Tuesday, March 26, 2013

At least it's spring IN our room!

I can't believe how cold it is... in March.... in Texas.   Still feels like winter for sure,  but we brought some sunshine into our classroom today.

We had so much fun today with flowers and plants!  It was a really great day.   We are working on learning the parts, functions and needs of plants.   I have been behind in getting around to some of the things I wanted to do so today we had a Plant-a-palooza!  Last night I made a stop at Wal-Mart (even though I HATE it) for a few necessities -  white daisies (Wal-Mart was out of carnations),  cheapo flats of Marigolds, and smelly markers (well... the smelly markers were just a bonus).   This morning, I grabbed the celery out of the fridge,  because we were never going to eat it and headed out to work.  

We started the day in our science journals creating experiment pages.  The kids were all scolding me,  because this was a total flip flop to our day - we always do ELA first.   I explained that we needed the whole day to watch what happened and they seemed to forgive me.   The first  experiment was colored flowers.    We filled three cups with water and added LOTS of red, yellow and blue food coloring.   The kids drew what they saw,  made predictions,  wrote down the time and the procedure.  I took pictures to print and add to their journals as well.   We made observations every few hours,  and the kids were thrilled to see how the flowers were soaking up the color.  The blue color definitely spread the fastest!


Our second experiment was the celery in food coloring.   We talked about the celery being the stem of the plant,  which developed into a discussion of which parts of which plants we eat.  A few kids shared their disdain for celery.  They set up their journals and made predictions about what would happen to the celery as well.   We tossed a bunch of celery into some very blue water and drew our first observations.  Some of the kids had seen this done before,  but most hadn't.  Again they made observations throughout the day - and were kind of frustrated that they were not seeing any change.  They were super excited at the end of the day when we broke some apart and saw how the blue had traveled up through the stem in strands.

Then we took a break and went to work on our Freckle Juice study.   They are LOVING it!  Here are a few pics of their cute folders!

Over our planning and lunch break I set up the room for our next project.   I covered the tables with paper and brought out the googles (mostly because they like them and they look cute and feel like scientists when they wear them) and magnifying glasses.   I gave each kiddo a marigold with all the dirt and roots attached.   They were so excited when they came in!   They were given the task of removing as much soil as possible from the roots.   I gave them old paintbrushes to help with the task.  There was dirt EVERYWHERE - but it was so worth it.  They made some awesome observations.   The roots were almost as long as the stem.  The roots had little hairs on them.   The soil had little white things in it.   The very bottoms of the stem were purple.   They were shouting out so many things at once.   I heard kids explaining things to each other and asking each other questions.   It was a geeky science teacher's dream!   I loved every minute.  
When they had cleared off their roots,  and put the soil into some of our empty flower pots,  I gave them the task of drawing and labeling a diagram of their flower.   While they did this,  I took pictures of their plants and printed them out.   Then they attached the picture to the opposite side of their paper and labeled the picture as well.  We talked about the difference between a diagram and a photo as well.    I think they turned out great.   Tomorrow we will go further into the function of each.

We have  a few plants left,  so tomorrow the kids will work in groups and create experiments to prove or disprove that plants need sunlight, soil, heat, light, water, etc.   Should be interesting!
Hope you had a fabulous day!!!!

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