Sunday, October 11, 2015

Earth's Limited Resources: Studying Rocks, Soil, and Natural Resources



As the third graders in room 177 delved into our first Interdisciplinary Unit, Interdependence,  for the 2015-16 school year, we kicked off a study of Earth's resources.  Students' favorite time of the day is ALWAYS our IU time because that is frequently known as the time when they get to do "fun stuff".  What the students seldom realize is that it is through these types of experiences that they receive the most beneficial learning gains.

Before digging into Earth's resources, we dipped back into some second grade topics to review key concepts that play a vital role in the soundness and integrity of Earth's resources.  Third graders in room 177 revisited the topics of weathering, erosion, and deposition.  By watching Scholastic Study Jams Weathering and Erosion, we reviewed that weathering is the breaking down or dissolving of rocks and minerals on Earths surface. Water, ice, acids, salt, plants, animals, and changes in temperature are all agents of weathering. Once the rock has been broken down, a process called erosion transports the bits of rock and minerals away.  Deposition is the process in which sediments, soil and rocks are added to a landform or land mass. Wind, ice, and water, as well as sediment flowing via gravity, transport previously eroded sediment, which, is deposited, building up layers of sediment.

Students then looked at a slide show of several pictures of real world examples of weathering and erosion.  They were asked to examine each sample and determine which process was occurring.  Next, students were given the task of sorting images portraying weathering, erosion, and deposition that were printed on paper, and then they organized them in their interactive notebooks.

Next, students learned about Rocks and their properties.  After learning that the type of rocks include Igneous, Sedementary, and Metamorphic, students learned that different types of rocks have measurable and observable characteristics including size and shape of the particles or grains (if present) within the rock, texture and color. Students then worked in P.R.I.D.E. groups to sort and classify rocks in various ways by their properties.

Serenity sorted pyrite because of its metallic luster.


Maliky, Zy'Aire, Ruby, and Jaylyn sort and compare rocks and minerals
as they record classification data on their lab sheets.


After completing our investigation of rocks, students then moved on to observations of soil.  Soil, similarly to rocks, has properties.  The properties of soil that we discussed were the texture, color, and particle size.  We noted that the color of the soil was different depending on what the soil components were.  To help students understand better that soil has different colors, the students completed a soil study called Soil Across America in which they observed different soil samples from approximately 17 states.  Students were able to use their senses to make observations about color, texture and particle size on a recording sheet as they compared soil samples.

Annecia observes and records data for a sample from North Carolina.


Ra'Jhay, Faith and the rest of their team collaborate while studying samples
from Texas, Ohio, and North Carolina.

Upon completion of this investigation, students wrote a compare contrast essay to describe two interesting samples they observed.  To do this they used important vocabulary words relating to our study of soil and its characteristics.

Finally, students learned about the Earth's natural resources.  Natural resources of the Earth include soil, rocks, plants, animals, water.  Some resources help to provide us with renewable and non-renewable energy.  Renewable energy is an energy resource, such as wind, water or solar energy, that is replenished within a short amount of time by natural processes. Nonrenewable energy is an energy resource, such as coal or oil, that is a finite energy source that cannot be replenished in a short amount of time.  Students also learned that fossils  fuels, primarily coal, fuel oil or natural gas, are formed from the remains of dead plants and animals. Coal is one of the main energy sources that is non-renewable. In order for our country to get coal that is used for energy, coal must be mined for. However, mining for coal can damage the Earth on which we live.

 Students explored the effects of mining for coal on landsites by using two different types of chocolate chip cookies.  One cookie, an original Chips Ahoy, represented a rocky landsite.  The other, a Chewy Chips Ahoy, represented a soil landsite.  Students were asked to predict which landsite would experience the most damage while mining for coal (chocolate chips).  Some students predicted the rocky landsite while others predicted the soil landsite.  Students were given time to mine for the coal.  During this mining, students identified that the process occurring to their landsites was weathering since rock or soil was being broken away from its surface through the effects of man.  

