My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Man - I'm so glad it's Friday. Right now Alaska is suffering from a severe cold snap. As I type, it's -6.5°F. We've been waking up to temperatures hovering around -15°F. I can only imagine what it's like in interior AK - BRRRRRR!

I'm especially glad the end of the work week is here because I have a glimmer of hope there will be time to relax this weekend. Today was our last "Elementary Science Day" of the year. Our science club, of which I am the sponor, visits several elementary schools throughout the school year to share our love of science. My students lead elementary aged students through various hands-on science activities ranging from chemical changes to squid dissection. It's a lot of work for both me and the organizing person at the elementary school, but man - is it rewarding!! The week leading up to each science day adds more grey hairs and wrinkles. I'm always worried about something, but of course - my students, being the wonderful kids that they are, always do a fantastic job. Watching teenagers interact with young children is such a hoot.

Today we went to my children's school. One of the defining characteristics of this school is the role parents play. Since I'm also a teacher, my schedule doesn't allow me to spend as much time in the elementary classrooms as I'd like. Sure, I help with book orders & outside jobs, but don't get the chance to immerse myself into the school day. Coming to the school w/my science club allows me to spend the entire day in the school.

Here my students lead the younger ones on a dinosaur dig. This activity was a hit! One planned activity was to dig dinosaurs out of 'eggs' (made from plaster of paris) and analyze the 'fossils'. Unfortunately, the eggs were a bit too hard....

Orion really enjoyed the 'secret writing' at the Forensics station. Students learned about fingerprints and how to make secret messages using an acid/base indicator and windex.

More of the dino dig.

Science shouldn't be about reading a book and answering questions. Science should be about 'doing' and getting your hands dirty. Here students are looking at the mantle of a squid. After the dissection & learning about invertebrates, we made calamari - yum!

Science day is perfect for those busy kindergarteners! Here Iain demonstrates how to make ice cream in a bag. Mix the solution, surround it with salted ice (to depress the freezing point), wrap in newspaper for insulation & the shake, shake, shake! The kindys were asked to jump, shake & count to 100 - and they did! Amazing! Don't you love the tongue sticking out? I do that too when I'm concentrating - must be genetic.

All in all, a fabulous day w/fabulous kids. The next time you read about teenagers doing something stupid, please remember, for every 'bad kid' you read about - there are tons more out there doing great things that don't receive the recognition they deserve. We're in good hands.

And what does a science teacher do after a very busy day with teenagers and elementary students?

Duh... Sock #1 of a very simple, brain-less sock (details to follow later). It's a comforting knit during a cold night after a busy day.

Happy Knitting...



Diana said...

My boys had a great time with your students today! Very well organized and lots of fun experiments for the kiddos. What a great bunch of teenagers!

I'm going to try and knit my next pair of socks with the long circulars. Might be chasing you down at school with questions.

Holly Jo said...

My favorite thing to teach kindergartners is science. They love it. Sounds like you did some really fun projects and were very organized. Great work. :)

It was -55 in Delta Junction on Tuesday. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a win-win situation for all!

I'm almost done putting your package together and hope to get it in the mail by the end of this week!

Your Swap Pal

Cinnamonamon said...

Hey, you're using my bag!! ;)

That science day looks fantastic! I can only hope to find a school filled with wonderful teachers who think like you as my oldest begins kindergarten next year. :)