Introduction to Science - During the first weeks of school, the kindergartners were given an orientation to their new science classroom. They were oriented on where to find supplies, where to find science reading books and games, where the off limit areas are and hot to safely observe our class pets. Safety rules and emergency procedures (fire, earthquake, lock down) in the science classroom were explained as well as practiced.
Germs! Germs! Germs! – As the school year started, it was important for the kindergartners to understand why the teachers are always asking them to wash their hands. The students read and discussed what are germs, what germs can do to us, and how to stop germs from spreading. Students also participated in a lab called Glow Germ. Using a lotion that glows under a black light, they were able to see how germs transfer from one person to the next with a simple hand shake. Visually seeing the germs pass from one person to the next really caught the students attention. Proper washing techniques were also demonstrated and practiced.
The Five Senses – In working towards thinking like a scientists, one of the first skills students learn in the scientific process is observations. Students observe by using all five of their senses: hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling and touching. Students have already learned about their sense of hearing and seeing. Some activities include Insect Bingo and Name that Sound. This topic will continue into the second trimester to include activities such as listening jars, feeling bags and smelling jars.
Five Senses – The second trimester continues the study of using the five senses to make observations. Making observations is a key skill in being a scientist. Our five senses are the key receptors to learning about the world around us. The sense of smelling and touching were the last two senses to be explored in kindergarten. An accumulation to this unit was a mystery food, which students had to use all five senses to discover, popcorn. Activities included: writing and drawing in their notebooks, class discussion, reading non-fiction books, experiments like smelling jars and feely bags.
Living vs. Non-Living – How can you tell if something is living or non-living? There are four questions that the kindergartners learned in order to figure out if something is living or not. One, does it need water? Two, does it need food? Three, does it move or change by itself? Four, does it need air? Students put these questions to the test in their daily activities in determining which objects are living and not living. Activities included: writing and drawing in their notebooks, exploring objects in the class and outside, short videos, and class discussions.
SBCP – One of the fundamental skills in the scientific process is making observations and describing objects. Throughout the year the kindergartners have been focusing on describing objects, particularly shapes, sizes, color and using numbers. Students are practicing describing objects throughout the trimester. Below you’ll see they were practicing with “fake” monster toys. One method of assisting the students in remembering how to make observations, is a sticker checklist to use with their assignments. During this trimester’s assessment they were asked to make observations on a plant.
Animal Movements – The kindergartners began the third trimester by building models of animals using clay. Using and making models to help learn about objects is a part of science. So to help them get started on learning about animal movements and body parts, they had to build their own animals out of clay. Students continued their learning about animals by learning how different animals have different body parts to help them move. They described how some animals have wings and feathers for flying, flippers and fins for swimming, legs for walking, running and jumping.
Animal Growth – Continuing the theme of animals, the students explored all about baby animals, how they grow and change and how they look or do not look like their parents. They learned the baby animal names and adult animal names. Though the process of a baby animal growing into an adult takes months or years, a short allowed the students to see each step of an animal’s life at a faster and kid friendly way. Students played matching games to help them learn baby and adult names.