Understanding the properties of light can be a challenge for Fifth graders, but at Back Creek, a unique classroom project helped students learn all of the important details.
Students were tasked with constructing a winter
symbol that was 3-Dimensional and included materials that represented transparency, translucency, and opacity. After students blueprinted their ideas, the creating began and the winter symbols took shape.
To proof their designs, students used Sun paper. The first attempts were outside and the students soon discovered that the angle of the sun and the breeze affected their results. An indoor window was employed, but again, the angle of the sun skewed the results. Finally the students resorted to using a flashlight with a very strong beam to simulate the sun.
Opaque materials blocked the light and created a white space on the paper, where translucent created a ghosted image and transparent areas remained dark blue.When the results were in, students discovered that even if a material was transparent, it became translucent when layered and changed the way light moved through it.
The culminating activity was to author an original jingle explaining the properties of light. The students used the Chatterpix App to record their symbol singing the jingle.
The students had a great deal of fun with this project, and in the end, came away with a deeper understanding of the properties of light.
In a creative challenge, BCE Kindergartners were asked to design a basket that would hold an apple for 10 seconds. The apple had to be inside the basket and held by the basket’s handles. Students worked in teams and could only use the materials that were provided. Each basket was unique and many of them held an apple for the required amount of time. After the challenge students talked about what worked, what didn’t, and what they would do differently next time.
The students in Mrs. Vest’s class were recently challenged to construct trees. Gumdrops and toothpicks were the materials that were used and the trees needed to be free standing, at least three inches tall, and include at least three different gum drop colors. A pretty tall order considering that the students in Mrs. Vest’s class are pre-schoolers and under five years of age.
The students worked through the challenge and in addition to practicing colors and measurement, they developed critical thinking skills.
Learning about letters and how they form words is top priority for emerging readers. Back Creek Kindergartners made many connections to reading when the took part in this name writing activity. In this elementary engineering task, students were challenged to not only spell their names, but also to design each letter out of a different type of material.
This challenge encouraged students to think creatively about the letters in their name. They were highly engaged and very focused on the task at hand.
Once finished, the students toured the room and viewed the names of their classmates. Students noticed similarities and letters in common with their own names and complimented each other on the creativity that they observed.