Zy'Aire uses a toothpick to mine for coal (chocolate chips) on two different
landsite as we explore the processes of weathering, erosion, and deposition
while obtaining fossil fuels.

Next, water was added to each student's landsite samples to simulate the effect of rain on landsites.  Once water was added, small particles of each landsite began to move away from the landsite demonstrating erosion.  Finally, the moving particles came to a new resting spot, deposition,  as the water soaked into the paper plate and the movement ceased.

After water (rain) was added to the landsites, students observed the processes
of erosion and deposition.

Once the experiment was completed,  students finalized their lab sheets by graphing how many pieces of coal were collected from each landsite.  Students also completed their conclusion statement regarding which landsite received the most damage during mining, proving or disproving their hypothesis.

Brandazia works to complete her graph and conclusion statement.


We closed this section of our IU by integrating art into our study.  Students learned about artist Yaacov Agam who is know for optical and kinetic art.  One particular type of art he is know for is called an Agamograph.  You can read about it below.



Students created their own natural resource Agamograph's by using marker, colored pencils, or crayons as their media.  Following a code, they colored in their art.  

Jaylyn colors her Agamagraph.


Next, pages were cut out and assembled.  Then the back and forth folding took place.

A.J. folds his Agamagraph.

Then, students wrote a short paragraph about why conserving and saving Earth's natural resources is important.  Finally, the Amagraph and the student's writings were mounted and displayed on our classroom door and in our room.  Here are some finished samples.

Jaylyn's finished product, view from the left.
Jaylyn's finished product, view from the right.




Au'Bren's finished product, view from the left.
Au'Bren's finished product, view from the right.
               
Classroom Door:  Agamagraph views from the front.

Students really learned a lot through their exploration of Earth's rocks, soil and natural resources.  I am sure that you can see why the Interdisciplinary Unit time of our day has fast become their favorite part of our day!  Now we are on to learning more about the Earth as we explore her landforms, map skills, more on resources, and communities.  Stay tuned for more from room 177.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Importance of Spelling


Much about spelling is puzzling. Our society expects that any educated person can spell, yet literate adults commonly characterize themselves as poor spellers and make spelling mistakes. Many children have trouble spelling but it is really difficult to know exactly how many because state and national assessments do not assess this.

Nevertheless, research has shown that learning to spell and learning to read rely on much of the same underlying knowledge — such as the relationships between letters and sounds — and, not surprisingly, that spelling instruction can be designed to help children better understand that key knowledge, resulting in better reading. Learning to spell requires instruction and gradual integration of information about print, speech sounds, and meaning — these, in turn, support memory for whole words, which is used in both spelling and sight (automatic) reading.

Research also bears out a strong relationship between spelling and writing: Writers who must think too hard about how to spell use up valuable cognitive resources needed for higher level aspects of composition. Even more than reading, writing is a mental juggling act that depends on automatic deployment of basic skills such as handwriting, spelling, grammar, and punctuation so that the writer can keep track of such concerns as topic, organization, word choice, and audience needs. Poor spellers may restrict what they write to words they can spell, with inevitable loss of verbal power, or they may lose track of their thoughts when they get stuck trying to spell a word.


(courtesy of Reading Rockets)



Because of the detriment that poor spelling has to student success in all aspects of English and Language Arts, Third Graders in 3A are focusing on improving spelling by paying attention to spelling patterns within words. In fact, that is the name of the stage of spelling in which the students are working.
Students in the Within Word Pattern Stage use but confuse vowel patterns. They no longer spell boat sound by sound to produce BOT, but BOTE, BOWT, BOOT, or even boat as they experiment with possible patterns for the long -o sound.  Students that are working at the Within-Word Pattern Stage are manipulating one-syllable words and focusing on various vowel sounds and patterns. 

