The Science School Yard: Last Week Lessons

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Last Week Lessons

To wrap up our school year, I am planning science lessons with some themes in mind. My first one that I worked on is the 5th graders. I wanted to send them to middle school knowing that they have great POTENTIAL! What better then to tie our simple machines unit to our roller coaster after school unit. This time, I shared with them the definitions of kinetic and potential energy. I gave them blocks, plates, tape, scissors, and a well as their potential to build great things. We are awarding prizes for longest, tallest, fastest, workable... Here is a start of our roller coaster challenge...
Using blocks to build a tall roller coaster...

Using blocks to slow the passengers down...

Better yet...teamwork to get the job done!

Our third graders have finished their sound unit, so I am working on renewable, non-renewable, and alternative energy. We are building solar ovens out of pizza boxes next week. This week a little background. 
I included my sheets on a previous post. 

Our 2nd graders are learning about biodiversity. Yes, I used a little video to set up the vocabulary, but who doesn't love Bill Nye???
We followed it up with an activity sheet from my plant unit on habitats. The kids are really showing that they know what an ecosystem is, what habitat is, and even what biodiversity means. We then went outside to see the biodiversity in our school garden. 

Firsties are learning about ants. We make a chart to show what ants need, are, can...we follow it up with a bit of Ms. Frizzle....
We then start to think of the point of view of the ant. We go outside in the garden to check out the ants living in our garden habitat. We watch for foragers and guards, and how they do their jobs. We follow up with a sheet I found, check it this great post and freebie from Fall Into First. I love the little art project that goes with it and love to read the book Thinking About Ants by Barbara Brenner. It really shows point of view. 

Kindergartners are counting in the garden as well as planting a rainbow of swiss chard seeds. These little ones love planting and being outside...who doesn't?  First we read the book Counting in The Garden followed by us counting what we see outside. We saw 1 green strawberry! Two yellow flowers on our zucchini, Nine cabbage plants! Four tomato plants! We added and subtracted for a fun math lesson outside. 
Let's plant swiss chard! One seed, two seeds, three....

Seeds are different and the same! This pea seed is round and big compared to our swiss chard seed! We are looking forward to counting and eating red, orange, yellow, white, and purple swiss chard!

We are counting down people...snow has kept us here until next Thursday. I see an end in sight, but I know just as well as you us teachers don't stop do we? We are planning, reading, taking classes and so much more! Enjoy your break!

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