Showing posts with label general science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label general science. Show all posts

February 20, 2021

Crackle and Pop! Bible Science Experiments by Hanna Holwerda + STEM Activity

In January 2021, Hanna Holwerda released Crackle and Pop! Bible Science Experiments for parents, teachers, and children who want to integrate science instruction with the stories in the Bible. There are 100+ STEM experiments and science activities in the book that can be completed at home or at school, and many of them use materials that you may already have.  You can also get many of these items inexpensively at a dollar store.  Keep reading to learn more about Crackle and Pop! and to check out some photos from one of the experiments I tried!

Crackle and Pop: Bible Science Experiments by Hanna Holwerda integrates STEM activities with Bible Stories. Post includes a sink and float experiment.

February 10, 2021

Dragon's Breath by Michael Gordon + STEM Activity

February is National Children's Dental Health Month... a month-long observance that raises awareness of dental health and promotes the importance of proper oral hygiene.  During this time, early elementary school students learn and practice the right way to brush and floss their teeth.  Quite often dentists will visit their classrooms as guest speakers and pass out toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss.  Fun times!

Not too long ago, Michael Gordon published his book Dragon's Breath which emphasizes why having proper oral hygiene is so important.  Dragon's Breath is about Joe the Dragon who does not want to brush his teeth.  His teeth turn green... his breath starts to smell... and people don't want to be near him because of it.  Eventually, Joe brushes his teeth and feels good about himself.  Hooray!  But, what if Joe didn't make the smart choice to brush his teeth?  What would have happened to them over time?  Read Dragon's Breath and complete the following STEM activity to find out.  The results are GROSS!

Learn why it's important to brush your teeth with Dragon's Breath by Michael Gordon & this STEM activity. What happens when you soak eggs in soda?

February 1, 2021

Six Fun Facts about Groundhogs

Groundhog Day is an American tradition that takes place every February 2nd. Large crowds of people gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to watch a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil come out of hibernation. If Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his den and sees his shadow, legend has it there will be six more weeks of winter.  If he doesn't see his shadow, then we can expect an early spring.  What do we know about groundhogs?  Are groundhogs magical creatures who can predict the weather?  Or... are they just regular critters who go about doing normal critter things?  Keep reading to find out!

Learn about groundhogs, where they live, what they eat, and how they build their burrows.  Includes a free mini-research printable for classroom use.
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2017.)

January 14, 2021

Saving Planet Earthly by ClimateScience

Climate change is a hot topic to talk about right now... a topic that is also controversial.  Some people believe in climate change and the science behind it, whereas others deny its existence and declare it a hoax.  Of course, there are plenty of people in the middle who have heard about climate change but don't really understand what it is.  So... what is climate change?  What are the causes of it?  Is climate change something cyclical, something brought about by humans, or a combination of both?  If climate change is for real... is there anything that can be done about it?  To help answer these and other questions children may have, three authors from ClimateScience wrote the book Saving Planet Earthly.  Saving Planet Earthly is a lighthearted children's book that takes a serious look at climate change and what we can do about it.  Read on to learn more about this book and how it can be used in the classroom.

Learn the ins-and-outs of climate change with the online children's book Saving Planet Earthly by ClimateScience. Ideas to protect the environment.

My Heart Beats for You, Valentine!

I'm a little Valentine
all red and white.
With ribbons and lace,
I'm a beautiful sight!

I can say I love you
on Valentine's Day.
Just put me in an envelope
and give me away!

(children's fingerplay and poem, author unknown)

Happy Valentine's Day, friends!  Here is a quick blog post about the history of Valentine's Day.  I've also included a fun valentine for you!  πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

Learn about the history of Valentine's Day and download a free Valentine's Day coloring page for your students.  #kellysclassroomonline
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2015.)

January 5, 2021

Love Grows Love by Lauren Grabois Fischer + STEM Activity

Empathy is at the heart of what it means to be human. It’s a foundation for acting ethically, for good relationships of many kinds, for loving well, and for professional success. And it’s key to preventing bullying and many other forms of cruelty.
-5 Tips for Cultivating Empathy, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Empathy is the ability to be aware of and sensitive to another person's thoughts, feelings, and experiences.  It's the ability to 'put yourself in their shoes' and is the foundation for kindness, tolerance, and compassion.  It's also an emotional skill that needs to be taught.  

One of the ways teachers and parents can help children learn empathy is through reading and discussing empathetic children's literature.  Reading Love Grows Love by Lauren Grabois Fischer is a good book to use when starting that discussion.  In Love Grows Love, we see children... and flowers... experiencing different emotions.  Their faces clearly depict how they are feeling.  Children will be able to look at the illustrations, identify how each child and flower are feeling, and see a cause and effect relationship between the children's emotions and the flowers'.  Keep reading to learn more about Love Grows Love and for a science/art activity that will reinforce this book's message!

