The Science School Yard: October 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Day Fun

How much did we have today! My after school class celebrated pumpkin day for our harvest of the month festival. We used some great resources from Mrs. Ricci's Kindergarten! We also read The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons.

after doing a sequence activity and singing a song. Love this video!
Now, after reading the book and singing a song and even doing our sequence activity, we watched this great time lapsed video to watch the sequence in action.

We used this sheet for a cute book.
 Here is my little cousin in our after school class. You go Alli. Pumpkin Day rocks!

 Do pumpkins float or sink? Our little kiddos predicted, all said sink. We started with a small floated. We put a medium pumpkin in the sink, it floated. Then, we put the big pumpkin in the sink, it overflowed and floated! The kids were amazed. We discussed why they float. We then cup open one of our pumpkins and it was HOLLOW! They got it!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spooky Science

I am using these stations with my enrichment group this week and my after school class for my intermediate kiddos. Check it out.

We Flip for FOSS Catapults

Soooo, I was thinking. How can we make the FOSS lessons extend to really get our olders connected. How about frontloading the idea of medieval  catapults? I am giving my fifth graders a piece of tag board this week and as a team they must decorate the sheet to look like a castle. I am then sharing the following sites with them.

And a video of a catapult at Warwick Castle. Short and sweet.

After the students build there flipper system and you have them read about the physics behind the catapult, have them try to get them to get the silver ball over the castle they built. This will help them connect history to science! Or if you want to share another type of catapult at a circus perhaps, then this one may be the one for you.

Either way, this will help our 5th graders understand the flipper system a bit better. I sent along a tag board paper that each group is making that they will make into a castle. We will place the castles around the room and after we practiced the height and distance and recorded we will then have 5 chances to make it over the wall of another groups castle. They are super excited.

Over, Under, Around, and Through

Here is a little ditty to go with our push and pull lessons for kindergarten... sung to London Bridge

Over, under, around, and through
around and through,
around and through.
Over, under, around, and through...
now look behind you.

Looking left and looking right,
left and right
left and right
Looking left and looking right,
now sit down.

Here is a great book that works for our littles as they learn where they are.
How about giving our kiddos a paper carrot that they can place in different locations, sharing the words on the board for them to follow...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Push and Pull Unit: Cars Move

In our conversations during in-service this last week, we as a group of 8 science teachers all have a different feeling toward our kindergartners. So, in order to make it more STEM based or get them actively engaged and still keep us going ourselves, I made this quick lesson that you could use for lesson 3, Cars Move lesson. If you are looking to teach your kiddos a lesson on fast and slow, big and small, motion, graphing and science and don't know what I mean by lesson three here it is for you my new friends. This lesson connects to FOSS balance and motion and FOSS water. 

We are going to be using hot wheel cars to test the size of the slope.

I am going to be using the cars to cut out and make into a graph for them to predict if the low or high slope will make the car go faster.

Birds Of A Feather

My colleague, Heather, had a great idea for our first graders when they are learning about birds. I thought I would put together a sheet for our kiddos as they "research" a species. The idea is to give them exposure to looking at non-fiction. Each of our kiddos would get one book about a bird. Our library seemed to have a ton to choose from. I would pick the loon. Summer at the lake, remember?  They would look at its beak and its feet to determine what it may eat and use its feet to do. They can draw a picture of their bird and share the color and even label the parts of the bird for their poster. What a great intro to research. Thanks for sharing!

bird research paper
Our firsties are doing a great job "researching" a bird. Using picture clues, reading, and then following directions!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Going On a Bear Hunt

My friends, we are starting a new unit this next week with our kinder"squirmers" that is what one of my science colleagues called them. Cute and so true. How can we make it more STEM based and keep them actively engaged for our half an hour we have with them? How about reading this book to start...