In order to better support students and parents at home, here are some suggestions for spelling practice that can be done with your child:

  • Use Spelling City to play games, create worksheets, and give practice tests online.
  • Write your spelling words five times each 
  • Write a paragraph using the words 
  • Draw a picture of the meaning of the words 
  • Write a sentence for each word 
  • Sort words by features
  • Sorting words by features: long a spelled ai and long a spelled ay.

  • Invent a word search 
  • Use grid paper to create a spelling word word search.

  • Type words on the computer in different ways (fonts)-more than once 
  • Alphabetize the words 
  • Write the dictionary respelling of each word (pronunciation key)
  • Write the word using the dictionary spelling key.
  • Write the meaning of each word 
  • Divide each word into syllables (use a dictionary to help you)
  • Write the word and circle the vowels 
  • Write the word and circle the consonants 
  • Hunk and chunk; star the magic e; underline blends
  • Find words inside words, chunks, blends, magic e.
  • Cross our the silent letters 
  • Make flash cards 
  • Write a synonym for each word 
  • Write an antonym for each word 
  • Parent given practice test 
  • Write a story with the words 
  • Write two words in a compound sentence.
  • Write words in a SUPER sentence-5 or more spelling words in one sentence 
  • Write a song with your words 
  • Use calligraphy or a colorful way to write the words (Rainbow write)
  • Rainbow Writing words is using a different color for each letter of the word.
    • Spell your words with magnetic letters 
    • Write words neatly in pen or marker




    Monday, September 7, 2015

    Welcome to Third Grade Class 3A 2015-2016!

    It is hard to believe that three weeks of school have already passed and the third grade students in room 177 have settled into their routine.  The new school year saw us off to a busy start as we learned about the new school-wide positive behavior intervention system (PBIS).  Students spent the first few days of school learning about the new school mission and the new acronym for P.R.I.D.E.

    Each morning following the Pledge of Allegiance, students recite the HSA mission statement:

    The mission of Horizon Science Academy is to provide
     all students with the behavior and academic skills 
    necessary to reach their fullest potential 
    intellectually, emotionally, 
    and physically.

    Following the mission statement, students say the new Horizon P.R.I.D.E. statement:

    P:  Practice safety
    R:  Respect others
    I:  I will follow directions
    D:  Do my best
    E:  Exercise responsibility

    During the first few days of school, students were presented with examples of how to show P.R.I.D.E. in various areas of the school including the bathrooms, hallways, and cafeterias.  


    After being show a matrix for each area of the school the students in room 177 divided into their P.R.I.D.E. groups (groups of about 4 students who will work together on all group projects throughout the year) to develop a matrix of what to do to show P.R.I.D.E. in the classroom.

    Jaylyn, Ruby, Makily, Zy'Aire, and Ayoob work together
    to create a classroom P.R.I.D.E. matrix.

    Finally, we celebrated the new implementation of our P.R.I.D.E. PBIS by having a P.R.I.D.E. Pep Rally complete with a P.R.I.D.E. wave, following directions with the Cupid Shuffle, and "What Does the Hawk Say?" with our school mascot.




    Those first few days of school were not just about rules and routines.  Third graders also talked about their wishes and goals for their third grade year.  We worked together to discuss the difference between a goal and a wish and discussed the meaning of the theme for our data wall this year.  Our data wall theme this year is, "A goal without a plan is just a wish."  Students will be learning how to write smart goals in third grade that will help them make some of their wishes come true.  After talking about wishes, third graders wrote Third Grade Wishes poems and created a craftivity to display on our bulletin board.  Some finished samples are shown below.



     

    Third graders also learned about writing high quality paragraphs by writing a topic sentence, three supporting details, and a closing sentence.  To practice this still, they were given a series of sentences to cut apart.  Students had to work with their table partner to determine which sentence was the topic sentence and then put the remaining sentences in proper order using clues in the sentences.

    Caleb and Brandazia work together to order sentences to form a proper paragraph.

    In math, students learned about what they would be doing in Math Workshop.  After much anticipation, students FINALLY got to use their math boxes and do a hands on learning activity to practice place value and forms of numbers (word form, standard form, expanded form).


