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Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Chicks Are Coming!

We are Getting Incubators in Our Classroom!
What is more fascinating then watching life hatch right before your eyes?  Well first graders throughout the Burlington district are getting this chance as incubators come into their classrooms on January 25th.

Eggs were put into the master incubator at the Burlington Science Center about 18 days ago.  They begin their journey there to insure that they will make it throughout the incubation period.  About 3 days prior to hatching, the eggs are transported to the classroom incubators so that children can witness firsthand a baby chick pecking it's way into the world.

Videos: These videos were made by Wendy and Sean at the Science Center. They progress students through the first two weeks of incubation starting with an introduction to the incubator and then “check-ins” on Day 7 and Day 14. We watched these videos in our class to keep up-to-date on what was happening with the chicks inside of our eggs:

Egg Candling - Day 7(youtube)

Egg Candling - Day 14(youtube)

Chick Development Video-animation video of the development of chick

Once the incubators come to school, the children will become scientists once again, observing the changes in the eggs. Once the chicks hatch, they will be moved into a "Brooder Box" in the classroom where children will be able to observe the development of chicks over the first few days of their lives. Observations will be recorded in their Science Journals. So stay tuned for an upcoming blog with photos documenting this exciting event!

The Chick Show
On Friday, Ms. Pavlicek came to our school and put on a "Chick Show" for the children. It was a fun interactive production to explain all about the development of the chick inside the egg. We even got to meet a real live rooster and hen! Here are some photos of the show:

Erin and Michael try unsuccessfully to break the shell of the egg -- demonstrating the
actual strength of the egg's protective shell.

Matthew and others stand in line holding models of eggs to demonstrate the various sizes of eggs from different birds, including: the hummingbird, the chicken, the goose, the ostrich and the extinct elephant bird.

Vera demonstrates how a momma hen incubates her eggs by sitting on them for 21 days.
Ms. Pavlicek introduces the incubator and describes how it functions.

Rules for when the chicks hatch.
Ms. Pavlicek introduces the momma hen...

...and the papa rooster.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

We Are Sound and Light Scientists

Sound and Light Experiments in Room 111

1. Sound Experiments

We did many experiments on how sound travels in waves using tuning forks, water and other materials. After much "science talk" (or discussion) we then documented our findings in our "Science Notebook" on our iPad -- by either writing and illustrating directly onto our iPad using the Bookcreator and Drawing Pad apps or by using pencil, paper, markers and crayons and then uploading a picture of what we had created onto a page in Bookcreator.  Either way it was fun to explore and explain what we had learned!  

The class began with a simple experiment of a homemade kazoo.   The students discovered how their own humming vibrations produced sound:

Here we are learning about vibrations by striking tuning forks against the hard surface of a table:

After listening to the vibrations caused by striking the tuning forks against the table, the children then placed their tuning forks into water to actually "see" the rippling effects of their vibrations. They learned that sound waves travel better underwater

Upon completing our many experiments with tuning forks, the children then recorded their findings in their 2015-2016 Science Notebook.

Eggs Full of Sound
Here is the class trying to guess what material is inside the plastic egg merely by listening to it.  They discovered that this is not a simple task and that we often need our eyes to help us know what we are "hearing:"

The Dancing Salt Experiment
Next the children tried to hypothesize about what would happen to salt when they made noise.  Salt was placed on plastic wrap which had been stretched over a bowl.  Children were then asked to gather around the bowl in groups and make loud sounds with their hands and voices (otherwise known as screaming).  Although they had fun seeing the salt dance as they screamed, I think that they actually had more fun being given the permission to scream loudly inside of a classroom : )

Once again they recorded their findings in their Science Notebook by drawing and labeling their results:

We also learned much about the concepts of light:

Light Detectives
We began our study of light by being "Light Detectives" -- finding the "sources" of light in our classroom:

What Produces Light?
After discovering the sources of our light in the classroom, we examined what exactly can produce light rather than reflect light:

We then discussed what materials best reflect light, noting also that materials which reflect light are not considered sources of light.  The students made hypotheses on their clipboard and then we tested it:

Where does the light go?
We also tried to guess where the light would be seen when we aimed it toward various sources such as black paper, a mirror, aluminum foil, the dull side of a mirror, etc.  The children would point to where they thought that the light would shine and then we tested it by shining a flashlight on it.

We then recorded our findings through illustration with labeling in our Science Journal.

Which materials would light go through?  
We tested this as well, making our hypothesis before testing:

Refracting Light

We then learned how light bends or refracts.  We studied prisms and how rainbows are formed.

Here we are wearing our red goggles, trying to see which colors are most easily seen and why when we are wearing our goggles with red glass.  

Secret Messages
Secret messages were placed around the room and we had to try to decipher them by putting together the letters that we were able to see through our goggles (or colored magnifying glass).  

The experiments and learning were great fun!  Ask your child about some of these experiments that they did and what they learned!  

Next we will be incubating chicks in the classroom and learning about Seasons.