And so it begins.....welcome to 4th grade and to the 2015-2016 school year! I would also like to welcome everyone to Palisades Park's second year. Last year was our inaugural year opening a brand new school and beginning the process of building a community. I am very happy to say that our first year was a great success and I am looking forward to celebrating an even greater success at the end of this school year.
But, this is truly no time to talk about the end when it is but the beginning!
Today, the students came into class and got ready for the day. This is what they saw:
The students filled out a Getting to Know You survey that allows me more information on my students in order to better meet their needs.
Along with the above, one activity was goal setting in which students choose three personal goals for this class and wrote about how they planned to achieve their goals.
Once I went over expectations, rules, procedures, etc, it was time for science. We were to do an engineering activity today but we will hit it tomorrow since I will spend less time on introductory material.
The first thing I did in science was ask the students to define for themselves what science means to them. I got a wide variety of answers with the students who chose to share. I then read the book, What Is Science?
With that, we did two demonstrations/experiments. The first one involved me making a lava lamp using a large flask filled mostly with vegetable oil and about an inch and a half of blue-colored water. I dropped two Alka-Seltzer tablets. This activity was about observations and sharing what they saw. I did explain how this demonstrates how substances with difference densities will not blend together.
The second activity involved the scientific method. I placed two equal-sized 1,000 ml glass beakers on the table. One was filled with cold water from the tap while the other one was filled with boiling water. Both were filled to the 1,000 ml line to make things equal.
The question: if each beaker received a single drop of food coloring, which one will thoroughly mix the food coloring the fastest: the hot water; the cold water; or, temperature makes no difference and they will both mix at an equal rate?
I asked the students to discuss their hypotheses (guesses) in their groups and though most students predicted the hot water would mix faster, there were a few who chose the other two. Good!!!
Then....the experiment began. I say experiment but it more of a demonstration since I was not in the mood to have 4th graders deal with boiling water - no thanks.
They are not labeled but the hot water was the winner. I did discuss how it is ok to be wrong with a hypothesis (but not on a test, of course!) and we learn from it.
Tomorrow, we will continue with the scientific method, setting up the science notebook, and the engineering activity. Wednesday and Friday will involve doing actual experiments.
Lastly, your child will be bringing home the following: