Friday, April 26, 2013

Science in Motion!

This post is a little shorter because I have been battling a cold but wanted to share what we did this week.  We get to spend the last few weeks of school learning about simple machines and famous inventors.  Can you believe the school year is almost over!!!  Oh, how the time has flown by!!  We have 4 weeks left and it is definitely showing with my students getting a bit C-R-A-Z-Y!!!  Behavior management is in full swing and my headache medicine is with me everyday!  Anyone else feeling like this?  In order to try to keep my own sanity, I have a few fun activities to keep my students actively engaged.

This week we learned about "Simple Machines".  Let's face it, simple machines can be a bit boring.  So I brought a few simple machines and activities to the students this week.

The Pulley Investigation

The students had to pull a bucket filled with heavy rocks with the pulley and without.  They had to predict which way would be easier before we went out to try.

They found out that the pulley was the easiest way to bring a bucket full of heavy rocks up.

Without the pulley

With the pulley

 We also investigated inertia.  This is when an object moves only as long as force is applied to them.  This is a great tool to use to explain why seat belts are so important!   Things don't move unless the force of stopping and going is applied.  We used my daughter's stuffed dog and the PE teacher's scooter to experiment with.

The wall was the force

I had the students ride in a wagon to feel the force when I pushed and stopped them quickly.

For those of you needing something fun and engaging towards the end of the year, my Science in Motion Mini Unit has all the activities here and a few more.  Click the link below to see more.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Incubation Station - The Chicks Have Arrived!

Remember I told you round 3 of my science obsession was coming soon?  Well......
Our chicks have finally arrived and are growing fast!! We started our chicken life cycle unit 6 weeks ago and this was one of my most educational experiences yet!  My classroom was FULL every morning before and after school with kiddos coming to see our first babies arrive!  I am attaching lots of pictures so get ready!

I surprised my students with eggs in March.  They went on Spring Break and then came back with only a week left before they hatched.  I planned it that way so they wouldn't lose interest waiting 21 days!

The chicks need to stay warm after hatching so they spent 3 more weeks under a heat lamp.  They needed to get feathers first.  My daughter named them right away.  The first one she called "Chickadee", and the second one."Hamburger".  I guess they looked like hamburger when they first hatched..LOL!  We had 4 total hatch out of 12.

Here is a short video clip of the first chick who hatched:

They hatched on day 20 and 21.  By day 23, I broke the rest open to show the students that they hadn't been fertilized.

We started an observation journal a few days before they hatched.  They loved this part of the day because they could observe them and write about how they changed each day.  And boy do they!  One week later, they were already trying to fly!


They are growing up! Sniff!

I have feathers now!

We did a little comparing with chickens and ducks.  We put together a Venn Diagram to show our learning.  They made chickens and ducks to go with it.

If any of you have been thinking of hatching eggs with your students, I highly recommend it!  They will love it!  
Here is my Incubation Station Math and Literacy Unit.  It has 141 pages of fun!  It has detailed instructions on getting you started with hatching eggs and the activities are differentiated for the primary grades K-2.  Just click the picture links to see more.  It will be 20% off today only!

Happy Spring and Happy Hatching!