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  • Writer's pictureMarisa Ramsey

Smart Start 2023-2024: Week 9

Letter G Week!

Gum drop engineering, games, and glitter glue were just a few of the engaging invitations for our Smart Starters this week. We explored the concept of gravity and challenged students to engineer buildings and bridges. We played games that had us guessing and painted abstract galaxies that glitter!

The holiday season is fast approaching. We enjoy taking the month of November to start working on some handmade adornments for our classroom. This week we learned about garlands and started making some out of noodles and oranges. Students used kid-safe knives to slice oranges. This was a first for almost everyone and their dexterity was superb!

After slicing, we talked about how the oranges are juicy and asked what would happen if we hung them up as is. We decided that would be too juicy and sticking! So, our next question was, "What could we do to keep them from being juicy, sticky, and messy?" Some suggested squeezing them really hard, but others countered that then they would be squished and not pretty anymore. Someone suggested hanging them on our garland without slicing them at all. One student suggested using a needle (syringe) to suck all of the juice out! Brilliant, but we decided that would take a REALLY long time.

We talked about what we have learned so far this year about how temperature changes things. We asked the students what they thought would happen if we put the orange slices in the oven. They predicted that they might melt, change color, and change shape. We put the slices in the oven for 3 hours at 250 degrees. Our classroom smelled delicious all day. The results were beautiful and are ready to string and hang!

We love projects like these garlands that connect our physical space to our shared celebrations AND are something we discovered while asking lots of great questions and making predictions. These garlands will be a reminder throughout the rest of the semester of what we learned and how we make discoveries!

This week the Wiggle Room featured an introduction to gymnastics. Ms. Jessie read Jake at Gymnastics and students got to try out balancing, jumping, swinging, and some flips.

Listen to the words of encouragement in this video! At Smart Start, our goal is for our students to be curious, creative, and kind. They are certainly kind when it comes to cheering each other on.

This week's music concept was about the vibrations that create sound. Mr. Cade brought in some of his guitars and Ms. Jessie led everyone through an activity that helped students experience the vibrations that result in different pitches.

We have been learning about states of matter and letter G week was the perfect opportunity for an experiment involving gas. Ms. Leah led us through thinking about what would happen if we trapped the gas being given off when we dropped an Alka seltzer tablet into some water. The predictions ranged from "It will break the container" to "It will break the earth!"

After seeing what happened in an open container, students and teachers filled film canisters with water, dropped in a half tablet, replaced the lid, and waited for the POP! The lids flew across the room making us all laugh and giving us a great experience that demonstrates exactly what happens if gas gets trapped.

We rounded out our week playing Night Guard, writing our names in glow-in-the-dark paint, building gates for our farm animals, and we finished each day with gratitude.

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