|My Magnet Collection|
The first week, I let them simply explore my collection of magnets. Now for my students, this is a real treat, because I usually only let them play with my special magnets as rewards, and this is the first time I set them out for the whole week! I have some neat Hematite Magnets that are so strong that you can wrap them around your wrist like a bracelet, some “Rattlesnake Egg” magnets, (also known as “Singing Magnets,”) that make a buzzing sound when they touch, and some “Floating Rings,” that are actually flat magnetic disks with a hole in the middle. When you put them in the correct order on a small post that they are sold with, they repel each other and therefore float in midair! Plus, there are a bunch of miscellaneous magnets that are just plain fun to experiment with, so week one of pure exploration was wonderful! And they would have been very happy with two full weeks of nothing but this!
|The pipe cleaners must be short: 1/2 inch long!|
|My Magnetic Vs. Non-Magnetic Sorting Collection|
Week Two- Sorting by Magnetic and Non-Magnetic
The next week of centers, I had them experiment with trying to figure out what common items will attract a magnet and what will not. I instructed the children to first predict what they thought would happen with each item, and then sort it into the correct basket. I had a red basket labeled with a sign that said, “Does not attract a magnet,” and a green basket labeled, “Attracts a magnet.” If you would like a copy of these signs, you may download them here!
I had a little bit of trouble at first, trying to figure out what to put in the collection of things for them to experiment with. The things that did NOT attract a magnet were easy to find. The others were not as easy! So then I had a brainstorm: I took my strongest magnet and ran it through the top drawer of my incredibly cluttered desk, and it picked up TONS of items that attract a magnet! And many of these turned out to be non-toxic and safe items for children to handle, LOL! Once I established this methodology, it became much easier to find things in my classroom that attracted a magnet. I just kept a magnet in my hand and ran it over everything I could see! (Duh!) Here is a list of a few of them:
Attracts A Magnet:
tongs (two different kinds)
nuts and bolts
a shelf holder (the kind you shove into a hole in a bookshelf to hold a shelf where you want it)
paper clips of all sizes
Clothespins (the metal hinge is sometimes made of iron)
Some Ink pens have metal cases
Some metal buttons
A belt buckle
Does NOT Attract a Magnet:
(These are the things that I included that I thought would be interesting for the children to experiment with)
Glitter in a baby food jar
Keys (I never found one made of iron)
Metallic looking beads
A penny, nickel, and dime
An egg timer
Pine cone, acorns
Crayons, markers, pencils
Fake gems and polished river rocks
A few people have asked me if I ever plan on writing any science songs to add to the collection on our website! The answer is yes- I do hope to write some, and I have a short list of ideas so far. And I already have a few that I am already using: there are Season Songs on the Little Songs for Language Arts CD/DVD, and the Wide Mouthed Frog Play's overture is actually a song about the life cycle of the frog! The Number Eight Spelling Song on Sing and Spell Vol. Five keeps telling the kids over and over that there are eight legs on a spider, so I sing that one when we study spiders.
If you have a topic for this CD that you would like included, please let me know! I don't know when I will be starting it, but I hope to get to it sometime in 2012!
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