This year is just flying by and the children are becoming little scientists and having a lot of fun in Science class. It was great to see everyone on on Back to School Night, and I hope you all enjoyed hearing about the Science Program, and meeting some of our critters!! I can hardly Believe it's December already!! The Science Program is child-centered, inquiry based and all activities are presented in a fun atmosphere that encourages the development of cognitive skills, and speech, introduces and reinforces vocabulary, and of course presents many scientific concepts and facts about the natural word. The children are encouraged to develop their skills by predicting, observing, classifying, hypothesizing, and communicating during science lessons.
The toddlers needed some time to get used to coming to the science building, and they all seem very comfortable now. We have experimented with many child-friendly scientific tools such as plastic test tubes with screw-on tops, 'squeezey' tweezers and pom-poms, fizzy color tabs in water, ice, balloons, straws, and soap to introduce the children to experimentation. So far, we have experimented with air, space and volume, floating and sinking, pouring, filling , and emptying, water and ice, freezing and melting, magnets, and primary and secondary colors. We also looked at and talked about many different animals and their babies. We saw which animals are pets and which live on a farm. The children also met and interacted with our guinea pigs, crabs, bunnies, turtles, and lizards. All of the toddlers seem to enjoy their science time. Some of their favorites were ice and water, air and balloons, bubbles, and using test tubes.
The nursery classes have been using their senses to explore and discover many different science concepts. We started out with an exciting lesson on buoyancy. The children experimented and learned that some objects float and some sink. Next we worked with some of child-friendly scientific tools like test tubes with screw tops, 'squeezey' tweezers, magnifying glasses, and various types of magnets. Some of their favorite lessons were about air and pressure. We talked about what is inside balloons and bubbles. The children were able to blow bubbles using shallow bowls, straws and water. We also used test tubes with pom-poms and learned how to pour them back and forth filling and emptying the test tubes. We counted how many fit and what colors we used while working on communication and following directions. Another directed fun lesson involved using different sized and shaped beakers, graduated cylinders, and measuring cups with Pom poms, and then marbles. The children identified which they thought held the most and the least then confirmed their guesses by counting the them.
In October the children finished a unit on bones. We looked at some skeletons and bones. We talked about the major bones in our body and what they do focusing on the skull, femur, rib cage, and funny bones. They they made a skeleton using Q-tips.
In November the children looked at my feather collection, and learned that "a bird is a bird if it has feathers". We also looked at many photographs of birds as well as looking at our duck and two Cockatiels. Next, they learned about the different parts on a turkey's body and the terms tom, hen, and poult.
More recently, the children did an experiment with milk, primary colors and dish soap. They saw as the colors mixed during the experiment they created secondary colors. They got to explore magnetism with many different types of magnets and items to see which substances magnets "like" and which they don't like. They are just finishing a measurement investigation using water and many different shapes and sizes of measuring containers. In this investigation the children learned lots of science vocabulary while they predicted and estimated how many cups of water fit into the containers.
The pre-k classes began the year with a unit about living and non-living things. They learned the characteristics of living things and compared them to non-living things. They identified similarities between the two groups using our live animals and the numerous natural history collections at science. The next unit we covered was "feathers, fur, and scales". The children were introduced to four familiar classes of animals mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish using our live animals and Ms. Fro's collections of bones, teeth, feathers and other animal artifacts. Then, the children learned that some animals have bones and some do not. We studied the major bones in the human body and the children were able to identify the bones and their functions. We culminated the unit by making a skeleton out of pasta.
For Halloween we talked about our sense of touch and the many words we can use to describe how something feels. The children put their hands into four 'feely' boxes and had to use sentences to guess what they felt and to describe it.
The kindergartners learned about living and non-living things. Using the inquiry method they were encouraged to identify the needs of living things. They also worked in the garden preparing it for spring planting. They compared plants and animals and saw how they are alike and different. They learned the major bones in the body and their functions and did a scientific drawing of a skeleton with white pencils on black paper. They do many of the lessons the 4's do but in much more depth.
The full day nursery have used the scales with rocks, pom-poms and other items learning about measurement and weight. They have used magnifying glasses to look at different types of rocks seeing similarities and differences. They interacted with our rabbits and learned how to treat them. They experimented with test tubes filling and emptying them and using them to make patterns. They also used fizzy tablets to make different colors in the test tubes. They combined ingredients to make atomic slime.
The full day pre-k have used scales and experimented with the concepts of heavy and light. We learned about farm animals and why farms are so important. They met the rabbits and learned how to brush them and saw their nails get clipped. They used test tubes with many different items and practiced counting, estimating and measuring. They learned how to make their own layered patterns in our large test tubes. We also do lots of free experimentation with our scientific tools.
So far we are having a fantastic year!! Enjoy the holidays!