Last class?!!

Today was the last science class of Session 3, ending our unit on Color and Light.  In typical recent fashion, the sun stopped shining right around the time science began, so our sun and shadow activity had to be cancelled.  Instead, the scientists put together a shadow guessing game for everyone who comes to Fairville.  Please check out the challenging, fun game in the hallway and try to find the shadow of YOUR scientist(s)!

On the one bright, sunny afternoon where we could actually find dark shadows outside, each scientist took a photo of a mystery object in the Fairville play yards.  See if you can figure out which of the shadows below is a shadow of the following: the taxi, a gate, the ramp railing, a swing, Becca, the airplane, a bush, and a bridge.  Good luck!

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Despite the cloudy afternoons that have plagued us lately, the scientists enjoyed exploring shadows inside with the help of flashlights.  One fun activity that you can do at home is yet another shadow guessing game.  Imagine all the scientists sitting on the stairs by the attic, observing shadows and trying to figure out the mystery objects their friends picked!  In addition to this, the scientists also used black and gray paint to create shadow pictures after reading the book Shadow by Suzy Lee.  The kids were truly enthralled by the amazing illustrations.  I'd suggest looking for it at the library or a bookstore!

**We will be studying States of Matter in Session 4.  No kidding!**

Food coloring is F-U-N

  Many of the scientists have been enjoying different colored water with their snack.  Not everyone seems to believe the water tastes the same after a drop of food coloring, but everyone agrees that it looks pretty.  Recently, we used a gigantic vase of Judy's to get a better view of the drops moving through water.  First, we watched the drops move slowly in cold water.  Next, we watched drops move much more quickly in hot water.  Hopefully you saw the visual recording your scientist made of his observations, AKA picture.  Take a look at the video below, plus pictures of the colorful creations we made with crayons!

 

 

Where are the chameleons?

  I recently read A Color of His Own, by Leo Lionni, with the scientists.  It's a story about a chameleon who is disappointed that he changes color all the time, depending on where he is.  Each scientist chose a piece of wallpaper and gave their own chameleon a color of his or her own, trying hard to replicate the picture or pattern of the wallpaper.  After gluing the chameleons to the wallpaper, we then roleplayed and tried to find the chameleons.  Sometimes the scientists were boomslang or vine snakes hungry for a meal, and sometimes they were chameleon heroes.  Can YOU find the chameleons in the slideshow below?

Golly gee, it's SESSION THREE!

     The theme for session three is Color and Light.  Thus far, the scientists have concentrated solely on color.  We began simply talking about colors, favorite colors, and how different colors can have a certain feeling.  Everyone learned that red, blue and yellow are the primary colors; excitement was high when we combined these colors to create some secondary colors!

 

 

So much to do in SESSION TWO!

     Greetings, parents and science lovers!  We recently began the second session of the science enrichment class here at Fairville, where the unit of study is "Movement and Machines."  This has been a popular unit among the scientists over the past couple of years -- you get to send trucks zooming down inclined planes down  the hallway and knock over block towers with pendulums!  I personally love this unit because it is a perfect example of why this curriculum works so well.  Starting with how your own body works and taking that into how simple machines work is a smooth progression for our preschool-aged scientists.

"Silly Scientist" writing and illustrating

     The scientists used literature as a jumping point for discussions about our bodies and ways we can move them.  Two works of fiction that we especially enjoyed were Silly Sally and We're Going on a Bear Hunt.  I hope you enjoyed the sequel we wrote to the former, entitled Silly Scientists!

All the doctors care for Taryn's injured arm
Dr. Becca cares for a patient
Dr. Cooper bandages Laurie's arm
Dr. Mills listents to his patient's heartbeat
Dr. Brendan

     Next, we focused on parts of our bodies, reading many books about what is inside our bodies and learning some fun facts along the way.  (The kids had fun guessing which bone is the longest --the femur --and discovering that babies have more bones than grown-ups!)  We sang Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and made good use of Fairville's doctor dressup items.  During this pretend play time, the "doctors" mended bones, checked heart rates, dispensed flu shots, and put many bandaids on each other, as well as on me, Taryn, and Laurie.  We also roleplayed calling 911 in an emergency.

