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This blog accompany Aliza's SEEDS and Science Kids classes at first 5.

Gravity and Friction

Hi Parents,

What a journey we had in those 8 sessions. Thank you all for taking an active part in the first “Science kids” program.

This week we explored Gravity and Friction. First, we jumped and dropped to discover that things are falling to the ground due to a strong force named Gravity.

Than, in the cube game we explored the variety of ways humans, animals and objects are overcoming it.

Paper airplane

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Balloons

balloons

Bubbles

Bubbles

Variety of tools people creates such as the crane:

Crane

Our story was about Chili trying to use Gravity to make the mice fall into his hands. We helped the mice find ways to overcome gravity and escape from Chili.

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in the exploration stations the kids enjoyed playing with the ramps and exploring different height of slopes.

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We also explored Friction in two station:

1. With different kinds of mats – Yoga mat, bath mat and the floor.

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2. A ramp where we tried sliding objects with various frictions, hence speeding differently on the ramp. We noticed that friction is one way to overcome Gravity because some of the objects didn’t move, even when placed on the ramp.

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Keep it going at home by:

1. Building lots of ramp and using toy car and other objects sliding them. Here are some pictures of Yehonatan and Tamar’s  ramp from the summer while playing with their toy cars suitcase.

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2. Here is a link for a resource with lots of toy car ideas:

http://childhood101.com/2013/08/6-ways-to-play-with-toy-cars/

3. Friction is one way to overcome gravity. Here is a link to episode of “Sid the science kid” in which Sid is explores Friction. A good reminder for the activities we explored.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBMSx21gKFM.

See you in the next program of “Science kids”.

Until than  – Don’t stop exploring!

Aliza.

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The Garden party

Hi Parents,

We were so blessed to have a garden party session in our program.

BIG thanks Jeanette for the organization!!!

It was a real hands- on exploration of nature with all its beauty. The creatures (Worms, ladybugs), the plants, the soil, the fresh air that plants produce, the vegetables that plants produce.

For me personally it was an opportunity to share the program with my son. I am telling him about each week explorations, but this week he had a chance to be present. This day will stay with us forever.

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I bring some of the photos from the party.

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See you all the coming Thursday for the last session of the current series.

It will be great fun to explore Gravity and friction.

Attached a nice video about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7NPD9W0kro

See you,

Aliza.

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Trees

Hi Parents,

This week we had a pre – Garden party theme of Trees. We explored around two main questions: What are the parts of the tree? and what are trees good for?

In the cube game

  • We imagined ourselves to be a leaf, a trunk, branches, fruits, roots. Imagining support understanding about the connection between form and function. For example, a trunk is strong and thick because its function is to hold the tree without moving. It’s the base of the tree.

Chili and the mice explored a tree in their garden.

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We created a tree in stages through our exploration stations:

First we used a special technique to create leaves.

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Than:

  • Glued the leaves we made,
  • Used yarn to create the trunk, branches and roots
  • And colored fruit die cuts.

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At home keep it going by:

  1. Show case your creation and continue  the conversation about parts of the trees and their function. For example: why fruits are round? why roots are long and strong?  What creatures feed on different parts of the tree?
  2. Tree and color. collect leaves from the same tree and arrange them by different hues. Pay attention to the colors of the different parts of the tree.
  3. Two fantastic books about trees are: “The Lorax” and “The Giving Tree”. Both are about how much we need trees and are excellent to promote the love for trees.

See you next Thursday in the Garden party.

Aliza.

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Combining Shapes

Hi Parents,

This week it was about noticing how our world is structured from different shapes. The kids were exploring this idea by assembling shapes to build new things and disassembling things in the world to discover the basic shapes they are made of.

In the cube game:

We hunted shapes in the room. The kids were most enthusiastic about finding Cylinders.

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We combined basic shapes to create other basic shapes. The kids discovered that they need to partner with other kids to form the shapes.

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Eeny, Meany and Miny adventure was all about building a new world out of cheese pieces in different shapes.

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And on the the exploration stations:

1. We painted the shapes robot.

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2. Created a 3D cube out of template

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3. Created a world of unique shapes.

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After all the kids collaborated to create a bigger world of unique shapes.

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To keep it going:

  1. Basically everything can be disassemble into basic shapes. This is a great technique to learn how to draw. Find some examples on the internet and learn together how to draw with basic shapes. Here is an example: http://www.how-to-draw-funny-cartoons.com/how-to-draw-a-panda.html
  2. Explore shapes in different contexts. For example:
  • Compare different kind of cereal by their shapes. Try to roll and slide the round ones versus the rectangles. Try find different shapes of pretzels and find out what can you do with them.
  • While walking in the park collect different things and compare their shapes. Leaves, different branches, cones etc. Ask why the cones are oval? Can you find triangles and rectangles in the nature?
  1. Collect recycled container. Those have different 3D shapes. Assemble them into different things: a car, a rocket ship, a table, a chair etc.

