Our class has been learning about solids, liquids, and gasses in Science for the last couple of weeks. This week we have been learning about changes that table place with different types of matter. We talked about physical changes early in the week and today started talking about chemical changes. We did an experiment with a Coke bottle filled with vinegar and a balloon filled with baking soda. The students got to see what happened when the two substances mixed together. I just love to see the look on their faces when that balloon fills with gas! This year was especially exciting because we had one table with an unexpected result. The balloon filled with too much gas and bubbles and ended up popping and overflowing on to the table! The class was, of course, thrilled. It was "the best day ever" according to several students. It was a great learning opportunity to talk about scientific observations, safety, and procedures. These students are always keeping me on my toes. I love it. :)
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Snowbell would like to thank the Rubio family for sending in food! YUMMY!
Our classroom intern, Mrs. Wilson, planned a really great mini-unit using pumpkins. Our class made predictions about their pumpkins, made scientific observations about pumpkins, and did numerous kinds of math using the pumpkins. Each group measured the weight, circumference, and height of their pumpkin. Then we emptied out the insides and separated the seeds from the pulp. Next week we will be counting the seeds using our skip counting skills and seeing if our estimations were correct. The students worked really nicely in their groups and shared the responsibilities well. Some of the students had never cleaned out the inside of a pumpkin before. It's always neat to see kids experience something new!
Our class had it's second successful partnership trip to Harbor Chase Senior Center. We have truly been welcomed with open arms by the staff and by our senior friends there. The first time we went some of the students were a little nervous about going to a new place and having an experience they'd never had before. By the end of our time that day, some of them didn't want to leave!
We have practiced our reading as well as our social skills. We have learned about each of our senior friends and how life has changed. On Friday, we split up into groups and each of my students had a job as part of an interview team. One person was in charge of asking the interview questions to our senior friend. One person was in charge of summarizing and recording the answers given. Finally, one person was in charge of video taping the entire interview. This was one of the most sought after jobs, but turned out to be the most difficult because the job required the student to be so still and quiet! The interview questions revolved around how the community and different aspects of life have changed since the seniors were young children. Everyone did a great job!
The experiences for the residents, the students, and for the other adults involved has been very valuable. It's been so rewarding to see the interactions between the groups of people and to learn about each other and our differences. Hopefully soon we will be able to help out with some things they need at the center. I can't wait for our next scheduled trip!
I would like to introduce you to our new class pet, Snowbell. Snowbell is a teddy bear hamster. She just came to our classroom today and already, she's been a huge hit! Our class spent today talking about how the voting process works and even got a little taste of the democratic process when we chose Snowbell's name.
Usually, hamsters are nocturnal and sleep most of the day, but it was a big day for Snowbell. She was awake and being very silly almost all day. She's a little joker who (as you can see in the picture) loves to scale the walls of her cage like a tiny super-hamster! Even though she has a lot of energy, she is very sweet and loved being gently pet by the students in our classroom.
As the year goes on we'll be talking about the responsibility of taking care of small animals as well as what animals need to survive. I think she will be a great addition to our classroom!