Thursday, August 25, 2016

Summer Camp Week 6

Clang, Bang, Boom: The Physics of Sound

School Aged Classroom with Ms. Zoia and Ms. Camardese

During this week the children explored sounds in a variety of different ways. We explored how sound travels through vibrations. Here are some of the highlights from this week of summer camp. 

On the first day we explore many different kinds of instruments to see how the sound was made. 


We used recycled materials to build a wind chime to add to the garden. 

 The school aged classroom worked with the preschool classrooms to create a sound wall on the playground using recycled materials. 


As we looked at the vibrations of sound the children used handmade drums to move confetti. 

We used straws and masking tape to learn how sound waves move.  

We used slinkys to show the difference between sound waves. 

Summer Camp Week 5

Chemistry in Cooking

School Aged Classroom with Ms. Zoia and Ms. Camardese

This week we explored the chemistry behind many different types of cooking methods. We pickled cucumbers to make our own pickles. We learned about fermentation by making pizza dough and watching as the yeast made the dough rise. The children explored emulsion by making our own salad dressing and mixing oil and water on the light table. A big part of our week was learning about recipes and how they help us to know what ingredients we need, how much we need, and the steps on how to make it. We also explored many different chemical reaction by conducting a science experiment each day to see what the chemical reaction would be.  The children were working with many different math and science concepts during the week. 

Elephant Toothpaste: Chemical reaction between dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and yeast (mixed with warm water).  As the yeast reacts with the water it produces the gas, carbon dioxide.  The carbon dioxide reactions with the the hydrogen and oxygen in the hydrogen peroxide and causes the dish soap to foam up.  The children were introduced to the different states of matter: solid, liquid and gas.

Self inflating balloon: Chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda.  During this experiment, we also used yeast and water (since we already knew yeast produces a gas) to see which would inflate the balloon faster.  The children had to make predictions and use the scientific method.  We found the baking soda and vinegar balloon inflated faster, but the yeast and water balloon stayed inflated for longer.


Making our own salad dressing using oil, vinegar, garlic


Mixing Oil and Water
We explored the mixing of oil and water in plastic bags. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

We mixed vinegar in with watercolor then the children used eye droppers to squeeze the mixture onto the baking soda. They noticed how their was a chemical reaction between the two. They described it as fizzling.  


Slime: mixing glue and liquid starch

The starch and the glue react to make a sticky substance.  At first the children were not sure it would mix (it looked very liquidy and wet) but with more kneading the slime turned out great.  (Here is the recipe we used, but we did not include the water 



The children made their own pickles by cutting up mini cucumbers, adding spices, then adding vinegar. They patiently waited for four days before they could taste them. They were delicious! 


Here are the links to the recipes we used this week while exploring chemistry in cooking: 
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
   Vegan Pancakes
   Pizza Dough
    Slow Cooker Apple Sauce
   Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

Summer Camp Week 4

Where the Wild Things Are

School Aged Classroom with Ms. Zoia and Ms. Camardese

During this week we explored different habitats and the animals that live there. We focused on a different animal habitat each day. 

On Monday we explored the animals that live in ponds. During this day the children got to observe frogs, build an ecosystem and recreate some of Monet's famous water lily paintings. To build our ecosystem we used: pop bottles, gravel, grass seeds, dirt, minnows, worms, aquarium plants and pond water. The children observed the changes throughout the week and discovered the grass was growing!

On Tuesday we discovered all of the creatures living underwater in the oceans . The children went whale watching, researched the depth of the ocean and the creatures that inhibit the deepest and darkest parts, painted colorful fish and constructed a coral reef out of recycled materials. 

On Wednesday we traveled to the Arctic and Antarctica to explore the animals in this habitat. The children experienced how animals keep warm by sticking their hand into a water table full of ice. They used a homemade bag of blubber to protect them from the cold water just like the animals in the arctic. They took on the role of Eskimos and build their own igloo. 

On Thursday the children were archaeologists. We traveled to the dessert to dig for dinosaur bones, paint with sand and create their own fossil using animal tracks. 

On Friday we traveled to the rain forest where we made rain sticks to mimic the sounds we would hear, build a tree house, and constructed animals out of clay. 


Science Alive came to visit! 



Friday, July 8, 2016

Our Ducklings

Look how much the ducklings have grown.  What did you learn about ducks after watching the video?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Of Motion and Machines
Of motion and machines is a journey of the preK/Kindergarten class during the 2015-2016 year.  Four children looped from last year’s preK into Kindergarten this year.  With them came an expertise about slats as means of motion and as a machine when used as a ramp.  During self-initiated play, their previous knowledge was exhibited and engaged children new to the classroom.  The new arrangement of the environment and new materials also provoked them to travel new avenues with their thinking.  Throughout the year, changing the materials provided the opportunity to transfer thinking, building upon it and extending in new directions.  Inventiveness, competition, motion, rules, roles...all played a part in the motion and machines explorations. As teacher participants, we played along with the children generating questions about what the children wondered and considering how to lead them to the answers they sought.  By provoking play in the direction needed to develop skills, the children mastered many concepts in each content area and developmental domain. 
Following are a few episodes of play from this year:
9-23-15 Racing balls down the slats to investigate speed.

