Today I was busy with creating more goodies for my science centers. These are sensory cards. So far I have made the colors, (I forgot to put green in the picture) some of the shapes and a few other categories. I am hoping to add other categories like hard/soft, rough/smooth, birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, fabric, plants……I could go on forever thinking up new categories. I made the cards with cardboard and random items that I had around the house. It was a great way to use up bottle caps, marker caps, twist ties, rubber bands etc. I might have this as a lesson for the kids to create their own cards to take home. It is a good lesson on recycling too.
This next experiment was a little tricky. I made some crystals with alum and water. I am not sure if I got the ratio wrong or the water was not hot enough. Anyway, the crystals are cool. I would need to figure out where I went wrong before we would do this in class. The bigger one is about an inch and a half.
I read about putting Ivory soap in the microwave and having it expand and turn into cool shapes. I had to try it. It expands to cover the plate. It shrinks a bit when you take it out of the microwave. I probably could have made it even bigger but I didn’t want it to burn. If you try this only use IVORY soap. It was fun but not a school activity. I will try this with my niece and nephew though.
The last two are mini marble mazes that I made from recycled materials. The little butterfly picture is a “bumper” made from one of those plastic pull tabs from a juice container. The marbles bounce pretty well off of them. The second one has a little hoop in the top left corner and you go through it before you reach the hole. Another fun and creative activity.
I have been playing with science experiments and collecting “science-y” stuff for my class. This wasps nest I bought at a bookstore that was going out of business. I think that the lady behind the counter probably thought that I was nuts. She said, “I just knocked one of these down from our garage this morning.”
Here is a geode that I broke open.
I have attempted to make geodes with borax but have not been successful. Here is a bird skull that I found in the yard. It is a little creepy but interesting. I love how you can see the tiny bones that make up the beak. It will be in a jar so they cannot actually touch it.
I also made a geodesic dome from paper. My cat enjoys it. I might make a mini one to have in the science center. It was tricky to make so it would not be a project for kinders!
Here is a robin’s egg that I found in my yard. I have it in a small plastic container with cotton. I plan to glue the top down so the egg cannot fall out. Last year some of my students did not believe that robin’s eggs were blue. Some were still skeptical after I showed them a picture in a book. Here is evidence that they are blue!
This year we are scheduling a specific time for science every day. I have spent a lot of time this summer coming up with science lessons that go along with our reading program. I am unbelievably excited to spend so much time on science. Some of the resources that I am using are http://www.nextgenscience.org/search-standards-dci?tid_1=6 for the kindergarten science standards and http://www.nextgenscience.org/search-standards-dci?tid_1=7 for the first grade standards.
The main topics covered by the science standards for kindergarten and first grade are
- motion and stability
- from molecules to organisms
- Earth’s systems
- Earth and Human activity
- Engineering design
- Earth’s place in the universe
I am interested in learning more about STEM. (Science, technology, engineering and math) Many schools use this in their teaching. Currently my district has given me 45 minutes of science and 45 minutes of social studies to teach every day, but no lessons or materials to use. That is why I am putting so much time into lesson planning in the summer. If you have experience using STEM I would love to hear about it!