Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kick the Can Ice Cream Fun!


Hey Science Friends,
I had a special request for this activity re post and I was happy to write about it considering that we just finished our unit on Force and Motion. One of my favorite culminating activities for this unit has been Kick the Can! The Kick the Can activity is the perfect activity to review Force and Motion and Position and Location terms with developing young scientists. All of the items needed for this activity can be found at any local store.
I used the recipe above for one batch of ice cream. I added extract to flavor the ice cream and when we were finished we added candies on top. The candy and extract are optional. As a special note... I have made this recipe several times with Kinder kids but just simply due to time and everything else in the classroom I also make a few batches of ice cream in a small ice cream maker to take to class. The only reason I have done this is because one or two batches of ice cream in the cans is just not enough ice cream for the entire class. I have found that making one batch and tasting it as soon as it is ready works great but the ice cream is soooo good we always want a little more. That is the only reason I make a little ahead of time. The science in this activity is the activity itself and the children need to be involved in it.
After the cans were prepared we were able to keep the cans moving while using Positional terms such as above, below, behind, in front of, beside, inside, outside, between, right and left. To review Paths of Motion we kept our cans moving in a straight line, zigzag, up and down, back and forth, round and round and fast and slow. We had such a good time with this! This would also be a perfect activity to discuss freezing and melting because the can does get cold and forms crystals that are wonderful for investigating with magnifying glasses! Oh and think of the notebooking...
This is what the mixture will look like as it freezes. Your freezing time will vary based on your ice and rock salt mixture. This is one reason why I suggest a batch or two made ahead of time because you may need to freeze this soft serve mixture in the freezer and who wants to wait to taste it after all that work? Another tip... get your cream and milk as cold as possible before you start. I added mine to the freezer before we used them.

And here was our Kick the Can ice cream. It was soooo good and now you know why we wanted more! I hope you and your class have fun with this just like we did. And if you are looking for more fun with Force and Motion...
Have fun investigating Science friends!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Animal Coverings and Parts!

Hey Science Friends,
For some of us animal coverings and animal parts are two of our Science objectives that we spend a good amount of time on. I found these magnetic animal pictures from Lakeshore Learning and it is one of my favorite tools for Science when covering these two objectives. I love these magnetic pictures so much that I had to write about them here. I usually spend a few sessions on different days just showing the children all the different ways these pictures can be sorted. It never takes long for the children to start thinking of different ways the picture cards can be sorted as they use them. What I like about this product is that it shows real pictures of real animals and it has a ton of animals in the set. There really are so many possibilities for just about any animal sort you can think of. I have had my set for years and they still look new even though we have used them year after year. The set is $30 and comes with 54 animal magnets. This really is worth the price. If you are interested just click on the picture above for more information.
And here is a new book I will be using this year! I was so excited to find this in my school library! Here is the Amazon book description...
Get off on the right foot! Join the animals in their foot-frolicking fun running, jumping, leaping, and hopping and then resting, just like the critters and creatures featured in Kimberly Hutmachers Paws, Claws, Hands, and Feet. Go along on the exciting dream journey from morning to night, using hands and feet just like squirrels, monkeys, rats, spiders, frogs, penguins, elephants, lions, kangaroos, pandas, and eagles. Travel to the lush jungle, the African savannah, Australian outback, and to the frozen Antarctic. Finally, as the sun sets, snuggle beneath the covers and snooze, with recollections of animals at play, inspired by the imaginative illustrations of Sherry Rogers. After all, even the wild things need some time to rest after a day of fast-footed play!
Another great new find...
Fur and Feathers is the winner of a Gold Moonbeam Children's Book Award. When Sophia dreams that howling winds whisk the fur and feathers right off her animal friends, she shares some of her clothes with them. But her clothing doesn't work well for the animals. Seeing their disappointment, she offers to sew each one the right coat. Animals line up to explain what they need and why. Polar Bear needs white fur to stay warm and hide in the snow. Fish needs scales, but with slime. Snake needs scales too, but dry ones. And how will Sophia make a prickly coat for Porcupine? The award-winning team of Halfmann and Klein (Little Skink's Tail) reunite to bring animal coverings (and classification) to life in an imaginative way. Sophia's friends include Duck, Fish, Frog, Ladybug, Polar Bear, Porcupine, Snail, and Snake. The For Creative Minds educational section includes: Scientific Classification, Skin Coverings, and Animal Classification. Additional Teaching Activities and Interactive Quizzes are available on the Sylvan Dell Publishing website.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Silence For Sandy Hook

