1st Graders continued practicing their Inventor Thinking (Divergent Thinking) by brainstorming with FFOE: Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration. We brainstormed the many and varied items you might find in a kitchen for fluency, thought about them in a different way to be more flexible with our ideas, tried to think of original ideas and creations that no one else would think of, then thought about how we could add details to elaborate on those ideas. Students completed a Bubble Bonanza turning circles into pictures of other objects and then we scored these for originality based on the responses to the circles by the other students in class. Our last Inventor Thinking activity which we'll continue next week was building a "spi"cycle for Yolanda the spider to accommodate her eight legs!
This week for our Kitchen Chemistry unit we explored the properties of matter. What makes a solid a solid, a liquid a liquid, or a gas a gas? Students also studied the physical change of H2O and what properties liquid water, solid ice, and water vapor or steam contain. Second graders completed an Inductive Reasoning activity sorting properties of solids, liquids, and gases into categories. We made Oobleck (4 parts cornstarch to 1 part water) to debate whether this strange stuff was a solid or a liquid. Oobleck doesn't play by the normal rules because it's a pressure-dependent substance. A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard like a solid, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. However, if you dip your hand slowly into the mixture, your fingers slide in easily like a liquid. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to get out of the way! This substance's funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck that we'll read next week as we ran out of time on Tuesday. Our next Kitchen Chemistry research question is "What makes bread rise?" so we'll be experimenting with yeast and examining different varieties of bread. Thanks in advance for sending in bread samples this Tuesday!
Things are getting interesting in our class novel Chasing Vermeer! We're uncovering more strange coincidences each week and the plot is fitting together in mysteriously peculiar ways as the characters try to solve the case of the missing Vermeer painting. We did some pentomino puzzlers this week as students played the collaborative game "Pentomino Squeeze." Students worked on their spatial reasoning skills as they worked together to squeeze as many different pentominoes as possible into a variety of rectangular game boards. The "Squeeze Me" score to beat was 11 pentominoes which is impressive since there are only 12 pentominoes in play. Next week students will complete another pentomino puzzler as they solve a real-world dilemma and work to create cube nets to enhance the production of boxes at a shipping company.
Students are all in and committed to their work as Health Inspectors for Barrow County as they continue solving the Medical Mystery surrounding this year's E. coli outbreak at the county fair. This week students examined the county fair map and are in the process of designing an improved map for next year's fair to prevent cross-contamination. 5th graders also conducted more interviews with patients and analyzed additional Contagious Disease Reports as they try to uncover the source of this E. coli epidemic before more patients suffer. Mrs. Herbel and I shared exciting news with students that we will be taking a field trip to the Centers for Disease Control on Thursday, November 9. We are looking forward to this opportunity to ask questions and learn about the daily work of epidemiologists as we take a guided tour of the CDC. Look for a permission slip coming home with your 5th grader soon!