To develop ideas of faster and slower the children will use slats and compare three different ramp heights. The speed was measured by the race...first one to finish is fastest. Once the children saw the “bigger” ramp produce the winner, they calculated the number of blocks needed at the base to make them all the same and see what would happen. The children were able to observe, predict and develop conclusions about how their adjustments to the ramp height changed the speed of the ball.

10-19-15 Building according to a slat plan designed by children projected on the wall.

The children are working together! When they ran into a glitch Luke said, “That is Ian’s plan. We need to ask him for help.”  When Ian arrived he combined his plan to Ben’s plan causing Ben to say, “Let’s make a plan system.”  The use of tubes again and rainbow blocks continue to suggest the idea of going through.  To foster this thinking we will explore the gate game.  10/28 we drew plans to consider the idea of catching as the ball rolls off the slat.  We are seeing signs of symbolic thinking along with introduction of new, creative ideas, like Ben Lewis’ plan to add bells so you will hear, “...ding, ding, dings and then  goes over and ends here.” 10/29 The children understand the need to test their ideas and the value of plans.  Sully says, “If we put our ideas together we will make the best slats in the school!”
10-27-15 Playing the gate game.

To practice taking perspectives, to develop aim which is needed to further the work with slats, and to continue to cultivate working together we played the gate game. In order to follow the idea of having the slat jump from one slat to the other they will need to learn skills of aim and catching.  The children considered these proposed questions as they play: What do you have to do to get the ball through the gate? How do you have to roll the ball? We saw leadership skills being practiced when Violet says, “Raise your hand if you want to go next.”  As well as perspective taking when Norah says, “She should be next, she was here first.”  The children came up with ideas about patterns, standing in lines, making a list, the number of turns and certain accomplishments determining the rules for turn-taking.  We will need more practice developing rules and communicating them.  10/27 Afforded more practice.  Aim proves to continue to need more practice.  The children began rolling through the “table” of blocks. How is the “tunnel’ helping their aim?

11-12-15 Taking the challenge to roll the ball through the big block table.
To practice problem solving skills, as well as aiming, and to continue gaining skills to work with our slats, we will roll balls through big blocks. Having a team on each side will continue to provoke communication, perspective taking, turn-taking, and rule develop as the children create the game.  As the children played they counted the holes.  They realized some holes allowed them to see the other side.  Other holes were deemed “bank” holes because the ball would bounce of the side an make it out a hole not directly across from where it entered.  They understand the value of seeing: Abe tells Luis, “Go on that side to see if it comes to me.”  Ben Lewis lifted the blocks on top to decide which hole to put the ball in and stated, “I’m trying to see.” 11/16 The children are challenged with the task of building the table through which to roll the balls.  Once the base layer was complete, they followed the format.  Ben Lewis counted 21 different holes but discerned, “There are three holes that go through.”  Tubes were added by Fouad to block the balls.  This is the first use of blocking we have observed with tubes. What is the correlation to catching in the slats?  We will continue to catch with slats. 11/23 As the children play, they add slats to the gate game. 1/6 The question of “fair” comes into play as more and more people join the game.  The building of the table for the gate game has led the children to invent the hockey table. 

1-27-16 Playing with the ball on top of the contraption.

As the children are exploring the contraption putting things through the tubes, they are raising questions about things being on top. This will extend their ideas about ramps as the contraption tilts. Playing with the ball on top yielded the need for more communication as the children developed games almost like playing catch.  Fortunately many leader words were heard.  2/5 As the children play the “catch” game with the ball on top of the contraption again, they are discussing making a line so you know when it’s your turn, point scoring, how to drop the ball onto the top to begin play, and the number of people who can play.  Rules are being developed. 2/18 Continuing exploring with the contraption, the children will put balls in the tubes or on top.  With the balls in the tubes, the children understand the pattern of tilting the top one way and then the other to perpetuate motion.  They experimented with using two balls at once.  They are of the opinion that there is more control when the balls are inside the tube.

1-29-16 Playing table hockey.
The children have tested several plans so we will build the hockey table with Lucas' idea of a support beam behind the goal post and test it with play.  As they play the children exhibited much joy!  They encouraged one another and played like good sports.  As the built the hockey table they understood the need for symmetry to solve the problem of making the goal be stable.  There may be a need for written rules as some children are saying shots are “no goal” even after the group agreed what a goal was.  2/3 The children were calling goals "no goal". Today we will sort out what a goal isThe children agreed it is a goal if: the puck goes off the table, under the goalpost, and between the railings. However, they do not agree about how far off the table it goes.  One child is expressing opinions loudly and expressively.  Are all opinions being expressed and heard? We may need more consensus.  2/8 The children practiced what was a goal and ideas about how it can go too far off the table. By playing they will be able to build context to make a decision with the group about the distance after the score.  As they play, the goal is reconfigured to prevent the puck from going “too far” as the are saying “That’s not fair” in regard to scoring when the puck does this.  This is a switch from a few days ago.  What brought the change?

