Giving students experiences to learn from

One of my biggest take aways from this year is to create experiences for students. Allow them to gain skills and expose them to real world situations where the knowledge piece is put to use in the real world. By having students involved in the process of planning, my students looked for ways to connect the knowledge to the real world. Together we created critical thinking challenges and looked for ways to relate what we were learning to jobs we might have in the future.

Recently, my students looked for jobs that had to do with weather and the things we were learning in Science. We found out that weather was very important to many fields of employment and you needed to understand these concepts to perform your job.  One example was that a pilot would need to know how wind direction and speed affects the plane. Together we took it to the next level of how they could build a machine to measure the weather using the recyclable materials we were collecting. You can see our plan we developed here:  5A Design a Weather Machine Challenge

Next week we will get a chance to take our machines outside and test them out to see how effective they are at measuring the direction of the wind. The students will have the opportunity to market their machines and build plans as well. All of my students worked extremely hard and rose to the challenge. I am seeing higher levels of success because the students see a connection between skills, knowledge and the world.

Here are some photos from our build day

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From Class Blog: Mixtures vs Reactions

Today in Science we learned about mixtures and reactions. Students were given 2 different substances to add together in their groups and were to decide if they caused a reaction or a mixture. They needed to explain what they saw in order to justify their classification.

Ms. Albrecht then showed the class what happens when you mix Vinegar and Milk. To the surprise of many, the milk curdled – creating a plastic-like substance (also know as a precipitate). We expected it to smell kind of funny – It was like a hot summer day on the farm according to Ms. A. We also noticed a colour change and bubbles (caused by a gas that was created). This checked off almost all the possible visual and olfactory clues that it was a reaction and not just a mixture.

A big thank you to the student volunteer for cleaning out the bowl from the experiment. That one was a mix of “Yuck” and “Cool” all at the same time. Here’s a picture of it on the projector for you to see, if you dare!

Milk and Vinegar

Milk and Vinegar = a Reaction