Thursday, February 25, 2016

Our Turn to Learn

This week our explorations with balance and motion have taken quite an interesting turn. We have moved on from balancing static objects to observing how motion and balance affect a spinning top. We noticed some common characteristics in our investigations:

  • stable objects
  • unstable objects
  • balancing points
  • axis
  • axle
  • gravity
To this list we have also added the forces of torque and friction. It's interesting to us how all these forces are working together and against each other to set an object in motion or to slow it down. It's a giant game of battling tops! Today, we also used tops with marker tips at the balance point. While we watched the tops spin, we could see evidence of and the differences between fast-moving and slow-moving tops and tops that completely stopped.

In addition to our experiments with motion, we have been busy writing a letter to Ms. Lankas' class about our discoveries. We figured it was a good idea to start prepping first graders for the big thinking they would do in second grade. In our letter we are making sure to use capital letters, correct punctuation and spelling, but we are also working hard on writing a message that makes sense. After each sentence we ask the writers' questions, "What should we write next? How will our next sentence connect to our last sentence?" By asking these questions, we make sure that we are developing and organizing our ideas so it's easy for the first graders to understand. We are also starting to use some important, nonfiction text features like using bold print for really important words.

Rest assured, we will pack up all this learning and take it with us on our Friday-field-trip to the Science Museum. So here's to spinning. Here's to tops. And here's to Seconds!

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