Sunday, October 14, 2012

We're Having a ROCKing Good Time!

My students had a great time getting their hands dirty during our science stations last week! We've been busy learning about rocks, and these stations helped the young scientists in my class to further  investigate and observe rocks and how they can change. Here are the stations we completed:
1.) Making Dirt! Students used items from nature (pine cones, rocks, clumps of dirt, sticks, etc...) and broke it down to make dirt (hence the name of the station!) They LOVED this station!
2.) Shake, Rattle, and Roll! Cinnamon sticks, chalk, and sugar cubes (or bouillon cubes) were placed into baby food jars (separated out individually). Then one jar combined all three items. Students recorded their observations for each jar, and then they shook them up to discover what changes these items went through. This helped students to investigate how some rocks can easily break down (chalk, cubes) like soft rocks. The cinnamon sticks are much more difficult to break down and have material fall off of them (like harder rocks).
3.) Read a Rock Book Various types of books discussing erosion, soil, and rocks were available. Students then discussed new things that they learned about one of those subjects and added to our bulletin board.
4.) Comparing Rocks- Students brought in a rock from home and compared it with one of their friends' rocks. They recorded these observations on a Venn Diagram.
5.) Soil Station-Students also brought in a sample of soil from their homes and were able to investigate living and nonliving things from their samples. They took a few spoonfuls of soil and spread it out on a paper plate so they could sift through the dirt/soil. Many students found grass, rollie pollies, and one student even found a tiny tomato in his soil!
Shake, Rattle, and Roll!

Read a Rock Book
Comparing Rocks

Living or Nonliving- Soil Samples

As a reward, my students also got to be excavators using toothpicks and cookies! Their task was to dig out as many chocolate chips as they could in a certain amount of time. They absolutely loved doing this, and of course, they enjoyed eating it at the end as well!

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