PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Science K-5 Week of January 17, 2017

img_0979Kindergartners are learning to observe and describe the properties of different objects. Extending their knowledge of trees, students explored five different types of wood–balsam, pine, and redwood as well as plywood and particle board–investigating how each absorbs water differently and whether the woods float or sink in water. (They float!)  To elaborate on float and sink, students then made predictions about whether other objects would float or sink and then tested their predictions.

First-graders have started a new unit, exploring the three states of matter–solids, liquids, and gasses–also learning that matter is anything that takes up space and has mass. Using the analogy of stepping into a bathtub, students tapped into prior knowledge to understand that water must move over to accommodate their bodies–that two objects can never occupy the same space.

Second-graders had a hiatus from science this week due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, but will resume on Monday finishing up their Earth Materials unit, before moving on to their Forces and Motion Unit.

img_1012Third Graders are excited about their Energy Unit and already know the difference between potential and kinetic energy. Our focus over the next few weeks will be on sound, light, heat, electric, mechanic and chemical energy and energy transformations. Next week, we will make small windmills that can do some work for us. One student, Olympia, already started thinking about this at home, bringing in a prototype that she created.

Please note that the third grade Google Classroom is up and running. I will be posting vocabulary, videos, and readings to the site to help students with their science learning. Parents were sent an access code for their child’s class. Just go to to sign up your child.

img_0971Fourth-graders are really enjoying investigating electricity, having made series and parallel circuits and building an electromagnet. Students then considered variables that they could test to improve the strength of their electromagnet, trying everything from winding the wire around the iron rivet tighter to concentrating the coils closer to the rivet’s pickup point. Static electricity is next on the agenda.

Fifth-graders are becoming much more aware of what they eat and how it affects them courtesy of the Food and Nutrition Unit. In addition to learning about the five food groups and six essential nutrients, students will perform chemical tests on a variety of foods, testing for fats, starches, and other nutrients. Students will have a quiz on Friday, January 20, 2017. Please see School Loop for details.

Also, fifth-graders will showcase their bird inquiry projects during a parent share the first week of February. Class 501’s share is Feb. 3 at 8:45 am. Class 502’s share is Feb. 2 at 8:45 am. Stay tuned for more details.