Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cooking with Science

As you know, this is my first year teaching science and I am really starting to like it!  I know, it's February and I'm JUST NOW starting to like it???  Well actually, I'm now more comfortable with it which makes it more fun, lol.  One of my favorite activities we did (and my student's favorite as well) is cooking to show how physical and chemical changes occur in our everyday lives.

Before we even began the cooking, we had to reinforce our knowledge of the differences between physical and chemical changes with a little SCOOT!  My kids love this game because it's fast paced and they get to move around.

Once we went over the answers and confirmed that we knew the difference between a physical and a chemical change, it was time to put on our chef's hat!  I broke the class up into four different groups and gave each of the groups a recipe/directions sheet, all the materials and ingredients and let them go to town!  This lab was very hands-on and exploratory for the students.  The only real direction or warning I gave was to hold the jar with TWO HANDS while you were shaking.  VERY IMPORTANT unless you want to be cleaning up cream and glass shards.  I mean, look how fast he's shaking this jar?!

It was really interesting to see all the different techniques and processes that the groups came up with to complete their lab.  It was also hysterical to watch the kids shake their little hearts out to make butter out of cream.  You don't want to laugh in their faces but you just can help but giggle!  Here are these little scrunch faces trying as hard as they can and their team is cheering them on and laughing and you can't help but smile :o)

Once our butter was finished (and taste tested of course) it was on to the pancakes!  Again, I gave each group a directions/recipe sheet along with the ingredients and lab report and let them create!  This lab required more observation and recording data/evidence throughout the whole process, so it was perfect for them to bounce ideas off each other!  I left them in the same groups as the butter lab because they already created a foundation of how to work well together. 

While all the students followed the directions, the recipe maybe not so much.  To be fair though, we haven't taught measurement yet, haha!  Thus their pancakes DID NOT turn out all the same.  The first group was a little rough, but the other three were spot on!  It didn't matter if they were ruined though.  These kids thought this was the best thing they had ever done and loved every single bite!  They were so proud of themselves, as they should be!

Now all that was needed was to finalize their lab sheets and eat their creations!  They smeared on their butter and drizzled some syrup and voila!  A feast for their hard work!

All in all the lab went above my expectations but also did exactly what I had hoped it would do.  It had these kids discussing every day occurrences in scientific terminology.  It had them seeing the world as physical and chemical changes and they began categorizing things as we went throughout the day.  It had them applying what we were learning in class to something other than a textbook and it had them enjoying science.  That's really all a teacher can ask for :o)

If you would like more information on Physical and Chemical Changes SCOOT or other activities including the Cooking with Science Labs, please click on their pictures above or visit my store!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sweets for the Sweet!

I am collaborating with my girls over at A Class-y Collaboration for a wonderful Valentine's Day Freebie Link Up: Sweets for the Sweet!

Today I will be linking up one of my all time favorite activities to do on Valentine's Day with my big kids.  It's such a hard time with them because most of them are "too cool" for valentines yet others want to do it, so it's this fine line of what is appropriate for them and if they will even like it or find it too cheesy.

Now, the item in the pictures will be different than what you receive because my flash drive met an untimely demise earlier this school year and I lost A LOT of stuff.  This item being one of them.  Note to everyone reading this... GO COPY YOUR FLASH DRIVE NOW!!! 

This activity is called Famous Couples!  The student's wear name badges that have one name of a person or thing from a famous couple.  I make the badges into necklaces but you can also just tape them to their shirts.

Make sure the badge is on their back though!  They cannot know who they are!

The whole point of the game is to figure out who their person is by asking "yes" or "no" questions to everyone else in the room.  Using the clues they find out, they will try and guess who they are!

Once they have figured out who they are, they have to go find their famous pair.

There are a lot of different activities you could do with this after everyone has found their partner!  I usually have them write a creative story about how the famous couple met and how they became synonymous with each other.  It's hysterical what some of them come up with!

Don't forget to check out A Class-y Collaboration for more fabulous Valentine's Day freebies and feel free to link up your own as well!