Physical Science Block #1
Our first physical science class explored many of the phenomena experienced in everyday life. The block began with an investigation into acoustics (the science of sound), and thermodynamics (the science of heat and cold. These subjects were presented with a great emphasis on observation. First an experiment/demonstration was be conducted, and the students were encouraged to observe closely, taking note of what happened with as much detail as possible. Afterwards the students described everything in writing: the equipment, the specific phenomena occurred, etc. Finally we connected our new learning to other experiments and explored how the new principles, laws or thoughts that were brought forward connected to the natural and human-made world around us. Hot air balloons in the morning? Clouds moving through the afternoon sky? Car engines ticking and clicking as it cools down? What are the scientific concepts that help explain how these things happen? It is really so interesting. During this block I also worked with the students to maintain an organized binder and desk, and also how to study for an end-of-block test. As the students move into adolescence, the habits and skills involved with staying organized and on task are severely tested and yet so, so important (and helpful)! I will continue to press the children to further develop these habits and skills, and I will also encourage them to ask themselves this question along the way, often: Does this work represent my very best effort? If the answer is yes, then learning will happen, whether they realize it or not!