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! 

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