Showing posts from April, 2019

Float and Sink

River Class students have been learning about floating and sinking through books, videos, hands-on experiments, and design and engineering. We began this topic by testing various objects to see if they could float. We made predictions and then took turns in pairs or small groups to see what actually happened. Students learned about density and what this meant in terms of sinking and floating.

We discussed different types of boats and the purpose of boats. What do they actually do? We figured out that boats have many uses: carrying people, carrying goods, racing, and vacations.

River students began by building boats from clay. They tested their efficacy by filling them with small cubes. How many cubes can your boat hold? Some boats successfully held close to 100 cubes - impressive!

Students then worked in collaborative groups to make a boat out of a variety of items such as corks, popsicle sticks, etc. We tested their boats and discussed the results. How can we improve our design?

History of Musical Instruments - Kathy Shares

In our research time on Friday mornings we have begun to study the history of musical instruments. In cooperative groups, students have been given the task of finding out about their assigned instrument, and more specifically, how it evolved into the instrument it is today. To help us with this task, Kathy Schenley, our talented resource teacher, visited River Class and shared her family of recorders and viola da gamba. 
River students learned all sorts of interesting facts about whistles and how they evolved into instruments that were able to produce more precise notes, like recorders. Kathy shared the more familiar recorders like the soprano and alto and the less familiar ones like the bass and the Garklein, which is the smallest recorder. 
Kathy also shared her viola da gamba (pictured below), explaining that instruments like these often came in families. We learned that the thicker strings make lower sounds and unlike a modern cello it has frets and 6 strings. The instrument is h…