Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bubble Investigation Week of May 19th, 2014

While playing outside the children have shown a strong interest in blowing, catching and observing bubbles. They often ask “make it bigger” and watch as a teacher creates a large bubble.  When the children themselves try to create their own bubble, they struggle and have not yet mastered the concept of “blowing softly”.  To further investigate bubbles, we brought the bubbles into our classroom and began an exploration.
At first the children really struggled with creating the bubbles.  They watched as the teachers produced bubbles of various sizes, longing to create some of their own.  The children had to determine how hard they could blow into the straw to create a bubble; too hard and the bubble would burst but too soft and no bubble would be produced.  They tried blowing through their straw and onto their hand, to determine what would be hard or soft.   As they found the perfect strength with which to blow, some of the children created bubbles of their own.  We discovered we could stick our straw through a bubble, carefully of course, without it popping.  However, it would not work if we used our fingers.  We also found we could create bubbles inside of another bubble.  The children then carried over their exploration to our outside time and produced more bubbles that afternoon.  Next week we will be exploring the consistency of bubbles, and what happens when we add another liquid to the mix.  We will first test out these new bubbles by adding oil to our solution. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Don't Fall In!"

Exploring Bridges
May 20, 2014

We have been talking more and more about water, boats and fishing throughout the classroom. Today I set up slats across the tree stumps and had small animals to explore on top of the slats. The children immediately saw the slats as bridges. They began walking their animals across the bridges. They would say things like, “Watch out! Don’t fall in!” Occasionally they would drop an animal into the water and have it swim around.  Hassan moved one of the slats so that it was like a ramp. He slid the animals down one by one and said it was a water slide. “They go swim in the ocean now.” They began talking about the fish the animals would see as they swam in the ocean. They even began to talk about the animals going fishing.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Making Mixtures

Making Mixtures

When we were exploring the water movement on the ramps, the children began showing interest in mixing the water. They were talking about ways they have mixed things before, especially talking about cooking and mixing ingredients. Today I provided the children with water and flour and encouraged them to mix the ingredients together. They were very interested in watching the water change color as they added the flour to it.  They were also very engaged in just mixing the mixture together. They said they were making soup and cooking.

Once all of the flour and water were mixed together, we poured the mixture into the water table. The children continued to mix the mixture together. They also began to explore the sensory experience of the mixture. They noticed if they reached to bottom of the mixture, they could find lumps of flour. They began talking about going fishing and finding fish. When they pulled a lump of flour out of the water they exclaimed, “I caught a fish! I caught a big one!” This concept connects to the fishing activities we have been exploring in the block area for the last two weeks. They are particularly interested in the idea of catching and finding fish in the water.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tracking Water Movement

Last semester the children explored ice on our ramps. They were intrigued by the trail of water that was left behind as the ice made its way down the ramp.  Today I decided to explore this idea again. Instead of using ice, I provided the children with colored water and placed white paper on the ramp. I wanted the children to be able to track the trails the water made as it moved down the ramp.  The children were very excited to see the pathways created. They were interested in how fast or slow the water traveled.  They decided to begin racing their water and would show excitement when the water reached the very bottom. Soon, as the paper became saturated with water, the children noticed the water was not making it far down the ramp. They tried pushing their drops of water with spoons. Some children realized they could start their water farther down the ramp, past the wettest part of the paper.  They were excited when again, the water would travel all the way to the bottom.  The next day, we added another color and the children were able to race their water even better, since they had two different colors racing. As the explored for a while, they began to notice their drops of water with mix with other drops of water and a new color would emerge. Once they saw the new colors being created by the mixing of water, they focused more in mixing the two bowls of water to make new water.

Exploring the Ocean

What would we do in the ocean?
The children had many ideas on what we would do if we were in a boat in the ocean. Some children talked about going to hotels (perhaps on vacation!) Some children talked about looking for waterfalls. Hassan was insistent that we needed a “hose” to catch fish with.
We need to go fishing in the ocean!
The next day I talked with Hassan about going fishing. We went to the art studio and found some string that we could use to fish with. Emma showed us how to throw the string into the water. Hassan and Hilton dangled their string over the boat into the water and waited patiently to catch a fish.

 What would we see in the ocean?

 Researching Oceans
We have been talking as a class about how we can use books a research to learn more about topics.  We provided the children with books about ocean animals and books about different types of boats.  Some new things we learned were:
· Starfish have feet attached to their arms.
· Captains drive ships
· Some boats can squirt water