Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bill Nye Light and Color

We watched the Bill Nye Light and Color video today. We found a six minute segment from today's video that we thought you might like to watch, again. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What happens when light strikes a mirror?

Light can be absorbed, reflected, or refracted. Today, students participated in a lab exploration where they were asked to tape a target to the wall and shine a flashlight on a mirror. Their goal was to then get the light from the mirror to reflect and hit the target. They had to work to get the right angle on both the flashlight and mirror to make it work. They discovered that many different positions worked.

After they accomplished their first goal, they then joined another group. The two groups worked collaboratively to shine a light on one mirror that would reflect into another mirror, and then land on the target.

In Closing, we discussed our findings and read the correlating pages from our workbooks. Students learned that you can see objects because light reflects from the object. Flat, smooth surfaces, like water and mirrors,  reflect much better than rough surfaces. You'll notice, if you pay careful attention, that even every day objects like spoons reflect, too.

Upcoming IMAX Field Trip

We're going on a field trip to the IMAX Theater on February 26th.  We will see two films that help meet our Plant and Animal Science Standards: Deep Sea and Born to Be Wild. Both of these films will be in 3-D.  Here is what you need to know:
  • Price for Students: $14
  • Price for Chaperones: $9 (chaperones must drive themselves)
  • Money Due Date: 2/12/13 (late money will not be accepted)
  • Field Trip Date: 2/26/13
  • Students will need to bring a bagged lunch and wear their CCE t-shirts.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Color Spectrum

 Did you know that light travels in waves?  There are both visible and invisible light waves. Most light sources give off white light and white light has seven colors that are revealed under the right circumstances.  Scientists use a tool called a prism to see the seven colors in the light spectrum as they pass through the prism.  To remember the seven colors in the color spectrum you can think ROY G BIV. ROY G BIV stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

When you look at an object, the color of the object is determined by the color of the light that is reflected and absorbed. For example, a red shirt reflects red but absorbs orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. White objects reflect all colors and black objects absorb all colors. That's why you're cooler on a hot summer day in white than black. 

Today in class, we watched a short video. Click on this to watch the video. We also looked through prisms to observe the separation of the seven colors in the spectrum.   

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What happens when light strikes an object?

From a previous lab, students learned that light travels in a straight line, and can travel through some substances while others block it entirely. During our next lab, we explored the question, What happens when light strikes an object?   
Each lab group used a piece of white construction paper, a flashlight, two colored markers, and a self-selected object. Following the procedures, they taped the construction paper to a flat surface, we turned out the lights, and they had to shine the light on the paper and make observations. Then, we launched Trial 1, where students placed an object in the light beam near the paper and observed what happened. They noticed that a shadow of the object formed on the paper. Next, they had to draw an outline of the shadow. Students realized that the flashlight holder and the object holder had to remain very still for the drawer to complete his/her task. They labeled this shadow, Trial 1. 

In Trial 2, the procedures were repeated, but this time students had to put the object in the path of light near the flashlight, the source of the light. The shadow became much larger than the Trial 1 shadow. In Closing, we explored why this occurred.   With a little discussion, we concluded that in Trial 2 the object blocked more of the light because it was closer to the light source, therefore the shadow was larger.  Light travels from its source outward in all directions and casts the shadow when the light is blocked. A shadow is a dark area created when an object blocks a light path.  We see this all the time like when a tree casts a shadow, because it is blocking the light from the sun. We stand in the shadow to avoid the direct source of light and in turn stay cooler.

We followed the lab by reading the page from our textbooks on shadows.  We learned that shadows look different outside depending on how high the sun appears in the sky, and the direction of the shadow varies according to the time of day.  When the sun is in the eastern sky, the shadow that is cast is in a westward direction and is longer. At noon, when the sun is high in the sky, the shadow is shorter.  When the sun is in the western sky, later in the day, the shadow is cast in an eastern direction. That makes sense to us as young scientists, because light travels in a straight line.

How does light travel?

We are studying Energy and Its Properties, and throughout the week our young scientists have completed several labs to explore light's properties. 

During one lab, we tried to answer the question, How does light travel?  We taped a target to the wall, turned the lights out, and shined a flashlight on the target. We noticed light traveling out of the flashlight and we could see the light source on the target, however we couldn't see the beam of light as it traveled. In Trial 2, we repeated the experiment, but this time, we put a substance (baby powder) in the air. With the substance in the air, in the path of the light beam, we could see the light as it traveled from the flashlight to the target.  We had one more trick up our sleeve. In Trial 3, we repeated the steps from Trial 2, but this time we used a laser pointer. We recognized immediately that we could see the beam of light travel and that the light beam traveled in a straight line!  
Like all good scientists, we checked out theory with another lab. We used three index cards with an equal size hole in each, and lined them up  in a row, like the image shows. We put the flashlight up flush with in Card C and the light traveled through each card and hit the target. However, when we moved one of the index cards, the card would block the beam of light. We concluded that light travels in a straight line unless an object blocks the light beam.

Friday, January 25, 2013

NED Show Assembly

Yesterday, our students were treated to a Character Education assembly, the NED show. The talented presenter mesmerized students with yo tricks as he told a story promoting positive attitudes. Each initial of the character's name was integrated into the show. N-Never Give Up, E-Encourage Others, D-Do Your Best.

The program was free of charge to the school and is funded solely from merchandise purchased. The merchandise is for sale during our lunch time in the Dining Room.

NED Yo, Glow in the dark yo. Great for beginners. $6.50

Boomerang, Excellent for all skill levels. Amazing auto return feature! $10.00

Cosmic Spin 2, Ball bearing yo spins up to 4x longer than normal for advanced tricks.  $15.00

Accessories... Each  $3.50
10 replacement strings
yo yo holster
how 2 yo DVD
Amazing Yo / Kicking Tricks DVD

For more items visit

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beginning Fractions

Today in math, we began our third grade fraction unit.  Students began thinking about way to fairly share brownies.  Using their own inquisitive math minds, students began making connections way beyond the teacher's expectations! The following statements were made by students during the work period and/or closing session:
  • "I noticed that the more people you have to share the brownie with, the smaller each person's brownie will be!"
  • "I noticed that 4/4 (four fourths) is equal to one whole!"
  • "When the numerator is the same as the denominator, the fraction is equal to one whole!"
  • "One-eighth is half of one-fourth!"
  • "I can use multiplication to help represent all of the eighths that equal one whole. For example, 8 x 1/8 = 1."
This chart was made during our closing session based on what the students noticed during the work session. 
    This is the Student Sheet that the students worked on during the work session.  The yellow pieces represent a brownie cut into fractional pieces.