Tried this demonstration at home before I try it in the classroom. It shows how hot and cold water can both mix or not mix together. I used blue food coloring for cold water and yellow food coloring for hot water (didn’t have red handy at home, but will use red at school). It also demonstrates a great surface tension trick with the upside down jar of water and a playing card. I use playing cards b/c the waxy surface works best for either demo. (I used old glass jelly jars, we go through a lot of jelly at my house. I run them in the dishwasher and save them for science experiments.)
For this demo, I am not going to tell the kids that I am using cold and hot water. Want to see if they can figure it out .
When the cold blue water is on the top, and the hot yellow water in on the bottom, as soon as you pull the card away, they mix and the water turns green in both jars. (purple if you use red). When the cold water is on the bottom, and the hot water is on the top, when you take the card away, it does NOT mix like before. there may be a small zone of mixing where the two meet. Great discussion about density and the effects of temperature on the movement of the water particles.
It is a pretty cool trick and I think the kids will love it when they see it, only b/c it is so unexpected for them .
For more information, check out this website: http://www.exploratorium.edu/science_explorer/watertrick.html
Saw this slide and audio presentation about Atomic Bomb testing in the NY Times. I will be teaching my atomic unit soon and love finding different resources to add to my lessons.
This is a first person account by George Yoshitake, now 82, and his work as a camera man during atomic testing.
I have been adding BrainPOP’s FYI pages to my student’s notebooks. They are a very good resource for additional content information, and they are great to use as grade level non-fiction reading passages. When I ask the kids to read the passages, they have to highlight at least 5 facts from the reading, then we discuss it in class the next day.
- Here are some free FYI examples from the Jane Goodall page:
Starting penny boat challenge, had the idea of having the kids make prototype boats out of paper first. Worked out really well. The paper behaves much like the foil when it comes to folding and trying different shapes. Some kids struggled with where to start since it was a blank slate and they weren’t given directions on how to build their boats…just the rules of what they can’t do. No tape, no glue, no staples, no materials what so ever. Just the pennies they will add to the boat.
Next class we will use real foil and stoppers as cargo to check for sea worthyness. Then we compete with pennies.
The website for the interactive TBB has been moved to the following address:
I have been using this interactive website prior to using a real TBB with my students, and it has made a huge difference in the ability of my 5th graders to read the balances accurately, esp with the 10ths place value.
The values are randomly generated and the students get instant feedback as to if they read the balance correctly or not. Sometimes, the answer is in the 100ths place, but I tell them that its impossible to really know what the hundredths place value is, and as long as their 10ths place value is correct, or close (0.78 = 0.8 g) their answer is ok. They have updated the activity, last year, almost every answer had a value in the 100ths place. So I was happy to see that change.
Here is the worksheet I use with the website:
Last year, I used to hand out pencils whenever students needed one. The school has pencils we can give them, but it go to the point where I would literally go through boxes of pencils in a few days.
This year, we really stress that each kid should have a pencil-case that they carry to every class. On my desk I keep a cup of sharpened pencils, when a student needs a sharpened pencil, I will swap with them. They give me their dull pencil, and I give them a sharpened pencil. If a student doesn’t have a pencil, they can borrow from a friend or use one of the colored pencils we keep on the tables. So far, this has worked well and I don’t have students sharpening pencils during class time, which is noisy and distracting.
When needed, a 5 minute recess detention can work wonders. My 5 minute recess detention consists of sharpening the colored pencils we have in our table baskets… manually with an old-school wall mounted sharpener. I am not a big fan of electric sharpeners. If a student misses a 5 minute detention, they have to serve 10 the next day, and so forth. On Fridays, we have an activity period last period which is when we have our clubs. If a student misses their 5 minute detentions, they serve that time last period on Fridays with the teacher who in charge of detentions.
Some reasons a student may serve a 5 minute detention are: forgetting hw assignments, being unprepared, not having a quiz or test signed and returned, fooling around in a lab, behavior issues, etc…
I added using too much glue in their notebooks as one of the newest ways they can hang with me and sharpen pencils… after 5 weeks of constantly telling them NOT to use more than 4 dots of glue, some kids just can’t help themselves. I tell them that we are not building bridges (which they do in 8th grade out of toothpicks and glue) and 4 dots is REALLY ALL THAT they need =). Otherwise, the notebook gets really soggy and the paper rips when they write on it. Plus I must have the glue last all school year. I can’t buy them for 25 cents in March, only in the summer when Walmart has their sales.