This year I started with:


What do YOU notice??


My first day back I wanted to give them something special that they’d grow to love as much as I do... so I handed out brand new writing books... “Science Journals!”

I typically start my January science unit/s with ice crystals, because it is so natural for our “observtions of winter” to transition into the study of the various forms of matter.

My first question to the class is typically:

“what is the difference between snow and ice?”

But this year, since we haven’t had any snow yet, I decided to wait on observations of winter and instead I started with:

“What do you know about water?”

During our January science themes there are lots of “demonstration lessons.” (Demonstration because many of the lessons involve boiling water.) Students observe and we “take notes” (write down their observations) in their science journals because scientists have to learn to observe and to know how to write down what they observe. Scientists need to know how to use all kinds of charts, graphs, maps, and drawings. Science is one of those times when we almost always have to use “realistic” art forms rather than representational art. Although we do use representational art when doing graphs and charts... anything where it would be ok to use symbols and a key. Science is also a time when we use adult spelling for the science terms. We usually go through our usual writing process of “sounding  through”   terms.... w...o...t...r...

but when it comes to writing the word into our journal, I explain that even though the word SOUNDS like it should be spelled WOTR, it is actually spelled: water. 

We look for the small words in the Science terms.

How many heart words can YOU find in:

Water, Snow, Ice,

Liquid, Solid, Gas,

Evaporation, Energy?

I let them observe melting ice.  We had 3 baggies. Each one had 5 ice cubes. We didn’t do anything to the first bag. We added salt to the second bag. We wrapped the 3rd bag inside of 4 thick sox because some of the students thought it would melt fastest because the sox would make it warm, just like a coat would keep us warm.  They predicted their answers and we made a graph. The ice with the salt was the fastest to melt. The ice that was insulated inside the sox was slowest to melt... so they learned a little about insulation!

I showed them how we can evaporate water by boiling it.

I held things over the steam to collect water droplets because some of them don’t believe that the steam is moist... humidity is a hard concept to grasp.

LOTS more to come on this unit.

This Week...

observing... describing...

sorting... making...

What do YOU notice??

Back to Teacher
Main PageTeacher_Pages.html