Thursday, February 2, 2012

What do Magical Water Play, Magnificent Catapults, Hidden Graphed Pictures and the International Space Station have in common?

They are all being used as Think Tank studies! As the interests of different classes continue to develop, so do the diverse array of Think Tank Challenges. In many classes, we are wrapping up our study of simple machines using Legos (for now!) and transfering our knowledge to challenges using the same concept. For example, 3rd -5th grade students used the Scientific Method to determine which catapult would send Lego Mrs. Ford the farthest. Would it be C1 or C2?

They then recorded data, drew conclusion and then used their conclusions to design their own catapult based on a "dessert island scenerio". 

Meanwhile, Pre-School and Pre-K students are studying water. In Think Tank, these students are conducting science experiments using different markers. First students write a "secret message" ( aka their name" in permenant marker.

Then, they cover their writing completely with a regular (water soluble) marker. From there they made predictions about what would happen when their work was placed in water. Would the message reappear? What would happen to the water? Why did some marker stay on the paper and other marker wash away? Why do they think their parents don't want them coloring every day with permanent makers now that they have experimented with them? Check out their experiment results on the hallway bulliten board soon!

Finally, K-1 classes are using their math, picture and people smarts as well as the Habit of Mind "Work collaboratively as a group and inspire teamwork" to complete a hidden picture graph. Using coordinates is new to many in this age group but they have done a wonderful job supporting eachother and coming up with strategies to make sure their work is accurate and precise!

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