May God Bless the families and friends of Sandy Hook Elementary...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Exploring The Science of Santa's Favorite Season!

Happy Days Science Friends,
Don't you just love this time of year? Sometimes it is hard to concentrate with all of the holiday buzz going on but we have found a way to keep the fun and learning moving right along. And we sure have had some fun! This week we were busy learning the Science of Santa's Favorite Season! We were able to get our hands on a small little live Christmas tree that provided us with some great hands-on exploration and investigation which lead to some great notebooking as we learned about plant parts.
We even had some fun reviewing Path of Motion Vocabulary with some integrated art. I was so proud that every single child remembered every single path of motion term and movement even before we did this activity. I guess we learned a lot and it stuck with us from our I Can Be a Scientist Exploring Force and Motion Unit!
Marbles have been a staple for us in science this year. I think we have used them for just about everything and then some... After exploring toys I think WE might be the toy experts instead of Santa. We can describe them, investigate them, discuss how they move and more! Santa really has nothing on my Science Friends!
I was told we HAD to teach Science this time of year BUT you didn't tell us it couldn't be a whole lot of fun!
Table of Contents: 12 Different Holiday Themed Hands-On Independent Investigations with Recording Pages/2 Conceptual Big Books/3 Conceptual Emergent Readers and so much more! Options for building your own unique journals/notebooks to fit your classroom needs!

3 Holiday Themed Basic Needs Colored Posters
Classroom Pictures and Instructions
4 Page Living and Non Living Sorting Cards (print on colored cardstock)
We All Have Wants and Needs Sorting Page
We All Have Wants and Needs Sorting Cards
Describing Properties of An Object Teaching Poster Holiday Themed
Describing Properties of a Christmas Tree Recording Page
Describing Properties of a Poinsettia Recording Page
4 Parts of Animal/Plant Holiday Themed Teaching Poster Colored
5 Blackline Printables Label It! 2 Santa, Rudolph, Christmas Tree & Poinsettia
1 Colored Are You Ready Santa? Conceptual (Ordinals) Teacher Big Book
1 Blackline printable Are You Ready Santa? Student Books
1 Blackline printable 10 Little Presents Student Books
1 Balckline Light Graph/Survey
1 Blackline Printable Let There Be Light! Sorting Cards
1 Blackline Printable Let There Be Light! Sorting Mat
1 Blackline Printable We Have Lights! Student Book
2 Blackline Printable Notebook/Journal Covers
7 Blackline Printable Toy Investigation Recording Pages/Notebook Insert
3 Blackline Printable Magnet Investigation Recording Pages/Notebook Insert
3 Blackline Printable Toys In Motion Investigation Recording Pages/Notebook Insert
Classroom Pictures and Instructions For Path of Motion Painted Christmas Trees
1 Blackline Printable Which Toy Do You Like Best?
1 Blackline Printable Santa’s Hot Chocolate Report
1 Blackline Printable Santa’s Candy Cane Report
1 Colored Conceptual Teacher Big Book Santa Can Go! Path of Motion Vocabulary
1 Colored Conceptual Teacher Big Book Where Is Santa? Positional Vocabulary
1 Conceptual Teacher Big Book Where Is The Gingerbread Man? Positional Vocabulary
2 BONUS Blackline Printable Santa’s Ten Frame Fun Pages

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Living and Nonliving!

