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Monday, March 25, 2013

St. Patrick's Green-Science

St. Patrick's Day was full of activities that were both fun and educational. We began the day wearing our awesome shirts and receiving our pencil gift from the little leprechauns.







The phrase of the day was:  Chemical Reaction!
We have been immersed in our science unit. I have been trying to make it as hands-on as possible, while simultaneously deepening their understanding of what and why things happen. The following were simple, yet purposeful in providing practice writing chemical reactions and formulas.

Activity #1 Green Chocolate-Chip Pancakes
Students wrote down the reactants and then wrote the products. We discussed what we started with and the precipitate we ended up with--and the best part was that we got to eat them as well!



Activity #2 Gak
I love science! I am fascinated by how it increases curiosity, engages the mind, and develops a sense of inquiry. One of my favorite science people of all times, is Steve Spangler. He has this absolutely awesome website with tons of experiments you can do with your kiddos. There are of course tons of items you can buy off the store website that are so cool (I am definitely guilty of that), but not necessary. Simply click on the picture below for complete directions and explanation of the what/why.
 GAK - Elmer's Glue Borax Recipe


  


Activity #3 Green Play-dough
This activity came from Rockabye Butterfly. It was so simple and they loved smelly it. The complete directions are on the site.
[Explanations: The flour, salt, water, and oil are combining to form a new substance. They cannot be separated back into their original substances or states because a chemical reaction has occurred creating a dough with a puffy, stretchy, pliable texture. Foods, fabrics, plastics, fibers, gels, rubber, and gooey stuff are all materials that form chains of molecules called polymers. Polymers are solids because they hold their shape even though it is stretchy or pliable.]


                                           Source: rockabyebutterfly.com via4everateacher on Pinterest




Activity #4 Borax Shamrock Crystals
I know this is NOT a chemical reaction. It is a suspension which is a type of mixture, but I knew it would be a great review of mixtures/solution. The picture below is linked back to Steve Spangler's site on how to do it and the explanation. All we did is shape the pipe cleaner into a shamrock. Steve says to use white pipe cleaners and food coloring. We used green pipe cleaners and no food coloring. Within an hour you could see the formation of crystals on the pipe cleaner. My kiddos were blown away at what they were observing.

Borax Crystal Snowflake







                                
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                   

        




We ended our celebration of St. Patrick's Day by eating some yummy green sauce nachos. I have to admit they looked a little weird, but as you can see by my kiddos' faces, they enjoyed them.







Even though many of these activities can be done with much younger children, the science behind them was perfect for our chemical reactions (mixtures/solutions) unit. I take many things for granted and sometimes assume that my kiddos have had exposure to many of these activities at home, but the reality is that most had never done any of these before. They were so captivated, engaged, and above all having lots of fun learning.

What are your go to sites for science?

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Children...

By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
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