2-22-16 Building a tall ramp with railings.
 The children set up a ramp incorporating TALL (a frequent interest). They incorporated sides (from the hockey table) We will observe to see how aim and rules and roles come into the play.  The children persevere rolling again and again.  They notice the cylinder spins at the bottom and curves back around.  After their exploration we wonder: How could we observe and keep track the number of things that make it? The children also painted on a cylinder easel to track motion today (see motion paint documentation).  2/24 The tall ramp exploration continued. The children began to explore the motion of disc objects.  The children noted that some of the discs worked and some didn't. Today we will collect data to measure the success of shapes rolling down.

 3-7-16 Keeping score, setting up pins, returning the ball, and bowling with our bowling machine.
Once the bowling machine was finished, the children were able to show what they know of bowling.  Some know the configuration of the pins like in a bowling alley.  They sort out who will do each job by asking each other!  Without bowling score sheets and perhaps knowledge the children kept score in their own way.  For example, writing a list of the number of pins that fell.  We will pursue scorekeeping more to see what the children know about bowling and math. 3/8 The children kept score the following ways: writing addition sentences (recording the first number that fell, then the second number that fell to get a total of fallen pins) writing subtraction sentences (writing 10– the number that fell),  writing X when all the pins fell.  In the construction of the bowling machine, as the children built the roof over the return ramp of the machine, we are reminded of their earlier interest in tunnels.  The children worked out how to take turns being the ball return person.  No one want to set up pins.  There is a suggestion to add chairs like at the bowling alley to wait for your turn to bowl. The questions is raised about how to get a spare.

4-11-16 Testing a basketball return machine.
The children have compiled ideas about building a machine to return the basketball. By building they will learn how to connect a plan to real life which will help them define materials closer. They think the need a trampoline but we don't have one so they will have to re-engineer to find other ways to bounce back. The children incorporate ideas from previous explorations, “First we have to stack them up. We have to make them like stairs.”  They placed some blocks slanted, “This will help the ball to this way back to us.” They built edges, “So when the ball rolls off it can support it to stay on.” “These will block it from falling off.” The children incorporated the tubes showing their recollection from the cascade ramp.  They also expect the ball to roll down and then have force to go up again as they experienced in the ramp and cylinder explorations.
5-18-16 Playing Lincoln Log bowling.
 5/18 Previously during rest time second choice, Mr. Brent and the children invented a game. By playing the game they will cooperate and also develop strategies. Force will continue to be explored as they knock down the Lincoln Log bowling pins. Next step will be developing uniform rules. Last time some children started 4 pins and some had 10. The children decided on nine rules: Each player starts with four. When more than two people play, make a circle. Must roll/flick the marble on the ground with your hand. Once a Lincoln Log falls down, it stays down even if you knock your own log over. Logs knocked over illegally can be put back up. You cannot roll towards the person next to you.  You must roll/flick next to your own logs.  When all of your logs are knocked over you must watch or leave. You can’t defend or stop the marble.  If the person blocks the marble then that person loses a log.

 Following are a few skills the children developed in from this play:

Measuring while building
Measuring distance travelled
Measuring time
Addition and subtraction
Engineering cycle...ask, plan, test, adjust,
Observe, predict, and conclude
Impact of shape on motion
Perpetuating continuous motion
Force...launch versus roll
Writing plans
Speaking and listening to each other’s ideas
Vocabulary development
Ask questions to clarify
Social studies
Creating a game (common goal/purpose)
Development of strategies for taking turns
Communication for working together
Development of rules
Development of roles
Position words
Consideration of what is “fair”
Cooperation / collaboration
Ownership /  responsibility
Developing a point of view / opinion
Motion painting joins knowledge of paint with understanding force and  direction
Clay sculpting utilized and reinforced stability
Social emotional
Defending others
Waiting for a turn
Good sportsmanship
Leader words vs. bossy words
Perspective taking
Symbolic thinking:
        representing motion with arrows, etc.
        number sentences
        various invented means of scoring
Transferring knowledge to solve new problem
Problem solving
Following  a plan
Flexibility to consider other ideas
Fine motor: writing, launching marble
Articulation muscles: speaking, blowing
Large motor: building with big blocks, bowling shooting basketball

Documenting Our Learning

The addition of a SmartBoard to our classroom provided the children with the opportunity to document.  We practiced writing, inserting shapes, and photos. Further the children learned to edit and change what they wrote and inserted.  They changed colors, moved things to change order, and altered writing so the documentation matched their reflection.  While this piece was a culmination presentation, we hope to have the documenting process be concurrent now that the SmartBoard is here to stay.