Early this week 1st Grade had music upstairs. At the end of the lesson as we were lining up to leave the class I heard a loud snap followed by a startled "ow!". These were the telltale signs of static electricity claiming yet another unfortunate victim. What I was not expecting was that after getting shocked once, the student in question tried to figure out how to get shocked again. In very short order the whole class was shuffling their feet or rolling on the carpet then touching something metal trying to give themselves a shock. Not wanting to stand in the way of natural inquisitiveness and curiosity; and realizing there may perhaps be a better way to learn the science behind the shocks then purposely zapping ourselves, we headed back to our class to expand upon this teachable moment.
Science loves tricky words and when learning about electricity there is no shortage of these 'technical vocabulary' words to learn. It certainly puts own phonics and reading skills to the test. But learning these words and using them correctly is important for budding scientists. Some words we are using this week are; charge, static, current, atoms, positrons, electrons, neutrons, transfer, circuit and electricity.
Our first experiment using static electricity was focused around a simple question with perhaps a not so simple answer. Can you bend water?
Expanding on from static electricity we delved into currents and circuits and having a go creating our own circuits. The new technical vocabulary we learned and used was conductor and insulator. Students were tasked with predicting if different materials were a conductor or an insulator and then testing their predictions and recording their results.
It is certainly great to see all students thoroughly interested, engaged and enjoying their learning as well as knowing that students are invested in the subject as it has real world substance, something tangible they can use and understand.
So next time we are leaving music and I hear the telltale signs of static electricity claiming another victim I can turn around and say. "At least you know why you got shocked!"
After a long 2 week break it is straight back to work for 1st Grade. With a full and busy week of experiments, math, field trips, parties and problem solving. To their credit 1st Grade jumped back into their school routine and work as if they had never left.
With spring time certainly on its way, we may start seeing more and more rainbows in the sky. But what causes them and what is the scientific reasoning behind the natural phenomenon? Is there really a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow? 1st Grade went outside to find out.
In math we have been learning about measurement and data collection. Using this new knowledge we conducted a survey on the 2nd Graders. Each student created their own survey questions and answers as well as how they would record and measure their results. Counting in either 1, 2, 5 or 10s as well as using tally marks and other methods, students were successful in conducting research, creating a survey and finding information from their work to create pictograms to display results.
Sadly, Miss Tabitha left us this week so as a school community we came together to celebrate her time with us at PNA. 1st Grade created their own Thank you cards with a personal message in, as well as presented her with a smile for each day of the week.
This week we also took a field trip to the PAC. This time to see 'Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey'. Judging by the continuous oohs and ahhs, screams and laughter the class loved it. It was a spectacular show of lights and lasers and it is always fantastic to be able to expose students to the many different opportunities and experiences they can have.
As part of PNA's mission to educate students to be exceptional learners and independent thinkers of vision, courage, and integrity. This week we put in some work learning about integrity and respectfulness. In multi aged groups we took part in an escape room style activity that challenged students social skills as well as critical thinking. Developing pupils communication, listening and speaking skills, following instructions and outside the box thinking. Using and learning from their peers students were encouraged to find solutions to problems in a positive way in attitude or design rather than the easier negative. Continually developing students abilities to make good choice and progress as an individual.
As the trimester comes to a close there is always a flurry of activity throughout the school as we strive to squeeze in all we have to do. From lessons and projects we have to finish to special days and events.
This week we also celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss. I love the Dr. Seuss books for their humor and silliness but also for their surprisingly meaningful messages they convey. In our writing we have been creating our own Dr. Seuss creatures. Based on the Yink who likes to drink pink ink and wink. It certainly was a challenge to create animals and to find rhyming words to describe them.
Enjoy your thoroughly deserved break!
Ms. Tuomi has over five years experience in ASD, where she taught first and fifth grade classrooms. An avid skier, Ms. Tuomi is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Alaska Pacific University’s Bachelor of Arts in K-8 Education.