August 30

Squishy Circuits- Part 2 (Second Grade)

Second grade electrical engineers created their own Squishy Circuits in lab. They applied their knowledge of simple, parallel, and series circuits. Clay, an insulator, was placed between the play-doh to prevent short circuits. Then they added switches, motors, and propellers.

Click here to watch an informative video about Squishy Circuits.

Have you watched this Ted Talk about Squishy Circuits?  Click here.

Click here to see the types of circuits we made.









August 29

Results

Yesterday, my PreK scientists placed white flowers in food coloring and water. Within the day, the colors had traveled up the stems and into the petals. I showed this to my third graders who are studying environmental science to demonstrate that what we put into the soil in gardens and farms is absorbed by the plants that we eat.

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August 28

First Grade Engineers

My first grade engineers used popsicle sticks, tongue depressors, clothespins, and 3×5 cards to create free standing structures. They applied math, science, and art concepts as they worked alone or in collaborative pairs. I observed can-do attitudes and excellent problem solving skills! We worked on balancing our structures and building strong foundations. This is also a great activity for developing fine motor skills.

Click here to watch a video about engineers and the Engineer Design Process.

August 27

Theme

The theme of the Lower School this year is “Come One, Come All to the Greatest School Year of All.” As you walk down the hallways, you will see references to a carnival or show theme on the bulletin boards outside of classrooms. One of my goals is to introduce science careers to my students, so I included photos of STEM careers on my welcome board. It is hard to see in this photo, but I added lights around the poster which I used as another demonstration of circuits to my second and third graders.

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August 22

Adopted Tree

First grade classes adopt a tree each year. They observe how the tree changes each season. These are the summer photos of their trees.


Choose a tree to adopt at home too. Identify the species of the tree. Measure the circumference of the trunk, take a rubbing of the bark, and press summer and fall leaves. Look for animals that live on or in the tree. Does the tree have seeds, fruit, or flowers? Keep a journal about your tree.

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August 22

Squishy Circuits- Part 2

Third grade electrical engineers continued their study of electricity with Squishy Circuits. They learned the difference between simple, parallel, and series circuits. Clay, an insulator, was placed between the play-doh to prevent short circuits. Then we added switches, motors, and propellers.

Click here to watch an informative video about Squishy Circuits.

Have you watched this Ted Talk about Squishy Circuits?  Click here.

Click here to see the types of circuits we made.








I added this to my light switch as a reminder that we use circuits every day!

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August 21

More First Grade Investigations

My first grade scientists used the Scientific Method in two more investigations.

What will happen if you stick a pencil in a Ziploc bag that is filled with water? Most of my scientists thought it would pop. They were surprised when the water stayed inside the bag. Even when we squeezed the bags, no water leaked around the pencils. Why? It’s all about polymers- long chains of molecules.


We added some vegetable oil to a glass of water. Why don’t they mix? My scientists recalled our discussions about density from last year. Then we dropped food coloring in the oil, observed changes, and finally sprinkled salt of top. Wow!




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