Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mitten Writing Freebie

Hey ya'll! I have had quite a few emails asking me for this mitten writing page! It's a quick and easy writing prompt I give my kids when we had too many snow days and not enough time to start a new writing one week. I've provided some pictures of examples from the past. We read The Mitten by Jann Brett, then brainstormed things/animals that too big to fit in a normal mitten, illustrate a detailed picture and finish the sentence. This could also be put into a writing center! Hope you enjoy! Click on the last picture to get the free download. =)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snowman Science Fun for kids! =) Guest blogger

Hey ya'll!

I've been so busy teaching my kids reading, writing and math, that science and social studies has been pushed to the side. I hate this because I remember LOVING science as a kid and I love teaching it. So I was looking up ideas online and was getting frustrated because I just couldn't find any cool science experiments for kindergarten! But I am so excited to share some news with you! One of my best friends from high school works at a science museum in Indiana and always posts the coolest stuff she does with kids there! So I told her she should make a blog for teachers to get science experiments from. Then she asked if she could just post her ideas on mine! Without hesitation I accepted and am so excited to bring you her first post! I can't wait to do this experiment with my own kindergarteners! I hope you enjoy!......

Since science standards haven't been created in Common core, I'm using the standards we have in my district in TN that you could use as your objective for this experiment:
CFU 7.9.1 Observe, identify, and compare the properties of various objects such as color, shape, and size. (BEFORE AND AFTER EXPERIMENT)
CFU 7.9.2 Observe, discuss, and compare characteristics of various solids and liquids. 
CFU 7.Inq.1 Use senses and simple tools to make observations. 
CFU 7.Inq.2 Communicate interest in simple phenomena and plan for simple investigations.
CFU 7.Inq.3 Communicate understanding of simple data using age-appropriate vocabulary.
CFU 7.Inq.4 Collect, discuss, and communicate findings from a variety of investigations. 
GLE 7.Inq.2 Ask questions, make logical predictions, plan investigations, and represent data.
GLE 7.Inq.3 Explain the data from an investigation.

Hey all you awesome teacher bloggers out there! I’m glad you’re all here reading Jessica’s blog. Isn’t she a fantastic teacher? I’ve known Jessica since she moved to Illinois in middle school. I was given the duty to show her and her sister around the school and we became immediate friends. She’s been one of my good friends for a looooong time and one of the most hilarious, caring, creative and sweetest people I know. I have to admit that I’m a little sad she lives in TN, but it’s a GREAT excuse for me to travel and get my “country” on. ☺

Anyway, here’s a little about me. I went to Indiana State University and have a Bachelor’s in Recreation and Sport Management with a focus in Youth Leadership. I worked at residential summer camps for 7 years prior to my college internship (man do I have stories). After two internships at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum I was hired on in 2010. People tell me I have the coolest job ever, and I rarely disagree. I’m currently the Program and Special Event Coordinator. Out museum is considered “small”, we only have 6 full-time staff members and operate with about 6-10 volunteers every day. This means I do A LOT of the hands-on science with kids of ALL ages, learning abilities and demographics. We’re also a non-profit in a small city... so basically we have no money. Ok, ok, we have SOME money; but I operate on a very small budget, so a lot of the experiments I do are CHEAP!

Jessica is always commenting on my social media pages about the cool experiments we do and mentioned I should start a blog.... WHOAH! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I mentioned doing some guest posts on her blog and she agreed! So here I am, to give awesome teachers cheap and easy experiments to do in your classroom!

 Since we’re in the middle of winter, here’s a “cold” experiment.

Melting Snow Man Materials: 
  • Baking Soda- I used about 1 Cup-ish (exact amounts are not crucial) 
  • Shaving Cream- 3+ Cups. May need more or less depending on the consistency of the mixture. 
  • Foam Shapes (cut into carrot noses, coal eyes, buttons, etc...) 
  • Vinegar 
  • Spray Bottles 
  • Foil Cake Pans (Invest in these. I used them ALL the time for tons of experiments!) 
Before any science experiment I like to pass out safety goggles to kids and give them instructions on safe practices. I always make it a point to tell children to NOT EAT anything. The ingredients in this experiment are not harmful, but sometimes I use borax or other harmful chemicals that they should not ingest. So I’ve just made it a rule to not eat anything they experiment with. If we do use something that is edible (twizzlers for DNA models), I give them extras after the experiment.

Pass out a cake pan with some baking soda to each child. I let the kids touch it and tell me what it feels like. Does it smell like anything?

After that you can pass out the shaving cream. Depending on your class size you may want to prep containers with it beforehand. If you have a smaller class, you can go around and put the cream in their pans individually. (Exact amount varies. It’s best to do the experiment first and find what ratio works best for you. I ended up adding more shaving cream to the amount pictured below.)

Have them use their hands to mix the two ingredients together. Now what does it feel like? Does it smell differently? Is it warm or cold? (Yes, this is VERY messy!)

Encourage them to make a snow man with their mixture. They can use the foam pieces to personalize their snowman. Is your snowman tall and thin or short and squat?

Put the vinegar in spray bottles. We have one for each child, but one for each table is fine too. One per table will allow the children to witness the experiment several times. Have the children spray their snowman with the vinegar. What happened? What does it smell like? Is the snowman warm or cold now? What are some things you noticed when your snowman “melted”? Did it make a noise?

What is the science behind the experiment?
The vinegar is an acid and the baking soda is a base. When and acid and a base come in contact, they create a reaction. In this case, they react and create a gas, carbon dioxide. The reaction is an endothermic reaction which means all the “heat” is used to create the reaction leaving the product cold. The children should let you know that the melted snow man got colder.