Five for Friday ~ January 30

Well, Hello Friday!
Are you back again?
(Thank goodness!)

Are you ready for some randomness from my week?

As always, thank you Kacey for hosting this link-up!

So here's a peek into the lab this week:
Physical and Chemical Changes: Make elephant toothpaste to get your kids excited!

Third grade is finishing up a study of chemical changes and I attempted to create Elephant Toothpaste in a giant bottle. Epic failure! Not enough ingredients for such a large bottle. I thought this ginormous bottle would make the ultimate, really huge elephant toothpaste. Wrong!
I switched back to a smaller beaker and here you are:

Physical and Chemical Changes: Make elephant toothpaste to get your kids excited!
There is a secret to making this work the best!
And it is not the big bottle. It's all about the peroxide!
If you want to read more about this fantastic activity check this blog post: Click {HERE}



Fourth graders and fifth graders just finished an Egg Drop event: 
STEM Challenge: It's all about egg drops! Kids have to devise a way to make the containers glide to the floor without breaking an egg!

But trust me- this was one of the greatest most spectacular challenges EVER!
They loved it! They did a super job.
We are now going to tackle another egg event! It involves parachutes. Yep, parachutes and eggs. Sounds like just what a group of kids needs to do!

If you want to read more about our egg drop events click right {HERE}!


Y'all I am so sad.
Tonight is the LAST  night for the best TV show ever:
I am getting the tissue box ready because I know it will be such a fabulous ending. Although that is an oxymoron. I am predicting that it will end with this family around a table and they will all be talking at the same time and it will be just joy-filled.
I want to be in that family.

What a TpT Adventure I have had this week!
You may have seen me mentioned in the Newsletter last Sunday.
Then I had a featured product on TpT's Facebook page.
They posted about a product I offered for free for a few days.
Holy Moly- the downloads for that little package went from 31 to 850 in two hours.
That number has continued to climb and I am so excited for all the classrooms that potentially have that STEM Challenge to complete- because it is spectacular. What an amazing thing it is to know that so many kids will be making sailboats in the next few weeks. My students loved this challenge!
Want it?
Click on the picture- but in a day or so it will no longer be a freebie! Enjoy!

So this happened this week:
I walked into my bathroom and found all those Q-tips on the floor.
Later, I discovered how they got there. That baby cat was grabbing them by the paw-ful and throwing them out to play with. She LOVES them! I think it is a rather dangerous toy. 


And finally, I hosted MY FIRST LINKY!
If you missed it, it will still be live for two weeks. All you have to do is blog about your science class or what your class is doing in science and link up! How easy is that?
Click {HERE} to get to the linky!
This week's link-up lasts for two weeks, but I would LOVE to make it a weekly feature! What do you think?


Have a great weekend!
7

What is Going on in Your Science Class? Quick Containers


Are you ready for this?
It's a Science link-up!
I have to tell you that, by far, my blog posts that get the most views (other than the ones with silly videos) are the ones where I show things we are building or doing in the science lab!
And, I totally get that!
I love reading about things other science teachers are doing!
So, let's link up with some blog posts about what you are up to in your science class!

First, grab this excessively cute button to show on your blog post. Please link it back to this blog!

Then write all about your latest and greatest science experience! Join the link up at the bottom of this post and then go read about everyone's  adventures! Leave some comments cause we all like to know people are reading.  I'll start us off!

So, the other day I had this amazing Brain Pop!
My lab students love to build things and then put weights in them to test them!
So, I thought.....hmmmmm...why not try a container.
So, first I tried to make one.
STEM Quick Challenge: Easy prep and easy materials will have your students designing and building a container with some challenging rules. Can it hold weight? Can it close and latch? Amazing!
Now, my brain is very black/white, logical, symmetrical (think OCD) so of course I cut a cube pattern. By the way the paper I used was one inch square grid paper, but a heavy weight. Perfect for this project!
Well, my container worked very well!
So, I decided to try this with fourth graders!

