Sunday, March 31, 2019

Pre-K Explores Fabric!

Pre-K is using the senses once more to investigate different swatches of fabric!  What will happen when water is dropped on them?  Can we draw on fabric?  And what happens when we take apart fabric?

So many different colors of blue!

Noticing that the fabric sticks together when it gets wet, just
like the paper and wood did in an earlier investigation!

The water disappears on this fabric.

It's easy to draw on the fabric with markers.

It's harder to use colored pencils on the fabric.

The water stays on top of this fabric - in bubbles!

Some of the fabrics can soak up water on the table.

You can also use crayons on fabric.

Sometimes the water disappears fast.

A tree and slide out in the grass!

Sometimes it's hard to get the water in the dropper.

The fabric gets darker when it gets wet.

Taking apart the fibers that are woven together to make fabric.

Putting the finishing touches on a fabric drawing!

Kindergarteners Design Their Own Pinball Machine!

Kindergarten classes have been very busy investigating what forces to use when moving the pinball short and long distances; left and right; and hitting a target. They have now taken all that knowledge and designed their own pinball machine!
Planning a design for the pinball machine.
Testing the flippers and bumpers out.

It's all in the fingers!

We used cowbells as the targets for our
pinball machines.

Now the design is put to the test!

It's such a great feeling when your design works!

Trying to find space to test out the pinball machine!

Sometimes it's more fun ringing the incredibly
loud cowbells than trying to hit them with
the ping pong ball!

Dueling pinball machines.

After the design was tested, students went back and made changes to the design to see if the ping pong ball would move better.

Testing out if two targets are better than one.

Testing out a design with 4 flippers instead of
6 flippers to see if the ball moved better (it did).

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Little Sun Solar Lamps at PS58!

By now I hope you have heard about Little Sun Foundation and the Solar Schools Rwanda project! It is a wonderful organization that provides solar lights for students who don't have access to clean energy. Here is the link for more information
For Earth Day this year we are raising money for the foundation's Solar Schools Rwanda project.  Their goal is to provide every student in the Kamonyi district of Rwanda with a Little Sun solar lamp. Currently, 96% of the households and 50% of the schools in the Kamonyi district have no access to electricity.
Olafur Eliasson (above), a Danish-Icelandic artist, and Frederick
Ottesen, an engineer, are the founders of Little Sun Foundation.

Little Sun's Goals.

Some of the over 22,000 students who have already received
Little Sun solar lamps.

Charging the solar lights. 5 hours of sun equals 4 hours of bright sun.

Eager students waiting for their Little Sun solar lamp! *

A brilliant way to charge the solar light on the way to school!

Using a clean energy solar light instead of toxic kerosene lamps.

Using the Little Sun when the it starts to get dark.

Ms Vanegas and I passing out the Little Sun solar lamps
so PS58 can have the opportunity to make their own
energy and then use it!

One Little Sun solar lamp for each class in our school!

Ms. Connolly's class rehearsing in the auditorium
using only the solar lights.

The Little Sun even went to the Youth Climate Strike.

We haven't had to use the outdoor charging station since
the classrooms get a good amount of sunlight!

Be sure to send a picture of your child using the Little Sun!  We'll put it up in the lobby!

Photo credits to LittleSunEnergy and *Jean Bizimana.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Our Chick Eggs Have Arrived!

Our chick eggs arrived from Meyer Hatchery in Ohio on Thursday! They came in the mail and all 14 eggs survived the trip!

We have an assortment of eggs.

The incubator is set at 100 degrees F and around 50% humidity.

The eggs are placed in the turner!
In 21 days our eggs should start hatching!  We don't know how many will hatch, but we can't wait to find out!

2nd Grade Spins!

We have moved onto the second part of unit....motion!  After watching the classic top video by Ray and Charles Eames the 2nd graders designed a top that spun the fastest and one that spun the longest. Everyone gets two large red disks, 2 small yellow disks and one green shaft.

It can be tricky to get the disks where
you want them on the shaft.

The contest to see which top spins the fastest!

Techniques used to start the top
differ - fingers or palms.

We discovered that for the top to
 spin, it needs to balance.

How many disks make the best top?

A good design!

Sometimes the shaft breaks, but then we get to test if the
 length of the shaft makes a difference in the way the top spins.

A winner!

The tops keep spinning even when they bump
into objects!

Standing definitely makes it spin faster!

At the end of class, we drew our best designs and explained
why it worked better than other designs.

2nd graders also investigated what happens to designs when they spin.  Two designs were provided for each student to spin.  There was also a blank design, so everyone could create their own spinning design.

 Awesome spinning design!

The two designs totally looked different
when they were spinning.

Trying to have the fastest spinning design.

A new design.

The above design spinning.

It's hypnotizing.

The design is too light to spin without a disk.