    AJ uses his 9-sided die to create 4-digit numbers.  He then writes these
    numbers in word form, expanded form and models them with place value blocks.

    Finally, we wrapped up our "Welcome Back" unit and we were officially warmed up to third grade!  We were ready for our first interdisciplinary unit to begin!  The third graders can't wait to see what comes next!

    Monday, June 8, 2015

    Hatching Chicks...A Study of Animal Traits

    During the month of May, third graders in room 177 learned about traits of animals.  To help us delve deeply into this exploration, we hatched chicks.  In lieu of a lengthy blog post on this topic, I opted to put together a movie slide show (the first I've ever made)  so that you could see first-hand some of the amazing things that the students experienced in our classroom.

    On May 4, Ms. A. drove to Cincinnati to the Mt. Healthy Hatchery to pick up three Buff Orpington eggs whose chicks that had already begun to peck through the shell.  She placed them in an incubator that was plugged into an outlet in her car and drove them back to HSA-DE.  From there, the incubator was placed under the document camera and the image of the incubator was projected on the STAR Board during the day.  Students were given the opportunity to come up to the incubator for a close up view as well.

    During the school day, the chicks worked to peck through the shell.  Ever so often, we would see a little bit of activity and then there would be long periods of stillness while the chicks rested.  Hatching is a tiring job!  Students would begin to get very excited when they could hear the chicks chirping!

    Unfortunately, none of the chicks had hatched as of 2:15 p.m.  But right at dismissal time, one of the eggs began to really shake, rattle, and roll!  Students were glued to the screen of the STAR Board.  As busses were called, students from other grades filtered into our classroom to see this miracle of life happening right before our eyes.  Approximately 20 students from grades 2-5 sat with baited breath as we watched and waited for the baby chick to hatch.


    video


    This was the only chick to hatch while we watched.  By the time Ms. A. arrived at school the following morning, the remaining two chicks had hatched.

    Please enjoy the following movie/ slide-show of the development of our classroom chicks.

    video





    Friday, June 5, 2015

    Fourth Quarter Honors

    The fourth quarter of the 2014-15 school year is behind us and with that Horizon Science Academy took some time to recognize students who demonstrated outstanding achievement in academics, character, and citizenship. The following students from third grade were recognized at the fourth quarter awards assembly in May.

    Merit Roll


    Merit roll is achieved when a student earns an overall GPA between 3.0 and 3.49.  The following third graders achieved the Merit Roll for the fourth quarter of this school year:

    Kaylin
    Shy'Diamond
    Adriana
    Abubakr
    Alivia
    D'Aijah
    Marion

    Honor Roll


    Honor Roll is achieved when a student earns a GPA between 3.5 and 3.99.   The following students achieved Honor Roll during the fourth quarter:

    Khadijah
    Cayla
    Diamond
    Darren
    TaMya
    Da'Marieon

    Super Honor Roll

    Super Honor Roll is achieved when a student obtains a GPA of a perfect 4.0,  The following students achieved Super Honor Roll during the fourth quarter:

    Ray'Von
    Jayda
    Angel
    James

    Special Honors and Awards

    Highest Average in Science


    Kaylin

    P.E.

    Marcus
    D'Aijah


    D'Aijah (Marcus, not pictured)


    Highest Average in Reading

    Cayla
    Ray'von
    Jayda
    Angel
    James

    Ray'Von, Jayda, Cayla, Angel


    Highest Average in Math

    James
    Angel
    Ray'Von

    Model Student

    Khadijah
    Cayla
    Diamond
    Jayda
    Diamond, Jayda, Cayla, Khadijah



    Most Improved

    Reading: D'Aijah
    Math:  D'Aijah
    Science:  Ra'Jhay
    Social Studies: Ra'Jhay
    Behavior:  Ra'Jhay, Adriana, Alivia
    Overall:  Cayla

