Science Experiment: Ramps
In school today, children engaged in a thought provoking task. They were asked to find out what influences objects going down ramps.
First, children were shown a video of a water slide to engage them. They were asked what makes a good water slide, and what makes a bad one. They all were bursting with ideas, listing several factors, including:
-the height of the slide/ramp
-the slope of the slide/ramp
-what material the slide/ramp is made from
-if there was liquids on the slide/ramp (e.g. water)
-the size of the person going down the slide/ramp
After discussing each area, the children investigated two factors. One, the material of the ramp, and two, the slope of the ramp. They tested using wooden ramps, and toy cars. The material of the ramp was changed using strips of carpet, and the slope of the ramp changed using copy books. They recorded their results as the went, measuring the distances the toy cars traveled after each of the slides. Each child had a role in the investigation in some capacity.
When we all discussed our results, it was found (correctly) that a higher the slope gives a faster slide/ramp, and that wood is a better material to use than carpet if you want to go faster and further. The children enjoyed the investigation thoroughly.
Length in the Classroom
On Monday, the girls started learning about length. To start off the subject, the girls were divided into groups of 4 or 5, and took turns measuring each others heights. To do this, they used a metre stick, a marker, and the whiteboard. They first marked the heights, then measured from the ground up to the mark. The children were shown how to use a metre stick, and how to correctly mark the whiteboard (pen perpendicular to their body). Once the children had collected all the heights, they went back to their desks and made a table in their copies, showing the children’s names and heights form their group. Once we finished all that, we made a line from the smallest to tallest and got a picture (above).
The children got great satisfaction from seeing the practical use of maths in their everyday life, and how applicable it was to them. They were hugely invested in finding out their exact height, and how they compared to their peers.
Fourth Class have had a fun term which was full of trips and activities. We enjoyed a trip to the Graffiti Theatre Company at the start of the term where we participated in a creative writing workshop. The girls worked together to brainstorm ideas for characters, setting and the plot. The story created was titled ‘Small dog, big dreams’, a humorous story about a Chihuahua called Chico who’s biggest dream was to own a Lamborghini. The girls started the story as a group but finished it individually so there were some very interesting conclusions to the story.
For the past few weeks we have had a buddy system going on with Senior Infants. The 4th class girls have both read to the younger girls and they also completed a beach scene art project with them. Both classes really enjoyed working together.