Table top volcanic eruption


In order to have the children explore the volcanoes a bit more, we offered a table top experiment.


Here she carries the tray to the table. She uses a teaspoon to put in the baking soda. Then, vinegar is poured into the opening.



More Volcano Work


We also looked at volcanic rock. Two students had gone to Hawaii at the beginning of the year and brought us back a lava rock!


We were also lucky enough to have volcanic ash from Mt. Saint Helens! The children were all able to feel the ash in their hands.


More rocks from volcanoes!



And… very exciting! This child had heard about the “ring of fire” (and he also likes Johnny Cash!) and was very motivated to make his own!



This past week we explored volcanoes! We presented the children with three models.


We read books and learned volcano facts.


Then, we used baking soda, vinegar, dish soap and a little red food coloring to “erupt” the volcano!





The children were able to match parts of volcano cards and then also made books! Some of the children were very engrossed in learning about the volcanoes.


The volcano books came home on Friday.

Visit from Critter Guy – Vertebrate Experience

frog 2 dec 2012This week we invited the Critter Guy (Mr. Paul) to come to the school and share his ‘critters’ with us. As we have wrapped our study of the five types of vertebrates, it is fun to have him come and show us some other interesting animals. He is excellent with explaining the various characteristics of the different types. Paul lets the children participate and answer questions so they can use what they have learned over the previous weeks. He brings four types (fish don’t travel well) and lets the children interact with the animals. First up was Woody the tree frog! He uses his suction cup toes to stick on a string!

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Next up was the Box Turtle. This one was very entertaining as he was completely in his shell. Paul showed us how he closes up entirely if he is afraid. We also got to watch him come out of his shell to eat his breakfast. He did move fast when he heard the sound of the breakfast bag opening!

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The blue tongued skink was another fun reptile to have. The children loved watching his blue tongue come out to smell. They also thought it was funny to watch him walk and take breaks to catch his breath. He moves SLOWLY!

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Blue Tongued Skink hanging around and eating the left over breakfast from the Box Turtle.

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Mr. and Mrs. Dove are always a hit! We were able to hear her laughing at him once they were back in the travel case.

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The Chinchilla is always a favorite! (Some children called it a big mouse!) It is SO soft!


Finally Noah the Boa came out to visit!

Most children were very interested in the snake and wanted to interact with him. It was fun to feel the backbone as he moved slowly across our legs. Big thanks to Paul for coming back again this year!!



This week we introduced the idea of magnets to the children.  They were able to interact with this fun game where you copy the picture to see if you can get the magnets to look the same way.  The children enjoyed watching them float and when on the table sometimes they flip over.  We will continue more magnet work next week.

Our Final Vertebrate Study- Fish

As we were studying fish last week, we decided to have one of our own in the classroom. His or her name is Snowflake (or Snowfluke depending on who you ask) and is fun to watch and feed.

We like to give the children a concrete example of what it is we are taking about and they can see Snowflake’s fins and gills.



We also introduced fish matching cards.

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As we did last year, we brought in a large, dead fish to look at the parts up close. The children were very interested in the large eye and most wanted to touch it! (Don’t worry, they washed their hands!)

We then discussed all of the parts and many children made parts of a fish book.

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We then demonstrated how to make a fish print and let the children paint the fish! This activity only lasted two days as the fish began to not smell so fresh!


Since the fish had seen better days, we decided to show the children the internal organs. Some were very curious about the different internal parts as they had already found out about the external parts.

Afternoon study of sound

P1110460The afternoon children studied sound. We decided to experiment with how sound travels through a string. We rigged up the old tin can experiment. This worked pretty well but then each child made one to take home.
P1110466The children used yogurt containers and with supervision, put small holes in the tops. We then added string and made each child a set.
P1110476These actually worked much better than the tin can set. It fit well over the ear and when pulled tight, you could hear what the other person was saying! We learned if the string was not “taut” the sound would not travel well. Also, if your hand is touching the string, the sound does not get to the other side.

Human Body Book

After studying mammals, we decided to study our human body.  The children spent some time making a book about themselves!  We first measured and weighed each child.


The next day the children traced their hands and then used ink to stamp their fingerprints.

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Hand and footprints were done and added to our book.



An amazing mom who is also a doctor, came in to teach a little about our heartbeats and reflexes. (Thanks J!)


Finally, we looked in mirrors and made self-portraits.

Mammals! (Lots of them!)


We began our study of our 4th vertebrate last week- mammals!  We begin this by reading the book: Animals Born Alive and Well by Ruth Heller.


We discussed various features of mammals and asked questions each time one came to visit.  Do they have hair or fur?  Were they born alive (except for the platypus and spiny anteater)?  Did they drink their mother’s milk?  We asked the owners these questions and other ones like what do they eat and where do they take baths!  Murphy here is so big, they have to go to a dog wash!   Thanks to Amy R for bringing sweet Murphy in for a visit!


The children matched mammal cards.  They colored in parts of a dog booklet and we learned words like brisket and stop.  We also made books that describe mammals.


Thanks to A and T (and dad Scott) for bringing in another mammal!  Mr. Elliot was a really good sport!  The children thought it was funny when he walked around and checked out our classroom!  We asked Scott many questions and decided that Elliot was a mammal.


On Friday, we had yet another mammal visit!  Sweet Squeak the guinea pig!  He came for the morning and visited with us.  Thanks to Lira for letting us take care of him!  He ate some clementines and carrots!


We asked a lot of questions about Squeak. Guess what? He is also a mammal!
Our fourth mammal visits each day. We have many in our classroom, some young and some old(er)….
You may have guessed it! Those mammals are us!

Light and Shadow


As part of science this past week, we studied light and shadow. We have a small wooden shelf that the children place various objects upon. They shine a flashlight to see the shadow of the object on the wall. It is fun to explore how the shadows can change when the light is pulled back and forth.


In the afternoons, we brought in a big light and put paper on the wall. The children turned out the overhead lights and then took turns tracing each other’s shadow on the paper. This child traced the pink tower’s shadow and then colored it in.