Thursday, January 25, 2018

Gardening with First Graders!

First graders started gardening class in December.  That might sound like a crazy idea, especially when the temperatures are hovering around freezing and the garden looks like this:

But 1st grade has actually been very busy exploring soil...

We found rocks, twigs, leaves and grass.

We found lots of roots.

We even found a strange critter!

The soil from our garden looks very healthy!

 and observing red wigglers from our classroom wormery.

Red wigglers are smaller than earthworms and live in compost.

When they get scared, the squiggle around like crazy!

We even found some baby worms!
After looking at our garden soil and the composting worms, we dissected a lima bean seed.
The lima beans were soaked in water to soften
the seed coat and make it easier to get off.

Trying to get the seed coat off the seed. We
discovered the seed coat protects the seed
just like our coats protect us!

 There is food in every seed which allows it to
grow in the soil before reaching the surface and
the sunshine.

Look!  You can see the root is already starting to grow out of the seed!

The root growing from the seed.

You can see the little leaves.

The seed coat and the food for the seed.

I found the root and the leaf!

 Next we will plant mystery seeds and see what grows!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Kindergarten Explores Wood!

Kindergarteners have started their unit on wood and paper!  We are first looking at wood and it's many properties!  The classes are learning to describe wood by using their senses.
Five different types of wood.

We can make a tower with the wood.

The wood is smooth.

One of the pieces of wood is bumpy!

It's a zig zag.

The wood smells weird.

It is fun to build towers with wood.

We wrote how the wood looks, feels and smells.

More towers!

Looking closely at the wood.
Drawing the wood.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Geologist Visits Science!

Before the December vacation, Ms. Rausa's class (1-222), had a special visit from Belle Hallady's grandfather, John Hughes.  He is a mineralogist and a geology professor at the University of Vermont.  Professor Hughes has been involved in the discovery and description of over 40 minerals.  He even had a new mineral named after him - hughesite - from a mine in Colorado.

Hughesite - (Na3Al (V10O28.22H2O)

We found out that minerals are mined, they don't come from plants, animals or any other living thing.

Belle Halladay and her grandfather talking about minerals.

The amazing selection of rocks and minerals that we looked at and that
Professor Hughes left for our school collection!

We write with minerals - graphite.

Three minerals from Belle Halladay's collection.

So many questions!

Who knows what this is?

What color is this?

When a black light is shown on this mineral,
it changes color!  It's a fluorescent mineral.

Susan, Belle Halladay's grandmother (also a professor at UVM),
had us look around the classroom to find things that
had minerals in it.  We found pencils, glass and the wall!

We heard about some great websites to look at to learn more about minerals.

And now for the fun part!  
Everyone donned goggles and got ready to smash a geode!

Belle Halladay's mom, Amy, supervises
breaking the geode! Each person gets
three hits with the hammer! 
The geode is in the sock!

The broken geode!  It had white crystals inside.
A big thank you to Belle Halladay's grandparents for such an exciting science class and for the mineral donations to the school!  We hope you will come back next time you are in Brooklyn!