The first graders have learned a LOT through their Habitat enrichment lessons with Mrs. Nugent.
The third grade went to the Heller Nature Center in Highland Park to learn about the prairie.
Amanda Nugent visited the third grade classes and they learned about how prairie plants are adapted to survive in the harsh conditions of the prairie. The students also observed various prairie plants and created detailed, labeled drawings of prairie plants identifying their adaptations.
McKenzie fourth graders were treated to a presentation and hands-on activities by School & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (SCARCE) on October 25.
Students observed demonstrations that blend colors to produce white light and that separate white light into colors. Experiments with prisms and diffraction lenses gave students the opportunity to explore the color spectrum of various light sources. A chromatography activity demonstrated separating printed colors on filter paper. Students investigated ultraviolet light and the world through the eyes of an animal. The students made their own color wheel to take home.
Mad Science led the second graders on an exploration of how sounds are created and transmitted through a solid, liquid and gas. Concepts like vibration, frequency (pitch), sound waves, anatomy of the ear and how we hear were addressed. Students experimented with the vibrations produced by tuning forks, and explore how the vibrations of sound jump into the inner ear as they travel through the air as sound waves. Students used Mad Science equipment to “hear” sound vibrations through their fingers, and everyone made a pan flute that demonstrates different pitches.
STEM Night enabled students to learn by doing, visiting several stations throughout the gyms. Engineering and physics projects offered opportunities to construct towers and roller coasters, test balance, and explore vortex action. Students also experimented with electricity, magnetic force, properties of matter, and sound and light. The night was a huge success, thanks to the efforts of Robyn Schaefer and parent volunteers!
The first grade classes continued in their study of habits by completing a multi-step fine arts project. Students created ocean habits using plastic bags, stickers, foam cutouts, glitter glue and blue hair gel. The students enjoyed designing ocean life and objects and cutting them out. In order to create water for their ocean habitats, students squirted, squished and mixed gel, glitter glue and water.
Bill Buczinsky dazzled the second grade with a Poetry Performance. The show was full of audience participation and included live music, magic, and drama to show how rhythms, similes and metaphors, and images can be used to create poetry.
Nicole Basil, a former McKenzie student, spoke to the first grade classes about her charitable organization, Pedal Power. Pedal Power collects and donates bikes to students at CPS. She spoke about her determined, cooperative, goal-oriented and helpful character which showcases the leadership traits being studied in social studies this year.
See Pedal Power highlighted in the local news.
Scientist Julie Zielke taught first graders about insects. After this outdoor session, students were able to answer the questions, “Why are insects in our habitat?” and “What insects live in our habitat?”. Students were introduced to the observation table which is used to record the number of creature sightings for classes in the garden.
First graders studied Julie Zielke’s insect collection and observed insects in the McKenzie Gardens. Students recorded their observations in their Nature Notebooks.
First graders received a visit from scientist, Julie Zielke. The students began a soil experiment related to soil/decomposition (various items were buried in the soil in the garden). The words EXPERIMENT, HYPOTHESIS, DECOMPOSITION, BIODEGRADABLE, PREDICTION, and CHANGE were discussed as students recorded their predictions of how the items might CHANGE and what will turn into soil.
The experiment was carefully labeled and will conclude in the spring. Students explored PLANTS in their habitat….What are they for? What types are there? Students looked at examples of plants in the garden and learned of some characteristics of them, and recorded observations of plants in their Nature Notebooks.