Sarah Johnson

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Sci Fri! Floating M

Sci Fri returns!  After a few week break, our scientists are back in action.  In honor of Halloween, we had an experiment involving (what else?) CANDY!  We placed two M&Ms, M side up, in a glass of water.  Our predictions all involved dissolving,  from the whole M&M dissolving to the water changing the color of the M&Ms.  We saw the changes start quickly.  Check out our pictures to see what we discovered!

First we placed the M&Ms in the water.  The color started dissolving almost right away.
First we placed the M&Ms in the water. The color started dissolving almost right away.
  • First we placed the M&Ms in the water.  The color started dissolving almost right away.
  • Soon flakes of white coating started floating to the top...
  • Eventually we had a magically floating M!  It turns out that the candy coating of an M&M is water soluble, so it will dissolve in water.  However, the clear coating that the M is printed on is not water soluble, so it breaks off and floats to the top.
  • We were surprised by how the colors usually stayed separated.
  • We were also surprised that the colors stayed at the bottom of the cup.  It didn't mix throughout the water.
  • Recording our observations.
  • Teamwork!
  • Writing our results in our science journal
  • Science is fun!

Favorite Sport Day!

Our students got into the Nerstrand School spirit today by wearing clothes that represented their favorite sport.  It's great to see that we have some teammates in our classroom!  It's also wonderful what a wide variety of sporting interests we have.

We have superheroes, hockey players, football players and cross country runners...
We have superheroes, hockey players, football players and cross country runners...
  • We have superheroes, hockey players, football players and cross country runners...
  • We have dancers, soccer players, superheroes, volleyball players, and football super fans...
  • We have volleyball players, soccer players, dancers and BMX riders...
  • We have basketball players, soccers players, swimmers and dancers...
  • We have soccer players, hockey players, volleyball players and baseball players!

Science Rules!

We have been having a great time in Science this month.  There have been so many experiments to observe!  With our plant unit we put some lima beans in a plastic bag in the hopes that they would sprout and grow into a little lima bean plant.  We carefully watched our beans and predicted when the roots might break through.  It didn't take long.  Just two days later we had little roots beginning to grow.  We saw as the roots began to branch off and the green plant broke out of its shell.  Unfortunately, that's about as far as they got.  At that point they stopped growing and started turning brown.  Tara's beans, on the other hand, did quite well.  She was able to plant some of her's in the dirt.  When the beans come down next week, we will discuss the variables between Tara's room and ours and how that may have led to the different outcomes.  I think it may involve the amount of watering (I may have done too much) and the strong sun of our western facing window.   We also put carnations in water with red dye, blue dye, and purple dye that we mixed ourselves.  We figured the red and blue water would turn the flowers those colors.  We were not as unanimous on the purple dye.  Some thought the flower would turn purple.  Some thought the flower would be half blue and half red.  Still others thought it might be blue with red dots.  We discovered that the flowers turned the color of their water.  The color showed up in lines at the ends of the petals.  Very cool.  We also split a celery stem in half with each half in red or blue water.  We found that half the celery leaves turned red and half turned blue.

Our little lima bean roots
Our little lima bean roots
  • Our little lima bean roots
  • Those roots started growing little branches
  • Some of them really took off
  • Our red carnation didn't do much until I added a lot more dye.  Then the color came through.
  • Our blue carnation
  • You can see some of the celery leaves beginning to turn blue.

Prairie Appreciation Day

Last Friday we headed out to Caron Park to explore the prairie for our Prairie Appreciation Day.  Over a decade ago, Nerstrand students transformed this former crop land to a prairie filled with native grasses and flowers.    We can now see the prairie as it was when the settlers first arrived.  Teachers paired their homeroom students together, a younger student with an older one, to choose a flower.  They measured the flower and leaves, described the petal and leaf structure, and looked for insects on and in the flower.  Then the older student drew a pencil sketch of the flower for the younger student to color in.  It was great to see the kindness and responsibility shown by the older students for their younger partners.  Larry Ritchie, our school naturalist, then described to the students how the local Native Americans would move from the prairie into the woods as fall arrived.  A great afternoon in the outdoors was enjoyed by all!

Getting a close look at the prairie flower
Getting a close look at the prairie flower
  • Getting a close look at the prairie flower
  • Older and younger students worked together to analyze the flower
  • Some of those grasses were taller than the students!
  • A close up of a bee squeezing its way into the bloom of a bottle gentian
  • Young botanists hard at work
  • Enjoying the prairie on a fall afternoon
  • Sketching the chosen flower
  • Looking for insects
  • Prairie partners
  • We brought some "hitchhiking" seeds home with us.  Some more than others!
  • They can even stick to your face!
  • Then we came back to the classroom and finished coloring in our flower sketches.

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