Thursday, March 15, 2012

Flashback to Third - Is this Fair?

When I was student teaching in third grade, there was a major epidemic of claiming that things in the class weren't "fair". As any of you who are teachers or have kids of your own know, the kiddos think that it's just not fair if they don't get the best of everything! I saw this idea in various posts on Pinterest and decided to try it out! I had the students sit in a circle on the rug, close their eyes, and imagine that they had an injury somewhere on their body. I received several "but why?"s and curious glances, but they were good sports and went along with it. I then called each student up to the rocking chair one at a time and asked them where their pretend injury was. After each student answered, I placed a band-aid on the back of their hand without explanation. One student said she had a broken arm...and she got a band-aid on her hand. One boy said he had a "terrible horrible cut" on his leg....he got a band-aid on his hand. The kiddos all whispered to each other about what was happening, but never asked a question.

After the last student received his band-aid and sat down, a little girl said "Miss Hunt, how come I said my knee had a bruise but you didn't put the band-aid there? I wanted it on my knee! This just isn't fair!" DING DING DING! That's exactly what I was hoping for! I responded, "but why isn't it fair? Everyone got a band-aid didn't they?" A boy said, "Well YEAH, but what good is it if it's not where I needed it:?" This activity worked out so much better than I expected! We then launched into a long discussion about what fair truly means. One student summed it up best when she said "So maybe fair isn't when everyone gets the same's when everyone gets just what they need!"

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Flashback to Fourth - Pollination

I will be continuing with posts from student teaching this past fall for the next few days! I wanted to highlight a lesson that I found the inspiration for here. I was covering the science SOL 4.4 and had to teach pollination. My first reaction was "how in the WORLD do you get fourth graders to understand pollination???" After some frantic googling, I came across the blog above and fell in love with the activity!!

To start, I poured Starbursts (still in their wrappers) in the bottom of a big bowl and covered them with cheese puffs. The Starbursts represented the nectar found in the "flower" and the cheese puffs were the stamen covered in cheesy "pollen". I then invited my little pollinators up to the table one at a time to root through the stamen to get their nectar. 

As they did,  their hands quickly became covered in "pollen". They then had to pick up more nectar from the next flower (cut out of a paper towel) and saw how the "pollen" rubbed off as they did.

 The kids were so excited and one boy shouted "I did it Miss Hunt! I pollinated that flower! I'm a rockin' bee!" I let the students eat their Starburst, but after the lesson, a girl said "Could we help you eat the stamen now??" I even had a parent send a note the next day saying that her child couldn't stop talking about the lesson! A memorable lesson AND a snack? Score! :-)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Flashback to Fourth/Third - The Naked Egg

I just wanted to highlight a science experiment that my third and fourth graders thought was the coolest thing ever back in fall! If you soak an egg  in vinegar for a day or two, the shell dissolves. The kiddos had the best time poking the "gooey, bouncy, squishy" egg and then popping the membrane when we were through!