After learning the difference between convex and concave, we noticed that our reflection was upside down on the concave side of a spoon and right side up on the convex side. Then we investigated mirascopes. The Mirascope uses two concave, parabolic mirrors, to create a holographic image. The images look completely real- but you can’t touch them! A small object placed on the bottom appears to be on top, but you can put your finger through it. My scientists had fun trying a variety of small objects. Click here for more information.
We investigated iridescence with centripetal spinners. Click here to learn more.
My PreK scientists began lab with a lesson about camouflage. Then we played a camouflage game in which they had to search for paper lizards around the science lab. We experienced how difficult it is to find an animal on an object that is the same color.
Play this game at home. Use camouflage to hide objects (Legos, stuffed animals, or small toys) around your home.
Click here to watch a movie about camouflage with your child. We did not watch this during lab.
Can you find Luke, our tree frog?
We also met our new millipedes- Lily, Millie, and Jilly. See a previous post for more information about these interesting creatures!
To support kindergarten’s unit about the farm, this lab focused on corn. We learned the parts of a corn plant (leaf, stalk, and tassel) and the parts of an ear of corn (husk, cob, kernel, and silk). We scraped the kernels off the cob and broke a cob in half to see what was inside.
Then we “planted” corn kernels in a see-through pot. How long will it be before they sprout?
When I went to the National Science Conference last spring, I participated in a Bug Chicks workshop. After holding a millipede, I decided I wanted some for the lab. These female entomologists recommend ordering insects and arachnids from Bugs In Cyberspace. Our three American millipedes arrived in the mail from Oregon this week. Fourth graders were the first to meet Lily, Millie, and Jilly.
Each class will learn about the body parts, life cycle, and habitat of millipedes. We also learned the difference between centipedes and millipedes. Centipedes are unsafe to handle.
Love my doc camera!
Click here to watch an interesting video about desert centipedes and millipedes.
Second grade botanists focused on leaves during this lab. We identified the parts of a leaf- midrib, petiole, and veins. We categorized compound and simple leaves and grouped leaves by their edges- smooth, toothed, or lobed. Then, we looked at the veins and observed several different patterns. Finally, we used this information to draw the other side of a leaf using symmetry. It was a fun way to integrate science, art, and math and a meaningful way to develop observation skills.
My second grade botanists will learn the different ways a new plant begins- bulbs, cuttings, and seeds. (More information will be coming in future posts about some of these investigations.) Check out this strawberry begonia “raining” babies!
Have your child buy a plant to care for in his/her room.
Fall is the perfect time of year to plant perennials and trees.
Find and compare seeds from the fruits and vegetables you eat at home.
Plant bulbs that will bloom next spring.
Go for a nature walk in the woods. Look for plants that are deciduous and evergreen.
Collect leaves and sort them by their edges- lobed, toothed, and smooth.
Look for the different parts of plants that you eat during meals:
seeds-rice, corn, nuts, beans
roots- carrots, radishes
leaves- lettuce, spinach, basil
flowers- broccoli, cauliflower
For two days now, we have had a group of six visiting mallard ducks in the pond behind school. Percy, our silver appleyard duck who was hatched in the science lab, immediately joined them. He wouldn’t leave the visitors today when I came to feed him. I think he has been lonely since his mate disappeared about a month ago. Could these ducks have flown in from North Carolina to escape the hurricane? What a great Atlanta welcome he has given them!