Featured Class: Mrs. Wendt's First and Second Grade
Mrs. Wendt, one of TVA's first and second grade teachers, is taking science to a whole new wacky level this year! Her Wacky Science curriculum, which is taught every Thursday, has first and second graders on the edge of their seats and clamoring for more.
Professor Susie Scientist teaches the class, complete with a lab coat, goggles and wacky white wig. Students perform experiments like watching skittles dissolve and bleed color when placed in water, in the process learning about things like what water solubility is and much more.
Another project involved water beads, teaching students about how to form a hypothesis. If food coloring was introduced into the water, would the water beads absorb it or would they stay clear? Students journal their findings, combining reading, writing, art and drawing skills with their science lesson.
Wacky science lessons are woven into the larger curriculum that Mrs. Wendt teaches. For example, the week the class did the water beads experiment, they had read "The Invisible Boy", a story about including others. They talked about how the clear beads disappeared into the water and related it back to the book. This week the class experimented with Mentos and Diet Coke, learning about this week's "word to live by", cooperation. They got to see firsthand how well Mentos and Diet Coke cooperate!
Mrs. Wendt has brought STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) into her classroom in several other ways. She has iPods with educational apps on them for student use. She created STEM bins with things like 3x5 cards and tape for students to build structures out of, or popsicle sticks of various sizes with velcro on the ends for students to create fun new shapes and structures during free play.
First and second graders in Mrs. Wendt's class are sure to sharpen their science skills this year, and they (and Mrs. Wendt) will have a lot of fun in the process!