Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beyond Co-op: Thomas Edison #1

Well, this is only about 3 weeks old, but the information isn't old for anyone who might want to glean from the ideas!  We are doing 2 books this semester with our co-op from Beyond Five in a Row volume 1.  We are starting with Thomas Edison.  We are using the same format that has worked for us in the past.  We meet every other week and cover about 4 chapters in a 2 week time period.  The lessons from our first co-op came from some in the first 4 chapters.  We learned about the Scientific Method.  (Sorry it's sideways)

Ms Julie first explained each step in the process.

I loved the visuals she used to help explain each step and why it was important in the process.  (Example, as you are working on constructing a hypothesis, you need to gather a lot of information and funnel it into one solid idea.)

Next they tried an experiment to see how sound was conducted through a spoon and a string.  Two strings were tied to a spoon.  They took the ends of the strings and wrapped them a few times around their finger and then put these fingers in their ears.  Next they hit the spoon against something to see what happens.  (Try it out for yourself as it is pretty neat and can be done with a wide span of ages!)  After trying it the prescribed way, they then tested out the experiment by changing one of the variables - using one string instead of two, varying what object they used to hit the spoon, etc.  Then they discussed their findings.  
Now it was time to see how well they understood the steps of the scientific method.  The group was split into two teams - boys v. girls.  They had each step on a piece of paper and had to put them in the correct order.  Both teams got them right!  Love seeing that they really are getting it!
Of course, we love our snack time!  Some foods from the story like biscuits, ham and eggs as well as some other goodies!
Unfortunately, I didn't get as many pictures of the next part because I was inside helping to clean.  The kids were each given an egg carton and some eggs.  They were to test a hypothesis about how much weight the eggs could hold.  They could choose to use 4 eggs - or fewer.  They chose the placement of the eggs in the carton.  They also chose what went onto the eggs - like 27 pounds of books or even the weight of your body!

After having fun experimenting, it was time to come in and write up what they learned.  They each wrote down their hypothesis, what they did and then what they learned.  After writing it, they each took turns sharing what they learned.  It was a great to hear all of the details and the different ways that they approached the experiment - and led by a very enthusiastic and encouraging mom!!!  (Great job Julie!)

We learned that eggs are amazingly strong.  My 70 pound son was able to stand on 2 without breaking them! This was such a fun morning.  The material was repeated in interesting and different ways to  help cement the learning.  Thanks for a fun day!