Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ooey Gooey Squishy Plop !

This week was filled with sticky, gooey, crumbly, mushy materials with which to play. We encouraged all of the campers to get their hands dirty and explore their senses, build something, or just enjoy the tactile experience!
Some of the materials included:
corn starch & water ("oobleck", kind of liquid and solid at the same time... try it at home!)
homemade playdoh (the campers made it themselves)
flour & water
sticky foam
instant snow (superabsorbent polymer, expands 100X original size when mixed with water)

Here is Janet's weekly science blurb:
"My intentions for these science projects was to get your children to not only stretch their vocabulary but also to start molding them into critical thinkers. Every Monday, the children in Drew's class amaze with me with the concepts they are able to grasp and with the conversations we have afterward. However, I have never been more proud of them then I have been today. The children are starting to relate what they are currently learning to things they have learned in the past. During our conversation about solids and liquids, the children were talking about H2O, which is something they learned about during Splish Splash week. Also, the actual experiment we did was very difficult. We made bouncing polymer balls. Everything was already measured for them in seperate cups. They had to listen to directions to know which cups to mix together and when to start stirring. They also needed to cover their hands with cornstarch, make the solid into a ball and keep rubbing it until it wasn't sticky any more. The children followed the directions really well! During the experiment, Enrique noticed that his bounces and he showed everyone. After the experiment, the children made hypotheses regarding what made the balls bounce.

Through this experiment, the children expanded their knowledge of liquids and bases. We touched very quickly on polymers. The children also experienced tactile sensory and fine motor developement. We made comparisons and observations."

Comments during our conversation about solids and liquids:
Bennett: Water turns to ice when it freezes.
Another word for water is H20.
Kosmo: Water feels like any other water.
Tommy: Ice is solid.

Comments during the experiment:
Tommy: I think it's flour.
Noah: It feels sticky.
Tommy: It feels like rubber.
Enrique: It is soft and sticky. It is a solid because it's gloopy. It bounces!
Lara: It feels like rubber,
Dylan: Its gooey.

Closing Discussion:
Why does it bounce? and Why did it all stick together?
Kosmo: Always paint is sticky.
Bennett: It's sticky because of the glue and the cornstarch. If we used warm water it wouldn't be sticky.
Dylan: Glue made it sticky.
Frankie: Glue makes it sticky. All of the stuff mixed together makes it bouncy.
Tommy: We used water and glue to make it sticky.
Riley: The white stuff made it bouncy.
Jake: It is bouncy because of the glue.
William: The water is a little bit dissolved, that's why it is sticky and bouncy.
Enrique: The water dissolves, that is why it is really sticky,
Noah: It is bouncy because of the water and cornstarch mixed.
Isabelle: Water and glue made it bounce with the cornstarch and the cornstarch made it bouncier.
Teddy: It is sticky because glue sticks on everything.
James: Paint and glue made it sticky. Water makes it dissolve.
Madeleine: It got bouncier and then it broke.

Check out these photos from our dance class on Thursday. We did the twist, the merengue, She Loves You, Jackson 5, and more.... we sure had a lot of fun moving our feet and bodies.

As I reported last week, the campers have been very productive in the block area. Every day during freeplay, it doesn't take long before the rug is filled with an assortment of structures, often overflowing into nearby areas. It's a great opportunity for teamwork, communication, spatial awareness, planning, motor skill development, and FUN!

Friday's weather was typical of this summer (schizophrenic sun and rain), but we were able to spend most of the morning having fun at the Wild West playground. When the rain clouds came suddenly around 11:30, we took shelter under the playground apparati, before heading back to camp for a pizza and ice cream party.

A bit of continuation from last week's theme, we examined fallen bark from Central Park and then used it to decorate for collages. The campers enj0yed drawing on the pieces and then affixing them to construction paper. Check them out on our bulletin board!

I love reading stories with the children, I really really do. However, every now and then I need a break! Fortunately, Noah was game for reading a story to the class ("A Good Day" by Kevin Henkes) and he did a great job!

Here are a few other photos from our fun-filled week.
Next week's theme: Get Your Groove On !

This is Drew, signing off!