Science Alive

Animals in the classroom?  Yep.  We had visitors with fur and scales. Science Alive brought some friendly animals. We pet the worlds softest animal: the Chinchilla.  Some of us were persuaded to handle a reptile with no legs. I definitely  enjoyed watching the delight and intrigue on kids faces as they saw and touched these animals.



Thoughts about Balance and Motion



These second graders finished their unit of study on Balance and Motion.  I thought I would have them share their thinking.  Please leave a comment or question for them.  We will answer questions on this topic.

imageWhen we rolled the cups with the penny on it, it stopped.  The second time we did it without the penny.  It rolled and did not stop.–Gideon

When you put the ball on a track to go down and you put it higher, it goes way faster–Isabella

On the ramp, when you tape the penny to the cups, the cup will  stop moving quicker–Caleb.

When we used the tops, when we spun it, the smaller one didn’t go as well as the big one. –Krista

You need a force to make something move or stop something from moving. When we pulled the string of the zoomer over and over, it went faster and faster.–Peri

The axle that that has a small and large wheel, goes in circles.–Micah

Spheres can roll in any way they want and the track they are on will decide which way they will go. –Taylor

When we were rolling the cups down the ramp, I saw that when the penny-side hit the bottom, it made a lump.–Ariyanna

I learned that you must have counterweights for something to be in a stable position.–Keegan

When we did the twirlers, when you dropped it, it spun because the air was pushing on the wing.–Carter

The sphere has all round faces to roll down a ramp. P.S. Don’t enter a sphere in a balance contest.–Abby

The axle that has half big and half small goes in a circle–Gwendolyn

When the force starts the spinning, I learned that air is pushing the twirler.–Mallory

When I was using the marbles on the track, I was able to put two curves in a row and tested int t. I put the marble on.  It wethrough both curves.–Ermal

One thing that you need to start the twirler, you need to drop it and then the force of air will spin it. –Zane

When the cups rolled, the penny just stopped, going and stopped.  It was stopping and going.–Alex


Rolling, Rolling, Rollling


Second graders have been investigating the motion of objects that roll. With two cups taped together, the rim of each cup acted like a wheel as students rolled them down a ramp.  Rolling is one more motion they can add to their list of experiences. image


After they saw how the cups rolled, a penny was taped to the side of the cup.  Students observed that the cups no longer rolled smoothly.  If the penny started in the down position, it acted like a brake and kept the cup from rolling. If the penny started in the top position, it made the cup roll in a bumpy way.

Have you ever had ice build up in the rim of your car? It makes your ride very bumpy.  This is the same phenomenon.  Kids observed this irregular rolling motion.

Roller Coaster

We may have some future  roller coaster engineers in our midst. Students also explored how spheres roll.  Using a marble on a foam track, they discovered that they can make the marble roll faster by increasing the slope of the track.  They even made the marble roll through a loop.image


Balance on the Tip of a Pencil

Can you balance a pencil on its tip?  Second Grade Students took on this task and struggled to balance a pencil by the tip on a craft stick.  This took a lot of adjustment and investigation, but many students did it.  They used clothespins as  counterweights. They attached these to a wire which they wrapped around the pencil.



What do you notice about where the counterweights (clothespins) are placed?  They are below the balance point.  Each counterweight is on one side of the craft stick.


Is the pencil standing up straight?  Could the system be adjusted to allow the pencil to be straight up?

Leave a reply with your thoughts about how to make the pencil stand straight up.  What would you tell our second grade scientists?

Second Grade in Balance

In second grade science, students made predictions about which systems would be stable.  They tested their predictions with a partner and recorded their results.


I asked some questions about what they learned:

How do you know if a system is stable or not?

If your object is wobbling and it almost falls over, it is unstable.  If you put the counterweights on and it falls right away, it is unstable. –Peri.

If it is stable, it is not falling down.  –Ermal

Where do the counterweights have to be to keep the system stable?

If you were doing one of these shapes, you would put the couterweights on the bottom.–Krista

I noticed…All the ones that are unstable, have the clothespins on the top.  All the ones that are stable have counterweights on the bottom.–Gwendolyn

Every shape that is unstable because one side is way bigger than the other.–Isabella


My second grade scientists testing their systems:




Making Inferences

Title: The Aurora County All-Stars

Skill: Making inferences

From the book: Finesse asked House what he was thinking about. He told her he was thinking about Pee Wee Reese.  She asked “Does He live around here?”  House smiled.

My response: House thinks its funny that Finesse does not know who Pee Wee Reese is.  Even though he is a famous baseball player, Finesse doesn’t even know his name.

Reading Log

Date: October 25

Title: The Aurora county All Stars

Skill: Making inferences

From the book: House kept throwing the ball harder and harder. Everyone was telling him to stop.

My response: The kids are worried that he will hurt his arm and not be able to play the game.

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