Friday, July 6, 2012

A Pinterest Inspired Science Night

     With the craziness of the end of the year, I didn't have time to write about our last big school event - Science Night. It went so well and I was so proud of my kids that I still wanted to share.  It was a schoolwide event and we all worked hard on special projects then invited the families in to see the discoveries made by their little scientists. 
     In kindergarten, we focused on our Living Things unit, and we shared our observations about our classroom goldfish and our newly sprouted bean plants. We documented everything in our science journals and made some cute crafts to show everything we learned during the unit.  The kids took complete ownership of the process every step of the way, including making their own journals, setting up the fish tank and taking care of the needs of both the plants and the fish.
     First up, meet our fishies - Piggie and Gerald.  (My class was obsessed with Mo Willems this year so it came as no surprise when they voted these names as the winners!)
      Then, we had our sad little bean seeds.  After a comedy of errors (we used the wrong kind of seed, they grew mold when we overwatered them for the weekend, the janitor knocked half of them over and left them on the floor) and 2 replantings, we finally had sprouts just in time for the big night. Our rocky start sure helped the kids understand that scientists learn from their mistakes!
    We posed a scientific question about our living things every day, made predictions about the outcome, then wrote the results in our journals.  What will happen if we add plants to the fish tank?  Why is there mold on our bean seeds? Will Piggie and Gerald act differently if we turn out the lights?  Will they go through a little tunnel? Will the plants grow faster if we cover them with plastic? The excitement the kids showed about this kind of scientic inquiry was amazing and the writing they did in their journals was amazing!
     And now for my favorite part - the crafty, Pinterest-inspired part We made a fish project (inspired by Ashley at The Kinder Wife) and a plant project (inspired by Mrs. Golden at Golden Gang Kindergarten).  Both helped show what we learned and were super cute to boot! Thanks to both teachers for their inspiration.  (Love, love, love Pinterest!) Be sure to check out their blogs for other great ideas.
     Almost all of the families attended the big event and the proud excitement in the eyes of the kids was priceless! I think the whole process really helped set a great foundation for years of scientific thinking to come. I was especially impressed with the elevated level of writing in the kids' journals. Even my most reluctant writers couldn't wait to get started every day!
   I'll leave you with a little teacher tip.  I wanted to have seperate fish and plant journals but didn't want the kids to have two journals to manage.  So instead, we made flip journals.  The plant journal is on one side and if you flip it over the fish journal is on the other side.  It worked really well because the kids each had only one journal to take care of and everything was in one place.

     Thanks for sticking with me and making to the end of this VERY long post.  I'm just super proud of the kids and the work they did and I wanted to share it.  I 'd love to hear about any Pinterest inspired science work that you've done in your classroom - leave a comment to inspire us!

     If you haven't entered the HUGE giveaway you still have one day at a shot for some great prizes.  Head right over to to enter.

Have a great night!

4 comments:

  1. Come check out my blog! I have nominated you for two awards!

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  2. I think we cover some of this stuff this semester. Great ideas!

    Shanyn
    Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists

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  3. Love love love everything about your Science Night and this post! Inquiry based learning where the kiddos come up with the questions and how to find the answers always reminds me that this is what education is all about: LIFE LONG LEARNING!! Thanks for sharing this awesome post!

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  4. This is fabulous Donna! There is for sure a lesson here in perserverance with your sad lil beans=teachable moment! Love your fishies names and the art work that went with it! Nicely done!

    ~Christy & Tammy

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