This past week our class has been exploring states of matter, our senses, the difference between physical and chemical changes through an inquiry study on gingerbread. We read and compared many different versions of the classic tale. We talked about the settings, characters, and different endings. We even baked our own!
The week began with the class walking into “Chef Didyk’s Cooking Show”! The room was set up ready for a baking demonstration. In a normal year ,I would have had the kids making it themselves, but with some gloves, a recipe they had to make sure I followed, and a silly accent, I had them hooked.
The class had to put on their “scientist hats” and look at the baking progress from a science prospective. The kids noted that the measurements were important. Too much of one ingredient would ruin the taste. They had to tell me if each step was a physical or chemical reaction. We even put some baking soda in vinegar (a side bowl) to see the reaction. Why is baking soda important when baking? One Super Kid said, “You mean baking is science and math!” 🙂
The class made me promise to not open the oven door until they were cooked. They could jump out like in the books! After lunch we decorated our cookies and ate them. Again we were scientists through our tasting. What are the properties of gingerbread?
The next day we sewed our own gingerbread toy. Yep…I sewed with 6 and 7 year olds and there were no injuries. By watching me with the use of our classroom document camera and a lot of patience, we all made our own toy.
We took the left over gingerbread cookies and conducted a science experiment. What would happened if we put a cookie into eggnog and milk? Would the same thing happen? Would it break up? We conducted the experiment to find out. Our findings surprised us. The results were different for each liquid. We looked at the ingredients in the liquids and came up with our own hypothesis. These kids surprise me with their out of the box thinking every day!
We noticed that the gingerbread man/woman couldn’t get across the river in all of our books. The fox was always there to “help”. What could we make to help the gingerbread man/woman get across and not have to worry about the fox? A boat. Each student was challenged to make a boat for their gingerbread person to use. It had to float and have a sail. This was such a fun afternoon. To be honest it didn’t feel like I was teaching in a pandemic. I forgot that we were wearing masks. The kids were so excited , still distanced, but so into creating their boats. It was so much fun!
We also participated in “Hour of Code” computer education week. We learned both online and unplugged coding in our classroom. We used the app Kodable to learn the basics of beginning coding for kids.
We took that knowledge and used it to do some unplugged gingerbread coding. The students had to code their gingerbread person to the gingerbread house.
This week was also the beginning of the students sharing a family tradition with the class. Traditions already shared was making reindeer food, annual family pictures, putting up a Christmas tree, spending summer vacation at a cabin, and eating seafood every Christmas Eve. I can’t wait to learn about the rest of our family traditions this week.
Hanukkah began this week and we learned about this tradition through books, videos, and even played a dreidel math game. I just noticed that these two kids in the pictures below are wearing the same shirt. 🙂
What do snowmen do at night? Last week we read the classic and created our own snowman at night using chalk pastel We learned about shadow and what side of the snowman would have the shadow when the moon was shining. Well… we also learned that the moon doesn’t shine it reflects the sun’s light. Yes.. I connect science to everything. 🙂
One week left of school before winter break. This week the Super Kids will be continuing to learn about traditions, created some gifts for their families, learning about caribou and how they are actually reindeer, and much more.
With the holidays coming up I wanted to thank my student’s families for everything they have done to help us throughout this crazy school year. To say that this is a very strange teaching year would be an understatement. 20 years of teaching and it feels like the first with having to adjust my teaching style to make sure that I’m keep your children safe and following the regulations mandated. I recognize that this holiday season is like no other. I wish that I could see my family, but I know that I can’t. My bubble is too big with my job and the government has laid our their mandate. It’s a FaceTime Christmas for my family. The first time in my whole life that I won’t be with my parents. Thank you for all that your families are doing to help keep our classroom community and my own family safe.
One week to go…:)