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Phenomenon for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) 1-LS3-1

 Posted by on March 10, 2020  Phenomenon Ideas  Comments Off on Phenomenon for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) 1-LS3-1
Mar 102020
 
Phenomenon for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) 1-LS3-1

1-LS3-1 Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. If you are teaching the Next Generation Science Standards and are looking for phenomena ideas, you’ve come to the right place! I like to think about phenomena as lesson starters. They are photos or videos showing an observable event in the universe and are used to get kids thinking, asking questions, and discussing their prior knowledge. For more information about using phenomena, there is a handy printable guide and video → read more

Leveled Texts

 Posted by on February 26, 2020  Reading Resources, Science Resources  Comments Off on Leveled Texts
Feb 262020
 
Leveled Texts

In my second year of teaching fourth grade, my science curriculum had a unit on plants. In an effort to integrate my English Language Arts and Science instruction, I wanted my students to read an informational text about plants during our small group guided reading time (In our district, guided reading was a time when students with similar reading abilities met in small groups to read and discuss a leveled book and receive more individualized reading instruction.) So, I headed down to our guided reading library intent on finding a leveled text about plants for each of my guided reading → read more

Get to Know the StarrMatica Team: Sarah Wassner Flynn

 Posted by on February 26, 2020  Behind the Scenes of StarrMatica  Comments Off on Get to Know the StarrMatica Team: Sarah Wassner Flynn
Feb 262020
 
Get to Know the StarrMatica Team:  Sarah Wassner Flynn

Hi! I’m Sarah and I am a writer for StarrMatica. Writing for kids is a passion of mine I developed at my first job out of college with National Geographic KIDS magazine. Prior to that point, I had visions of working for a fashion magazine. But I soon realized writing for a younger audience and sharing stories about the world with them is really fulfilling. I soon forgot my fashion dreams. After National Geographic, I did a stint at a couple of magazines in NYC, including CosmoGirl!, a spin-off of the (much more) grown up Cosmopolitan magazine. Transitioning from writing → read more

Phenomenon for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) – 4-PS3-1

 Posted by on February 12, 2020  Phenomenon Ideas  Comments Off on Phenomenon for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) – 4-PS3-1
Feb 122020
 
Phenomenon for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) - 4-PS3-1

4-PS3-1 Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. If you are teaching the Next Generation Science Standards and are looking for phenomena ideas, you’ve come to the right place! I like to think about phenomena as lesson starters. They are photos or videos showing an observable event in the universe and are used to get kids thinking, asking questions, and discussing their prior knowledge. For more information about using phenomena, there is a handy printable guide and video here: https://www.nextgenscience.org/resources/phenomena And now, on to our penguin phenomenon! Did you → read more

Get to Know the StarrMatica Team: Shannon Mc Elroy

 Posted by on January 24, 2020  Behind the Scenes of StarrMatica  Comments Off on Get to Know the StarrMatica Team: Shannon Mc Elroy
Jan 242020
 
Get to Know the StarrMatica Team: Shannon Mc Elroy

Since StarrMatica is a teacher-owned company, we would like to introduce one of our team members whose commitment to educational texts helps to make us who we are today. Shannon McElroy is one of our writers who creates comprehension supports and Common Core aligned questions for StarrMatica Texts:  Science Your Way and for StarrMatica Texts: Social Studies Your Way. Shannon has a history of writing stories, informational texts, assessment items and learning support materials for kindergarten through college-level students. She loves it all. Creating content for a wide age range keeps her engaged year after year, as well as toggling between Language Arts → read more

StarrMatica Texts: Science Your Way

 Posted by on January 15, 2020  Behind the Scenes of StarrMatica, Science Resources  Comments Off on StarrMatica Texts: Science Your Way
Jan 152020
 
StarrMatica Texts:  Science Your Way

My favorite movie of all time is “The Wizard of Oz.”  As a little girl, I used to dress up like Dorothy and watch a VHS tape of the movie my parents recorded when it aired on television.  If you’ve seen the movie, you know that near the end, Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal the Great and Powerful Oz is simply one man with a lot of ingenuity.  Since StarrMatica is a teacher-owned company nowhere near the size of a large publishing house, you might suspect a wizard behind the curtain scenario.  So, I am writing this post → read more

Did You Know? Fun Facts for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) – 3-PS2-3

 Posted by on January 8, 2020  Phenomenon Ideas  Comments Off on Did You Know? Fun Facts for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) – 3-PS2-3
Jan 082020
 
Did You Know?  Fun Facts for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) - 3-PS2-3

3-PS2-3 Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other. As we create informational texts for each of the Next Generation Science Standards, there are tons of amazing, interesting, and just plain weird facts we are learning. I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you, so this is the first in a series of posts that tell interesting science facts! Magnets are also used to protect the health of animals and keep our food safe. Cows that are bred for their meat → read more

Why is Informational Text Reading Comprehension Important?

 Posted by on December 23, 2019  Behind the Scenes of StarrMatica, Content Recommendations, Reading Resources, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Why is Informational Text Reading Comprehension Important?
Dec 232019
 
Why is Informational Text Reading Comprehension Important?

It sounds like a silly question if you are a teacher.  We know students need to understand what they read, but maybe you haven’t stopped to really think about the question in awhile.  It may seem counterintuitive, but just because your students read fluently doesn’t mean they understand what they read.  This is a dangerous pitfall, because if we hear a student reading fluently, we often assume they are a good reader. Assessing reading comprehension is further complicated when students who are able to comprehend fiction passages, may not be comprehend informational texts. Literary passages simply do not require the → read more

Meet Emily Starr

 Posted by on November 26, 2019  Behind the Scenes of StarrMatica  Comments Off on Meet Emily Starr
Nov 262019
 
Meet Emily Starr

There is never enough time!  As a fourth-grade teacher, I felt the time squeeze every day in my classroom; not enough time to prepare meaningful lessons, not enough time to teach and not enough time to address individual student needs.  Five years into teaching, I was at the point of thinking, “Enough is enough!”  If you are a teacher, I’m sure you’ve had this feeling at some point.   My particular tipping point came one day in 2004.  I was handed a projector and asked to use it in my classroom.  My excitement to use technology quickly turned to dismay as → read more

Maps Digital Content

 Posted by on January 17, 2018  Content Recommendations, Social Studies Resources  Comments Off on Maps Digital Content
Jan 172018
 
Maps Digital Content

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to use social studies manipulatives to foster concept development. Map Maker Interactive Create a customized map! Zoom in to a chosen area of the United States. Then select the features you would like to see represented by checking and unchecking boxes. It includes a point tool, line tool, ruler, and icon set. Landscapes Map Skills Click on each of the four map skills (compass skills, grid references, symbols and keys, scale) to learn about them and practice what you have learned.   Adventure Island Learn how → read more