Thursday, October 21, 2010

Worms – We Want to Know!

In class, we focus on inquiry science, which helps students view themselves as scientists while they are learning. They are active in investigations and explorations. Through this, students learn to communicate using a variety of methods.

We recently completed an investigation that took our students through the whole scientific method—from asking a question, to developing an experiment to answer that question, to communicating their results. Look at the pictures below to see what we did!clip_image004


Knowing that worms would be the next animals moving into our classroom, the students first brainstormed things we KNOW and WANT TO KNOW about worms. 

We did research and read many books about worms.  We found that some worms do live in dirt, like the worms we are used to seeing around our houses.  We also found that some worms can be found around trees, in the grass, on rocks, and even in the water!  They decided that the most important question, and the one that needed to be answered first, was “What do worms live in?” or “What will their habitat be?”  Students wanted to be sure they were prepared so the worms could live safely while we studied them.

clip_image010After that, students designed an experiment to allow worms to try different habitat materials (water, dirt, sticks, leaves, grass).  They decided to put four choices of living material in their experiment boxes and let the worms choose where to live.  Experiment plans, or maps, were drawn and labeled, and students added their chosen materials to the box, then put the worms in.


clip_image006clip_image008After letting the worms explore for the weekend, students checked on the worms and collected data about where the worms had chosen to live. The students used that data to create graphs combining the data from each table’s experiment box. Reading the graphs, students were able to determine the best habitat material for the worms in our class – dirt! We set up the habitat and the worms have lived there happily.

Below you can see pictures of the bulletin board we posted for our friends and parents to see and the vocabulary chart we made, which helped us talk about our work, and finally the story we wrote to communicate our study and the results.




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Happy learning!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

What We're Reading - October

October is when it finally starts to feel like fall.  One highlight of the month for us is a field trip to a local pumpkin patch and apple orchard.  On that day we tour the orchard and apple processing area, choose a pumpkin to take home, eat lunch in a picnic area, and visit the petting zoo.

While there, and throughout the month back at school, we talk about many aspects of the changing seasons.  We examine leaves that are changing colors, why the weather gets cooler, and animals who hibernate.
On the day after our trip to the orchard, we have a taste-testing party and we try apple cider and apple donuts.  Later in the month, we’ll meet with our bujavascript:void(0)ddy class and do a taste test of three different apples.  We’ll vote for our favorites and determine which variety is most-liked by our classes.

The books we picked for this month all have to do with pumpkins, apples, and fall.  While we also read many other books throughout the month, it’s fun to highlight these special books.

Happy Reading!