Friday, June 29, 2018

Presenting Body Models

As we studied anatomy and learned about each body system, we added the parts to body models made from a paper bag. Sometimes there was an example, sometimes the students created their own representations. We had green nerves drawn on the backs and rigatoni spinal cords. We had red balloon hearts and blue and red yarn veins and arteries. We had white pipe cleaner ribs and paper skeletons. We had plastic bag stomachs fed from cardboard tube tracheas. As a final review of all we learned, the Dragons presented the body models they created to their fellow class members. 

Blowing up a working pair of lungs

Explaining the intricacies of the digestive system

Putting all the systems together

More working lungs! 

It's always satisfying to show what you know!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Breathe, baby!

While studying the respiratory system, we did an engineering challenge: Can you make a pair of working lungs from 2 straws and plastic bags?

Yes, indeed! The Dragons are always up for a challenge! Everyone accomplished this task in their own way, but all were able to get the bags to fill with air through the straws. Most modeled the straws into a trachea and bronchi. We attached the finished product to our body models -- see these in a later post.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cardiologist visit

While most of us would have to go to the office for a visit to a cardiologist, this doctor and Seabury dad, Danial, made a house call.
It was riveting to see the pictures of ACTUAL hearts and stints, and to hear about the types of procedures Danial performs to save people's lives and keep their blood circulating properly.
There were questions galore! There might be a few future doctor in this audience ...

Bubble Geometry

What better way to learn about faces, edges and vertices on a sunny day than to bend some 3-D shapes from pipe cleaners and then dip them in bubble solution to see what happens?! The questions of the day were: What shape do you think the bubbles will be? and What do you notice inside?

All the world's a stage...

...And all the men and women merely players

While learning about and watching Shakespeare plays, we discovered that Seabury dad, Kenny, is also an actor, and we asked him to come talk to us about his experiences on stage. He treated us to some wonderful stories, and also told us that acting is like real life -- that you are always taking on roles and playing different parts. He told us that playing Lancelot in the musical Camelot, he once had to ride a horse onto stage and was thrown off! (What did he do? He jumped right back on!) He also sang the introductory song - in French! Fascinating!

Shaking it up with Shakespeare

We love word play at Seabury, so of course when we study the Renaissance, we do not pass up on the opportunity to study the great bard, even with first- and second-graders. We started the week before by reading some great Shakespeare adaptations for children and watching videos of some of his plays performed for children. Then on the Friday of our "Shakespearean Quest" we dived right into the language with a survey of expressions attributed to Shakespeare. Did you know phrases like "All that glitters is not gold," "wild goose chase," "green-eyed monster" (jealousy), and "as luck would have it" are all from Shakespeare? Turns out that as a class, we had heard or were familiar with every single one on our list of 25! Then we wrote a few Shakespearian compliments:

These are also fun to illustrate!
We did a short introduction to iambic pentameter and tried our hand at writing a sonnet, and then
we moved on to the good stuff - writing our own short plays or puppet shows, creating scenery, backdrops, props and costumes in the MakerSpace:

As per usual in a Shakespeare play, there was comedy,


and misadventure,

but mostly a whole lot of fun!
...and there live we, as merry as the day is long ...

How many different ways can you make a hexagon?

A little hands-on geometry, as we used pattern blocks to grapple with the challenge "How many ways can you make a hexagon?" We thought about how to use one shape to make others, or combine shapes to make one big hexagon -- and, of course, built some cool creations -- all the while using math vocabulary to talk about what we made.
These kids know their hexagons, trapezoids and triangles!

 These are the "basic" answer to the question -- and also an opportunity to do a little thinking about fractions ...

Above were some of the more complicated ways to solve the challenge!
Everyone came up with something unique.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Eyeball dissection

I don't know about you, but I never dissected anything in science until I got to my high school Biology class. At Seabury, we start in first and second grade! The Dragons were lucky to have doctor/parent Jenny come in to show us what a cow eyeball looks like and to see what all the different parts of the eye we learned about look like in real life.

The overall reaction: "So cool!"

The Science of the Senses

We started our study of anatomy this year with the nervous system and the five senses. We conducted MANy hands-on experiments to better understand how these work, and here are just a few:

In this experiment on the sense of touch, we predicted which part of our hands would be most sensitive, gathered data by lightly touching a paperclip tip to several different areas (palm, forearm, fingertip), then graphing the results. We found, as many students predicted, that the fingertips have the most receptors and are the most sensitive to touch.

In this experiment, we tested out whether or not there really are different areas of the tongue that are more sensitive to the different types of tastes: bitter, sweet, salty, sour, and umami. We had read conflicting reports on this and wanted to see for ourselves what is true. We found that we tasted ALL of the different "flavors" the most on the tips and sides, supporting what we learned in articles like this one:

In this experiment, we ate apples to test our sense of smell. First, we made a prediction about what would happen. Then we ate apples normally, and finally while holding a cottontail scented with vanilla extract to our nose. We found it to be true that when smelling vanilla, the apples tasted like vanilla. Some of us were incredulous, but some were not surprised at all:

Most of all, we learned that the five senses are pretty fascinating, and we would be lost without them on our quest to interpret and understand the world around us!

The Little Prince - Part 2

Did I mention we got to see The Little Prince performed by the Seattle Children's Theater?

We LOVED the show!

An exciting week of learning culminated in a visit from the education department from the Slater Museum of Natural History at the University...