My students have a lot of fun in Science class. First and second graders learn all about Matter by investigating Solids and Liquids, while Kindergartners learn all about Trees.
Here are some of our favorite Science Investigations:
Making Colored Slime:
To make the slime, we mix together glue, water, and borax, and then add food coloring for color. We do all the mixing in a plastic zip-lock baggie so hands don't get too messy.
This year on the 100th Day of School I gave each table of students one bin filled with 100 solids: 100 pipe cleaners, 100 straws, 100 paper cups, 100 cardboard squares, and 100 Popsicle sticks. I asked the question, "What can you make with 100 Solids?"
Students had a lot of fun and came up with some pretty crafty creations:
Constructing with Solids: Making a Bridge
Students use different kinds of solids to construct a bridge that a mouse could scurry through.
Constructing with Solids: Making a Tower
This one is always a favorite. Given a collection of solids, students work together to construct "The Tallest Tower" with solids like paper cups, cardboard squares, plastic cups, etc.
Exploring the Properties of Leaves:
After gathering leaves from the school yard, Kindergartners explore the different sizes, shapes, and colors of leaves in the fall.
Exploring the Properties of Liquids:
Students explore the different properties of liquids with bottles of colored, transparent, translucent, and viscous liquids. Each group is given a collection of bottled liquids. They roll, shake, spin, and turn the bottles different ways to learn about the liquids in each bottle. Here they use a book as a ramp to roll the liquids down. They found that some liquids roll fast and some roll slowly depending on how thick the liquid is.
Exploring the Properties of Solids: (small solids: corn meal and lima beans)
To begin an investigation on Small Solids, I give each table of students a large bin and a flat container of a small solid (corn meal, lima beans, pinto beans, mung beans, or rice). They use tools like plastic cups, scoops, beakers, and vials to simply have fun exploring with the small solids.
After doing the investigations, students love reflecting on their learning by writing in a science notebook that we call a Science Journal.
I make a very simple "Science Journal" from a large piece of construction paper folded in half, and add about 10 or more sheets of lined experience paper inside. Students draw about their investigation on the top half of the paper and write about their picture on the lines. I house the Science Journals in milk crates labeled by cycle day and class number and pass them out on writing day in Science.
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