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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.