To combat spring fever, I have switched up our centres a bit, to keep my active little munchkins engaged. We have been working on observing with our five senses all year long. So, I decided to add a science centre into our rotation, where my students will practice using these skills independently, to make their own discoveries!
We recently planted bean seeds and have been eagerly watching them grow. So, I figured that it would make sense to start out with a plant-themed science centre, and expose my students to other kinds of seeds, plants, tools, soil, etc.
Here is what our table looks like right now.
I bought the seed sorting tray and flower cross-section from the Scholastic Classroom Rewards catalogue. I actually bought a greenhouse kit from the May flyer as well and it just arrived Friday afternoon, so I can't wait to add that to the table tomorrow! I added some seeds and bulbs to the sorting tray (we have more seeds on the way!), various sized plant pots, kid-sized gardening gloves, and a big tub of potting soil with some kids gardening tools inside. Everything came from Dollarama, except the potting soil, which was from Walmart.
The kids planted one bulb in the clear vase in hopes that they would be able to see the plant start growing. I am excited to say that we could see some roots poking out as of Friday afternoon! I brought in some garlic bulbs later in the week, and they planted one in a big pot, and that is starting to sprout as well.
A handful of students picked dandelions (sans roots) and wanted to add them to the table for observation. They put them in a pot with some soil... we will see on Monday if they had everything they needed to survive the weekend, and hypothesize as to why they may have died ;)
I very rarely create bulletin board displays myself. However, since our beans are all growing at different rates, I thought it would be neat to create a big display showing plant parts and needs and each stage of growth. Whenever one of our real beans reaches a new stage, we observe and discuss as a class, and then add it to the board. The kids love comparing their beans to the growth chart and identifying which stage their bean is at!
On the table is also a magazine holder with sheets for students to record their observations, as well as various writing tools. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of it! When they finish their centre, they add their work to our centre basket, as they would do for any other centre. I also grabbed some plant books from our school library and added them to the table as well, to encourage a little independent research.
I have created a little freebie for you to help you get your own science centre started! Before I let my students go nuts in the science centre, we had a big class discussion about what a scientist even is, and what they use to make their observations.
We created a poster to display in our science centre together, showing all the parts of a scientist and what they do. The best part was when they realized that they all had everything they need to be scientists already! There are also some images to represent various types of science to display around the poster - not all kids know just how many cool topics that science encompasses!
You can find the parts of a scientist poster pieces in my FREE French Resource Library, in the Centres d'apprentissage section. The recording sheet for observations is also in there. If you aren't a member of my library yet, no problem! It's easy. Just click the button below, enter your name and email, and I will email you the password ASAP.
You can cover any topic during your science centre! Once we are done with plants, we will be exploring magnets and seeing what we can learn about them via our five senses (...minus taste haha).
I would love to hear about your science centre if you have one - what topics have you covered? What materials have you put out for your students to explore? Let me know in the comments below!