Sunday, March 3, 2019

Our Simple Machine Inquiry

During our Force and Motion Inquiry, I noticed a lot of simple machines being created during their play as they explored force and motion. Here are a few examples. 

We read many books and watched some videos about the six different simple machines: Wheel and Axel, pulley, lever, wedge, inclined plane, and screw.
More and more wheels and axles were showing up as they experimented with creating designs that moved better or faster when pushed. 

The experimented with creating pulleys that could lift loads. 

They realized they could use the loose parts to create levers! I loved their excitement as they ran up to me yelling,”Mrs. Myers!! We made a lever!! You have to come see!!” After showing me, they made a bunch more and started running around the playground yelling, “Free Lever rides!!”

After learning about all of them, they all signed up for a simple machine to become experts at and formed expert teams. They worked in small groups with a teacher and researched different objects that could represent their simple machine  and picked one to create as a project.
The Wedge Team decided to make axes for their project. I don’t know why I don’t have more pictures of them working on it but they worked hard painting, measuring, and using cardboard pieces to create a wedge shape for the ax heads.  Each team created a list of materials they needed to make their project. 

The Wheel and Axel Team decided to create a wagon. They had to measure the box and dowel rod so they knew how long the axel needed to be.

The Pulley Team decided to create a flag pole.

The Screw Team decided to make a water slide.

The Lever Team decided to create an Angry Birds Game featuring a catapult.

The Inclined Plane Team made a marble run. They had to do a lot of problem solving before it truly worked!

Every team had to collaborate together and use critical thinking skills to make these. They had to problem solve over and over again to make them work! 21st Century Skills in action!

Next the kids made posters showing other examples of their simple machines that we found around our classroom and helped write the definition of their simple machine. 

Their next step will be to present their simple machines to the class and maybe other classes in our school! For now they are displayed outside of our room. The marble run somehow broke while out there so they will fix theirs soon!

They are so proud of what they have accomplished! I love how confident they become as they do hard things like this! Kindergartners are capable of doing amazing things when given the time, space and materials!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Exploring Force and Motion: Physics Through Art

We learned that all motion is either caused by two kinds of force. Pushing or pulling. I set out clay and let them explore by using the forces of pushing and pulling using their hands and clay tools.

We then used these forces on the clay to create pinch pots! They pushed and pulled with their fingers and then pushed using clay tools to add a personal touch.

They wanted to add some color so they painted them with liquid watercolor.

We also explored by using force and motion to create a collaborative piece of art. First they pushed and pulled large brushes to mix the colors for the base.

Ramps are an amazing way to create motion! This brought up the question of what force pulls things down the ramp when they are not pushing them? We learned about how the force of gravity will pull things down. The kids rolled a truck down a ramp through paint onto our canvas. The tracks showed the motion.

I think this was my favorite stage of this painting!

We continued exploring the way inclined planes used gravity as a force to create motion. They slashed some paint on the canvas and had to adjust the incline to change the direction of the marble’s motion and get it through the paint! 

We created a pendulum for the kids to explore motion with. We filled it with watered down paint and the kids pushed or pulled it certain ways to create a circular motion.

Instead of running, the paint dripped, so it was a different effect than we expected but everyone loved the result!

They sprinkled paint onto the canvas, letting gravity pull it down, then pushed and pulled the paint with a piece of cardboard.

We were using pastel colors, but when I wasn’t looking, they added some bright pink and orange. We all loved their choice!

Lastly, they flicked paint onto the canvas to give it the finishing touch! This method was introduced by a little friend in our class!

I love our finished collaborative force and motion art! It truly is a beautiful art piece!

Here is the progression of our canvas!

They also created individual art using force and motion also!

Here is our documentation of the process and what we learned about physics through art in the hallway.

Stay tuned to see how force and motion, especially through inclined planes, sparked an interest in simple machines!

Here are a few pics to show some of the literacy and math experiences that thy hav been visiting...