Monday, June 30, 2014

Little Scientists Save Summer


Are your kids barely into their summer vacation and already whining, "I'm boooored"??

I came across the blog The Kitchen Pantry Scientist towards the end of the school year and just knew I had to get some of these science experiments in during the last days of school.

She's a fellow Minnesotan, and has been featured many times on our local news sharing fun science experiments.  She's an actual scientist (bacteriology), and explains the science behind all of the experiments.  Best of all, all of her experiments can be done with ordinary things found in your pantry!

First we did one called Magic Potion, using cabbage juice, vinegar, and baking soda.  I wish you could have seen their eyes light up when the chemical reactions occurred.  :)

Also from The Kitchen Pantry Scientist, we did Fizzy Balloons.  Super cool!

We did an experiment called Elephant Toothpaste (not from The Kitchen Pantry Scientist), which produced a chemical reaction (foaming) and a thermal reaction (warmth).  

Look, some of my former students stopped by for the fun, too!

Yes… They should have been wearing goggles….  :/

It was fun to play with the foam after the reaction… it was SO soft!

I even repeated the experiment with my niece!  Check out that little scientist!  :)

Our last actual unit in science for the year was exploring light and shadows.  We made shadow puppets using construction paper and popsicle sticks and explored how drawings and cut holes affect the shadows.  My students LOVED when I closed all of the blinds and turned off the lights in the room… it was VERY dark!  I gave pairs of students a flashlight and told them to take their shadow puppet, find a blank wall and make some shadows!  It kept them occupied for almost our whole science period!

So next time your kids say they're bored this summer, grab some simple materials and let them explore SCIENCE!  It might just SAVE the summer!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Reflecting on Another Year

Well, Year 2 is in the books.

I remember starting this year thinking it would be my best yet, and in many ways, it was.  The team I worked with became a strong group of colleagues and friends.  We worked so well together, and always supported each other.  My students were challenging, and the last weeks of school brought many frustrating tears.  But in the end, I loved each and every one of them and deep down, I could tell they loved me, too.  

It's funny how the course of one school year can bring about so many changes.  A colleague of mine shared the goal of being in a public school, and we had our eye on the same district.  In February, I attended a job fair, and by spring I had four interviews and two job offers.  So, I am pleased to tell you that next year, I will be making a jump from teaching 3rd grade up to 6th grade.

The last day of school was a bittersweet one.  My students had seen me packing up all of my things, wondering why I have to move everything.  It wasn't until the last day of school that I announced to my students that I was leaving.  As I was telling them, I started crying, which triggered many emotions from my students, including many tears.  Lots of hugs were shared and some students didn't want to let go.

 I will truly miss these gals!

It was a very weird feeling to turn off my lights and lock my door for the last time.  I will miss my first classroom, and my first school!

 As I embark on this new journey of 6th grade, I am both excited and scared.  But I know that everything I experienced in the last two years have prepared me for this moment.  So bring it on!  :)


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