I will also post the volume so they can see the evaporation rates over time.


D & T Activity Updated for 2016

New for 2016 – to see the older version with additional lesson details,please visit mypostfrom last year.

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Before starting the activity,I set the stage that they are a group of archeologists and have discovered an ancient tablet at an archeological dig site.Unfortunately, the tablet is broken and as they excavate,they only find a few pieces at a time.What does the ancient table say?Scientists all over the world try to decipher the ancient text…


  • Original Worksheet: (pdf)
  • Worksheet to compare posters (Google Doc)
  • Words to cut apart (pdf) – this year I removed the word "bone" to change it up a little
  • construction paper
  • white paper cut into 1/4ths or small index cards
  • glue sticks
  • colored pencils

This year,I wanted to try something different for this lesson.Instead of seeing how close each group came to the original phrase that was on the "tablet",I wanted each group to analyze the findings from the other groups to compare their findings and look for similarities and differences.This would be similar to a gallery walk (see video below) but without students explaining their posters,they would view posters at their own pace and choose any 3 posters to compare for each category.

Note – this lesson plan is a modification of the original lesson plan fromThe University of California Museum of Paleontology(link)

Updated: Dunkin' for Density using Google Sheets

Updated 2018 –Spreadsheet that will graph 20 trials,along with the Density of Water

Purpose: Change the density of the film canister so that 97-99% of the canister is suspending under water (very SLOWLY floating from the bottom to the top of the tank).

chart (1).png
Dunkin' for Density 2018


  • Film canisters with secure lids – one per student
  • small objects of different masses – pebbles,pennies,etc…
  • lunch tray to hold materials for each group of students
  • deep enough ‘tank' and a spoon to fish items out
  • Triple Beam Balance
  • Towels
  • Google Sheets: Dunkin' for Density Spreadsheet 2018
  • Google Doc Public Link– Student worksheet and directions

Set up hints – students prep items at their table then come up to the tank.After dunking,dry off with towels (I just drop it onto a thick folded up towel next to the tank).I have a bank of TBBs set up on the side of the classroom – students find the mass on their assigned TBBs then record results.Repeat trials.Towards the end of class,students enter all their data into the spreadsheet then I give them the volume of their film canister.Depending on the type of film canister,the volumes are William Hill轮盘about 39-41 mL.Confirm with a large graduated cylinder or water displacement tank.


For more details William Hill轮盘about this activity,please see my original post.If you have used this lesson with your students,please let me know,you can post it on my Twitter feed@MSScienceBlog