Love Grows Love by Lauren Grabois Fischer sends a message of love and empathy. Read Love Grows Love then make some seed paper to grow some love!

January 1, 2021

When We Stayed Home by Tara Fass and Judith A. Proffer

It's wintertime in the northern hemisphere and the COVID-19 pandemic is still going strong. Even though scientists are making progress in manufacturing and distributing vaccines, it's going to be some time before life goes back to normal. During winter, children are often cooped up inside their homes due to bone-chilling temperatures and poor weather conditions. Now that it's winter and we are living through a pandemic, children will be cooped up even more so than usual. It can be boring for them to be in the house day after day. What's a child to do?   In their book When We Stayed Home, authors Tara Fass and Judith A. Proffer offer some suggestions of things children can do. Keep reading to learn more about When We Stayed Home and for a quick language arts minilesson to go with it.

When We Stayed Home by Tara Fass and Judith A. Proffer helps children brainstorm ideas for things to do while staying at home during the pandemic.

December 21, 2020

Is It an Insect or a Spider?

Spiders and insects are not the same.  Even though we often refer to them both as 'bugs' and they are both arthropods, spiders and insects are actually two different species.  Spiders are classified as arachnids.  They are in the same family as scorpions, ticks, and mites.  Insects have their own classification, however.  There are a lot of different insects such as flies, bees, beetles, ants, etc.  How can you tell whether a 'bug' is a spider or an insect?  It can be confusing if you aren't sure what to look for.  Read on to learn how to tell the difference between the two!

Learn to tell the difference between spiders and insects by looking at their legs, eyes, body segments, extra appendages and how it eats.  #kellysclassroomonline

(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2016.)

December 3, 2020

Ten Fun Facts About Reindeer

There are 22 days until Christmas!  Children all over the world are getting excited about Santa loading up his sleigh with toys and goodies.  They sing songs about his reindeer and imagine them flying through the night sky as they pull Santa's sleigh.  Do Santa's reindeer really fly?  Are the reindeer who pull his sleigh male or female?  Can reindeer really have a red glowing nose?  What do they eat?  Read on to learn the answer to all of these questions and more!

Ten Fun Facts About Reindeer. What do reindeer eat? Where do reindeer live? What are caribou? Do  reindeer fly? Do reindeer have red noses? #kellysclassroomonline

November 19, 2020

Hot Chocolate Surprise + STEM Activity

Teachers are always on the lookout for fast and easy science experiments to complement what their students are learning from their textbooks.  Sometimes science textbooks are dry and not very interesting... even when they are introducing interesting subject matter!  Science experiments are a fun, hands-on way to bring energy and excitement to those pesky pages.  If you are looking for a science experiment that is easy to prepare and conduct, educational, and with a high-interest level, give Hot Chocolate Surprise a try.  Hot Chocolate Surprise appeals to students of all ages and meets a number of objectives.  Read on for a list of materials needed, directions, a free printable, and a (yummy) extension activity.

Learn about chemical changes with this simple science experiment. Mix hot chocolate, baking soda, and vinegar to make a messy HOT CHOCOLATE SURPRISE!

November 2, 2020

Leaves in Fall by Mari Schuh

Autumn... also known as fall in some parts of the world... is the transitional season between the heat of summer and the cold of winter.  In the northern hemisphere, autumn lasts from mid-September to mid-December and from the beginning of March until the end of May in the southern hemisphere.  Autumn is marked by changes in the environment such as:

🍎 Leaves changing colors and falling from the trees
🍎 Temperatures dropping 
🍎 Days getting shorter while nights get longer
🍎 Animals making preparations for winter
🍎 Farmers harvesting their crops

Mari Schuh recently wrote a non-fiction book called Leaves in Fall (affiliate link to Amazon) for early readers in which she describes what happens to leaves during autumn.  Full-color photos and kid-friendly vocabulary are used throughout her book. Read on to learn more about Leaves in Fall and how to integrate it into your lessons at school.

Learn about the colorful autumn leaves in Leaves of Fall by Mari Schuh.  Read Leaves in Fall, go on a nature walk, gather leaves, and make a collage.

October 20, 2020

10+ Children's Books about Animal Poop

What is it about poop that fascinates children?  Is it because talking and joking about poop irks some adults and gets a rise out of them?  Is it because talking about poop is supposed to be kept as a hush-hush secret?  Or is it simply because children just think it's funny to talk about poop nonstop?  Whatever the reason, here are 10+ children's books about animal poop that will (hopefully) channel their fascination with poop into something scientific and meaningful.  Enjoy!

