Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from these adorable little leprechauns!

And, yes, we took one with their silly faces, too!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Soiling and Washing Fabric

All this discussion about fabric left us wondering…what happens when fabric gets soiled or dirty?  How does it get soiled or dirty?  How does it get clean?  Our scientists had lots of wonderings so we decided to get to work!  We got our lab coats and safety glasses and got to work!

First we had to soil the fabric…but how?  Lucky for us, Mrs. Kurt picked up some ketchup, mustard and chocolate syrup to help with that. We smeared some of each on our fabric sample and this was fun!




So now that our fabric is soiled, how do we clean it?  When our clothes get dirty, we use a washing machine to clean them.  Only one problem…we have no washing machine at school.  Now what?  We decided to try using water and scrub brushes to clean it!




After a valiant effort, the fabric was wet, but not particularly clean.  Now we wondered if it would help to add soap to some clean water and try again.  So, like all good scientists, we tried it!


After lots of hard work scrubbing fabric and a few water spills, we concluded that the soap, water and brushes to scrub the fabric actually did help it get a little cleaner.  Overall observations included that the ketchup and chocolate syrup pretty much came out but the mustard did not.  The fabric was not the bright white that it was when we started the activity.  We needed a way to dry our fabric before we brought it home...


…since we have no dryer in school, we figured out a way to hang a clothesline.  We did decide that doing laundry must be lots easier these days than it was for people in the past.


In our Materials in Our World unit, we shifted our focus from paper to fabric this week.  We started out the week by observing and learning about several different types of fabric.  We explored denim, fleece, terrycloth, burlap, satin, nylon, corduroy, organza, seersucker and knit.  We used our sense of touch to determine which fabrics would be good for clothing, blankets, towels, etc.  We also learned that fabric comes from plants, animals, insects and even oil!  It was a fun activity with lots of rich scientific conversations taking place throughout the classroom.



In order to better understand how fabric is made, we actually took some fabric apart!  To make fabric, threads are woven together.  The threads to go up and down are called the "warp" and the threads that go across are called the "woof".  The threads in some fabrics are woven together very tight, like in the fabric wool.  But the threads in some fabrics, such as burlap, are not woven together very tight.  We used samples of wool and burlap to take apart.  It was easy to pull the burlap threads apart but not so easy to take apart the wool.




Next we will learn about what happens when fabric gets soiled.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Recycling Paper

Look at these adorable kindergarten scientists.  They are very excited and ready for one of the highlights of our short school week…recycling paper!  As part of our Materials in Our World unit of study, we have been learning about paper.  This activity teaches our young scientists how to recycle, which means to make something new out of something old.  

In order for us to make new paper, we needed to make paper pulp.  We did this by taking clean toilet tissue and tearing it up into many, many small pieces.  The smaller the better!  Then we put all of the paper pieces into a small plastic jar.




Next, we had to add water to the bottles of paper.  In order to create paper pulp, we add the water and shake the bottles up to break down the old paper.


Then the scientists got back to work shaking the bottles of torn up paper and water.  It looked like this would be easy for us to do…but it really wasn't.  It took a long time!




When the pulp was ready, we used screens to separate the pulp and the water.  The pulp was really wet and we had to work hard to squeeze out the water.  We used our hands and a second screen to get as much water out of the pulp as we could!




We learned earlier in our unit that newsprint is really absorbent.  We carefully peeled the newly recycled paper off the screen and placed it on a section of newspaper.  Then we used the plastic bottle like a rolling pin to squeeze out even more water!


When we were done, we put our new paper on a piece of wax paper to dry overnight.  We brought it home the next day.

This was such a fun learning activity for these scientists.  I would like to thank the families that sent in extra newspapers so we had enough for everyone to use during the activity.  Also, special thanks to Mrs. Grittner, who ALWAYS helps us out by getting materials ready, taking photos and just helping however she can.  And a big thanks to Ms. Laura Sampers, our OT, for lending a hand as well.  Next week we will begin investigating a new material…fabric!