This Thursday it’s about Plants.

See you all,

Aliza.

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Magnets

Hi Everyone,

This week the kids enjoyed experimenting with a magnetic wand. We sensed the magnetic force and the force should be invested to separate a magnet from a metal object.

In the cube game:

  • We imagined we are magnets that attracts metal but also special magnets that attracts red things.
  • We also created two piles. One that a magnet will attract and another that magnets won’t attract. Than with the magnetic wand we checked our predictions.

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Next we met again Chili and the 3 mice. They had adventure with magnets.

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In the exploration stations:

We made a magnetic fishing game.

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Painted with magnets.

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Fed the metal monster with the magnetic wand.

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At home, Keep exploring magnets.

  1. Strengthen the fine motor skills with this activity. Fill a bottle of water and put a paper clip inside, than with a magnet help the paper clip go out of the bottle. To complicate, draw a path on the bottle and try guiding the paper clip through the path.
  2. Fill a container with beans and variety of objects. Using a magnet find the metal ones.
  3. Use alphabet magnet and a pole to fish one letter and think about words that begins with the letter you have.

Next time it’s about Shapes.

See you all,

Aliza.

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Sound

Hi Moms,

Great time with the kids who are so engaged. This time we investigated Sound.

The cube game allowed us to explore the many faces of sound.

We can use our hearing sense to differentiate between sounds even when we cannot see the sound source.

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Sound is vibration. We sensed sound vibrations with the triangle. Vibrations produce waves that travel through air from the sound source to our ears. We pretended that we are a wave, sound source and the ear.

*** Thanks to Danielle and mom for the great demonstration.

We also explored the connection between sound and our body. We can make sound with our body, but also sounds make us move. Music has the magnificent ability  to describe images with sound.

Eeny, Meeny, Miny and Chili the cat also had a sound adventure. Chili the cat trapped the mice in a dark room and all they had to do is find the way to escape from Chili using music.

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We explored sound in 3 hands-on stations:

1. Building a drum from recycled containers, balloons and chopsticks.

At home try to use tin cans to produce a different sound. Compare the sounds from the two instruments.

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2. Building a banjo from paper plates, rubber bands and a cardboard.

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3. Building a phone from 2 recycled cups and a strings.

At home try to hold the string tight in different place and hit the string. You can produce different pitches of sound that way.

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After all this hard work we improvised with the musical instrument we created.

And finally we documented and shared our work.

***Thanks to Ganesh for documenting and presenting.

At home build on the knowledge the kids acquired with:

  1. Guessing game. Use different kind of materials to produce sound, while hiding the sound source. Guess what make each sound.
  2. Explore water and sound to ask the question: “Can sound be heard in water?”. In the bath or in the pool, explore water and sounds. Bubbles, streams, splashing and more.
  3. Pay attention to environmental sounds. While you are out and about, stop for a minute to listen. What sounds do you discover. It can be surprising.
  4. Listen to music. What object you imagine when you are listening to a certain musical piece? how the music make your body move?

Next time it’s Magnets!.

See you,

Aliza.

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Space

Space is too big for us to see with our eyes. Yet human knows so much about it. Isn’t that a wonder? Science is often about things that are too small or too big for us to see and that’s the beauty in it. The kids were immersed in exploring space.

We started by exploring Space with the Cube Game: Walked on the moon, Acted as if we are on the sun, Created an F constellation with our bodies and…

Blasted off our rocket ships:

***Thanks Jeanette for the documentation.

 

Next we met our friends Chili the cat and the three mice while their having an adventure on space.

To start answering questions about space we created our own skies in 3 creative stations:

1. An imaginary alien.

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2. Creating the planets while getting more knowledge about them from books.

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Our skies started to take form now with the Aliens and the planets.

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3. connecting the starts to create our own constellations.

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And our sky is complete!!!

How to keep it going?

1. Elaborating  about space with more sources of information.

Since space is not perceivable with bear eyes, we have the opportunity to use books and other sources of information. So now when the subject is fresh in our kid’s mind it’s time to check out a book about Space. For example the book “There’s no place like space” is a great one.

2. Form and Function.

Create more imaginary aliens that adapts to a certain habitat in an imaginary planets. For example, we can think of a planet without gravity – what shape an alien that lives on this planet will take. It can be many shapes and forms, so we can get crazy with our imagination.

