Dancing Rice

A primary vehicle to scientific instruction is that of example. Because the study of scientific concepts incorporate both observation and experimentation, our classroom activities strive to both display and apply this type of instruction.

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This activity involved the science of sound. Students were given a large metal bowl and a large glass bowl. The glass bowl was wrapped with saran wrap and on top of that saran wrap was rice.

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Students were then encouraged to hit the metal bowl to see what would happen to the rice. They were delighted to see that the rice moved! Your budding chemist first learned that all sounds are made up of sound waves.

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We talked about how when we make sound, exciting things happen that we can’t see, and that every time we make a sound we create invisible waves. In the case of the rice, these “waves” caused the rice to actually move!

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Tasty Bags

The outside world shapes children’s development through experiences that they have, which include using their five senses—hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch.  In our classroom, we draw your child’s attention to the five senses by discussing them. This increases understanding of and communication about the world around us.

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Throughout our week of the five senses, we learned that our senses help us decide whether to enjoy or not enjoy an experience: our eyes help us see, our ears let us hear, our hands help us feel, our noses let us smell, and our tongues help us taste things.  For this activity, we talked about our sense of taste.

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Initially, your little one was told that it is our tongue that enables us to taste different flavors. Students were then divided up into small groups and were given three different bags to sample.

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On each bag was a question mark. Your little ones were encouraged to keep their eyes closed as they reached into the bag.

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They then selected a piece of food and ate it with their eyes still closed. Following this, they were asked to guess what it was they were eating. The three choices were crackers, cereal, and popcorn. Everyone loved snacking on their surprise foods with their friends! This helped isolate their sense of taste. They also had so much fun in the process!

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Sniffing Jars

Our senses allow us to enjoy our food, the sound of music, the beauty of a sunny day, the softness of a child’s hair — in short, our lives! We rely on our five senses to provide information about the world around us.

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Just the thought of a special holiday dinner brings to mind many observations made through the senses — the smell of dinner cooking, the sound of holiday music, the taste of freshly baked cookies, and more. Children may recognize the importance of their senses, but they don’t often focus on them individually.

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With the help of a few activities, your little one learned how to identify their senses and put them to use in the classroom. For this activity, we talked about our sense of smell with these special sniffing jars! Using only their noses, students sniffed the contents of four different jars, guessing their contents.

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In one jar was lavender oil, in another was orange extract, in another was vanilla extract, and lastly, was cacao powder. Your little ones enjoyed sniffing and then re-sniffing the different jars, guessing at what was in them, and having fun while doing so!

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Rainbow Sensory Bottles

For this activity, we celebrated our sense of sight by creating rainbow sensory bottles. What are sensory bottles?

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Sensory bottles are created by upcycling water bottles and filling them with an array of items, such as colorful beads and sequins.

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The purpose is for young children to use their senses to explore the bottles. Since we are learning all about our sense of sight, this activity help us isolate and understand this sense all the more.

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Using bath beads, spoons, and water bottles your little ones created sensory bottles for the whole class to enjoy!

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Texture Touch Boxes

Sensory activities play a key role in the maturation process of young children.

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Activities that require manipulation and touch enable children to heighten the adaptive response through their senses.

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They are an integral component in early childhood education. They not only engage the child, but stimulate cognitive development.

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To access this, your young one participated in an activity where they had to guess what an object was, solely using their sense of touch!

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Using a variety of items placed into tissue boxes, your little ones closed their eyes and reached into the boxes, guessing at what they would find, laughing as they did so!

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Sound and Water

Sound in water and sound in air are both waves that move similarly and can be characterized the same way. Sound waves can travel through any substance, including gases (such as air), liquids (such as water), and solids (such as the seafloor).

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Did you know that sound cannot exist if it doesn’t have something to travel through? For example, sound cannot travel through outer space because it is a vacuum that contains nothing to carry sound.

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Even though sound waves in water and sound waves in air are basically similar, the way the sound levels in water and sound levels in air are reported is very different, and comparing sound levels in water and air must be done carefully.

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When we describe a sound as loud or soft, scientists say that the sound has a high or low amplitude or intensity. Amplitude refers to the change in pressure as the sound wave passes by.

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If you increase the amplitude of a sound, you are making it louder, just as you do when you turn up the volume on your radio. If you decrease the amplitude, you are making the sound softer, just as when you turn down the volume.

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We wanted to see how this happens in the real world, so we did a music experiment with water, drum sticks, and metal bowls! First, we placed some metal bowls into the water table. Using drum sticks, we tapped the bowls, and talked about some of the sounds we heard.

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We used words such as ping, loud, soft, echo. metallic, and thunder. Next, we added water to the water table, and placed the bowls inside. We again tapped the bowls, and talked about any differences we observed. Some students found that they sounded softer in the water, while others thought they sounded louder. For this half of the activity, we used words such as amplitude, sound waves, liquid, and air to describe what we were hearing.

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