PLTW: Light and Sound

We are super lucky to have loads of new resources for science this year from Project Lead the Way, courtesy of a grant from the Kirkwood School District Foundation.   It means we are able to add in so much more hands-on learning, and focus more deeply on engineering, design and coding in STEM this year, which is GREAT!!

Our first STEM unit this year is light and sound and we have been doing some really fun things already.

Before we even got into the unit, we did some things to expose kiddos to the big ideas, and to get them interested.  One of those was to invite a Kirkwood Scientist, Mr. Bartin, to our classroom. Ok, well really Ms. Turken invited him to Rm. 203 and we tagged along, but he was here to share some interesting ideas about sounds with first grade.

Then we had some time to explore in non-fiction books from the library that we explored with a partner.  Kiddos were responsible to read a light book and a sound book (or one that had both topics together) and then create a representation of something they learned or something that was important from their reading out of play-doh (and somehow I don’t any pictures of their creations!  Boo.  Believe me–they were great. 🙂 ).

Then once the unit started, it was with a story to help set the stage.  This one is about three friends who have a problem: they get lost in the woods while on a walk with their class. 😦

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As we work through the rest of the unit, we will learn and explore with light and sound and eventually be presented with a design challenge much like our friends in the story.

We began with some exploring with some everyday objects (that someone might have in their backpack on a hike!):

We are keeping track of our learning in a Launch Log and will be able to go back and review it throughout the unit.  We’ve just begun light explorations and will even spend the whole morning tomorrow outside as scientists with common objects like flashlights, magnifying glasses, and more!  Can’t wait to share what we learn!

Dot Day UPDATE: We Made Our Mark!

I hope that you have already enjoyed the story of our Dot Day 2016 celebration, but if not, you might want to check that out first, and then you will have an even better idea of how we got here.  This is an update–one thing I forgot to share (what??) and our amazing paintings that weren’t ready to share yet.  Believe me, these MARKS are amazing!

First our favorite parts of Dot Day (not surprisingly, it was the DOTS for most kiddos!)

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Now the BEST part.  🙂  We made dots and watched them splatter…and we wrote about them, too!