I tell visitors all the time that watching students develop their passions through high school is one of the greatest blessings for teachers at a PK through 12 school. One of my passions has always been dance. My daughter was a competitive dancer, and I danced in high school and college dance teams. I was even certified to teach Christian hip-hop two summers ago through Shazzy Fitness!
This year, I am assisting the coach of the Tigerettes, the King’s Ridge varsity dance team. What a great group of talented girls!
My fourth grade scientists completed their sound investigations. Last week, we created a variety of sound effects and learned how to use stethoscopes and tuning forks. I also demonstrated how to make speakers for your iPhone with a paper towel tube and cups. Click here for directions.
We began this lab by creating music. As we poured varying amounts of water into goblets, the pitch changed. We could also see vibrations in the water. Click here to watch a musician play Tchaikovsky with glasses.
How do you make individual musical notes with palm pipes? Click here to learn more. Click here to watch us play.
Paper cup phones are an excellent way to demonstrate how sound waves travel. Our partners whispered questions into the cups and we could hear them! Click here to watch an informative video.
We completed lab by cutting the end of a straw in the shape of a reed. As we blew into the straw and slowly cut off the end of the straw, the pitch changed. Click here to see how. Hmmm, do you see a connection between the palm pipes and the straws?
Click here to watch one of my scientists.
Love that you can do most of these investigations at home! Try changing a variable. For example, when constructing the whisper phones, try different cups (Styrofoam, plastic, or paper) or vary the length of the string.
All living things make more of their own kind. My kindergarten scientists learned that a seed contains a baby plant and that flowers make seeds. Sometimes a fruit forms around the seeds. We also looked at the life cycle of pumpkin plants.
We learned that plants need water, sunlight, air, and soil to grow. Then we planted pumpkin seeds. We poured water on the seeds to soften the seed coats. How long will it be before they sprout? My biologists hope it will be on Halloween!
Let’s look inside a pumpkin. What will this pumpkin look like next week? What will happen to the pumpkin if we put it in the woods?
My scientists used fruit to further investigate sink and float. Why do some fruits sink while others float?
Wow, look at these plants that second grade planted go! Soup beans are on the left and pumpkin vines are on the right.
The bean plants are weaving themselves in and out of the blinds.
The tendrils on the pumpkin vine are wrapping around the string.
Sunflower plants are reaching toward the sun and the cornstalks are growing to the right of them.
The sweet potatoes have grown roots and vines. We’re hoping our avocado pit will sprout.
I always capture the best photos of our lab Frogs (Jaba, Yoda, and Luke) right after I clean their habitat.
A full stomach, a clean habitat, and a leaf upon which to rest his head- sweet dreams!
Most plants make their own food in a process called photosynthesis. Venus flytraps and pitcher plants are carnivorous plants which means they are meat-eating. They need insects to provide the nutrients the soil does not provide. I brought in carnivorous plants for my scientists to observe. Click here to learn more about carnivorous plants in this informative video.
Decomposing Insects Inside a Pitcher
Fourth graders continued their study of light in this lab. We began lab by using a slinky to demonstrate how compression (longitudinal) waves move energy.
Why does the stick look bent in the water? We also investigated an arrow reverse and the word won become the word now when we placed them behind a jar and added water.
How does your reflection change in the concave/convex mirrors?
We placed a penny under the Mason jar. Why did the penny disappear when we poured water from the beaker into the jar? Click here for more information.
Click here to watch how we used the Plasma Ball to light up fluorescent bulbs and an energy stick. Fascinating!
Periscopes and kaleidoscopes work with light and mirrors, like our microscopes. The root word, scope, means to see and “peri” means around. The kaleidoscope was invented by the Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster in 1816.
I also demonstrated how an overhead projector uses light and I shared this mini projector I found in the toy section of Walmart.
What a fun and exhausting two days! Spending time with your children was a blessing and I was so proud of our fourth graders. I watched them be bold and courageous and persevere when they were afraid! They felt such a sense of accomplishment after they crawled through the caves and completed the ropes course. Even traveling to another state and sleeping in a cabin in the woods was something many of them had never done without their parents. As their science teacher, I was excited to see our students connect with nature and realize the joy of being outside. I know I feel closest to God when I am there.