Then with our kiddos, go on your own bear hunt using a box with a stuffed bear in it. I will share my pictures MONDAY. Again, left my camera at school. Inservice got me. Give them our wonderful new direction words like: is it on top of the table? Is it under the chair? Is it Over by the door? Am I getting closer?  Once, you find your bear, have them tell you where the bear is in regards to the box. They love it. Next, hand out one of those cute plastic bears that at least one of your kindergarten teachers should have, if not I will load share my sheet on Monday, it is at school, go figure. I then have them place there bear on their own piece of paper I give them. You can then do a quick check-a-roo to see if they are understanding directions. I so want to use real gummy bears, but food allergy guidelines in our district...dicey. I am working on a STEM lesson for the book 3 Billy Goats Gruff where our littles can build a bridge to help the goats across. Did you hear that? Build as in Engineer! And how about using our yellow and red circles to build a car that can be pushed and pulled. I am on it science friends. I will keep on sharing. My oldest is home from college this I may need to wait until Monday rolls around. Have a great weekend.

          The bears are next to each other!

            The bear is under the paper.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

See You Later Alligator

We just finished learning about reptiles and have started our discussion about birds. Only having one hour a week to teach science to my kiddos, I try to read a story, do an activity or experiment, and finish off with a short craft, game, song, or writing activity in our science journals. Just a quick peek of a few things we have done with our animal unit in first grade this last week.

We made quick little gators after reading Gail Gibbons story Alligators and Crocodiles and doing our 5 little monkeys song. The kids love doing songs or chants.

Five little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Alligator can’t catch me….can’t catch me
along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
and snapped that monkey out that tree

Four little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Alligator can’t catch me….can’t catch me
along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
and snapped that monkey out that tree

Three little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Alligator can’t catch me….can’t catch me
along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
and snapped that monkey out that tree

Two little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Alligator can’t catch me….can’t catch me
along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
and snapped that monkey out that tree

One little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Alligator can’t catch me….can’t catch me
along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
and snapped that monkey out that tree

No more monkeys swinging in the tree!

We started our day with asking what they knew so far about birds. We made a huge list because their teachers have been front loading! Yea! We also made a list of birds that they knew. We know a lot of different birds. We drew our favorite in our science notebook and listed 3 things that made it a bird. Here is our class chart.

We worked with bird songs in the background! I love the loon calls, it reminds me of summer at the lake! Oh, I miss warm weather! We finished our time with a story and review today.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Leaf It To Me

It is sooo cold here in Wisconsin. I had recess duty and yikes was I coooold. I watched the leaves fall from the trees and got kind of sad. So, tonight I thought I would make something my olders in after school class could do to capture what's left of fall.

I should read this one... I will check to see how sad it is considering my son just pointed out the one leaf hanging from our maple. I think I will use this with my olders... (so I am added my comments after I read the books, oh my what a beautifully illustrated book! Love it. I used this book for both groups. Too beautiful not to!)

and this with my youngers!

Click for more information on this title

Two good choices from our school library. 
Happy Fall Y'all!

Monday, October 21, 2013

5 Senses "Rap" Up

Our cute little kindergarten kiddos are on their final week of learning about their five senses. We sang our song about our five senses sung to bingo, we make a cute chart to go along with learning to write words as a class, and we practiced writing on our own. We finished with our 5 senses book by Aliki.


We finished with  a little rap...

I see with my eyes and hear with my ears,
I've been using my senses all of my years.
I use my tongue to taste good stuff
My hands can feel things that are soft and rough,
I use my nose to sniff those smells,
I use my five senses as you can tell.

Yo, 5 senses... hear, see, smell, taste and touch,
it's now your turn to use the whole bunch.
Yo, 5 senses.

Okay, friends...remember the song I was telling you about... It goes to the tune of Bingo.
I have five senses yes I do, I use them everyday.
Ears, Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Hands,
Ears, Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Hands
Ears, Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Hands
I use them every day!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Harvest Is Over and The Garden is Bare:(

So, we dug out all of the plants in our school garden this week. It makes me sad to see it so bare. Now, I have to get creative. How can we keep the garden spirit alive. Well, for one, I get to go buy a greenhouse! Yea! Grants are great things. Then we can try to grow in the winter. (At least we can try) I am thinking lettuce, beets, carrots. I came up with another activity though to do in the winter as we start having to buy our produce from warmer places.