    D'Aijah, Ra'Jhay, Cayla, and Alivia


    Horizon P.R.I.D.E. Award

    Cayla

    Citizenship

    Cayla
    Diamond
    Jayda
    Angel

    Back Row:  Cayla, Diamond
    Front Row:  Angel, Jayda


    Multiplication Masters

    Shy'Diamond
    Lavon
    Ray'Von
    Jayda
    Diamond
    Marcus
    D'Aijah
    Angel
    TaMya
    Da'Marieon
    James







    Tuesday, June 2, 2015

    Games to Help Your Child Practice Math Facts This Summer

    Summertime can be a time of great fun for children.  But, if your children are like my children, it won't be long before you hear these words, "Mom, I'm bored!"  This is when you have a great opportunity to take things you may already have around the house and use them in a different way AND help your child be prepared for that first day of school in the fall.  Here are a few simple games that can be played with a partner or a small group.  They are fun and I bet your child won't even feel like he or she is studying!

    Domino Games

    Domino Keepers Addition

    • a game for 2 players (or two teams)
    • All of the dominoes are placed in the centre face down.
    • Both players pick up a domino at the same time.
    • Each player tells the sum of the dots on their domino, e.g. 2+4=6, 5+3=8.
    • The player with the highest answer keeps both dominoes. If both players have the same answer, each keeps a domino. The winner is the player or team with the most dominoes when all dominoes have been picked up.

    Domino Keepers Multiplication

    • a game for 2 players (or two teams)
    • Play this game as above but instead of adding the two numbers on the domino, multiply them.
    • These games tick all of the boxes - the kids love them, they are simple to play and all you need is a set of dominoes!
     

    Card Games

    Addition/ Subtraction War

    Like in the regular game of War, you are trying to get all the cards by having the highest card value. But in addition war you have two piles and flip over two cards at the same time. You must add your cards together to see if you have the highest value. To make it more challenging you could even have three piles and add three digits. This mental math practice makes computations a lot easier, even for adults.

    Obviously subtraction war is played the same way, except you use subtraction to find the value of your cards. The great thing about using the speed cards is that you get to see the mathematical patterns that the 2’s cards make. Your children will start to notice that the patterns are different from the 3’s, 4’s cards etc.

    Multiplication War

    Like in the regular game of War, you are trying to get all the cards by having the highest card value. But in multiplication war you have two piles and flip over two cards at the same time. You must multiply your cards together to see if you have the highest product. This mental math practice makes computations a lot easier, even for adults.

    Defensive Multiplication

    Your child will become a multiplication genius with this exciting card game! Players strategize to earn points as they place playing cards on their handmade game board.



    What You Need:
    Deck of playing cards, face cards removed
    4 sheets of paper
    Tape
    Pencil
    Scratch paper
    Black marker
    2 Players, or 2 teams







    What You Do:

    1. Have your child and her friends create a game board by drawing a 2 x 2 grid on each piece of paper. Tape the 4 sheets of paper together on the back and create a 4 x 4 grid.
    2. Announce that aces = 1.
    3. Ask one of the players to remove all of the face cards from the deck. Then divide the cards they removed into red and black cards. Each player gets either the red or black cards.
    4. The game consists of 5 rounds. A round of play is made up of 16 turns (8 for each player) and features a different target product. You can decide on whatever target products you'd like, but the target products we used are: 60, 72, 84, 90, and 96. These number have lots of factors so they're easier to work with.
    5. The two players must face each other. Players take turns placing any one of their cards into one of the spaces on the game board.
    6. Whoever completes a line of 4 cards in a row in any direction (including diagonally), successfully creating the target product, wins one point. An example of 84: 7 x 2 x 3 x 2 = 84.
    7. Once the board is full the round is complete. Clear the board and redistribute the cards back to the players before starting the next round.
    8. The player who has the most points at the end of 5 rounds wins!

