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Bell Elementary Lab rotations nail Life Science skills

First Grader Levi Vaughn examines his rock

Second graders Jazlyn Upchurch and Chloe Brooks work on their investigation

Second grader Chloe Brooks preparing a root finder by wetting a seed to be put in plastic bag

(l-r:) Second graders Zachary Wallace, Emma Hicks, and Esperahza Hernandez

Second graders (l-r:) Brantley Pyles, Israel Choc, Galilea Santiz Martinez, and Melissa Gonzales Hernandez

First grader Emmalyn Lair wets her earth worm during the investigation

First grader Levi Vaughn examines his rock

Levi Vaughn wets his rock to see if there is a reaction

Science Teacher Sara Beth Harris explains how to go about the investigation they are tackling. 

First grader Nicholas Gregory got a close up look at his earth worm

First grader Lea Young examines an earth worm

Ms. Harris passed out the earth worms to the first grade class

First graders Trenton Evans and Abagail Russell were excited about the investigation

First graders Levi Vaughn and Elisa Hernandez Ixcoy distinguish living and non-living examples on the board with the help of Science Teacher/Curriculum Coach Sara Beth Harris.


It is pretty exciting to see young children discover new ideas and experience firsts in their lives. So, just imagine how exciting a Science lab filled with new learning investigations is to a six or seven-year-old child.
    Instructional/Curriculum Coach Sara Beth Harris knows how to present these new challenges to young children and get the most instructional mileage during teachable moments in the Bell Elementary classroom filled with scientific signage, technology, and supplies. She maps out the lesson presenting the topic of inquiry for the rotating class that students attend every other week to accommodate the entire student body. Last year, seeing mock volcanoes erupt was one of the more popular learning adventures. 
    Most recently, the first graders have been studying Life Science. “We have been focusing on living and non-living things.  The students did a living and non-living picture sort and we discussed five questions to ask yourself to decide if something was living or non-living.”
    The youngsters’ interest was piqued when their teacher distributed a rock and then a mealworm for them to examine up close with their magnifying glass. The students used eyedroppers to place water on the rock and the worm as stimuli to observe a reaction as a characteristic of living and non-living. They even discussed how the rock could not have a young rock, but the worms could have offspring.
    The students noticed that the worm crawled away, but the rock stood firm. 
    “I loved the worm because he moved,” said Roland Merrell-Vaughn. 
    “He’s cute,” replied classmate Abagail Russell.
    Harris hinted to the students that something about the milworm would be changing in the next few weeks, so they would be looking forward to what is next.  
    The assignment was based on the following Kentucky Standard 1-LS3: Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.
    In their future lab rotation, they will continue to study this standard and compare adult animals with their offspring. 
     The second grade students are also studying Life Science.  They have been focusing on plants.  “We have studied plant parts, plant adaptations, and what a plant needs.  We set up an investigation using seeds to plant a seed to grow a plant. The students will be able to observe the roots, sprout, and other characteristics of the plant,” explained Harris.
The students also made a root finder, where they took seeds and dampened the paper towel they placed it on during the investigation.  The paper towel and seeds were placed in a plastic bag. 
When the students return to Science Lab, they will observe the seeds and their changes.  This will allow the students to compare their seeds with soil and seeds in a damp towel. 
“The students will draw conclusions of what a plant needs to be a healthy plant.  We will continue to study habitats and how seeds travel in Life Science,” explained Harris.
Those studies are based on Kentucky Standard 2-LS2-1: Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.
The students will no doubt be intrigued by the next hands-on activity to better understand scientific concepts.

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