10+ Children's Books about Animal Poop by Kelly's Classroom Online
(affiliate links and book descriptions from Amazon)

October 10, 2020

Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus by Lauren Block and Adam Block

The United States had its first reported case of coronavirus back in January 2020 and life has changed dramatically since then.  We've needed to change the way we do everything... where we can go... who we can see... what we wear on our faces... how far apart we can stand from other people... etc.  It's a lot to take in and the reasons why we have to do these things don't always make sense to children.  As teachers, we know children will come to us to ask their questions, and sometimes their questions are hard to answer.  Lauren Block MD-MPH and Adam E. Block Ph.D. wrote Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus (affiliate link to Amazon) to help children find the answers to their questions and to give them the explanations they need.  Keep reading to learn more about their book and how we can use Kelly Stays Home in our classrooms.  

An integrated science and language arts lesson plan using Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus to teach school age children about COVID-19.

October 1, 2020

It Came from Under the High Chair: A Mystery by Karl Beckstrand + STEM Activity

It Came from Under the High Chair... fully known as It Came from Under the High Chair – SaliΓ³ de Debajo de la Silla Para Comer: A Mystery in English and Spanish (affiliate link to Amazon)... by Karl Beckstrand is a funny book that children who speak either English or Spanish can enjoy.  It features Ivan, a messy baby, who drops food under his highchair.  Somehow this food magically comes to life and becomes an icky, ooey-gooey, slimy food monster.  Read on to learn more about It Came from Under the High Chair and to find an ooey-gooey slime recipe inspired by the book!

Language arts lesson and slime recipe for Karl Beckstrand's It Came from Under the Highchair-SaliΓ³ de Debajo de la Silla Para Comer: A Mystery

September 30, 2020

Oozing Pumpkins + STEM Activity

Halloween is coming!  Families will be carving pumpkins and decorating their houses with them.  When Halloween is over, these pumpkins will be thrown away, fed to animals, or tossed into compost piles.  But... these pumpkins can be used for something fun and educational before being disposed of... science!  Read on to learn more about a fun science experiment you can do with these leftover pumpkins.

Combine baking soda and vinegar to create an exciting chemical reaction! Oozing Pumpkins is a fun STEM science experiment for children of all ages.

September 16, 2020

Grow! How We Get Food from Our Garden by Karl Beckstrand

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post called How to Grow Celery from Food Scraps.  In that post, I talked about the disconnect children have about their food and described a science activity you can do with them.  Since then, I learned about a new book hitting the market in October 2020.  It's called Grow!  How We Get Food from Our Garden (affiliate link to Amazon) by Karl Beckstrand.  Grow! would be a good book to read with your students to help them realize where their food comes from.  Yes, food does come from the grocery store.  But before it gets to the grocery store, it was grown in someone's garden.  Read on to learn more about Grow! and to get ideas on how to use it in your classroom.

Learn where our food comes from with Grow! How We Get Food from Our Garden by Karl Beckstrand. Children learn that the food we eat comes from gardens.

September 11, 2020

Does Halloween Candy Sink or Float? + STEM Activity

It's only September and the stores are already gearing up for Halloween.  Shelf after shelf after shelf is loaded up with bags of Halloween candy waiting for you to buy it and take it home.  Of course, we can eat the Halloween candy or pass it out to trick-or-treaters, but we can also use it to teach little ones about one of the basic fundamentals of science... does it sink or float?


A Halloween candy themed sink or float science experiment. Introduction to scientific process. Materials, procedure, prediction, and record results.

September 8, 2020

How to Grow Celery from Scraps + STEM Activity

A couple of years ago I had an interesting conversation with my second and third-grade class.  We were having a conversation about edible plants and some of the children were grossed out when they made the connection between vegetables and the plants we eat.  Carrots are roots?  Gross!  Lettuce is a leaf?  Gross!  Celery is a stem?  Gross!  My students truly did not know where their vegetables come from.  They knew that vegetables come from the grocery store, often in cans and freezer bags.  They knew they could find fresh vegetables in the produce section... but most of them did not know anything more than that.  To help your students make the connection between plants and the foods they eat, you can use their food scraps to grow veggies in the classroom.  Keep reading to find out how.

Learn how to grow celery from food scraps.  All you need is the cut end from a celery stalk, a clear jar or glass, and some clean water.

September 4, 2020

Fun Facts about the Rhinoceros

September 22 is World Rhino Day. World Rhino Day was started in 2010 by the World Wildlife Fund as a way to celebrate the rhinoceros and to teach people around the world about them.  Several species of rhinoceros are critically endangered and need our help.  Read on to learn about these amazing gentle giants and how we can help them.

Learn fun and interesting facts about the rhinoceros. Where do they live? What do they eat? What is a crush? How can we protect them?

August 31, 2020

How Do Seeds Travel? + STEM Activity

In an earlier post (What Happens When You Plant Birdseed?), I described a science experiment in which some children in the neighborhood and I grew plants from birdseed this summer.  The children 'discovered' that birdseed can produce plants and those plants are able to grow and thrive.  In this blog post, I will describe another science experiment involving seeds.  This time we are going to learn about how seeds can travel!

Dirty Socks is a science experiment that demonstrates how seeds can travel by hitching themselves to clothing & animal fur. You only need clean socks!