Hey Science Friends,
We were all so excited to have a visit from Mr. V from Real School Gardens.
We are always excited to get out and investigate, discover and explore. So we went on a nature hunt and looked for living and nonliving things.
After we had our nature hunt we were able to go inside and discuss what we discovered.
We created a T chart to sort our objects.
We sorted our objects into categories of Nonliving and Living. And we had some rich discussions about what was considered Living and Nonliving and even objects that were once living..
We counted our objects and then we began notebooking about our investigation.
We discussed how we would represent our data and we decided that grouping objects to represent a larger number helped us a lot.
 And we even applied some previously learned strategies as we were trying to represent our data accurately!  
Thank you Mr. V and Real School Gardens! It was a wonderful day to get out and investigate, discover and explore!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's A Sale!

Happy Holidays Friends!
I love, love, love this time of year when I can spend some extra time with family and friends and enjoy a much needed break from normal everyday life. It is also fun to think ahead and plan for what is just around the corner. In fact, I love planning and I am making lists of things to buy and get ready for this holiday season. If you are like me and you are thinking ahead you might want to check out the sale at Teachers Notebook. For the next few days my store items are 25% off and the best part is that Teachers Notebook is giving you an extra 10% off too! It is such a good deal it is hard to pass up!
Just click on the image above and start shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Science Snack!

Happy Thanksgiving Science Friends,
As we begin to talk about living and non living things and learn that living things have basic needs we just could not resist somehow connecting this to our discussions about Thanksgiving. I saw an idea about this last year and decided to modify it a little to meet the nutritional guidelines for where I teach. As we have learned about the story of the first Thanksgiving one of the parts that seems to generate a lot of discussion and interest is the part where the Pilgrims have difficulty planting and growing things on the new land. And my class this year seemed to focus on how the Indians were problem solvers and taught the Pilgrims how to successfully plant corn. The addition of the fish when planting corn or as my class called the corn, "the golden seeds" has sparked a lot of rich discussion.
To make our Thanksgiving Snack we used Sugar Free pudding cups for the soil, Corn Pop cereal for the "golden seeds" or rather the corn and S'more Goldfish flavored crackers for the fish. We discussed Living Things and Basic Needs before we had our snack and as we made the snack we retold that part of the Thanksgiving story. We planted the seeds and buried the fish before we ate it!
And as you can see some of us were super excited to participate!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Magnets On The Playground!

Hello Science Friends,
Well you can't blame us. We had a little extra time the other day and we remembered that we had not completed one of our Magnet Investigations so out the door we ran with Magnet Investigation Tools in hand to investigate the playground. Since we actually have finished our unit the children ran quickly to something they knew would be magnetic.
I was able to hear a ton of scientific discussions going on as they were running around discovering new things magnetic. I heard lots of academic vocabulary and we had a lot of fun with this investigation. It was the perfect investigation on a day when we needed to get out a little of that extra energy.

Since we have had so much hands on investigations with magnets I have to say I was super proud of our class discussions and notebooking at the end of this unit. We are all kind of sad that we have completed everything in the unit. We decided that we would add our magnet box to our investigation boxes as a choice activity because we just can't seem to get our hands off that stuff!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Magnet Mania!

Hey Science Friends,
We have been busy and have been finishing up fun with Force and Motion. We have discovered a lot of things with magnets over the last couple of weeks. We have had some kind of fun with our magnet box and we are turning out to be some keen investigators. But just as our unit winds down it seems the exciting part comes last... Now we get to use the materials totally independently and set up our own investigations. And we are looking forward to some investigations at home with our new investigation tools.
Throughout our investigations we have discovered a few books that we used in the unit.
This was a great book to use for predictions about what is magnetic. The text is simple just pictures and the words yes and no. It is a perfect addition to a Kinder Science Center.
This book has some great information but needs a little modification for Kinder.
And we liked this one which required just a little modification.
Hands-on Science is just so much fun!
As you can imagine the magnet box is quite popular and who could blame anyone for wanting to explore what is inside? And we have gotten pretty good at predictions!


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