Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hands-On Science Inquiry - Root Beer Float (solids, liquids, gases)

This science inquiry has been the best thus far! My students were engaged, they learned so much, and my principal did an observation during it...which turned out wonderfully! We have been learning about solids, liquids, and gases. It is easy for my kids to identify solids and liquids but gases are harder. So, we decided to make a root beer float and identify the three states of matter. I had students group in their groups of 4, but every students had root beer and made their own root beer float. I wrote up my lesson plan that I used for this lesson (with Marzano elements embedded) and posted it on my TpT! The lesson plan I posted includes everything I did with my students. It has videos, steps, materials, extensions, etc. My version of the handout is also included in the download. It really helped my students understand what they were seeing. 

Here are some pictures of the inquiry! You can see how engaged the students were. It was a tad bit messy having each group do the ice cream and root beer themselves, but I wanted it to be 100% hands-on!
















Like I said before, you can get the lesson plan for the inquiry and my handout on my Teachers Pay Teachers!

- Kate


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hands-on Science Inquiry- Sink the Boat

This is my first year at a STEM school and I must say... I love it! I love all the hands-on science experiments I can complete with my kids. In my previous years, science fell to the wayside. It is nice to have it in the forefront here. This has probably been the best hands-on experiment my class has completed thus far. They loved it! 

Pictures of the inquiry lesson are below. See how my class completed the lesson!

This week we start working on properties of matter. One of the properties is buoyancy. My class completed an inquiry called Sink the Boat. 

First, they had to design a boat with their foil. They had to discuss with their partners how they wanted to build their boat first. They were told to try to make the best boat they could. The goal was for it to hold a lot of pennies! After they made their boat with their partner, they drew it in their journals. Next, they made their hypothesis of how many pennies they thought the boat would hold. After that, they put their boats in water and started adding their pennies. They tallied the pennies in their journals as they added them. There were some boats that only held 5 pennies and some held over 30! It made for great conversation as to why some boats held more than others.

Here are some pictures from the actual inquiry lesson - Enjoy!





















- Kate

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hands-On Inquiry - How Does the Sun Heat the Earth?

We have been learning all about weather and temperature.  We did whole group hands-on inquiry lesson regarding temperature. It focused on how the sun can heat water, soil, and the air differently.

Pictures of the inquiry lesson are below. See how my class completed the lesson!

First, we reviewed how we measure temperature. We discussed thermometers and how to read them.
We reviewed the steps of an investigation and came up with questions - How does soil get hot? Is water hotter than sand? How does the sun heat the Earth? Next, it was time for our hypothesis. I let the students come up with their own hypothesis. I wanted to see what they predicted without any help from me. I had students share their hypothesis with their groups. They had to explain what they thought would be the hottest after one day... soil, water, or air. Some students used that information to change their hypotheses while others defended their thoughts. Lastly, I asked students to think how we could figure out how to test out our questions.

We used a flip chart from our Science Fusion book which discussed how to test the experiment. We had water in a cup and soil in a cup. We recorded the temperature of each thermometer before we began to make sure they were the same. Then we added the thermometers to the 2 cups and put them in the sun and then outside. We took the temperature again and recorded it. We waited a day and then checked our results. The students were surprised by the results. Only one group had their hypotheses proven.

Here are some pictures from the actual inquiry lesson - Enjoy!











I love to see my kids excited about science. You can really see how much they enjoy the hands-on inquiry lessons!

- Kate










Saturday, November 1, 2014

Water Cycle Song - What is Evaporation?

As a continuation of the Water Cycle, we did a hands-on inquiry about evaporation. It is a similar process to what we did with the soil experiment. The experiment is really in the kids hands with a little guidance from me.

You can read how my class completed the lesson and listen to them sing the water cycle song!

I started out by asking, What is Evaporation? The groups brainstormed ideas and started to sing the water cycle song to help them answer the question. I recorded them singing the water cycle song. It was so cute! You can see how I focused on the water cycle with a foldable and the lyrics to the song here!


video


The kids really remembered the song and it helped them with the experiment!

After we reviewed the water cycle song whole group, we went back to the inquiry. We reviewed the steps of an investigation and came up with questions - What is evaporation and how does it work?The students were given a measuring cup, a container without a lid, and a container with a lid. Next, it was time for our hypothesis. I let the students come up with their own hypothesis. I wanted to see what they predicted without any help from me. I had students share their hypothesis with their groups. They had to explain what would happen to the water and why. Some students used that information to change their hypotheses while others defended their thoughts.

The students were directed to pick an amount of water for each cup. We discussed why it was important that each container have the same amount of water. The groups filled their containers and then decided the best place in the classroom with sun. We checked the water 2 days later and the students found out how evaporation really worked. They understood how the sun was making the water in the container without a lid disappear.