August 23

Syringes and Color

Last week, kindergarten chemists used pipettes to learn about the properties of air and water. (See previous post.) When we dropped the water on foil and wax paper, the water droplets clung together and remained on top of both materials. The children noticed that the water droplets formed what appeared to be a half bubble in a dome shape.

During this week’s lab, we expanded on those concepts and used air to pull water into syringes. I explained that the numbers on our syringes measured the liquid in mL.

Prior to using the syringes, we used Crayola primary color markers (red, yellow, and blue) to add designs or pictures around names that I had previously written on paper towels. This material had a different texture than the foil and wax paper.

As my scientists colored, we discussed the structure of their names. Who has the shortest name? Does anyone have a double letter? Who has five letters in his/her name? How many classmates have an “a” in their names?

Then, we pulled the water into our syringes and dropped it on the colors we had drawn on our paper towels. The water did not stay on top of this material which led us to a discussion of absorbency. The colors also expanded (as one of my scientists exclaimed.) What a fun way to explore diffusion. But wait, we only used red, yellow, and blue markers! How did green, orange, and purple appear? Another scientist, noticed that the colors stopped moving when they reached the edge of the paper towel. Why didn’t our names change?

We thought our work looked like sunsets and tie dye.

Some of my young scientists have dreams about going into medical fields one day, so they were excited to learn how to use syringes.

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April 1

Yard Art

A friend of mine went for a walk with her family. They created artwork, in the photos below, using natural materials they found on their hike. I want to inspire my students to create their own art using loose materials that they find, such as nuts, seeds, stones, pine cones, dried grass, twigs, leaves, or dried flowers. If you do this project around your home, each family member could use a sidewalk square to spotlight his/her work. Be sure to send me pictures!

You can make anything: animals, people, buildings, spaceships, trucks….

I joined the challenge too! Look at what I made from natural objects I found around my backyard:

I love seeing all the yard art! Let’s try to spend time outside.

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March 31


Kindergarten students are learning about what’s in the sky. Click here to watch a video that they watched. Then we learned more about the moon. One of the optional projects during online learning was to paint a moon with white or gray paint. Astronomers added craters by pushing circular objects (such as a water bottle top or jar lid) into the paint to form the craters.

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September 19

Leaf Study

Second grade botanists connected math, science, and art in lab. We used our knowledge of leaves to draw both symmetrical and asymmetrical leaves with a Sharpie. Then after learning the difference between the terms hydrophobic and hydrophilic, we used pipettes to drop water on red, yellow, and blue dots made with Crayola markers in and around the leaves. We watched as the colors diffused. It looks as if leaves are swirling in the sky during a beautiful sunset.

We planted pumpkin and corn seeds last week. They are sprouting.
Did you notice the diversity?

Two weeks ago, each class placed a sweet potato in water inside one of my cabinets. We wondered if the potatoes would think they were underground and begin to grow? Both are growing, but we have different results. Why? The one with more roots is an organic potato. Did that make a difference? Scientists always repeat experiments to check the validity of their conclusions.

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February 26


PreK physicists reviewed the various ways objects move and that movement begins with a push or a pull. Then, we pushed and pulled ribbon dancers to make them move both slow and fast and high and low. We made shapes and heard them whip. My youngest scientists worked on large muscle development when they crossed their midlines and changed hands.

After reading Squiggle, we moved to the lab tables and used our imaginations to change our squiggles into something else. This activity made us think divergently which is a thought process used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. I love teaching with a cross-curricula approach!

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January 15


First grade scientists learned that snow is a form of precipitation. Snowflakes have six sides, consist of ice crystals, and each one is unique. We collaborated in small groups to cut giant snowflakes from circles that were folded in sixths. This was a fun way to apply shape and fraction concepts.

January 8

Foil Painting

After a discussion about how foil is used and the material from which it is made, PreK scientists listed physical properties of foil. They said it was silver, shiny, and smooth. It can be torn and folded, and they observed that it reflected light.

Then we discussed the colors you might see on a snowy day. We noticed that white and blue were the primary colors in several photographs.

Finally, I demonstrated that you can make a color lighter by adding white. That new color is called a tint.

We put all these concepts together when we moved to the lab tables. My youngest scientists combined white and blue paint, as they painted on aluminum foil with a swab. The swab glided over the foil which was also an introduction to friction. When each student finished, we pressed a black piece of paper on top of the foil and made a print.

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October 16

Stained Glass Leaves

First grade scientists completed the stained glass leaves they had outlined in black glue in a previous lab. They used what they knew about the shapes of leaves and vein patterns to draw their leaves. Today, we looked at the colors of real deciduous leaves and then painted our leaves with watercolors. We also began our conifer lab. More information about conifers next week.

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