Thursday, February 20, 2014

Science Brain Break Success!!

I can't believe these mini-labs are becoming a great incentive/enrichment!! I'm loving that is making my kids love science and behave in order to complete one of these labs!! JACKPOT!!

We observed a chemical reation between the hydrogen peroxide and the yeast. It was great to talk about! This experiment became a hit instantly and kids were asking for a list of ingredients to do it at home.

I have listed information below, let me know how it goes!! @ Loven3rdgrade or comment below :)

Materials Needed:
  • an empty plastic soda bottle (about 16 oz)
  • 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide 
  • 1 pkg of yeast
  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • dish soap
  • a cup
  • optional: food coloring
Adults: Pour the peroxide into the bottles

1. Have the kids place a few drops of food coloring into the bottles with the peroxide.
2. Add a squirt of dishsoap and swirl the bottle to mix.
3. In the cup, mix the water and yeast and stir for a few seconds to combine.
4. Then have them pour the yeast into the bottle with the peroxide and watch what happens!

Afterwards, talk about what they observed.

Warning: Food coloring will turn fingers colors, and it will come off. :)

Estimated time of completion: 10-15 minutes - Do outside to avoid mess!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Seeking relief from the wiggles, and giggles I like to call "spring fever"!!

Alright teachers.. It is February 17th and if we're honest with each other for just a few minutes, we will agree on some things.

  1. Our kids are more hype now than ever.
  2. The students are beginning to act like brother and sister and get too comfortable. (Result = more drama)
  3. The learning material is getting harder, so students get frustrated more often.
  4. The wiggles and bathroom/water breaks for movement and a "brain break" are becoming more common.
If you're like me, you have tried making learning more engaging as well as incorporating time to move and breathe, and maybe a little time to do a craftivity. :) However, my group of kiddos, cannot seem to "come back together" after too much movement and while I want their brains to rest, I want them to be exposed to something soooo exciting they don't see it as a lesson.

After trying some different things and thinking about what to do, I have decided to attempt to try various science labs, as a whole group in order to encourage a time to enrich, move, and discuss things that are educational and interesting. 

Today was the first day of this and I have to say the students and I were so excited!! I allowed the containers of water and the flowers to sit in the back of the room as the students were inquiring. As the day went on, we were able to predict, discuss, and then add the food coloring. Students would stay focused and finish their work because they wanted the time to talk about them, walk up and observe them, and then draw and write about it in their science notebooks. I was SHOCKED at how much they enjoyed it and how much more work I got out of them by allowing them to take a "detour" from their everyday learning!! Little do they know this is a real life skill and they will be seeing physical and chemical changes the rest of their life, however for the moment they were "tuned in" and all they wanted to do was know more. They learned so much about physical changes and by the end of the lab students were able to give me other examples. (Tomorrow students will write down the full color changes due to the overnight absorption time. - however the flower petals were already changing during the day.)

I just had to share, I am sure this is not something I invented, however I have looked online and my coworkers have suggested various videos. While those were awesome for the moment, I was trying to find something that we could all participate in together in order to stretch our mind. As I continue to look at experiments, I will be looking for enrichment labs based on our concepts in science. Labs that may be an extension of what we are learning in class, however it would be a mini-lab/demonstration they can be involved in.

This mini- lab (SOD- Science of the Day) is what I call it, was only $4 ($2 flowers from grocery store clearance) and took 5 minutes to set up. Students were able to look at it and continue to think about it throughout the day. I set the timer, we talked for 15 minutes, (because that is all i could spare) and then students talked in their free time when they finished work, and wrote about it in their journals! (students will be able to write their results in the morning, due to the need for absorption time.) I definitely got more "bang for my buck," the kids learned something new including my GT, my average and my low.

Helpful Hint: If you're thinking, "yea thats great, but where do I get these experiments." Try condensing one of the science labs that you may not have gotten to do this year. (Yes we all have labs that we skipped :-p )The kids can always use exposure, even if you have already covered something. Call it a review! :) I myself, will go back and look into my AIMS curriculum for science experiments I didn't get to do earlier.

I can't wait to do another tomorrow! :)

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Contraction Surgery and a FREEBIE!

I can't believe that we are officially past the 100th day of school! What a great moment!! There are days when we feel like the days aren't passing and unfortunately I feel like they may be passing too quickly noW! :)

Any whoo!! I wanted to share this activity. I have been "racking my brain" about ways to make word work and language fit into my schedule. A coach of mine suggested Contraction Surgery activity and I am pleased to say it was fun! BEWARE that the kids loved it so much that they were loud, however I think they understand contractions a little better. 

Can't wait to finish out the week!

Now on to the freebie!! 

Context clues!! This is something our kids need and can always use. I am can't wait to have feedback on what your kids think. This was a good thing to do in groups and then discuss whole group. In my class it kind of became a game because they were so anxious to guess what they were! :)

Click on the pic to grab the freebie! 

Night teacher world!! This teacher needs some sleep!
 One hundred and 1 days down.. and many more to go.