# Kindergarten

We started the second quarter learning about Gravity.  We did experiments just like Galileo did to study how balls of different sizes and weight all fell to the ground at the same speed.

In Kindergarten we also had a lesson on our 5 senses.  We tried to identify what was in a container based only on what we could hear, smell or feel.  We then used our 5 senses to describe an OREO cookie.  Lastly we used our sense of taste and ate our OREO.  YUM!

In first grade, we have been investigating Magnets & Sound.  The students came to the lab for a hands on investigation into many of the properties of magnets.  We experimented with magnets to see what types of materials are attracted to a magnet.  We learned that magnets can attract and repel, that they have a north and a south pole, and that there is an invisible magnetic field.

In our sound unit we have learned that sound is caused by vibrations. We learned the difference between volume and pitch.  Ask your first grader to tell you the difference between the two.  We felt vibrations in our throats and on tuning forks.  Ask your child what happens when you touch the tines of a tuning fork to the surface of water. We used sound bottles and made our own guitars using tissue boxes and rubber bands to explore what makes a high or low pitch.

Next we made homemade silly putty and saw that when we mixed two liquids together we created a solid with different properties than the two liquids.

Here is the recipe in case you want to try it at home:

• Dissolve 1 tsp of Borax powder in 1/2 cup of warm water.
• Dilute 1 ounce of Elmer’s school glue with 1 ounce of water  in a plastic cup.
• Optional (for a fun color): add 2-3 drops of food coloring to the glue and stir.
• Add about 2-3 tsps of the Borax mixture to the glue mixture and stir with a popsicle stick.
• As you stir the mixture, it will stiffen into a soft lump.  After the lump has formed, take it out of the cup and knead until all of the excess water is squeezed out.

Note: be careful not to lay it on paper or it may stick.  Store it in a Ziploc bag when not using to keep it elastic.

Lastly we will be learning about making predictions.  We will make boats out of tin foil, predict how many blocks they can hold before they sink, then perform an experiment to see if our predictions were right.

In second grade, we have been investigating Energy!  We used wind energy to study how the size, shape and weight of an object can affect how it moves and how much energy is necessary to move it.  We learned that a force is any push or pull.  Next we studied forces and motion by using marbles, foam tracks, and dominoes.  Ask your second grader to tell you about our “Domino Knockdown” activity.  See if they can tell you what we needed to do to increase the force and be able to move our block of four dominoes.

Second grade will be working on a STEM project in December that uses what they have learned about energy and pushes/pulls.

Third grade has been learning all about weathering and erosion.  We used chalk and sugar cubes to study chemical weathering and physical weathering.  We then got our hands dirty and learned about stream erosion.  We saw how rain caused erosion and learned that waves can erode beaches.  After spending all fall learning about rocks, minerals, fossils, soils, weathering and erosion we will finish the semester with a STEM project that combines all that we have learned.  The students will be making a “mining tool” to “mine” chocolate chips from cookies.

The Kincaid fourth graders have been learning about simple machines, forces and motion.

We saw how each of the simple machines worked and then investigated Force & Motion by making our own “roller coasters”.  The students used foam tubing to make a roller coaster track with a loop.  They used the track to study the motion of a marble on their track and to demonstrate Potential and Kinetic energy.

Next the students divided up into teams and constructed their own catapult.  They launched marshmallows to study forces and to see whose catapult could fling a marshmallow the farthest distance.  Too much fun!

The overall winner was Cassine in Mr. Bridges’ class.

And the class winners were

Nya, Ms. Thompson’s class – second place overall

Susanna, Ms. Michael’s class

Riley, Ms. Rausch’s class

Avery, Mr. Long’s class

Fifth grade is unique from the other grades in that instead of all fifth graders studying the same unit at the same time they rotate through the units therefor each class is studying a different topic.  By the time CRCT testing is done in April all student swill have experienced all of the science units.

Here are the units all fifth graders will study during the year:

Electricity:

The fifth graders will make their hair stand on end when they experiment with static electricity.  They will learn what is needed to make a complete circuit that allows electricity to flow through.  Students will use batteries, light bulbs and wires to make series and parallel circuits.  See if your child knows which type of circuit is used to wire a house.  They will also learn what items are good conductors of electricity and what materials make good insulators.

Matter:

We will be making molecules out of pretzels and marshmellows and learning about density.  Additional activities in the science lab will include experiments to see physical and chemical changes.  Most of our experiments use items commonly found in your house so you can ask them to show you some of our experiments.

Classification and Heredity:

We will learn about taxonomy by classifying “aliens” from the planet “Pamishan” based upon their appearance.  During our science lab time we will also learn about inherited and acquired characteristics, what a genotype and a phenotype are, and do an activity where each student will come up with different genotypes for facial features and then draw the face based upon the genotype/phenotype that they came up with.

Constructive and Destructive Forces:

Students will do activities to learn about erosion, volcanoes, earthquakes, and deltas.  Students will use stream tables to show erosion caused by streams and rain and the formation of deltas.  They will also study the effects of waves on beach erosion and learn how a reef can lessen the force of the waves and therefor reduce beach erosion.

Cells and Microorganisms:

For this unit the students are learning how to use microscopes.  They will make their our own slides of onion skins and cheek cells to see some of the differences between animal and plant cells.  They will also learn about helpful and harmful microorganisms and test areas of the school to see which are the germiest.