Monday, 29 May 2017

Colour and sunlight heat absorption with quinto (data): By Elena

Elena did this experiment on a hot sunny day.  Her students recorded how much the temperature of water increased when they left it outside in different coloured cups.  The students had lots of practice at reading thermometers and they recorded their temperature rises in data tables.  They compared their results with predictions that they had made before doing the experiment. 

A digital thermometer gives more accurate temperatures, but using a real thermometer is really good for giving the students a sense of a physical measurement and practice in reading a scale.

Thermal insulation experiment and graphing with quinto: By Elena

Elena got her quinto students to do this experiment a week ago and here is an example of their data table and the fantastic graphs that they drew.

What I love most about this is that Elena said that when some of the students started the experiment they noticed that the temperature of the hot water was going up.  They realised that this was impossible - the water was being left to cool - and they looked more closely at what they were doing and realised that they were not immersing their thermometer properly in the water.  They had anticipated what should logically happen and they realised that what they were measuring did not make sense.  They had understood the experiment and their data.  They also drew some beautiful cooling curve graphs and their Spanish maths teacher is now very interested in what they are doing in science. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

El Taller del 26 Mayo

This afternoon was really fun, thank you all for coming.  It was just like a real class, students not wearing safety glasses, making a mess, not writing down results.......!  It was fantastic to see you thinking about what we did, realising problems and talking to the others about what you did.  Muy bien a todas!
Here are the instruction sheets I gave out:
Experiment notes
I got my camera out far too late:

Por favor, darme tus actividades para publicitar en el blog.  Podrían ser una cosa de 5 minutos o un clase entero, no me importa, lo más importante es crear un banco de ideas y fichas para compartir entre nosotros.   
Si no tienes tiempo para escribir tus propios acticulos, mandarme fotos y una pequeña descripción por Whatsapp o correo electronico y lo haré.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Static Electricity with infantil 5 años: By Elena

Today Elena did this static electricity activity with her infantil 5 años classes.

1)  By rubbing a balloon to build up static charge, they could make the children's hair stand up.
2)  Then they tried picking up pieces of paper (not attracted) and polystyrene (were attracted).

The kids were laughing and wanted to try it themselves, but there wasn't really enough time to let everyone try everything in a 40 min class.

Floating and Sinking: Infantil 4 Años

Today I did an activity with infantil 4 años where they had to take a ball of plasticine (that sinks) and turn it into a shape that floated.  They moulded the plasticine into different shapes and then tested them out in trays of water that I placed in the middles of their tables.  It was fun and a bit wet and most of them arrived at a boat shape that floated for at least a few seconds! 

At the end of the class we talked about what shaped worked and floated and which ones didn't float well.

Warning: the plasticine that I have at home did not seem to dissolve in water, the plasticine at school did seem to be a bit soluble in water and became sticky after much playing underwater.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Series and Parallel Electronic Circuits with Quinto: By Elena

Elena has been amazingly busy with her Quinto science classes.  I'm posting this for her because she has started on the electricity today.
Teaching notes and worksheet:  Series and Parallel Electrical Circuits P5
Her students build simple electrical circuits reusing materials she'd used in the lemon batteries experiment.  The students built series and parallel circuits with LED bulbs.
From Elena:
This is what we were doing today.  Battery, switch and different LED light bulb sizes.  I gave them the equipment and I'm so proud of them because they were able to create different circuits, single, series and they also played with two batteries in the same circuits with more powerful bulbs.  In the end I wanted them to do a parallel circuit but no one knew.  I explained to them with a drawing and all the groups did it.  They were happy!

Note from Jenny:  LED bulbs are diodes and only work when connected in one direction.  Students need the make sure that the bulb is working, i.e. connected correctly before going on to test things like on/off switches in the circuit.

Colour and Heat Absorption with Quinto: By Elena

Elena did this experiment this week with her Quinto classes.  Bottles painted different colours and filled with water heat up differently in the sunlight.  Some colours like black absorb more radiant heat from the sun than other colours like white and clear plastic.  You can actually feel the difference if you put your hands into the cups after an hour in the sun.  Elena's classes measured the temperature increases and compared them to their predictions.
Experiment Teaching notes and worksheet P5

La temperatura de inicio fue 26 grados y a los 30 min medimos otra vez.  Algunos subieron la temperatura hasta 6-7 grados.  Despues medimos a la hora.  Antes de medir la temperature estuvemos haciendo predicciones para ver que envaso iba a estar mas caliente.

Elena did this with Quinto classes, but once the activity is over, it is nice to leave the pots of water out for the other children to put their hands into and feel the difference.  I did this as a lunchtime science activity for the younger children and nearly everyone in primary had a go.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Finde cientifico en MUNCYT 27-28 MAYO 11:00 - 19:00 y Gratuita

This is on at MUNCYT (formally Cosmo Caixa) at the end of May (27th - 28th).  It has loads of activities to try out and interesting people to talk to.  It is free and it is on from 11am to 7pm.  It's a market of science activities to explore for yourself or with your kids.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Nutrients in food

We have been learning about how healthy is to have a diet that includes all the different nutrientes.  Once we learnt about the food pyramid and groups of nutrients, we went to the laboraty to test if what we had learnt was true! We took different food  and we added some iodine.

Then we saw what happened and we answered some questions to remember the results of our experiment 😉.

What happened? When we put some iodine on food with carbohydrates, it changes of colour ( it looks darker) due to the starch.

Science on the light table with x-rays

The first time I saw a light table, I was fascinated. I knew I wanted one for my classroom!
I immediately started searching for fun light table activities that would work well with my subjects. I never dreamed how many different ideas were out there!
If you have a light table, you know what I am talking about.
There’s  a lot of talk about our bodies and bones, so this activity is a great way to expand on that and talk about bones and bone structure.

Our  x-rays has a color paper to match each  x-ray so the students laid them out,  and studied how each bone was formed.

The students saw each set of X-rays; the first and second sets were of the neck and upper spinal cord area while the third set was the bone marrow of one vertebrae from the spinal cord. This way, they learned that the spinal cord is composed of individual vertebrae and that each vertebrae contains
bone marrow in the center.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Testing thermal insulation - Quinto de Primaria - By Elena

Posted for Elena:

Elena's classes explored the thermal insulation by covering cups with different materials and then filling the cups with hot water.  The students recorded the temperature of the water as it cooled.  We got non-mercury thermometers for the activity but the other material was provided by the students and the dining hall.

Link for the worksheet:  Thermal Insulation Experiment Worksheet and Teaching Notes

Elena said that the activity took quite a while so here are some tips:

1) Use the thinnest, worst quality plastic cups you can find because they lose heat fastest.
2) Start with hot water (from a kettle), the temperature falls fastest at the beginning.
3) You do not need to wait until the cups are at room temperature; stopping the activity once it has been going for 15 - 20 minutes is fine and you will hopefully see a difference between some of the cups.
4) Lids and covers make quite a big difference.
5) The students will probably be terrible at reading the thermometers - take some time to let them get used to using them - put them in hot water, read the temperature, then colder water and read the temperature.
Image from:

Measuring Students´ Height with Feet - Infantil 5 Años - By Elena

Posted for Elena:

Elena’s 5 year old students made their own height markers for this activity in their English class.  Then they used a cut out foot to measure how tall they were.   They placed their personal height marker onto the measuring line that Elena put onto the classroom door.  

A fun and different way to practice counting with infantil!  My son was in the class and he came home and told me all about it – it must have been good because he usually tells me nothing!