The children in PS3 have just completed a unit of ‘How the world works’, where they investigated into ‘people use knowledge of forces and energy to make things move’. When reflecting on this unit the class chose some of their favourite moments that they wanted to share.
Rocket Balloon Experiment
A question was posed to the children, which string allows the balloon to move the quickest and why? The children worked in small groups and selected which strings they wanted to race the balloons (which were secured to a straw to allow free movement on the string). They decided that they need to be fair with their testing and that each balloon should have the same amount of air in and that they should be let go at the same time. The children made predictions and started to experiment. Their understanding was phenomenal as they predicted that a ribbon would allow the rocket to travel faster as ‘it is silky’, but there was a problem…the balloon did not move. This led the children into a further investigation into why it would not move. After repeating the experiment several times, they came to an understanding, ‘it is stuck because the straw is thin and the ribbon is wide’ making connections that too much friction was causing the balloon not to move, even though the string was ‘silky’.
Making a Simple Machine
The children had learnt about forces are a push or pull and had come to an understanding that energy is the ability to do work. They had investigated into simple machines and had decided that they ‘make work easier’. With this knowledge a challenge was set, the making corner was fully stocked with boxes, containers and other junk. On display was a question, can you make a simple machine? The children needed no more explanation. They set off to design their machines and discussed who they wanted to work with, some set to the challenge alone, while others decided that they wanted to work with a friend. The classroom was buzzing with ideas and activity. Once completed, the children explained their model to their friends and reflected upon their work, ‘I am proud of my teamwork’, ‘we talked together, so we can help each other’ and ‘I found new ideas’ are to name a few. It was evident that the children were proud of their understanding and had used their self-management and thinking skills to become independent learners.
The children had so much fun designing experiments and adapting them with their teachers. They learned through play and took ownership of their learning. When faced with this big idea the children had many wonderings about what was a force and how do we use
them. Through these experiments, they learned new information and adapted their thinking to form new understandings. Confucius once said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” It is evident that these little ones have new found understanding of such an abstract concept.
PS 3 Team