PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

K-5 Science – Week Ending Sept. 29, 2016

From sniffing and tasting chives and mint to touching birch bark and barnacles, Kindergarteners explored their five senses this week. 

First graders explored animal similarities by working in partners to come up with as many categories as they could to sort animal pictures. Some categories included animals that fly, animals of the sea, animals that live in trees, and animals with names beginning with S.

 Little did they know, but second graders observed three types of volcanic rock (they don’t know that yet!), focusing instead on rock properties, including texture, shape, color, and weight. They practiced making large, labelled and colored observational drawings of these rocks as well.

 From the width of their noses to the length of their feet, students in third grade are measuring everything the metric way! We are currently focusing on measuring length, width, distance, and height. Students also got a brief history of the English system of measurement (our current system) and the metric system. Pull out your handy meter tape and take a metric walk with your child around the house and neighborhood to practice, practice, practice.

 Fourth-graders are digging deep into soil. Through hands-on investigations they are coming to understand that soil is a combination of organic materials, inorganic materials, air, and water. Students all donned their soil scientist lab coats to testing samples of soil from my very own backyard, discovering for me through their testing that my soil is low on nitrogen. (I’ll be amending my soil very soon! Thanks kids!)

 Students in fifth grade are studying the nature and process of science. Now versed in the scientific method, they understand how useful it is in defining a problem and framing a testable hypothesis, but they also learned that science doesn’t always have to follow a linear, rigid process. Rather, the process of science is exciting, complex, creative, and unpredictable.

 Fifth-graders are also writing a simple lab report based on a pendulum investigation during which groups tested different variables to find out what variable increases the number of swings a pendulum makes in 15 seconds. Reports are due October 7, 2016.