Friday, September 28, 2012

Some of This Week's Science Highlights

This week, first graders are learning about amphibians. We read about frogs, played a game to recognize different amphibians called frog, toad, or salamander and we made life cycle wheels.
Third graders this week are geologists. They each got a mock rock to observe and next week they will be breaking their rocks down to see what minerals are present. 3rd graders are able to bring in rocks to share with our science class next week. They can bring them in an egg carton or shoe box for safe keeping. Rock on...3rd graders.

Fourth graders are learning how to set up a controlled experiement to answer the "big idea"...What happens to the strength of the attraction between two magnets as the distance between them increase? Ask your 4th grader what happened when we added spacer and washers to our scale.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This Week In Review...

This week our first graders learned about another mammal...the bat. It is the only mammal that has wings and can fly. We read Stellaluna and learned the similarities and  differences between bats and birds. We created a poster to remind us. We labeled the different parts of a bat and learned that bats just like humans breath air, grow hair or fur, give live birth, feed their babies milk, and can eat plants and meat.

The 2nd graders conducted experiments to see that air is matter, takes up space, and can be captured. We finished making our books about air that reminded us that air is something real and is called matter, air takes up space, and air interacts with objects. We will continue to experiment with our vials and water as well as learn about air resistance. Parachutes, anyone?

3rd graders finished up our review of the metric system by participating in the Metric Olympics. They measured in centimeters by estimating and measuring their own feet in the Big Foot Race. They also measured using meter sticks with the plastic straw javelin throw. We also reviewed measuring in grams by measuring the right-handed marble grab again estimating what weight we thought it might be then measuring. Our final event was the left-handed sponge squeeze which had the students measuring in milliliters. Students were awarded ribbons by being the best estimators between the actual and estimated numbers. Next week... mock rocks.

4th graders learned that magnetism can be induced only if iron or steel created induced magnetism. We took our magnets and used our iron nail to show how our iron nail could be a temporary magnet and pick up other iron objects. We also tested the magnetic force as it acted through space and most materials. We will be conducting experiments to see how the force decreases as the distance increases.

5th graders continue to conduct controlled experiments with only one variable. We tested release point and number of pennies on our pendulum. We found that it really didn't change the results too much. We created new swinger systems at different lengths that we will test this next week. We will also use coordinate graphs to display our results.

Fifth Grade Variables Review

We will be taking a quiz the last week of September. Here is what you need to study for in order to be prepared...

Science quiz #1    Variables


What they need to study/know for the quiz:


Vocabulary:  variable, pendulum,  cycle, standard


What variables have we identified  that might affect the outcome of the number of cycles the pendulum makes in 15 sec. ?


Examples of a pendulum.  ( I want at least two)


Monday, September 10, 2012

This Week In Review...

First graders learned about mammals this week. They met Molly Mink. She has hair, eats meat and plants, is warm blooded, feeds her babies milk, and breaths air. We played a mammal game: guess the mammal and read a book called Is a Camel a Mammal. We finished up by creating our own paper plate mammals for display in our room. Reminding us that we too, are mammals.

2nd graders learned about air this week. They learned that air takes up space and can move things. We used balloons, feathers, balls, and straws to experiment with air.

3rd graders started learning about the metric system in order to know how to measure when we start our rock unit in two weeks. We learned how to use tools such as a meter stick and a scale to measure in centimeters and grams. Next week, we will be able to see what we remember as we participate in the metric olympics.

4th graders started their first unit by studying the magnet. They tested what objects in our bags attracted magnets. We determined that iron or steel were the only metals that magnets were attracted to. We hunted around the room to see if we could detect any objects that were made of iron or steel. We finished up our time with our talk of repelling and attracting.

5th graders learned about what a variable is. They created a swinger system or pendulum to see if we could determine what effects the number of swings in 15 seconds. We went through the scientific process to predict what will happen next week when we change the variables such as string length and weight.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Science is Everywhere!

From dancing raisins to exploring the great outdoors, young scientists at Jefferson and Stettin were  hard at work during our Science time together. First and Second graders listened to the book What is Science, shared what science means to them in pictures and explored the world around them. Whether it be shells or pond water they certainly were excited to discover.

Our older scientists conducted their first experiment. We learned the scientific process as well. We learned we need to always ask a "big question" so that we know what we want to answer during our experiment. This week we asked the "big question": what will happen when raisins are dropped in a cup of Sierra Mist? We formed a hypothesis: from it will explode to it will sink or float, we even predicted it might be confused. We then conducted our experiment to find that CO2 molecules in the soda, attach to the raisins causing the raisin to be less dense than soda bringing the raisin to the top until the bubbles pop, causing the raisin to sink again. We drew  a picture and labeled what we saw as well as recorded our findings. We discussed how scientist must always take careful notes and even draw diagrams to help process their findings.

Next week, we start our first units for quarter one. I am looking forward to working with my young scientists as they discover that Science is all around them.