    Other Games

    Egg Carton Shake-Up

    Here’s a fun way for kids to practice their math facts & also reuse egg cartons!*

    -To prepare the egg carton, simply number the bottom of each space 1-12.
    -Pop two counters into the egg carton. (Marbles, Pom Poms, Dried Beans, etc. work great!)
    -In pairs (or even groups of 3 or 4) or individually, take turns shaking the egg carton.
    – They then place the egg carton right side up & open it to see where the counters ended up.
    – On a sheet of paper record the numbers the counters are on, multiplying or adding (whichever you re practicing) them for their score.
    – Add scores as they go.
    – First player to 200 (or whatever number you set) is the winner!

    *Remember to check for egg allergies in the class before using egg cartons.


    Place Value Practice

    This one can be done as a whole group or as a small group with a student acting as the number caller. Students set up a game board with dashes for each digit, plus a trash can. You can decide how many digits you want the number to be, depending on what your students are learning. In the above pictures, the game board was set up for a 3-digit number, plus the trash can. Teacher (or student) pulls one card from the deck, tells it to the class and each student must decide where to place the number on their game board, trying to end up with a number with the greatest value. Continue pulling cards one at a time and make sure that students place the number for each turn. Students can use the trash can to discard a number they don't want to use, but they can only use it once during each round. This game can also be done to create numbers with the least value and can be used for numbers with as many digits as you'd like.

    I like this game because it requires skill and a bit of luck - any student can win. It can also reveal a lot - for instance when students are discarding eights and nines and placing ones in the hundreds place. Finally, I like it because it requires students to read their answer - reading large numbers can be a skill that students may not practice enough.

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015

    What's the MATTER? An Interdisciplinary Investigation about the States and Traits of Matter


    Third grade students delved into another Physical Science discovery this Spring by exploring the traits and states of matter.

    To kick off this unit, students began by observing three balloons.  Each balloon was filled with a substance that represented one of the three states of matter.

    Three balloons:  The balloon on the left (pink) is filled with a gas, the balloon
    in the middle (orange) is filled with a liquid, and the balloon on the right (white)
    is filled with a solid.

    Students observed each of the balloons and noted the traits each balloon had.  Students noted that the "white balloon" was not really a balloon at all.  I explained to the students that what had happened to that balloon was that while the balloon was in the freezer changing the state of matter of the water inside from a liquid to a solid, the balloon actually ruptured.  I explained that this happened because when a liquid freezes, it expands, or gets bigger, and that the balloon ruptured because the solid inside had gotten too big for the latex of the balloon to contain it.  I also explained to them that sometimes, some materials do not expand as easily when they are cold and that latex is one of them.  This is why the balloon would not get as big in the cold of the freezer as it would in the warmth of the classroom.  I told the students that I covered the solid that had taken the form of the balloon with the white so that they could have at least the visual of a balloon.

    By discussing what we knew (prior knowledge) about each state of matter, students predicted what would happen when each balloon was popped and what shape the matter inside each balloon would take once the balloon was popped.  

    Students predicted that they would not be able to see the gas.  Students predicted that the liquid would go everywhere inside the tray, and students predicted that they solid would stay the same.

    Here is what happened:

    The gas was invisible and could not be seen.  Students noted
    that it went everywhere in the room.

    The water filled the tray.  It took on shape of the tray
     instead of the shape of the balloon.

    The solid stayed the same shape even when the balloon was
    removed.



     After reading more about the states of matter students worked in P.R.I.D.E. groups to categorize which state a predetermined set of matter cards would be classified into.

    Jayda, Lavon and Khadijah partner to categorize matter into the three states.

    The next day, students created living models of the three states of matter so that we could demonstrate what happened to the molecules within each state or matter.  To do this, clear plastic trash bags and balloons were used.

    Karissa, Marion, and Marcus pose as states of matter molecules.  Can you guess
    which one is a solid, liquid and a gas?

    Once the students were ready in their "costumes", they came into the classroom to model their molecule costumes.  Each student took a turn jumping around so that their classmates could see how the molecules (balloons) in their matter moved about.  Based on this observation, the observers in the class decided which molecule was a solid, which was a gas, and which was a liquid and then justified their opinion based on what they had learned thus far in this unit.