     Most recently in class, the term "gravity" was introduced, and nothing is more fun to use with gravity than balls!  On Monday, the kids worked hard making a list of ways to move a ball, all of which needed some outside force.  One scientist then thought of a way to move a ball without touching it: wind.  I'm sorry my substitute is the one who got to see the kids blowing balls down the hallway!  My fun is coming, though, when we next use gravity to move balls, along with the help of our first simple machine: the inclined plane.

The end already?!!!!!!

Greetings!  As I sit here, enjoying electricity and waiting for the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, I am in shock that this week brings an end to Session One of our science class.  Time surely flies!  Hopefully the scientists and I can enjoy one last class together on Wednesday...we shall see.

During the past few weeks, we discussed the three things all living things need to live:  food, water and air.  The scientists were excited to read the book Biggest, Fastest, and Longest and try to guess which animals the author was talking about.  Since WE are animals, too, we talked about taking care of ourselves and being healthy. 

A "field trip" to the orchard with Sandy's Nature Class gave us so many wonderful opportunities with regard to studying living vs. non-living things!  We read books that taught us how apple trees grow and have already made plans to walk to the orchard again in the spring to see what apple blossoms look like.  The scientists picked three different kinds of apples during our trip and each of us tried at least once slice of each kind.  (The kinds were dubbed Red Delicious, Mystery Red, and Yellow.) We made a graph to record our observations and hung it in the hallway for all of Fairville to see.  The following class, the scientists made Grandma Suter's Apple Crisp with their harvest.  Here is the recipe:

4 cups apples
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar (mostly white with a little brown)
1/3 cup cold butter or margarine 

Preheat oven to 350.  Peel and cut apples, put in bowl.  Sprinkle cinnamon, salt and water, then gently mix.   "Rub" flour, sugar and butter together and sprinkle mixture on top of apples.

In order to have further proof that living things need food, water and air to grow, the scientists conducted an experiment with mums.  They decided that one plant would get no water, one would be placed into a container and get no air, and we would keep the last one healthy (instead of pulling off its leaves).  Boy, was there great shock when the "no air" plant was doing so well!  Since we were still giving it water, the moisture remained in the container, turning it into a sort of mini-greenhouse. 

 

We were going to turn part of the hallway at Fairville into a rainforest this week, but Hurricane Sandy has altered our plans.  If your child has been talking about bringing in a rainforest stuffed animal, that would still be fine (if we see each other on Wednesday!), but we will concentrate on something else during class instead; specifically, we will learn about different types of homes/habitats people and animals live in all over the world.

Thank you for helping your child's interest in science grow!

 

In friendship,

Liza

 

SESSION ONE IS SO MUCH FUN!

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Greetings!  I hope this new blog helps you gain a better understanding of what the scientists and I do together each Monday and Wednesday afternoon.  We have had a lot of fun learning, observing, reading, wondering and discovering during class so far.

The theme of Session One is "Neighborhood Habitat."  The curriculum Fairville uses is designed specifically for young children;  it does a great job starting at the kids' level and building upon their knowledge.  As you may have heard from the children already, we started the session discussing Living vs. Non-living.  Perhaps you saw the chart we made in the hallway by the Meeting Room?  The kids cut pictures out of magazines and taped them under the correct Living or Non-living heading.  They really enjoyed taking  non-living objects -- rocks -- and painting and decorating them to make them look like living things.  (Check out the pictures below!)  One afternoon, we explored the Fairville neighborhood and the kids took pictures of different living things they noticed.  We read many books about different kinds of animals and played numerous variations of animal-pretend games outside.

On Monday I introduced the word "habitat" during class.  The scientists discussed what kind of animals live in the Fairville neighborhood/habitat in an attempt to relate this new concept to their own lives.  They also helped me sing the fun, extremely catchy song "Habitat" by Bill Oliver.  (Check it out at http://www.songsforteaching.com/jeffschroeder/habitat.htm)  We are presently focusing on the ocean habitat (Weren't those jellyfish cute?) but plan on getting into the rainforest and desert habitats as well, where we can concentrate further on living things other than animals.

In friendship,

Liza

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