Friday, May 31, 2013

Fun in the Sun

Counting Earthworms

    The day we released our earthworms to a new habitat we dumped the earthworm culture out and counted them.  It was exciting to see examples of every stage in the life cycle of an earthworm. 

Seed Sorting
     Seeds and plants are so interesting! We kicked off our plant unit by observing seeds, planting seeds and learning about how plants grow!

     We also took the time to count the seeds from several fruits and vegetables.  After counting we compared our numbers and graphed them.  Have you ever counted the seeds from a tomato or cantaloupe? It's off the charts....literally.  We didn't have enough space on our graph to show the number of seeds we counted!

 (Jasmine, Isabella and Leah counted the seeds from a cantaloupe.)

 (Emilee, Gwen and Athena counted the seeds from a tomato.)

(Joshua and Craig counted the seeds from a pepper.)


Fun in the Sun!
     We couldn't possibly stay inside on a beautiful day like today. So out we went! We had so much fun enjoying the sunshine, being silly, laughing with friends and making snake bubbles! Who would have thought we could have so much fun with water bottles,  a face cloth, rubber bands and Dawn dish detergent!

(A bubble line.)

 ( A bubble pile.)

 (A bubble beard.)

 (More facial bubbles.)

We are going to sleep well tonight!

Friday, April 26, 2013


A Closer Look At Our Earthworms
     The earthworm lessons have continued! This week we popped the top off our compost bin a few more times to learn some interesting earthworm facts! The first graders become more and more excited with every experiment.  

Do earthworms like wet or dry habitats?
     This experiment was done by placing two paper towels in the bottom of our observation chambers, one wet and one dry.  Each team of students observed two earthworms.  Then, as a class, we discussed the outcome.  Not only did all of the earthworms move to the wet side....most of them wiggled their way under the wet paper towel.  This produced many giggles and discussions from the children!

Do earthworms prefer light or dark surroundings?
     We were able to do this experiment by covering one side of the observation chamber with black construction paper.  Can you guess what happened?

A Second Look At the Compost Bin
 (The Earthworm Habitat)
     I poured the compost bin out on the floor so we could easily observe the changes it has made since we put it together.  We noticed that the wet newspaper is almost gone and the lettuce is nowhere to be seen! The soil is nice and dark and the earthworms have grown a lot! We learned the word "decomposer" and answered the question "How do we know when an earthworm is an adult?"

Holding Our Earthworms
     We couldn't observe the compost without holding the earthworms! Wow, were they wiggling today! Some earthworms even started climbing up the children's arms!

We're not done yet! Still more earthworm lessons to come!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Worms and Dirt

The Food Chain:
     This week was filled with more lessons about earthworms! The focus was on the earthworm's habitat and the animals that share its environment.  We learned how animals need each other for energy and what a food chain is. has a wonderful video that taught us the words "consumer", "herbivore", "carnivore" and "omnivore".  After breaking up into pairs the first graders created their own food chain diagrams!   

(Isaac and Isabella worked together.  By the end of the lesson they had created six food chains together.  Great team work!)


     Meanwhile in the back of the room I pulled each group to help me make our Fun Friday snack; worms and dirt! We started with pudding.  Then we crushed cookies.  The finishing touch....gummy worms!  Did you know that gummy worms have segments just like real worms?! (This was probably the most exciting earthworm fact we've discovered all week...!) This earthworm unit is fun....and yummy!

(Damion helped me mix the pudding.)

(More pudding to mix, so Sharon helped.  Crushing those cookies was a fun job too.  With block in hand Arianna made some dirt!)

(Anthony adds some "dirt" to his pudding cup.)

(Jasmine eating her worm!)

(Awww bummer...I don't think they like it....)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Our Five Senses/ Earthworm Projects

Our Five Senses:
Miss Biedl has been teaching us all about the five senses.  We learned how our nerves and our five senses are connected and how our fives senses help to keep us safe. 

Sense of Smell:

Sense of Touch:
We used only our sense of touch to feel objects placed in a bag and discover what they were.  We rotated throughout the room feeling different objects and writing down our predictions.  At the end of the rotation we opened each bag to see if our predictions were correct.  We found that our sense of touch helped us figure out what WAS in each bag...most of the time!

Sense of Taste:
We learned all about our tongue, taste buds and where we taste sweet, sour, salty and bitter on our tongue.  Today we spent some time tasting each of these tastes.  We discovered that our face usually shows what our tongue is tasting!

(This is how our faces looked after we tasted bitter, unsweetened, baking chocolate!)

(This is how our faces looked after we tasted sour lemons!)

 (This is how our faces looked after we tasted a salty, salty pretzel!)

(This is how our faces looked after we tasted a sweet, sugary gummy!)

Popcorn and the 5 Senses?
On her last day with us, Miss Biedl planned a popcorn Fun Friday! We popped popcorn using a hot air popper.  Using all 5 senses we watched, tasted, heard, felt and smelled the popcorn.  What a yummy lesson!

Good Bye Miss Biedl! We Will Miss You!
(Miss Biedl finished student teaching in our class right before break.  We were so happy to have her with us.  We will miss her very much!)

Hello Spring!
     We always know spring has sprung when our earthworms arrive.  This exciting unit takes students through the process of developing an earthworm habitat, observing their behaviors, learning earthworm anatomy and life cycle as well as becoming aware of how an earthworm benefits our environment.  We will be releasing our earthworms into a new habitat at the end of the unit. We've only just begun! Here are a few pictures of the first few earthworm lessons!
Creating An Earthworm Habitat:

(Sharon and Emilee add lettuce to our habitat; food for the earthworms.)

 (Athena, Isaac, Jasmine and Josh add wet newspaper to the habitat; also food for the earthworms.)

Observing Earthworms:

More pictures to come...