Sunday, December 23, 2012

Paper, Trees and our Winter Party

We continue to move on in our Science Unit, titled Materials in Our World, to the part on Paper.  On Thursday, we explored four different types of paper:  construction paper, craft paper, chipboard and waxed paper.  We observed each sample, using our senses to discover how the types of paper are alike and how they are different.

On Friday, we used eyedroppers to add water to each of the paper samples.  It was pretty interesting to see what happened.  Some of the samples absorbed the water.  Some of the water soaked through the samples.  Some of the samples changed color when the water was added.  And one of the samples - the waxed paper - repelled the water.  We really love using the eyedroppers and water!!!

Throughout this past week, we learned about different holiday traditions that families celebrate.  We covered Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and Christmas.

On Friday, Mrs. Radermacher read us a new book that she donated to our class called "Santa is Coming to Minnesota".  It was fun to hear the story mention places we know...Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Children's Museum, Mankato, Duluth, etc.  We wrote about Christmas and them made a tree project where we had to put the tree pieces in order by length.  They turned out awesome!

Friday afternoon we had our Winter Party.  We made some ornaments, threw sock snowballs through a snowman, unwrapped tootsie rolls using oversized gloves and mittens and had a graham cracker snack with frosting and candy decorations.  Many thanks to Zara's mom, Quinn's mom and Ethan's mom for planning and being there for the party.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.  Enjoy your break.  I wish you and your families a happy and safe holiday season and all the best in 2013!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Particleboard and Plywood

In yesterday's blog, I told you we would be doing something cool with our wood shavings and sawdust.  Well, we did.  We made particleboard.

Particle board is made of lots of small pieces (or particles) of wood, such as wood shavings and sawdust and a glue called resin.  We made the resin out of water and cornstarch.  It looked liked mashed potatoes.  Mrs. Kurt gave each of us a handful of the resin.  We had to knead it to make it smooth like play dough.  Next we put the resin into a cup with wood shavings and sawdust and used a craft stick to mix it.  It was pretty exciting to see how the wood mixture stuck to the resin.

Then came the fun part...we dumped out the mixture on to a paper plate and formed our particle board. We actually came up with some interesting shapes and made kind of a big mess.  But it was OK because we all helped to clean up.

After we finished the particleboard, we made plywood.  We glued three thin pieces of wood together to give us an idea how plywood is made.  We put both of our new wood samples out in the hall to dry and we completed three pages in our Science notebooks!

Hopefully you had a chance to see our wood samples.  Be sure you ask us about them!

Granny Goose visited today as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sawdust and Shavings

On Monday afternoon, we continued on in our unit on wood.  We investigated sawdust and wood shavings.  We started out by observing a cup with sawdust for a few minutes, then we observed a cup containing some wood shavings.  Our discussion included how the sawdust and wood shavings were the same and how they were different.

After some time observing, we combined the two materials.  When we did this, we saw that the sawdust was on the top of the cup.  However, once we stirred the mixture with our craft sticks, the sawdust filtered to the bottom of the cups "because it is smaller".

Next, we dropped the mixture into a container of water and watched it for two minutes.  "It looks like it is raining sawdust."  After two minutes, we stirred our cups to see what would happen.

We learned that when water soaks into wood, it is waterlogged.  Waterlogged wood sinks to the bottom of the cup of water.

We strained the water out of the wood pieces and discussed wet wood.  We set the wood out to dry.  We will use it for a pretty fun project on will have to check the blog to see what it is!

Hanukkah and Kwanzaa

This week, we are learning about Celebrations Around The World.  So far, we have learned about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.  On Monday, we learned that Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights and it lasts for eight days. We made a menorah and wrote in our celebrations booklet.

On Tuesday, we learned about Kwanzaa.  Kwanzaa begins on December 26 and lasts until January 1.  The wooden candle holder is called a kinara.  We painted a kinara and added the red, black and green candles that represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

And More Gingerbread Houses

This is the last of the photos from Friday.  Enjoy!  Thanks again for coming!