The Science School Yard: October 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Camping Trip Engineering Fun!

We are in the middle of a weather unit. We have made pinwheels, anemometers, wind vanes, wind gauges, and more! The words are hard and the kids like that, but it was definitely time to do an engineering activity. I took a look at the NGSS science standards based on weather and climate. Low and behold I found a great kindergarten NGSS standard based on asking a question to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.

We started off by setting up for our camping trip. We read an EPICs book about camping and discussed what you have to pack and do once you get to a campsite. I then send the campers to different tables to set up a site. I give them a little time to gather materials on my supply table and outside in our school garden.

As they are working I announce loudly, "Weather Alert! Weather Alert! Please view your television for further information!" I give them a picture of a television with their city and a severe weather condition. From heat wave to flood...hurricane to wind storm they needed to adjust their site to now deal with the new forecast of severe weather. I added water to the flood tray....a lamp for heat wave...a fan at the wind sites...snow (cotton balls) to add to the mood!

Here are the results...





Our students then presented to the group their campsite so that we could see how they would survive severe weather. This activity was a great success! Here is their sheet we used...Enjoy!

Here is the   Weather and Camping Engineering Sheet for you!!!




Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What's Up Doc? Carrots!!!!


Our kindergartners are finishing up their senses activities. Why not use our school garden to teach all five senses! We used our five senses by picking carrots! We looked at the tops...then the bottoms! We felt them before and after we pulled them out of the ground. We smelled the fresh carrots and tried to describe the smell carrots have. They smell "carroty". We crunched them and they tasted sweet and yummy! I love the discoveries that were made!

1. Plant's leaves help us figure out what each plant is!
2. Even when the leaves are the same size, the carrots can be very different sizes.
3. Carrots are a root.
4. We eat the orange part and it grew under the ground.
5. We love pulling carrots out of the ground...it makes us laugh...smile...and squeal!
I love the smiles on their faces when they pull the carrots out of the ground! It's a big one!

And the winner of the biggest carrot of the day goes to these two gardeners!

We taught leaf structure...take a look at those leaves...it is a ground cherry plant. He pulled it out and looked for orange by the roots...weren't there. What a great teachable moment!

We went inside to write down our five senses reflections. How do carrots feel...smell...look...sound...taste?

Here are the carrots that they picked. After each kindergarten class is done...they will be shared in our lunchroom!

Our school garden helps each and every student grow! Here is the sheet we used to reflect on our activity! I thought I would help you plant a seed!

Carrots and Our Five Senses Freebie

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Lifeboat Engineering Challenge

This week, after learning about the Titanic...we did our FOSS lifeboat lesson. Why do we start it off with the Titanic? To make history connections with science and make it meaningful to why we are making lifeboats in science.

The book we read is from Epic books, but before the kiddos come in I meet them at the door and have them each pick a steering ticket. When they come in they go to a lifeboat that is numbered. The closest boats to me are first class, then second, and then finally third class.

We use the book to share the background. The students get an idea as to what happened and how the lifeboats were used or not used. Then, we use the video to continue the importance of why we are learning about lifeboats!
Now...time to build our lifeboats. We create a harbor for all of the boats that are created. Each table group is a Boat Company who has a company name. When their FOSS sheet is done, they can work on the engineering project!

I then prep them for the engineering part...I am a rich entrepenuer who has a business where we give boat tours. For every person that buys a ticket...I make MONEY! So, I want to comission each company to build me a boat that would fit the most passengers on it...capacity! The winning boat company will earn 100 Grand! (a candy bar!)

Here are some pictures of the events in class...

Using Tier 3 vocabulary words to get students more excited about making FOSS lifeboats helps them build experiences! Check out the boats in the harbor. We have a fleet of boats ready to go!

Students work as a team to finish their FOSS activity and graph...once done they get to engineer a boat for me (a rich business owner who wants to invest in a tourist cruise line. I would charge $100 dollars a ticket...so the more the tourists the more I will make!)
                             
Each group got only one piece of aluminum foil. The key to each getting paid $100,000 was that more tourists must fit in their boat compared to any other boat company! (100 Grand Candy Bar...FYI)

 Here is our Lifeboat Reflection Sheet Freebie that we used to wrap up our activity!
Happy Sailing!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Currently October...Pumpkins!

Hello, October! I do love fall. I love the warm days and cool nights...beautiful fall leaves...and campfires with s'mores...pumpkin carving and oh, yea...pumpkin pie! Let's not forget though...a great linky!

Currently...I am linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

Currently...I am laying on the couch...trying to feel better. Every year, I get laryngitis, I doctored it all week, I didn't get it...but I got a cold instead. Yikes. All those little germs floating around. It sure is nice though to have a quiet night then to get ready for my presentation tomorrow!

I am headed to Green Bay to present to teachers at a Nature Convention. I am sharing a ton of ideas on how teachers can make science simple through bringing the outdoors in when it's cold, or using the outdoors with students to tie in science concepts! I am packed an pretty ready to go...

I spent my extra prep this week...our firsties went to our school forest for outdoor nature fun...by getting ready for the presentation. So, now Sunday looks like prepping for a busy week next week! Engineering boats for 5th graders...Using motors in 4th...learning about the scratch test in 3rd along with digging up fossils...2nd graders are learning about weather and clouds...1st graders are doing bird beak adaptation stations...and kinders are working with their sense of smell! I have this!

Have a great October! Wish me luck on my nature presentation!