April 19

Dandelion Study

Use dandelions to teach your young scientists about plants! They are safe, plentiful, and move quickly through their life cycle.


The flower’s role is to produce seeds. Because dandelions bloom in the spring, they are one of the first food sources for pollinators.

Can you name the parts of the plant? Dandelions have a tap root, like a carrot. Label the plant parts. Diagrams are found in informational text.

Dandelion seeds disperse by the wind. I am mesmerized by the beauty of these seeds.

A dandelion rapidly changes from a flower to a puffball of seeds. Sequence the life cycle. Click here to watch an animated life cycle. Plant the seeds and journal the growth of the dandelions.

Dandelions are edible. They were brought to America by European settlers and were cultivated for their medicinal qualities and as a food source. After studying dandelions, try a dandelion tea like the one below, or taste dandelion greens. These were at Whole Foods.

These photos were taken after a spring rain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take photos of the shadow created by the ball of seeds and draw what you see.

Click here for the Safeshare link.

Click here to listen to the story.

Dandelions: Stars in the Grass - Lerner Publishing Group

Dandelion is a classic children’s book. Click here for the Safeshare link.

See the source image

February 24

Would You Rather?


Learning how to debate and share your position and opinions respectfully, knowledgeably, and convincingly are important skills for children, as well as for adults. Play the game, Would you Rather…?, at home or in the classroom using opposing science statements. For a successful discussion, students will need background information about the topics which could be gained through a science unit, past experiences, or research.
In the classroom:
Present two contrasting ideas. Direct your students to divide into two groups based upon which of the choices they select. Each group is then tasked with discussing reasons that support their choice and then sharing those supporting statements with the opposing group. After each group presents, ask students if there is anyone who wants to switch groups based upon the presentations.
At Home:
Use these as conversation starters with your child.
Would You Rather…
Swim like a fish or fly like a bird?
Hibernate during winter months or migrate south for the winter?
Be a domestic animal or a wild animal?
Be a predator that kills and eats its food or prey that eats plants?
Be an animal that burrows underground or nests in a tree?
Be a deciduous or an evergreen tree?
Be an animal who lives in a beach habitat or a forest habitat?
Be a nocturnal or diurnal animal?
This activity could be used as an introduction to a persuasive writing unit.
Lettering is a new interest. I’m always looking for ways to practice, so I made the title above.
January 31

In Honor of 2.2.22

It’s almost 2.2.22! (Hope you wear a tutu!) Enjoy the Veggie Tale song, Come in Twos, Click here.

LYRICS
The best things in life come in twos
Like salt goes with pepper
And carrots with peas
A sock with its mate
Macaroni and cheese
A cup and a saucer
A pair of shoes
The best things in life come in twos
Its cookies with milk
And ham with eggs
Two birds of a feather
Your arms and your legs
It’s making “wes” out of “mes” and “yous”
The best things in life come in twos
The best things in life come in twos Two o o o o o s

Try to add another verse. My new lines are:  a hamburger with fries, and glasses with eyes

The following activity is a fun and creative way to make a connection between math and language on this unique date. Create a class poster about the number 2 on an anchor chart with multiple answers to the sentence starters below or let your students choose a number and design their own number signs.

First brainstorm words, phrases, or expressions that are associated with each number. For example:

One – Uno, single, unicycle, solo, only child, one of a kind, penny, one in a million, all in one piece, one and only, one of those days

Two – double, tutu, pair, twins, duo, twice, bicycle built for two,

Ten – decade, dime, decimeter, decagon, Tennessee, tennis

The pictures below were made by my students almost twenty years ago!

Note: ‘Also known as’ could be a math expression. For example, four could be known as 2+2, 1/3 of 12, or 8/2.

Reading the entertaining story, 7 Ate 9, would be a perfect way to begin or end this lesson. Humorous puns about numbers fill the pages.

Click here for the Safeshare link.

See the source image

If you miss 2.2.22, there’s always 2.22.22!

Two are better than one, because they can help each other in everything they do.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 NIRV

January 18

Snow People

You don’t see many snow people in Georgia! My neighbor, Daphne, made this snow boy after our rare snowfall.

Click here to watch Snowballs, a favorite story of mine and a great inspiration for the art below.

Use doilies for the body of your snow people (or animals) and then let your children choose from a variety of materials to bring it to life! We dipped sponges in white paint to add the snow. Write stories about your snow people characters.

If you don’t have snow, try stuffing white garbage bags with recycled paper, stack them, and make the snow person’s features with recyclables, clothes, or other art materials.

January 17

Repost: The Perfect Snow Day

My second grade class completed this writing project in 2014. Today’s snow in Georgia motivated me to repost. We haven’t had measurable snow here since 2018!

I’ve added these additional two stories for background information. Click here for an animated version of The Snowy Day. Click here for Snow Day!

Original Post:

We recently completed a project that we took through the writing process-prewriting, rough draft, revise and edit, final draft, and publish. Our final drafts are displayed in the hall, and we have received many compliments!

Prewriting:  We read There’s No Day Like a Snow Day, and afterwards listed activities we could do if we had a snow day.

We wrote our rough drafts using a sticky note graphic organizer. This system allowed us to easily rearrange our sentences during the revising process. I instructed the children to write a paragraph with a main idea, supporting details, and a closing sentence. Then, we listed ways we could make our writing more interesting-varying sentence length, beginning sentences in a variety of ways, including figurative language (alliteration, similes, or onomatopoeia), descriptive words, and greater detail. One of my goals was for them to use transition words, such as first, next, later, afterwards, and finally.

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Then I met individually with each child to help them revise (clarity, language, and sequence) and edit (punctuation, capitalization, and spelling) his/her rough draft. We copied our rough drafts in paragraph form. We are learning to indent the beginning of a paragraph.

Finally, each child made a snow setting and glued a picture of him/her into it. I took these pictures during our blizzard dress down day.



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This was a lot of work, but the final products and the skills the children mastered made it well worth the effort!

January 6

Birds of Many Colors

Just look at the colors of the birds visiting my suet feeders-cardinal, bluebird and goldfinch!

Click here for the story, My Colors Book Early Birds, written for very young scientists. This book introduces the concept of onomatopoeia (a word that suggests the sound that it describes) and simile (a figure of speech that compares two unlike items using connecting words such as like or as).

October 20

Bioluminescent

First grade is studying fireflies as part of their nocturnal unit. This lab focused on bioluminescence which is the ability of an organism to create light. Click here to learn more.

We watched part of a video about an owl and his firefly friend and then did a follow-up activity in the very dark IT conference room. Click here to watch the Sam and the Firefly video. Gus, the firefly, did “good” word tricks after he learned a hard lesson. We pretended our UV flashlights were fireflies and we wrote words, just like Gus, on glow-in-the-dark paper. Click here to learn more about this paper.

Looked like fireflies around the room!



October 21

Mirror Writing

At the end of fourth grade’s light lab, we tried mirror writing. Mirror-writing is the production of letters, words or sentences in reverse direction, so that they look normal when viewed in a mirror. We certainly employed the growth mindset to complete this challenge! (This was dress in your favorite holiday attire day during homecoming week.)