A Multiple Intelligence Lifestyle

Exposure Blossoms Curiosity,Curiosity Blossoms Exposure

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sink or Float???

The last few days have been beyond cold around here!! Yesterday we awoke to snow, today was ice. As I noticed the big chunks on the deck, I felt inspired to have Em and I go play with the ice and see where the exploration took us.
She felt the ice. Picked up the ice. Threw the ice. Ate the ice. Stomped on the ice. You name it. She's 3 and spunky! We even had a mini-lesson on slippery ice. I held her hands as she slid around on this tiny patch in the shade.
We wondered over to the fence because she noticed there was still snow left from yesterday.

More frozen tundra in our summer garden. She had a great time just exploring. The teacher in me was thinking of many different things I could be saying, but instead I remained quiet and let her just roam.
Okay, I fibbed, I did say a little to her as we wandered the yard together. The point I'm trying to make is I intentionally let her have free exploration first. When I was a classroom teacher, I found this to be a very important step when introducing a new activity, manipulative, or book( We always did a book preview). As the grown-up I may have a certain lesson or goal in mind, but that comes along later in the learning process. For example, as we were exploring the yard I had the grand idea to teach Emery about how ice floats and other objects sink. Plus, I wanted to discuss why things were frozen in the shade and not frozen in the sun. I didn't want to interrupt the exploration though-KEY observations are being made at this time! I patiently waited until she was ready to go back in. This is when I said, "lets grab a piece of ice and bring it inside to play a game".
When we came in I filled a bowl full of water. I placed it in front of her and said, "Put the ice in the bowl and notice what happens." She dropped the ice in and said," Its like in my drink!" "Good noticing. Let's find something else to put in there," I said. At this point she collected a few of her little toys and dropped them in. I wish I could say I had some shots but my camera was in manual mode and I didn't readjust to inside lighting(BLAH!). Finally, after she found many floating objects, I suggested finding a rock.
 Once many objects were floating and sinking is when I introduced the vocabulary Sink & Float to her. (Depending on the age of your child, it is your choice how much to explain. Babies might just think its great to explore water and found objects. Older children can continue to study the scientific principle of density with more experiments, research, and discussion) After I introduced the vocab, I said, " Go find something else and let's find out if it sinks or floats?" Part of the fun,engagement, and discovery of this activity is letting the kid(s) find the objects.  Here she is finding Sebastian.

"He floats!"
I love the look of excitement she has in these next few shots as she discovers if the object will sink or float.

We went back outside because she wondered if more ice would float.
It did!!
Which led to more rocks. Here she is counting the ice. Activities such as these can lead to wherever the child takes it. As an idea emerges, as the grown-up, be there to facilitate and guide the wonder. Just an F.Y.I., teachers refer to this as emergent curriculum.
 Our end result was Em placing all the rocks and ice in another bowl for them to "dry". I thought that was very caring! Little did she know in about an hour we had another lesson in front of us :)

To conclude our exploration I popped open our kitchen door and asked Emery to look at the fence line and our deck. Here is an example of what she saw.
This observation led to a quick discussion about why places in the shade had ice and sunny spots didn't. It's still so stinkin cold out there that unless something is in the sun it's FROZEN! Okay, I didn't say stinkin, but we did talk about how the sun provides warmth and makes things melt..like popsicles is what Em associated it with :)
~Keep WARM !!!

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