Edible Labs; Featuring 8th Graders

This week my lovely 8th graders made “Atom Cakes”.  They had a choice between displaying an isotope or an ion of their choice.  Edible labs are fun for the kids (not so fun for the Teacher’s waist) and great ways to reinforce diagrams! Below are some other edible labs my students have completed this year.

The Ice Cream Lab (8th Grade)to show endothermic vs exothermic reactions. 

Chocolate Chipping Away at the Rock Cycle (6th Grade)- Students use hot plates and chocolate chips to show the formation of sedimentary,metamorphic and igneous rock.

Making Pretzels (7th Grade): To investigate fermentation in yeast

Photos of my 8th Graders with their Atom Cakes today


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Inventing in Science, Featuring 6th Graders

What is invention?  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, invention is a product of the imagination.  I think we invent all of the time!  It is within our human nature to invent, and thus I think we learn best through invention.

I firmly believe my students learn best when they invent.  Through invention, they make that connection between something completely foreign to them and their imagination.

This week my 6th graders are learning about the different physical layers of Earth’s interior.  We spent about 30% of class time taking notes on the different layers, and chemical composition of Earth.  I supplemented my lecture with fun interactive games and visuals.  I tend to start feeling like Charlie Brown’s teacher after 15 minutes of talking, so I try to give my kids little brain breaks in between notes.  These breaks include getting them out of their seats and “acting out” what they have learned, or watching quick 1-2 minute visual representations.  A two minute brain break usually gets them back into the engaged learning state, and away from perpetual boredom.

Where does the invention come in?  Right where my kids are starting to comprehend the material is the optimal time for me to incorporate a fun project.  This week they are creating movie posters with “Journey to the Center of the Earth” themes and writing out a short movie synopsis for their “movie trailer”.   They instantly start using their new-found knowledge to create, and this is where the real learning begins…

I leave you with my favorite Einstein quote.

Imagination encircles the world.