Here's one group's progression:
STEM Quick Challenge: Easy prep and easy materials will have your students designing and building a container with some challenging rules. Can it hold weight? Can it close and latch? Amazing!

The rules of this task were that the lid of the container had to hinge and fasten closed. It also had to have a handle and hold weight.
I know, right? Pretty tough constraints.
I even had a kid say, "Mrs. Davis, are you kidding, this is going to be hard!"
My response was, "Then just think of how proud you will be when you are successful!"

And for the most part, they were successful. The hardest part was attaching the handle and that also turned out to be the weakest spot. When the weight of the pennies we put in it got really heavy it was usually the handle that gave way.

One group told me they were thinking about a hamburger box when they designed theirs:
STEM Quick Challenge: Easy prep and easy materials will have your students designing and building a container with some challenging rules. Can it hold weight? Can it close and latch? Amazing!

Here's just a collage of several in progress and some finished boxes.
So, how did they do on testing with weight? The container that held the most weight held.... 375 pennies! That is really heavy! I don't have a photo of it, but that container was shaped like an envelope. 
Anyway, this was a really neat little design challenge.

STEM Quick Challenge: Easy prep and easy materials will have your students designing and building a container with some challenging rules. Can it hold weight? Can it close and latch? Amazing!


So, what have you been doing in your Science Class?
Link up below and tell us all about it.
We want to see photos and hear about the good and the bad. Please include my button linked back to this page. Items in your post can link to your store (of course), but please don't link directly to your store from here.

Science Rocks!
 Thanks so much!

Need more STEM Ideas?



3

Blasting Off! Balloon Rockets!

Time for a popular feature on this little old blog....
what?
Friends, do you know how long it has been since I blogged with the title
"What's Going on in the Lab?"
Since APRIL.
APRIL.
Well, it's not like I don't write about what is going on the lab. I do. All the time.
But I do plan to make this a regular feature!
Maybe even a weekly, or bi-weekly, or monthly linky party!
 More about that later.

First a cute button:


So, this past week I had my fourth graders making BALLOON ROCKETS!

Mind you, I knew they would love this. When you ask kids what they want to do in science they always say the same things:
I want to make something explode.
I want to make something blow up.
I want to do rockets,
Or roller coasters.

So, this week it was rockets, with balloons as the power to launch them into the air.

The premise was fairly easy, the supplies were super easy, and the plan behind this was simple.
Did it work that way?
NOPE!

First of all, the kids had to launch the rockets vertically, cause that is the way rockets go after all.

I hung strings in the lab from the bottom of the dome for this. Kids had to attach the rockets to a straw threaded with the string and then let the filled balloon go.
They had some great ideas:
STEM Challenge: Students use balloon to power their vertical rockets. The rockets are propelled along a string and must resemble a rocket!
This group made a roly-poly out of tape and threaded the string through it. The force of the balloon blasting off ripped the tape off.
STEM Challenge: Students use balloon to power their vertical rockets. The rockets are propelled along a string and must resemble a rocket!
This group made a cap for the balloon. They used one of the supplies and cut it into strips and attached it to the string. The balloon was placed under the little cap and they thought it would just stay under the cap and ride up the string track. Well, it didn't. The balloon took off across the room.....
STEM Challenge: Students use balloon to power their vertical rockets. The rockets are propelled along a string and must resemble a rocket!
This group made a sleeve for the balloon and I really thought this would work. They had so much trouble blowing the balloon up between trials they had to invent a way to do it easier. See, the second balloon attached to a straw attached to the first balloon. Goodness, I am not totally sure what they were thinking, but I can tell you they scrapped the whole idea and started over.
STEM Challenge: Students use balloon to power their vertical rockets. The rockets are propelled along a string and must resemble a rocket!
This one was my absolute favorite. The boys wanted their rocket to actually look like a rocket. Then the balloon would not fit inside it. So they tried taping the balloons to the outside. They really wanted exhaust pipes so they inserted straws into the balloons to blow up the balloons and that did work. However, the balloons leaked air and they never could get their rocket off the ground.

Seems like total failures all around, right?