                                                                  Veggie Mapping

Twirly Bird Company

I needed to assess today in fifth grade so I set up a Twirly Bird Company. Our variable unit is 2/3 of the way finished so this was a great way to assess direction reading and teach a bit of a real life skill. I set it up that I hired each to work in my factory. They were set in  their own cubicle (folders up) with directions for the twirly bird. They were pretty simple, so I thought. Cut on the black lines, fold on the dotted line. Place a paper clip on the end of the twirly bird. Out of my first production line of finished twirly birds, I had 10 made correctly. Those were my employees that got promoted. I put the others on probation, at risk of being fired. 8 more were able to be successful, but I still had 6 students unable to make a twirly bird.

We wrapped up by me modeling the directions and discussing how important it is to really pay attention to the directions and details, and how important it is to have good training. Teachers everyday, try to model and show in many ways how to help our students become successful. Sometimes it takes our kiddos a little longer or another way to show them how to complete a task. Whether one day they are the boss, and need to make sure they have a
great training program, or someone who works in a factory, this lets them get an idea of real life.

Here are the twirly bird directions and sheets:)

Check The Weather and The Forecast

We are going on a "trip" today, but before we figure out where we are going we have to figure out what weather everyone likes. It is a great way to use adjectives in our science lesson. We made a book to help us know where to send everyone in case we all like different types of weather. After we filled out the sheet, we found out that we needed to send our class to 4 different locations: a sunny place, (Key West, FL) a warm place, (Myrtle Beach, SC), and a cold place, (Nome, AK). The other corner liked it rainy, so we looked up each vacation destination and determined that today it was 82 in FL, 72 in SC, and 36 in AK. My rainy friends could join their classmates in South Carolina and Alaska this next week because they seem to be getting rain. We looked at the forecast of each city and realized that we were using our meteorology skills. We used a real thermometer to test hot and cold weather and learned how to chart the temperature on a paper thermometer. Wouldn't it be nice to send some of the sun our way in Wisconsin, Saturday looks like a chance of SNOW! Yikes. This is one of those times I hope our meteorologist is wrong.

                                                      Weather or Not?

This is a great song that we used to follow up on our learning about thermometers and temperature.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Weather or Not

We are working on an  air and weather unit in 2nd grade  this quarter. This is a great song to go along with our meteorology tools that we are making.

Here is the sheet we will be working on as we build our vocabulary.
weather words

Rock On!

Our third graders are learning to become geologists in science this week. We have used our "mock" rocks to test our measurement skills, and ability to understand what properties rocks, minerals, and crystals have. We learned that the type of crystal Mrs. Heinrich added to the recipe was kosher salt. Now onto the hardness test. We are trying to determine how geologists also test minerals for hardness. We used our finger nail, a penny, and a paper clip to see which one of our minerals was the hardest. We are still trying to work on perfecting our ability to determine which mineral is harder than the other. Our I/E group will be starting a new book from Science A-Z on rocks, minerals, and soil. This is one site I found some fun activities to do for our block.

I am also using these two sheets for my review on minerals and what geologists do.
Rock On Geologists

Bean There, Done That

We tried bean and kale soup during our Garden Club Wednesday meeting. Holy moly... all but one student tried soup that had 5 types of beans, squash, celery, and kale in it. Take a look at the graph we had to extend because they loved it! Awesome!!!!! We went out to pick the rest of our kale and the kiddos took it home to share. This garden stuff really does make kids try new things! I will include the recipe for you to try yourself. Be brave, friends, veggies are good for you!

 We used this book with the little ones. It shares the process of growing a bean from seed. We sent home baggies with a bean wrapped in a paper towel and a piece of masking tape to watch them grow.

We made a graph to show what we thought of bean and kale soup. I was surprised as to how many kiddos actually liked it and even tried it. Yea! Take a look at how excited the kids are about picking kale and bringing it home! A lot of the kale didn't even make it home, they ate it right away!