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Science Notebooks

Science Notebooks

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including calculators, microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, prisms, mirrors, pan balances, triple beam balances, spring scales, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter sticks, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

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Essential Understanding

The student knows how to use a variety of tools, materials and methods to conduct science inquiry.

Science Background

Science Notebooks: Lawrence Hall of Science/FOSS (PDF) - Resource guide to science notebooks that provides strategies for incorporating notebooks into inquiry based science activities for grades K-6.

Science Notebooks
Lawrence Hall of Science/FOSS,

Science Notebooks: Alaska Seas and Rivers Curriculum (website) - Explains the benefits of science notebooks for both teachers and students, and provides tips about setting up and organizing science notebooks, as well as the kinds of information to include in a science notebook.

Science Notebooks
Alaska Seas and Rivers Curriculum,

Signature Lesson

Science Notebooks: Science Notebooks in K12 Classrooms (PDF) - This activity demonstrates the value of science notebooks, and helps students set up their own notebooks to collect, record and analyze data from their own investigations.

Science Notebooks
Science Notebooks in K12 Classrooms,

Supporting Lessons

The Science Journal: Science Lines (website) - Students use a variety of strategies to develop and improve their science journaling skills, and understand the importance/value of science notebooks.

The Science Journal
Science Lines,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Using Description to Write in Science: Utah Education Network (website) - Lesson integrates language arts skills, particularly descriptive writing, into a science lesson.

Using Description to Write in Science
Utah Education Network,

Assessment Ideas

Primary Science Rubric: Science Notebooks in K12 Classrooms (PDF) - This simple rubric uses a scale from 1-3 to help you evaluate the science content, table of contents, scientific drawings and daily entries in students’ science notebooks.

Primary Science Rubric
Science Notebooks in K12 Classrooms,

Literature Connections

Inventions: My Science Notebook. Podesto, M. (ISBN-13: 978-0836892147)

The Moon: My Science Notebook. Podesto, M. (ISBN-13: 978-0836892154)

The Body: My Science Notebook. Podesto, M. (ISBN-13: 978-0836892123)

Related Science TEKS

(5.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to demonstrate safe practices and the use of safety equipment as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations.

(5.1B) Recycling/Disposal of Science Materials
The student is expected to make informed choices in the conservation, disposal, and recycling of materials.

(5.2A) Design/Conduct Experiment with One Variable
The student is expected describe, plan, and implement simple experimental investigations testing one variable.

(5.2B) Ask Questions, Formulate a Hypothesis
The student is expected to ask well-defined questions, formulate testable hypotheses, and select and use appropriate equipment and technology.

(5.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect information by detailed observations and accurate measuring.

(5.2D) Analyze Evidence and Explain
The student is expected analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations from direct (observable) and indirect (inferred) evidence.

(5.2F) Communicate Conclusions
The student is expected communicate valid conclusions in both written and verbal forms.

(5.2G) Graphs, Tables, Charts
The student is expected construct appropriate simple graphs, tables, maps, and charts using technology, including computers, to organize, examine, and evaluate information.

Related Math TEKS

5.12B    The student is expected to use experimental results to make predictions.

5.14D    The student is expected to use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.

5.15A The student is expected to explain and record observations using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

Additional Resources

FAQs on Science Notebooks: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PDF) - Educators naturally have many questions when using science notebooks for the first time. This document provides answers and includes suggestions for overcoming common barriers when introducing notebooks to your class.

FAQs on Science Notebooks
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,

Science Notebooks in K-12 Classrooms: Science (website) - Science notebooks can improve students’ science understanding, while also enhancing their reading, writing, mathematics and communications skills. This site provides examples of student work from science notebooks and tips for using science notebooks in your class

Science Notebooks in K-12 Classrooms

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