Friday, May 11, 2012

A Science Experiment, a Planet Study, and a Real-Estate Area Game!

We had such a busy day, so I have LOTS to share! First of all, our science experiment today was called "Liquid Layers." I used a tall vase, pink shampoo, vegetable oil, water, and syrup. I started the experiment by pouring in the shampoo (when my kiddos weren't watching!) and asked them to share what they thought was in the vase. We had many educated guesses, especially after we got to smell it (soap, body wash, etc..). Nobody guessed shampoo, but after I revealed the substance, there were several "OH YEAHS!" around the room.

Then I had a student volunteer pour water into the vase. I shook it up and students LOVED seeing the mixture but were surprised when the liquids split into two layers. Next up for our vase: vegetable oil. This was by far the biggest surprise for my students. The mixture turned white and bubbly, despite the regular yellow color that vegetable oil is by itself. Finally, we poured in syrup. My students thought it was so cool that the syrup sunk its way to the bottom of the vase. This brought on a big discussion about density and which liquid was more/less dense than others. To end the experiment, we dropped a couple of items into the vase to see what layer it would land in. This is definitely one of my favorite science experiments of the year!

Our reading story this week is a nonfiction story about the planets. I've never been that interested in space, but I have to say that the conversations my students and I have had about space and planets have changed things quite a bit for me! I'm not saying I would ever want to go to space, but we have had a great time studying the planets. My students had the choice to create a poster, brochure, or booklet about a given planet. They were to include a drawing, interesting facts, and why someone would want to visit their planet (given the chance). Some of my students even wrote "If you want to learn more, call 555-5555!"

Real Estate Area: In addition to everything else going on this week, we are continuing to learn about the area of an object. My students were given coordinate grid paper, dry-erase markers, and dice. They rolled the die twice to create a multiplication problem. After finding the product, they had to create a shape on their "board" and write the area inside the shape. The object of the game was to take up as much real estate as possible instead of all spread out. One of my students almost completely filled her page! This was a great way to reinforce  multiplication facts and our focus skill for the week!

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