Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekly Update

As we enter our last week before spring break, here are some reminders on what we will be working on this week.

Reading Workshop- mini-author study on Patricia Polacco
Writing Workshop- beginning mini-lessons on paragraph writing to include main idea and at least three supporting details.
Spelling- focus on homonyms and self- selected word study
Math Workshop-
~1st grade finishing up regrouping with subtraction
~2nd grade wrapping up geometry
Project- continue with phase two, experiments and surveys

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Project Germs

We are entering phase two of our project about "Germs". Today the students learned about the importance of handwashing and how easily germs are spread. I had received a germ glow light kit from Mrs. Bastin that has a bottle of fake germ powder that glows under a black light. We used this kit for our exeriments today.

First I passed around "Chester the Raccoon". I had liberally sprinkled the germ powder all over him. The students noticed he was dusty, but didn't think anything about it. After they had all touched him, I shared that Chester was sick and infected. That meant he had a lot of germs on him. We used the black light to see the germs on their hands. Even one student who had barely touched Chester still had enough germs on her hands to glow.

I had the students wash their hands, but told them not to use soap or warm water. They rinsed their hands quickly and dried them with paper towels as usual. They were surprised to see that there were still germs on their hands. We discussed how to properly wash our hands and how important it is to use soap, hot water, and scrub them for an appropriate time, etc.

When we looked at their hands this time, most of them had washed off all of the germs. However we were still able to see students who had not washed their wrists or under their fingernails. The interesting part for them was realizing that even though they washed their hands free of germs, there were germs now showing up in their hair, on their clothes, and especially on their faces. This let them see how much the germs had spread over their bodies in the short time since they had been infected.

Now that the student understand how to use this kit, we will be able to have them design their own experiment to test hypotheses.

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