Science

Solid, Liquid and Gas

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This week we discussed the properties of solids, liquids and gases. The children took part in learning how the molecules are for each of these forms.

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We then showed the children how to classify solids, liquids and gases. They really liked looking at what was in the jars and determining what it was.

We did some experiments. First we turned a liquid into a gas by boiling a kettle with water and watching the steam. At the end we looked inside to find the liquid had evaporated!

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The second experiment was yummy! We turned lemonade (a liquid) into a solid (popsicles) and ate them on the playground!

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Vertebrates and Invertebrates

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This week we began studying vertebrates and invertebrates.  Thanks to one of our parents we had an amazing model of the spine! (THANK YOU!)

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We discussed animals that had backbones and those that do not have backbones.

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We classified animal pictures into two columns, ones with backbones and ones without.

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The children wanted to make books to take home. Please look for these tomorrow in your child’s backpack.

Field Trip to Matthaei Botanical Gardens

We had a great field trip with the afternooners to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens! We went on one sunny, hot day. We were so lucky to see some wildlife in the gardens. The children saw geese with new babies, and Egret, a baby turtle and many birds flying around. We also went inside and saw the huge Koi! Here are some photos…

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egret

turtle

koi pond

looking into lake

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This was a very fun trip for the children (except the part where the sunglasses fell in while looking at the turtle). We were able to talk about characteristics of birds and reptiles (having learned about the five vertebrates earlier in the year.)
http://www.lsa.umich.edu/mbg/

The Butterflies Emerge

The butterflies hatched!
One day we saw the upper part of the chrysalis become very light in color. We said good morning to the children and looked at the chrysalids again… there was a butterfly! This was very exciting for the children to see!

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We prepared some sugar solution. 3 teaspoons of sugar mixed with one cup of water. We added this to some cut flowers so the butterfly could have something to eat.

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That afternoon another butterfly emerged.

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We made sure to feed the butterflies!

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The following day we decided to let the two be free in their “natural habitat.” Some of the children were sad but others thought it was a good idea for them to be in their own home!

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The children waved goodbye!!
Now we notice all of the butterflies when we go outside!

The children were able to witness the entire metamorphosis except the egg stage. They know so much about this process from observing, creating their own life cycle crafts and books and listening to us read them many fact based books on the life cycle of a butterfly.

Dr. Montessori would be proud!

Metamorphosis of a caterpillar

Several weeks ago we received 5 caterpillars or larvae to hatch in our butterfly habitat. The children did not see them as eggs but were able to see them as tiny caterpillars.

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They watched them grow into really big caterpillars by eating the special food at the bottom of the container.

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Once they grew really big, they make their way to the top of the container and attach themselves by their ‘girdle’ in preparation for becoming a chrysalis.

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Overnight, they changed.
The children could not believe their eyes. If you do this at home or with your class, make sure no one touches the container during this process. Three of five seemed to make it into a chrysalis. The other ones were incomplete with only a part of their bodies changing.

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The afternoon children then helped to remove the chrysalids from the container and pin them to the inside of the habitat.

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Now, we wait! Once they emerge, we feed them with sugar water and let them go!
This has inspired many children to make a life cycle of a butterfly book.

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We also had an activity where the children are able to create the life cycle with glue and pasta (and a few other things too.)

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We can’t wait to see the completion of this metamorphosis!

Dissection of a flower

We brought tulips into the classroom this week as we have been studying Holland. We then decided to dissect the flower and look at all of it’s parts.

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After we dissected the tulip and discussed the various parts, the children were able to match the real parts to the cards.

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Some children wanted to make their own Parts of a Flower books.

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Growing wheat grass

We decided to grow wheat grass with the children as we have been studying seeds and talking a little about the environment. Wheat grass grows quickly and shows us how we can actually help to grow green plants on our Earth.

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We prepare the work in advance. We have a bowl of potting soil, wheat grass seeds (purchased at Whole Foods), a little pitcher of water, egg containers and a small flag with each child’s name.

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Two scoops of dirt in each egg cup, put the seeds ON TOP (very important for wheat grass) and then water.

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Put flags in.

Each day the children watered the plants, it is important to soak until they sprout which is in about 3 days.

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By day 5, grass is growing!

The Environment – Making our own paper and recycled sculptures

As it is Earth Day tomorrow, we introduced the children to a variety of activities which links us to the environment and the natural world. As children in this period of development (3-6) think more concretely, our environmentalism is shown in real life activities we can do. Besides putting things in the recycle bin so it won’t go into the trash cans, we added new activities this week to show how to reuse materials.

Paper making was very popular!

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We had extra construction paper (bought from a thrift shop) that was used in another activity. We had the children rip it into pieces and use those pieces for paper making. They begin by taking a few pieces of paper and putting them into a bowl.

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Add water and blend. It forms a ‘slurry.’

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Place two pieces of mesh over a coffee can. Place another can that has no top or bottom over the top.

Pour the slurry through the top can and let the water drain through.

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Take off the top can.

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Take the bottom coffee can away and put on the table.

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Place big sponge on top, soak up and then squeeze out (several times) excess water in coffee can.

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Put on paper plate to dry.

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The result: beautiful paper they made themselves!

The afternooners decided to make recycled art sculptures.

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Things, glue and imagination.

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Some of the results- amazing sculptures!

Seeds

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Spring has sprung and plants are growing and changing.  In our classroom we feel it is important to allow children to have experiences with the natural world.  Through her observations, Dr. Montessori understood children were drawn to plants.  They have “..an anxious concern for living beings and the satisfaction of this instinct fills them with delight.”  (Discovery of the Child, 1967, pg. 71) Our children independently water the living plants each day in our environment.  We decided to show them how these plants come to be, how they grow.

We decided to sprout beans so the children could see the root and learn the different parts of a seed.

Each child prepared their own seed (a lima bean) and had left them in a plastic bag in the sun for a few days. One day, they sprouted.

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We dissected one seed and showed them the different parts.

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After a few more days, we can see the root develop.

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Some of the children were interested in the parts of the seed and made their own book.