Pages we come!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Because our magnet program is split into two different buildings, with campuses about a mile apart, we schedule a day in May for the kids to get familiar with their "new school." We got a two hour two from various 5th graders at Leon Sheffield. We went to all the main places in the school and had lots of chances to ask questions. We got to sit in the 3rd grade desks, talk to the principal, see the gym and the STEM lab, sit in the technology and writing rooms, and many other things. The kids were super excited when they got back, all chatting about their new school and what 3rd grade would be like. I have no doubt it will be a great transition for them!

Lets get this started!

Meeting with a 5th grader

Finding out how to check out a book in the library

Taking a look at the new outdoor classroom

Exploring the STEM lab
Checking out a reading nook
Already getting comfortable!
We love P.E.!


Which food weighs the most - cheerios, sunflower seeds, macaroni noodles, or split peas?

This was the question I posed to the students. I had them look at the cups - but not touch. Most all students hypothesized it would be the sunflower seeds. Why? I asked. Because they're the biggest! was the resounding answer. 

My next question: Does the size of an object determine its weight? 


Okay, let's find out! 

More confused looks. "How will we figure it out guys?"

We talked about different ways then were finally able to narrow it down - let's use our equal arm balances! Next we had to determine a unit of measurement - unifix cubes. 

We split into groups and using the unifix cubes were able to determine which food weighed the most...any guesses?

Preparing the weight

Putting the cups in serial order

Documenting our findings

Making sure the cups are equal

Getting started

Is this equal?

So the kids found out from their experimenting that the smallest item - the split peas - weighed the most!

Edible landforms

As a final project for our landforms unit, the students had to create edible landforms! 
Step one - create a key
Step two - Create a map to include all required landforms (island, plateau, hills, river, valley, ocean, plains
Step three - get your map approved by the teacher
Step three - use the given materials to create your edible landform from the map you drew
Step four - get your landform approved
Step five - use your iPod touch to take a photo of your landform and post to Kid Blog
Step six - eat your landform!

Some of the materials
Spreading on the "glue" or grass/land area
Creating a key
Creating the landforms
Making sure everything looks just right

Toilet Paper Solar System

The last few weeks of school, we briefly touched on the solar system and the main parts that make up our own solar system. After we discussed the sun and the inner and outer planets, the students struggled to understand the size of our system and how close (or not so close) the planets were. I found this activity to help the students with this and to let them get "hands on" with a topic that can be pretty tricky to grasp at this age. As a plus, the kids got to learn about decimals and how to round!

Students were each given a chart like this and a roll of toilet paper. The first sheet of toilet paper represented the sun, and then after that they had to use a sharpie to draw a line where the next planet would be and label it. 

Students in groups counting toilet paper squares
Where is Mercury?
Count to Jupiter!
Okay, I found it!
Finishing the inner planets
The kids had to be careful counters
The students figured out they better put paper underneath when using sharpies so it wouldn't bleed through