Well, not really. We had as many successful launches as failed launches. We experimented with different sizes of balloons as one class thought their large balloons were too heavy and created failure. We decided the paper and card stock used did make the rockets too heavy. The creative models I saw were really amazing, but in the end the simple balloons attached to a straw were the most successful. 

This is a really neat little STEM Challenge- didn't cost much! The kids loved it. I loved it!
In fact, in one class when I announced what our challenge for the day was going to be, I had a boy exclaim, "Oh wow, Mrs. Davis, this is on my bucket list!"

Now, you just can't beat that!
So, what have you been up to in your Science class?
5

It's Shark Week!

Not really...
but it got your attention, right?

Once upon a time, a really long time ago, hubs and I decided to move away
to a new state
and live away from family
and make our fortune.
We moved to  Florida!
Yes, that is right, Florida!
Jacksonville, to be exact.

It was a grand adventure (even though it totally failed and we moved back home after two years).
We lived 11 miles from the beach and we went every weekend. We particularly liked South Ponte Vedra Beach.
No crowds.
Basically, we would sometimes be the only people for miles.
Forgive, the awful photo. I found that in a photo album (remember those) and took a picture of it with my phone. This was taken way before even people on TV had cell phones....

Anyway, one of my favorite things to do on the beach was walk and pick up.....

SHARK TEETH!

I am not kidding.
We found ten tons of shark teeth laying in the sand, right there on that beach.
Collection of shark teeth that I sometimes use in my classroom! We actually picked these up on the beach!
I know that doesn't look like ten tons. But it is about 300 little teeth.
Collection of shark teeth that I sometimes use in my classroom! We actually picked these up on the beach!
All shapes and sizes!
Here's a size comparison of a couple of our shark teeth!
That big one didn't actually come from the beach. We found it near St. John's River while hiking. But the little bitty one, it did come from the Atlantic coast beach. Those tiny ones were the hardest to find and I usually found them by sifting sand through my fingers.
Here's a size comparison of a couple of our shark teeth!
So, how big is the big one?
Well, there ya go! You should get a dime out and just think about how tiny that little one is!
Can you see the serrated edge of that tooth? Oh my, it looks like the edge of a saw!
Different kind of shark had that one.
I also found a lot of these pointy ones. From what I can tell (from Internet pictures) the pointy ones might be from sand tiger sharks. The serrated one might be a bull shark.
I'd like to think the big giant one is a Great White. What do you think?

Now, in case you are wondering about the swimming in the Atlantic Beach oceans.....
we probably didn't do much of that! I grew up watching Jaws. Just sayin'....

Somehow, I always think of that scene from the movie where the girl is in the ocean and you hear that music.......
Now, most scientists will tell you that sharks do not purposely attack humans. In fact, it is said that sharks don't like the taste of humans. I would love to know how that was proven.
Anyhow, I have read a lot about sharks lately.

Take a Look:
Using Non Fiction Text Features: A poster from a shark task card set!

How interesting that sharks do not have a skeleton! Wouldn't that be fun for kids to research and maybe draw diagrams of the internal workings of a shark?
Using Non Fiction Text Features: A poster from a shark task card set!

Fifty miles an hour! Oh my goodness! I also read that The Mako cruises at 35 mph just for normal swimming. So, next time you are driving through your neighborhood think about that!

Using Non Fiction Text Features: A poster from a shark task card set!

Isn't that funny about the woobegong shark?  It can't swim so it just lays on the bottom until something swims close enough and then it leaps up and eats it! Surprise!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this little journey into shark land! 
Read more about sharks. They really are quite fascinating-
but I still don't plan to go swimming in the ocean anytime soon.....

This is much safer:
This set of task cards is now my all time favorite thing I have ever created. The magazine pages with reading selections are precious! 
Here is just one of them:
Using Non Fiction Text Features: A poster from a shark task card set!

I know, right! How delicious is that?
I had great fun making this set and learned so much! Your kids will love the task cards that go with the magazine pages, too!
Who doesn't love sharks?

Do you need more ideas for non-fiction?
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