Thursday, January 12, 2012

Scientists, Historians, & Snow - Oh My!

This whole week has been a really special week for us! Yesterday we got to go bowling, and today we had a special chemistry assembly. We also had a woman from the Hoard Museum in town come to talk to the kids about a special Grandparent Essay project they sponsor, and to top it all of - we had our first BIG snow! It's about time!

What a wonderful assembly it was: hands-on, kid-friendly, and full of ooey-gooey, smokey, colorful stuff, and it was a perfect way to get kids excited about science. First, he had some students model how molecules form. Atoms are held together through bonds.  He demonstrated this using students who held 'atom' and 'bond' signs.

Then he came around and squirt dark blue ink on a lot of our students who had white shirts on. The kids mouths dropped as this 'apparently really cool science guy' just 'ruined' their favorite shirts! But, not to worry, within time, the ink disappeared. That's science!

Mr. Bill did many experiments to demonstrate a chemical reaction. He put several chemicals inside of a bag. The chemicals turned color and in seconds the bag filled up and popped! He also put some other chemicals inside of a plastic container, and the container shot its lid up in the air and out into the audience. 'Smoke' lingered from the plastic container after the reaction. Watch it here:

Here was another chemical reaction demonstration:

I caught just the tail end of this experiment where he started some chemicals on fire!

Several young Barrie Broncos got picked to draw a picture using chapstick. Then they were told to tape it somewhere on the wall in our gymnasium. I decided to follow the life of this cute lil' picture drawn by one of our Barrie first graders. :)
After the pictures were taped around the gym, Mr. Bill gave all the kids a spray bottle full of some special chemicals that would make their picture do something amazing! Watch what happens when our little sun artist runs to her picture:

Ooh la la!

Students also got to mix chemicals in a small plastic cup. Some students' chemicals turned into a jello-like liquid while other students' chemicals got real hard and turned into a bouncy ball! 

Later in the morning we had a woman come from the Hoard Historical Museum. She introduced a fourth-grade essay project called "Generations Apart". Students will be interviewing a grandparent or someone at least two generations apart from them and writing an essay. Today students practiced asking follow-up questions so they would know how to get great information from the person they chose to write about. After all students have turned in their essays, 4 essays will be selected from each fourth-grade classroom in the city of Fort Atkinson. Those 4 writers, their parents, their teachers, and their interviewee (if possible) will be invited to a special celebration in May honoring their winning essays. This is a fantastic writing project to connect generations and learn more about history!

As if a chemistry presentation and a new writing project weren't enough - we also had our first big snowstorm. Yesterday, students were wearing shorts and didn't wear jackets outside. Today, our playground looks like this!


  1. Wow! What an amazing day of learning! I LOVE your blog. Your information on the Thoughtful Logs has been SO helpful. The pictures and examples you give are great! Thank you so much for sharing. I am so glad I found your blog and am a new follower!

  2. I love, love, LOVE your blog. I give you shout outs quite often.
    Learn with ME in Grade Three