Ms. Stacy Wolff » Ms. Wolff's Elementary Science Lab Projects

Ms. Wolff's Elementary Science Lab Projects

**scroll to the bottom of the page for photos**

Happy new year! I hope you had a restful break and are ready for a fun winter season of science!

Kindergarten: Our young Dragons are learning about the pioneering work of Dr. Jane Goodall, how perseverance and patience can lead to discovery, and how she changed the way we understand the world. Additionally, our students are becoming ethologists (scientists who study the behavior of animals) to track chimpanzee behavior and use data to support ideas for how chimpanzees spend their time.  

1st grade: Twinkle, twinkle little star… is how we are starting our unit about stars and constellations. Kids will learn about constellations as told from different cultures, invent their own constellation, and practice their math and cooking skills when they make constellation cookies!

2nd grade: These Dragons will explore properties of materials with a focus on magnetism! 

3rd grade: In December we observed an amazing cold/windy front move into Longmont. In our next unit students will work on connecting local phenomena to scientific concepts: the properties of air, the composition of Earth’s atmosphere, where weather occurs, how clouds form, convection, as well as make a model to understand how precipitation data collected over a long period of time (over 30 years) leads us to understand climate. FYI- weather is what is happening right now outside, climate is a pattern of data over a 30 year period. 

4th grade: This month we are focusing on the Cross Cutting Concepts (see the new CO State Science Standards) of phenomena and modeling, in preparation for a deep dive into a Life Science unit.

5th grade: Last month, students evaluated the trash produced during lunch at school and are now designing an experiment based on their observations to better understand what happens to this trash.

Science is all around us, and the elementary students are looking far and wide to make discoveries! Kindergarten students have looked for evidence to support their understanding of what plants need to survive. Habitats in Colorado is the focus for 1st grade this month, and using borrowed specimens from the University of Colorado’s Natural History Museum, they got an up close look at a few species that are found in Longmont and the surrounding area. Third grade students have jumped into using dichotomous keys which allows for identification of living things based on their characteristics. Fourth graders explored cells and participated in a virtual lung dissection with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Last but not least, the fifth graders evaluated the trash produced during lunch at school, and over the next month, will design an experiment based on their observations to better understand what happens to this trash.

Kindergarten students continue to practice collaboration, problem solving, and their literacy skills through learning about ocean animals and creating models of letters and animals using blocks. When a student struggled with creating their own, another student taught the class how they were successful. 

1st grade students got a close view of the world around them when using magnifying glasses. They “adopted” a patch of land in our outdoor classroom and captured their observations on a bubble map. Later in the year they will make observations of the same patch and compare how the area changed over time. 

2nd grade students began their study of monarch butterflies through two community science projects, collaborating with professional scientists via the Journey North platform. Their introduction to the butterfly life cycle and migration led to the creation of symbolic butterflies that will be mailed to students in Mexico who care for the actual butterflies during the winter.  This symbol of mutual care for butterflies will culminate in the spring when the butterflies migrate north, and our paper butterflies will do so as well. 

3rd-5th graders practiced scientific sketching using a framework from the California Academy of Sciences. They used this model inside and then at our new outdoor classroom. As shown in the photo, one student looked closely enough at a flower on two consecutive days, and sketched with enough detail, to notice a columbine (our state flower)  had bloomed since her original drawing! 


Welcome back to Science Lab! We have been laying the foundation for a great year of exploration! All grades have participated in a variety of activities to answer the question, “What is science?” Remember to check out my website for science related things you can do at home!