Tuesday, February 11, 2014

 We had a visit from an amazing fifth generation farmer today.  Makena Schultz visited our classroom to talk about her farm and all they do.  The farm is in Onsted, Michigan and Makena works the farm with her mom and dad.  She went to MSU for both her under grad and masters and is working her way into finding her own way as a farmer.  Today, she taught us about her farm, and one of the things they grow: APPLES.  We learned about the machines they use to add value to their apples (making sauce, dehydrated slices, apple butter, pies, etc.) and enjoy them throughout the year.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What is Matter?
In this introductory lesson, students examine landscape scences and brainstorm all of the materials they might find there.  They sort and identify the materials as solids, liquid, or gas, and they think about how to define matter. 

Our class definition for MATTER:
Anything that takes up space and has weight.

Discovering the Properties of Matter
Students compare an assortment of solids, liquids, and gases.  They examine balloons filled with different materials, and write down descriptive words or phrases.  Next, they open the balloons, explore the substances with a variety of tools, and record further observations and comparisons between the substances.  Finally, they list the properties of solids, liquids, and gases.

What did we discover?   What were in the balloons!? 
Here’s what they found in the balloons:  flour, rice, water, air, dish soap, carbon dioxide.  Here are some things they guessed were in the balloons: gravel, shampoo, lotion, stones, helium

Vocabulary:  material, matter, gas, investigation, investigative question, liquid, observation, observe, powder, procedure, property, solid, state

You can do a cool experiment at home!  Here’s how:
1.  Place the stem of the funnel in the neck of the balloon.  Hold the stem between your fingers, and fill the balloon with about 3 tbsp of baking soda. 
2.  Use the funnel to pour 4 tbsp of vinegar into the soda bottle.
3.  Stretch the neck of the balloon over the bottle without letting the baking soda fall inside.  Make sure the balloon is firmly attached to the bottle before taking the next step. 
4.  Invert the balloon over the opening and empty all the baking soda inside. 
5.  Wait a few moments while the baking soda and vinegar react.  Make sure the balloon has no baking soda left in it.
6.  When the balloon stops expanding, carefully remove it from the bottle. 7.  Knot the neck of the balloon.