    Marion represented a Liquid molecule.  His molecules moved about but stayed
    close together.  Marcus represented gas.  His atoms moved about freely and did
    not need to touch each other.  Karissa represented a solid.  Her molecules did not
    move at all.

    After this demonstration, students worked independently to complete an interactive notebook entry about the traits of matter.  A solid has a definite volume and a definite shape.  A liquid has a definite volume but its shape changes depending on the shape of the container.  A gas has no definite shape and no definite volume.

    Darren displays his science sort interactive notebook
    entry which explains the traits of the states of matter.


    Next, we began to explore the gas state of matter a little bit more in depth.  We did this because it is such a difficult concept for students to understand because it is something we cannot see.  Students conducted to experiments specifically tailored to observing gas.

    The first was an experiment called "Matter is a'Poppin'".  During this experiment, we used three different types of soda (Sprite, Fanta Orange, and Coke), balloons, and Pop Rocks candy.

    The materials needed for the Matter is a'Poppin' science experiment.

    Each student was given a clip board and a data sheet to record the steps of the scientific process for this experiment.  Students recorded the materials, and the procedure.  The procedure for this experiment, Pop Rocks would be placed inside the balloons.  Then, once the caps of the sodas were removed,  the balloons would be placed over the openings of each bottle. Finally, the Pop Rocks would be emptied from the balloons into the sodas.  Students would observe for a reaction to occur.

    Pop Rocks have been placed in the balloons.  They are shaken down
    into the "bulb" part of the balloon.  The opening of the balloon is placed over the
    mouth of each bottle.  
    Students then made hypotheses on their data sheets about what they predicted what would happen during the experiment.  Once they had their hypotheses recorded, we were ready to begin the experiment...

    Pop Rocks have been shaken down into the sodas.  Students are observing
    reactions.

    Almost immediately, students notice the balloons expanding (getting bigger).  Students are seeing fizzing.  We discuss what that fizzing is and note that it is occurring because of a gas.  We are all wondering why some of the the balloons are getting bigger than others.


    Now, we don't see any more fizz in the bottles.  We notice that the Fanta and Coke
    balloons got much bigger than the Sprite.  We wonder why.

    After the experiment is over, we have a discussion about possible reasons why the Fanta and Coke balloons got bigger than the Sprite balloon.  One reason we noted is that the Fanta bottle had more liquid volume than the Sprite and Coke bottles (20 oz bottle compared to 16 oz bottles).  Could it be that with more liquid there could have been more gas produced?  We also noted that the Fanta and the Coke both were colored beverages but the Sprite was a clear beverage.  Could it be that the Sprite produces less gas because it contains less chemicals to begin with?  We were left with many questions.

    Following this experiment, students wrote lab reports to convey their learning.  Here are some pictures of their finished reports.

    Marcus, RayVon, TaMya, and Kaylin's lab reports.

    Da'Marieon's written lab report.

    Da'Marieon's written lab report.

    The second science experiment we did was a Gas Rocket.  To do this we needed a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke and a roll of Mentos.  The entire package of Mentos was dropped into the 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke as third graders stood around to observe the reaction...the following took place:

    The Mentos created a reaction inside the bottle that caused
    gas to be formed.  The gas molecules moved out of their
    container through the opening taking soda with them (fizz).

    To conclude our study of the states of matter, we made root beer floats. 

    Ymmmmm!  What a great way to study
    the states of matter!
     Each component of the root beer float represented one of the states of matter.  The ice cream was a solid.  The root beer was a liquid.  But where was the gas?  You guessed it!  When the root beer was added to the ice cream, we saw the gas bubbles of the fizzing pop!




    Here are three third graders reaction to having a root beer float as part of science class!

    D'Aijah...I think she likes it...

    Ra;Jhay...I think she likes it...

    Looks like it's unanimous!  Abubakr likes it, too!