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Showing posts from November, 2010

Science Experiment Idea

It is no secret in my class that I like to drink diet coke from a bottle versus a can (mainly because I fear things falling into the open can). I also like my diet coke SUPER COLD. The other day I grabbed one from Walmart and thought to myself, "I wonder if there is a difference in temperature between soda in a can or in a bottle?" (and do they loose temperature at the same rate).
I thought I could tie this question in nicely with our unit on light we just started. We have been exploring properties of light (it contains energy) and what happens when it hits objects. Using information we have studied students would be introduced to the question and then they would have to make a hypothesis.
I thought it would be a nice easy classroom experiment. All you have to do is take a cold 12 oz bottle of diet coke and a cold 12 oz can of diet coke and then have students record the temperature of each every 5 minutes for about twenty minutes and discuss the results and what part light mi…

Science Fair - Grading

In my previous post I talk about science fair preparation, in this one I am going to address how I handle science fair grading.
I give a homework grade for the question they turn in during the planning phase (doesn't matter if it is a "good question" or not...they get the full points). I know some teachers require that students turn in their materials and procedures list at benchmark points but I don't. My life is busy enough without adding yet more things I have to review and grade! I figure if they have a decent question they will be fine. I have absolutely no interest in micromanaging their science project. The only requirement I have is if they change their question to run it by me first.
I have a grading rubric but it works slightly differently. All children who turn in a project get a 70% automatically (I don't ever fail a child if they made some attempt and I never make a science fair project such a large amount of their final grade that they can never rec…

Science Fair - Preparation Week

I apologize for not posting recently. Most of my notebooking has simply been a repeat of previous years with some tweaking. I'm trying to avoid repeat posts but that has left me with no material for this year! Luckily we went off schedule this past week in preparation of our upcoming science fair and I thought I would do a post about that.
Our district had isolated community judges for our science fair years ago and set up a schedule for all the schools (for the sake of organizing the judges time). Unfortunately our school got one of the worst dates (right after Thanksgiving break). Science fair projects are mandatory in grades 4 and 5 and, up until this year optional in the lower grades. This year the lower grades are encouraged to do a class project but nothing except 4th and 5th grade projects will be accepted into the science fair.
This means that the first time a child is introduced to a science fair project is in my grade level (4th). No pressure!
Students learn about inquiry a…