Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rolling, Sliding, and Questioning

Whew!  Tuesday is over.  It was a whirlwind of a day.  The morning started with a union RAP session followed by a visit/non-evaluative observation by the district reading specialist, and a parent conference.  I used up my entire prep time prepping and did not get to have my snack or even go to the bathroom!  Then after a busy and somewhat crazy afternoon (the kids were rowdy), I had to stay after school for a pointless meeting.

Even though the kids were a bit inattentive and not on their best behavior today, I was still really happy with how two lessons went.  The kids were super engaged and grasped the concepts well.

First, in science, we have been learning about properties of motion including rolling and sliding, pushing and pulling etc.  Today, we did a fun experiment with rolling and sliding.

After reviewing what kinds of objects roll (round, curved) and what kinds slide (flat), I passed out trays of supplies.

Each tray contained the following objects:
  • one hundreds flat
  • straws
  • pipe cleaners
  • marbles
  • colored cubes
  • colored counters
I had the kids work with a partner to figure out how the hundreds flat moved by pushing it across their desks.  They discovered that it slid because it had flat faces.

Then, I gave them the challenge/mission: Use the supplies on your tray to find an easier way to move it.

The free for all began and the kids had a blast experimenting with using the different objects to move the hundreds flat.  They came up with lots of very creative ways.

Here's some pictures of them working.  I wish you could see the intensely focused expressions on their faces.

Trying to use a straw to blow a marble at the flat.
Pushing pipe cleaners through straws to move the flat.  Creative!
Playing hockey with a hundreds flat and two straws!
Experimenting with marbles and straws.
Discovering that the marbles help it roll!
 After the students had experimented for awhile, I had them share their "best" way of moving the flat.  Everyone tried different ways, so it was neat to see the other students reactions to the various ideas.  Finally, we discussed how either the marbles or the straws could be used to help the flat roll, which made it move faster and easier.  The kids really understood and were very excited to have discovered this themselves!

Later in the day for reading we talked about asking questions before, during, and after reading.  I used the book Grandfather Twilight.

I introduced the idea of asking questions using the Beanie Baby reading friend Questioning Owl.  The kids and I both LOVE the Beanie Baby reading strategy animals.  The idea comes from Real Classroom Ideas.  There are all kinds of "friends" for decoding and comprehension strategies.  Click on the link to get FREE posters and resources.

The posters and the animals are so cute and they really help students think and talk about the strategies they are using.  Plus, they made my massive collection of Beanie Babies useful!  I used to think they would be worth a fortune someday.  Now, I use them to teach kids to read.  Hmmmm....
After I introduced Questioning Owl, I showed the students the cover of the book and asked them if they had any questions.  Of course they did.  I listed the questions on chart paper.  Then, I told the students to listen as I read and to raise their hands if they had any questions.

I read the book, stopping every so often to hear and record students' questions.  If there were a lot at one time, I had the kids turn and talk instead of calling on individuals.

After reading, the kids shared what questions they still had.  They had some good ones!

For independent practice, I sent them to read a just right book and to fill out an "I wonder..." questioning page.  Today, I had the kids all do the same ones, but I created differentiated ones for students who can think of more questions and possibly find the answers to their questions as they read.  Click on the picture to get a copy of the record sheets FREE.

To close the lesson, I called the kids back to the carpet and had a few share their questions.  Then, we sang the "Questioning Song."  Get my free song sheet HERE.

Overall, it was a great lesson.  Later this week we are going to talk more about how to ask meaningful questions and how to find/think about answers.

The question I am asking myself right now is "Why am I not in bed?," so I guess I better say goodnight for now.

Please comment if you pick up the freebie or if you have any other thoughts.  I would love to know what you think.


  1. I have never seen the comprehension strategies with the beanie babies only the decoding strategies. Thanks for sharing that. I went and downloaded and printed the posters. I can't wait to use these with my class.

    Don't you just love meetings like that?? Ha!

    Have a great night!

    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

  2. I have never seen the beanie babies either! I'm going to have to check it out!

    I tried to download the freebie, but it won't let me. Did you make it public when you downloaded it to google docs? :O)

    Collaboration Cuties

    1. Oops! I thought I did, but I forgot to. Sorry! I just fixed it.

  3. Love your science experiment!! Looks like they were having a really fun time! I am your newest follower! Stop by sometime! :)

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten

    1. Thanks for stopping by and following! The kids definitely were super engaged! I love how the lesson lets them discover what works best, rather than me just telling them.

  4. I am writing this down for next year when we study forces and motion! Great fun!

    1. Glad you liked the idea! It definitely is a fun one for both me and the kids. :-)

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