The Winter That Doesn't End

As I sit here on what seems like snow day #486, I have decided to FINALLY do something that I have had intentions of doing since being offered my teaching position... begin my blog. I have spent the past two days working on the aesthetics of the blog, and I am not pleased enough to begin my first blog post. With this past winter storm that passed through, I decided I wanted to share a science experiment that my class conducted last week.

Let me begin by providing some background information as to how I am able to be teaching science in my classroom. Our school district has unfortunately had so many snow days this year that we have applied for a special waiver through the state where we won't have to tack on all these snow days to the end of the year. Instead, we have opted to extend our school day by one hour. For every six extended days, one snow day is made up. We are looking at doing this for 30 school day (and probably longer now that we had two snow days this week...) to take place of five of our snow days. Since we had an hour of school added on to our day, the lower grades were given a little bit of freedom as to how we spent the hour, provided that it was still instructional time spent on student improvement and advancement. I decided for my class that we were going to study six biomes. My class really enjoyed our thematic week where we studied arctic animals, so that fueled my decision. 

Last week we studied and reviewed the arctic tundra. We spent one day studying the location by coloring in on a world map where the tundra is located. We also labeled where we were at in comparison to it. 

The second day we spent our hour reviewing the animals that live there, and then the third day we talked about how those animals are able to endure the cold arctic temperatures because of their special layer of fat called blubber. We ended by doing an experiment that I found on Kreative in Kinder. The experiment was called "The Blubber Experiment." For this, I took three sandwich sized Ziploc baggies and filled them with Crisco. I then placed those three baggies into a gallon sized Ziploc baggie. In order for my students to remain squeaky clean during the experiment, I added one more gallon sized Ziploc baggie inside the other, with the three Crisco baggies placed around it. I explained to the class that it was our "blubber glove." 

Before conducting our experiment, we filled out the simplified scientific method worksheet from the Kreative in Kinder website, and took a poll on how the class thought their hands would feel in the "blubber glove." We then, submerged the "blubber glove" in ice cold water. We took turns placing one hand in the "blubber glove" and the other hand in the ice cold water and observed the difference we felt between the two hands. 

My class really enjoyed feeling how cold the water was, and they were very surprised at how their hand in the glove was still warm despite being completely submerged in the water. We ended by filling out the rest of our experiment paper. 

If and when we return to school this week, we will be studying the deciduous forest biome and our thematic study will be over Laura Numeroff books. I am really looking forward to everything I have planned, and my fingers are crossed that I will get to start the fun learning tomorrow.