Sunday, January 25, 2015

Winter explorations

We are studying the question "What happens in winter?" Here are some glimpses into the discoveries we've been making lately!

What do you see in winter?
We went on an observational walk outside, and then wrote about what we saw outside. This was great practice for stretching out words for spelling! These are hanging on the board in our classroom if you'd like to come see.

Making Snowflakes
We learned how to make snowflakes out of coffee filters. A few kindergarteners noticed that when you throw them up in the air, they float down, instead of falling straight down like other objects. This led to a fascinating 20-minute discussion on what makes things fall down, and why some objects behave differently than others! The whole class chimed in, and we began talking about gravity and how heavy objects are. The kids were so fascinated by the concept of gravity that we ended up interrupting our next activity to read a book and watch a Bill Nye the Science Guy video about gravity and how the earth turns. This is still a favorite topic of discussion and research!

Free play
I put cotton balls and marshmallows in our sensory table to use as fake snow. Throw in a couple of toy cars, and this area was a hit! The sensory table is a great place for kids to develop imaginative play, fine motor skills, and sensory experiences.

One of our options for homework was to walk around our neighborhood or homes and record what happens in winter. Here are some of the response sheets!

Time for Kids Antarctic webcast
We were also very lucky to participate in a very cool webcast put on by Time for Kids. A scientist studying penguins broadcast live from Antarctica to share what life is like at the South Pole! There were fewer glimpses of penguins, and more talk from the scientist, than most of the kindergarteners had hoped. But it was still a very cool thing to see!

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