Monday, February 1, 2016

Lights and Shadows Again with Mrs. Grooms' Room

Hello sweet friends!

I hope that everyone has been keeping warm!!  We had TWO snow days!!  I am so proud because snow days are just not common down here.  Give us a snowflake though and we got a snow day, and you know that is true if you live in the South!

We started our Light and Shadows Unit a weeks ago before the snow and so now we are teaching at the speed of light to catch up. 

We have been talking about how light travels in a straight line and my students actually got to practice.  Seriously, it feels like magic in my room!  They are like "OOOH AAAH!" when the flashlights are on!   My students used a flashlight to shine on each object.  This experiment was so easy to do. Seriously, the hardest part was cutting out the holes in the cardboard pieces. Invest in some really good laser/flashlights because it will give you the direct ray of light that you need in your experiments.

Here they are practicing! 

Jennifer over at Rowdy in First Grade does a CUTE flashlight that says just that!  "Light travels in a straight line!"  You should totally check it out and it's FREE

We also looked at objects that were made from materials that allowed light to pass through (transparent), we looked at some materials that allowed some light to travel through (translucent), and then we looked at some materials that would not allow any light to pass through (opaque).   

I was so proud because most of them did a fantastic job sorting all the materials! Here are some of their sorts...

Remember to give them a variety of objects but don't overwhelm them. Sometimes too much is just waaaay too much. 

My firsties really had a good discussion about objects like tubes and washers.  Some of my students felt like the washer and tube might be transparent because of the hole in the washer and the opening of the inside of the tube. This is fair because the hole is seemly part of the object. BUT they finally concluded that the hole and opening were not part of the material and that the material was opaque.  YEAH for my kiddies!  

My students then had to draw three objects in each column that were transparent, translucent, and opaque.  You can get your own copy free by just clicking on the photo! 

We are headed back into our light and shadow bins because we are going to be looking at what materials reflect light and what materials absorb light.  Again my students will get to use flashlights!! (They will be shouting WOO-HOO!) 

They will shine the light on materials to see if the light reflects or absorbs. 

 Materials that are shiny are great to use for reflective objects...anything metallic, shiny plastics, glass-like objects, or ceramics (small shiny tiles).  Materials that absorb light may be things like cardboard, wood, brick materials, or cloth.  We will be looking at most of these things and writing them down.

If you would like a copy of our record sheet, you can click on the picture below.


Now that's not all.  Seriously, I could talk for days on lights and shadows and about all the fun things that you can do with this unit. But for Groundhog's Day we will be talking about shadows!  I found this cute little activity over at Owls and Owls of Fun!!  Seriously, it is adorable and we will drawing this little guy's shadow! Thanks Owls and Owls of Fun!  We will also be predicting whether or not this little guy will see his shadow for 6 more weeks of winter. 

We will be using our own groundhog template to create a shadow. You can find it here or by clicking on the photo below. Just color and cut out and attache the groundhog to your construction paper.  

My students are going to cast a shadow with a flashlight of the paper groundhog onto white construction paper and color the shadow black.  The photo above shows they used black construction paper instead.   (I can't wait to see how they do!  I will definitely keep you updated!) 


Hoping you have a lovely February!!

Remember to stop by my store to grab some  free Valentines...they are a joke! 

 Literally.  : )

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  1. Don't you just love to listen in on kids' discussions (like yours about tubes/washers, transparent/opaque) to hear how they grow in reasoning things out?
    Thanks for sharing so many great ideas, Shana!
    Linda at Primary Inspiration

    1. Their conversations are awesome and it truly is their conversations that help the others to learn.

  2. Love hands-on science and so do my students. Thank you for sharing the light and shadow experiments. I've downloaded your adorable groundhog. I'm using it today! Thanks.

    First Grade Schoolhouse

    1. Thanks Mona! This has been a fun unit!! My kids LOVE playing with lights and shadows.

  3. Thanks for sharing your awesome ideas and for participating in our collaborative linky. :)
    Nicole and Eliceo

    1. Thanks so much Nicole!! LOVE being part of the linky! :)

  4. Great ideas! Wish I would make more time for Science! The groundhog shadow craft is super cute!