February 29

Penny Lab

In honor of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, kindergarten scientists learned about the history of the penny and how coins are minted. Click here to watch a video. Then we used hand lenses to observe the pictures, words, and dates on our pennies.

Oxidation causes pennies to tarnish. Oxidation also occurs when metals rust and apples turn brown. We tried cleaning pennies with soap and water with no success. Then we mixed vinegar (a weak acid) and salt together. Our pennies were bright again. Click here to learn more about this investigation.

I rinsed off the salt and vinegar solution from some of our pennies, but I left it on others. What do you observe? Why are the pennies green? The Statue of Liberty is green for the same reason- oxidation and acid rain. Click here to learn more about the Statue of Liberty.

Before our next investigation, we practiced using a pipette. It works like an eye dropper.

I explained that water molecules like to cling to each other and introduced the concepts of surface tension and cohesion. I asked my scientists to hypothesize how many drops of water they thought could fit on the surface of a penny. Most thought the number would be between two and ten. They were amazed when they were able to fit between 20 and 40 drops on their pennies. It didn’t take long for one of my scientists to notice that a water bubble (or dome) formed on top his penny.

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February 14

Happy Valentines Day!

I said a prayer for you today
And know God must have heard.
I felt the answer in my heart
Although he spoke no word.
I didn’t ask for wealth or fame
(I knew you wouldn’t mind.)
I asked him to send treasures of a far more lasting kind!
I asked that he be near you
At the start of each new day,
To grant you health and blessings
And friends to share your way!
I asked for happiness for you
In all things great and small
But it was for his loving care
I prayed for most of all!

Author Unknown

February 4


After reviewing the characteristics of fish, third grade biologists learned about the cichlids that live in the hallway aquarium. Cichlids are freshwater fish from Lake Malawi in Africa. The fish like to hide in crevices and caves in their rocky habitat. African cichlids are known for their beautiful patterns and array of colors that are not typical to most freshwater fish. Males are territorial and the largest, most colorful males are the dominant fish in the tank. The females are mouth brooders. They incubate their eggs in their mouths for three weeks. They are easy to breed and we often have young fish in this tank.

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