Monday, April 6, 2015

Simple Science

Hi Everyone! I'm Kristen and I'm excited to be sharing some simple science ideas with you today!  I am a BIG fan of Science in the early childhood classroom (K-2).  In this day and age, Science is often the first thing to get booted out of our busy schedules, but I find it so easy to incorporate and it fits in with so many subject areas!  I recently presented a session at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference in Chicago and thought I would share a few ideas with you!
I love to start out my Science units with a great piece of literature; but if you don't have a copy of these, substitute your own!

This idea is all about camouflage! I like to read this book first:

 Then I pass out squares of fabric (I got these at Jo-Ann's and they are precut fat quarters for quilting--so no cutting necessary!) and a variety of plastic bugs/amphibians purchased from the Dollar Tree.  The children work with the plastic critters to find the best camouflage for each one!  As an extension, the children get a critter cut out (fish, butterflies, etc.) and try to camouflage it in the classroom.

My students are always amazed that on a days when we have a rainy morning, the puddles are gone by our sunny afternoon recess.  They love learning about the water cycle and how a drop of water travels.  

I start out with a book about the water cycle:
Then, we do this activity.  I have pony beads in several different colors and location cards that show the different places a drop of water can travel (dirt, plants, animals, pond, lake, cloud, etc.).  The children roll the die; pretending they are a drop of water, to determine where their droplet will travel.  Each time they visit a station, they place one of the pony beads on a pipe cleaner to form a water droplet travel bracelet. They keep rolling the die until you tell them to stop.

This last idea, is one of my favorite! My Kinders and I do a big study each year about the Monarch Butterfly.  I read any one of my favorite Monarch life cycle books and then we make these life cycle bracelets.  I place the pony beads in plastic containers so the children can walk down both sides of the containers as they make their bracelets. I label each container with what part of the life cycle it contains and how many of that bead the child needs to take and add to their pipe cleaner.

I get all my pony beads at Michael's or Jo-Ann's and use my 40% of coupon, wait until they are on sale, or use my teacher discount card.  I also always buy the largest bag possible because I won't have to buy that color again for a long time! :) 

You can get the handouts from my session here.  They contain all the directions for the two bracelets as well as some songs and other ideas for teaching Simple Science in your classroom!

I hope you'll try some of these ideas in your classroom! Follow my blog for more Simple Science ideas!


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