Friday, October 19, 2012


River Class - More Water Experiments

Sink or Float?

Since water is our theme this year we decided to do a number of experiments involving water. Our "sink or float" experiment involved the children taking the above items in cooperative groups and initially making an estimation as to whether or not each item would indeed sink or float. Children had to show their decision making by drawing the objects under the correct heading (as pictured below).

An important part of our work in River Class and the Lower School is giving the children opportunities to work together in groups. Sometimes the children are able to group themselves (given specific guidelines) and sometimes the groups are decided by the teachers. The groups tend to be a mixture of gender and age. Groups change so that children have an opportunity to work with children they may not typically have a chance to work with.

Children learn important lessons when asked to work as part of a group. They have to learn to take turns and to share materials. They are all asked to participate verbally and sometimes on paper. We emphasize to them that each voice in the River Class is important and needs to be heard.

After illustrating their estimates River students proceeded to find the 'actual' results by testing the objects out in containers of water. Which items will sink and which items will float? Were their estimates correct? Why were they? What did they learn from the experience? We ended our science experiment as a whole class. Groups shared their findings with each other, and we discovered that some items were a surprise to us! We talked about why that might be. Children provided some thoughtful, interesting answers.

Weighing Water

In this experiment the children had to work in cooperative teams to decide how much their container of water weighed. They were given an opportunity to play with and get a feel for the gram weights before writing down their group estimate. Groups were given different amounts of water to weigh.

River students took turns to add weights to their balance scales to find out the actual weight of their water in grams.

Some students were surprised at how much their container of water weighed.

At the end of the experiment groups shared their findings and observations with one another.