Friday, October 25, 2013

G for Gas

See what we did for other letters in the Alphabet in Simple Science.

G for Gas
Science Notebook Page

As a refresher, I gout out our book States of Matter again.  I was very surprised that Xander would randomly pick it up and read himself a page or two.  I also picked Matter and Motion, Magnets and More from the library.  For both I had just planned on reading him the sections about gases, however, he insisted I read the entire Matter book.

We've been talking about changing states of matter a lot.  Mostly the conversation started when my brakes squeaked one morning and he asked "Mom, why are your brakes squeaking?!  It didn't rain!"  (Not sure why he seemed so indignant about it).  Anyway it got us talking about how the windows on the car were all wet from condensation.  Then we noticed some other examples of condensation, and the conversation basically progressed from there into melting, freezing, boiling, etc.  We've been talking about these ideas for a couple of weeks and he is starting to build some understanding (although he still needs some practice).  Since he is interested, I made this little diagram for him to see if it would help solidify things (oops, pun wasn't intended initially, then I left it in).  We definitely aren't done with states of matter in our alphabet, so I'll probably make another one again eventually.

Fun with Balloons
Since letter F was float and G was gas, I combined concepts with balloons.  We started with empty balloons and talked about how they were flat because they were empty.  I blew one up and asked him what made it round (gas).  I also bought a helium filled balloon and we talked about how it had a special gas in it.  That gas was lighter than the air and made the balloon float up to the ceiling.  He compared the two balloons and discussed why one floated and the other did not (it is heavier than the air around it, so it sinks). I'm not sure if he understood the sinking and floating concept, but he did get that the balloons were filled with gases.

Gas Balloons
Soda bottles (I used the mini ones), Pop Rocks, effervescent antacid tablets, vinegar, and two balloons

I left the soda in one bottle and added Pop Rocks, then immediately covered the opening with a balloon.  Xander helped by pouring the candy into the bottle using a funnel.  I repeated the procedure with an empty bottle, 2 antacid tablets, and some vinegar.  I asked him to compare the balloons, and then tied them off for him to compare further (and play with).
The Conversation:
What I really wanted him to get out of this was that the balloons fill with gas and that more gas means a bigger balloon.  I started by asking him what was inside the deflated balloon (nothing).  We started with just the soda and candy.  Once the balloon started filling, I asked him what he noticed.  He said the balloon was getting bigger.  I asked him what was going into it to make it bigger.  He also noticed that it was making a lot of noise.  He had a great time listening to the reaction!  I basically asked him the same questions with the vinegar and antacid tablets.  Once both balloons were done filling, I had him compare the two.  I asked him which one had more gas and how he knew.  I was very happy that he answered correctly that the yellow balloon had more gas because it was bigger.
Making those all important observations!
Round Two
Comparing the two investigations.

Gas Baggies
Two baggies, water, vinegar, baking soda

We put two tablespoons of baking soda into two different baggies (4T total, but you the amount isn't super important).  I then had him put some water in one bag and vinegar in the other using twisty droppers.  I tried to keep the bag while he squirted.  We eventually ended up just pouring in the water and vinegar to get a bigger reaction.  Then we compared what happened with both bags.

The Conversation:
This activity was perfect for a review of solids, liquids, and gases, since it involved all three!  First I asked him about what was in the two (empty) baggies.  After adding each ingredient I asked him if there was a solid, liquid, or gas in each bag.  I asked him to make observations and tell me what he was noticing.  When we had both bags at the end, I asked him to compare them.  He could feel the difference between the one that had gas in it and the one that didn't.  I asked why he thought the one was full and squishy while the other one was empty. 
 Feeling the difference between the bags.

Check out my Alphabet in Simple Science Pinterest Board!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Developing Interests: States

A huge part of early education is following the child's lead.  Personally, I hate do not care for geography.  I'm horrible at it, I have no interest, enough said.  Well Xander, on the other hand, has developed a huge interest in the states.  It started when about a month ago when I took the tray off his high chair and bought him a United States place-mat.  He, of course, started asking about all of the states and who lived in each one.  Because he was so interested, I showed him the following video of Fifty Nifty United States.  He was totally hooked!  I was happy because of the way it depicts the states, it is very similar to the Doman method of flashing.  He likes to replay it during breakfast, so I now start humming it every time I go to pack our lunches.  He is learning so quickly, that he used some of his money to but a wooden states puzzle.  We're now working on learning where all the states go and what all of their capitals are (I say we, because I have forgotten the majority of the capitals and am relearning them right along with him).  This is not the subject area I thought we would be working on this fall, but I find myself enjoying it simply because he is so enthusiastic!  I cannot wait to see down what other learning paths he chooses to lead us.

Xander randomly singing the states song...
Working on his puzzle.

Monday, October 21, 2013

G Week

This Week's Work
Letter Formation/Pre-Writing
Tracing the letters with his write and wipe cards.
Practicing writing in his sand box.
Q-Tip Painting (from 1+1+1=1)
 Letter Maze
We did the "ai" Beginner Spelling Cards this week.  He did a great job with the structure of the cards, but struggled some when I asked him to spell "sail" all by himself.  He loves letters, though, so I know we'll get there!
Cut and Paste Phonics Hunt
We did letter G of his Cut and Past Phonics Hunt.  
Playing Boggle Junior.  I picked it up at a garage sale over a year ago, and got it out for him again.  He really likes it.  He likes spelling the words on the cards and just using the letter dice to make up his own words.  Today he was so proud that he spelled the word poop with the dice all by himself!  How is it that boys learn to think that is funny at such an early age?!?  I certainly didn't teach him!
A phonics page and a gumball fraction page from Raising Rockstars Kindergarten

He used his see and stamps to decorate some Gs for his wall.
We're still doing our Alphabet in Simple Science, and this week was G for Gas!  As a refresher, we pulled out his States of Matter book again.  Check back on Friday for the full post of activities!
Since Halloween is coming up, we also read a couple books on bats.  I'll get out more bat books next week, but wanted to start with the more educational (less Halloween-y ones).  We also watch the Magic School Bus: Going Batty
I got out these animal 3 part cards this week, totally forgetting that we haven't done the Little Reader lesson I made to go with it.  Oops!  Well then we went back and did the Little Reader lesson two or three times and he was able to get a lot of them.  I'll have to keep showing him the lesson and revisit in a week or so!
Since we were learning about bats, he watched Magic School Bus: Going Batty in Spanish also.
Sensory Play
Playing in his water beads on his light box!
Preschool Backpack
Here is what was in this week's Preschool Backpack:
Build a Letter Templates with foam pieces
 Worksheets (full list used here)
2 Books for him to read aloud

Tot SchoolA Mom With a Lesson Plan
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