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Showing posts from November, 2014

How Big Is A Dinosaur?

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Our study of fossils has led us to some great conversations about dinosaurs. The class had a lot of questions, "when were they alive?", "how did they die?", "what did they eat?", and "how big were they?" We set out reading books to help answer some of our questions. We read the book "How Big We're The Dinosaurs" by Bernard Most

After reading the book we had a conversation about measurement. One of our friends told us, "we measure things to find out how big something is". We decided to measure ourselves. "How many blocks tall are you?" We talked about what the word "prediction" means. The children made predictions and then we decided to test them out. After everyone was measured with blocks we got out our measuring tapes and talked about the words "inches" and "feet".

We then wanted to find out how long a T-Rex's foot was. We found out that it was 3 feet long!  "How long is 3 f…

Printing

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During our exploration of fossils we continued to come across the word "print". We thought it might be interesting to make some prints of our own using paint and paper.

We learned that there are two different kinds of fossils. The first kind are fossilized "remains" of animals or plants like bones, shells or leaves. The second type of fossil shows the activity of an animal, like footprints and trackings. We talked about how we can make footprints by walking in the sand or by walking across a dry surface with wet feet. 

We can also make prints of the art we make. There are many different kinds of "prints". This was a great way to show children the medium in its simplest form.

Drawing Fossils

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Drawing fossils was a great way to continue our exploration of fossils while making connections to some of our past conversations about lines and shapes.

We observed lines and shape in photographs of fossils, the lines of the bones of long ago animals, shells and plant life. We talked about their shapes and the similarities they have to things still on the Earth today.

This was a simple activity involving paper and black magic marker. The children were given the opportunity to draw as many fossils as they chose or to revisit the same fossil more than once.

Fossils

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Before all the Halloween fun began our class was learning about rocks. We discovered that there were different types of rocks. One kind of rock is called sedimentary, and a cool thing we found out is that sedimentary rocks sometimes tell a story about the past. We had a great conversation about what the words, past, present and future mean. This led to the topic of Fossils. "what is a fossil?, "How are fossils made?" Ashby told us " We find fossils underground", and Titus said " Fossils are very old". We already knew a bit about fossils but soon realized there was much more to discover. We decided to call in and " expert".

We had a very special guest come to our classroom.  Ashby's mom brought real fossils for us to see and touch!

After the visit we thought it would be fun to make our own fossils.

We made a mixture of corn starch, baking soda and water , it makes a great clay like material that dries overnight. We set out shells, ferns and d…

Spooky Shadows

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We used our overhead projector to create a Halloween shadow puppet show.                                                 For our forest we used sticks for trees and clay for a base.  We added  spanish moss to give our forest a spooky look.      
Provocations involving shadows and light are always compelling to small children. "What's making the shadow?" It's amazing to watch the children through trial and error gain an understanding and fascinating to see the different levels of understanding amongst this age group. The puppet show was a hands on way for the children to have an authentic experience which allowed for their own construction of knowledge. It was tricky for them to figure out how to have the puppet show without their body in the way. They also discovered that they had to hold the puppet a certain way to see the image, sideways didn't work.



The children made up stories, some made them into a book but in the end we decided as a clas…