The Scientific Method

At the science table, I wanted to introduce the concept of the scientific method.  We started by talking about what a hypothesis is.  The children came up with a definition of “an idea that you can test.”  We put our definition to practice by comparing two tree stumps to see which one was older, based on the number of rings.

The children looked at both tree stumps and hypothesized which one was older.  We then incorporated some math by tallying up our hypotheses.  We also incorporated literacy by writing out our class hypothesis.

We then moved on to another step in our scientific method: the experiment.  We talked about how an experiment is the way we test our hypothesis to see if it is correct.  We counted the rings on both tree stumps to see which tree was older.  We conducted our experiment three times to make sure that our results

Through our experiments, we were able to conclude that our hypotheses were correct.

Making a Hawk Nest in Drama

Winter Doings

In Drama, we pretended to cross over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan’s Chinatown.  Gung Hey Fat Choy!   The children reenacted The Lion Dance in a parade through the school to celebrate the year of the snake.  We read, Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan’s Chinese New Year, by Kate Waters and Madeline Slovenz-Low and My Chinatown, by former CHP parent and friend,  Kam Mak.

In Literacy and Math, we looked at many different types of maps.  This activity was followed by making a “birds eye view” map of the classroom.

One of our students brought in some special things from her visit to Hawaii.  One of those things was a volcanic rock!  This sparked our interest, and someone wanted to know, what IS a volcano? It was time to get messy, and make a “volcano” for the classroom out of paper mache. Once the paper mache component was completed, it was time look at real volcanos on the iPad and decide what color to paint it.  When everything was dry, it was time to erupt our volcano and start learning about the chemical reactions associated with volcanoes and other natural phenomena!

In Music, based on interest, the students wrote their own rhythm patterns on the whiteboard that we all clapped and tapped! We learned a new song, This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie, along with Valentine’s Day songs too.

In Drama, we talked about the fact that one of our squirrel feeders was visited by a real live hawk.  We saw a picture of the hawk in a Brooklyn backyard too!  We read¸ City Hawk: The Story of Pale Male by Meghan McCarthy, and decided to explore bird migration.  We became bird watchers to reenact city hawk’s story, and created a migration map to follow him to his nest on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. As the unit progressed, the children looked at a U. S. map and decided where the hawks would fly. On their journey throughout the country, they met other state birds... and the American eagle.

In Art, it was time to make the special people in our life a special valentine.   With paper, fake fur, eye stickers, and tempera paint, we made our loved ones Valentine’s flying squirrel puppets!

We completed our February survey.  We used our math skills to find out, "What's your favorite way to get to CHP?"

At the Writing Table, the mid-way school year was a perfect time to revisit our, “Kind Reminders at CHP.”  The children were given the option of coming to the Writing Table to dictate and draw a mini rule book of their own.

In Music, we constructed a banjo made out of large shapes, and put it together like a puzzle on the floor. We added tuning pegs, strings, bridge, and frets to the. We sang Alouette, a song in French about a bird and body parts. Hilary played the xylophone and set-up a pentatonic scale for the children to take turns playing while listening to an Ella Jenkins called, You'll Sing a Song, and I'll Sing a Song.

In Literacy and Math, the children help create a United States of America matching game.  So many of our “flatties” visited states outside New York, some of these states will be represented in the matching game.  We will also learn about colors and shapes when we play the game.

At the art table, it was time to talk about maps too.  We explored projecting a map of the United States on the wall to use it as a guide.  We will used the finished mural to chart where our “flatties” have visited.  This project was so successful; we decided to make a map of Europe too!