We have a new instructional coach in our building this year. We share Mrs. Nicole Counihan with Willow Creek School. She has been most valuable to us as we learn our new writing curriculum by the writing guru, Ms. Lucy Calkins. For the first quarter we studied narrative writing using the mentor text “Owl Moon” by Jane Yolen extensively. This quarter we are studying informational writing using the mentor text “Forces and Motion” by John Graham.
Mrs. Counihan was with us this quarter when we did our first lesson and experiment. The students used a ramp and a toy car to discover whether the car would travel farther on the carpet or on the bare floor. We recorded our results and later wrote up a lab report all together using our data.
Today the students got into groups of 2’s, 3’s, or 4’s and performed their own experiments. They did the same experiment as the car and then chose their own object to release down the ramp. Each group had a different object so that we could compare results. They also chose their own measurement tool, a meter stick using the inches side, or a tape measure. This fits in so well with the measurement unit we just completed and enabled the students to use these tools with expertise. Thus far we have reported our data to the class. Tomorrow the groups will write up their own lab reports and share them.
I love it when the curriculum is integrated and children are applying the skills we have acquired in one area to another. Math and Science go hand in hand and the children see this in their learning. On Thursday we will be at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora to watch “Bing, Bang, Boom!” where a scientist will amaze and entertain us in more areas of science. Seeing the students so engaged in their learning is a wonderful reward for teachers!