3. Rocket ship.

Build a paper rocket ship. That’s a great opportunity to experiment transforming 1D paper to 3D rocket. For example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlZ2yyrooS8 this video shows a simple one.

Have a great weekend!

Aliza.

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Mixing Colors

Hi All,

Welcome to Science kids!!!

Great first Session thanks to all the kids and parents that participated.

In this session we explored mixing colors by going through the science circle.

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First, we observed colors with the Cube game.

We tossed the color cube and everyone went for a hunt after the color the cube showed.

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Next we listened to the story about Chili the Cat and Eeny, Meeny and Miny the mice and asked the question:

How we can create a new color by mixing colors?

We explored mixing colors in 4 stations and shared all our creations in the middle of the circle.

Mixing Tempra paint

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The magic top

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Stained Glass creation

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Creating a playdough mouse.

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Now every kid picked one creation and documented it in his journal. Thank you Nelly, Evelyn and Danielle for sharing your documentation with all the kids.

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At the end we got back to our mice to see how they were mixing themselves in color and found a hiding place from Chili the cat.

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And now we can repeat the science circle again and again at home :

  • Talk more about colors and mixing colors, Ask questions about the documentation. Have them document another creation from the class.
  • Ask about the different stations. For example, compare different methods that we used to mix colors.
  • Repeat the activities again at home. Kids LOVE repetition they will be happy to mix playdough again create another spinner, mix more tempera paint and make another stained glass art.
  • Try more color related activities. Here is a great one to try: http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/milk-color-explosion.
  • Read books about colors or highlight the subject when you’re reading a book.

You are welcome to post a short video of an activity you and your kid did related to colors and mixing them or tell about it by commenting to this post.

Next time it’s all about SPACE!!!

See you next time,

Aliza.

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Pre-Writing activities

Hi Moms,

On the fourth lesson we had a challenge of creating Pre-Writing activities. We had such a great lesson with so many creative ideas from the group, ideas that are immediate and easy to do without preparation at all. Here, I’ll bring photos of as many ideas I remember. I’m sure I will be forgetting something, so feel free to remind me by replying.

Every activity that will make the kid use the thumb and finger, will improve his fine motor and prepare him for writing. So the challenge was to come up with creative ideas to develop Pre-Writing activities with a bunch of things that we can find around the home.

The materials:

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The activities:

The Sticky Penny

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Stickers on pennies and put into the piggy bank. Variations: put the blue and red alternately, Put exactly 3 blues, reds and green. Count them. How many are in the piggy bank overall. Follow the kid ideas with other variations he/she may suggest.

The wrinkled paper cat

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Wrinkle tissue paper to make a tiny ball. Draw a simple drawing. With glue have the kids create a colorful picture.

The pompons bear

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Draw a simple drawing on a plate that includes circles and have the kid fill the circles with pompons. Variation: color the circles and ask for the right color of pompons.

The necklace

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Create a cheerios necklace using a piece of yarn and cheerios. Variation: create a pattern with fruit loops. Ask the kid to string for example, 2 yellows one red, 2 yellow 1 red and so on.

Edible Shapes

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Draw shapes on a paper plate and with raisins create the shapes. Enjoy eating the raisins after finished!

Spoon a surprise

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Put variety of little items such as pompons, cubes and buttons in a container with a lid. Make a whole in the lid. With a spoon move the item to the plate to feed a doll or a teddy bear.

So many great ideas!!!

More ideas can be found in this recommended site. I love it so much because most of the activities are home made: http://wecandoallthings.blogspot.com/search/label/fine%20motor%20activities

Suggestions for more activities will be welcome!

Have fun and Keep in touch.

Aliza.

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My Favorite TV shows and internet for my son

While long hours of TV is not recommended, Single Educational programs can be sometimes very helpful, entertaining and meaningful. Therefore, I am writing this post to recommend you some of the TV programs and internet site that my son enjoys.

PBS kids and Nickjr has many educational program. To mention a few:
Super Why!
Caillou
Sid the science kid
Dino Dan
For bigger kids:
Wild kratz
Martha speaks
Electric company
For the little ones:
Team umizoomi
The wonder pets
PBS also have an excellent site online with lots of free educational games. For each game, a parent can find more information and more activities.

I love the “Curious George” games site. So, for example, this game allows kids to experience sorting and shapes:
http://pbskids.org/curiousgeorge/games/i_love_shapes/i_love_shapes.html

Parents can read a short paragraph like this to learn about additional activities :
http://www.pbs.org/parents/curiousgeorge/site/site_features.html#i_love_shapes

Have fun,

Aliza.

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