Friday, August 16, 2013

Bones and Stones

Since I have such a very small class this year, we started the year with an interact simulation game called "Bones and Stones" with the sixth grade.  The students were divided into four bands and every afternoon for the last two weeks they've worked together to learn about fossils, and pre-history.  There has been much making of presentations and skits and as usual, they've impressed me with their amazing creativity.

 First, we needed to understand what fossils are. In experiments, we pressed shells or dinosaur feet into clay, then poured in plaster of paris to get the gist of mold and cast fossils.  We squished and blew on sponges to get the idea of their porosity, then dipped them in wax to understand how mineral water flows through bone and over time fossilizes the bone.
We visited the newly opened Indiana Caverns and students were able to see ice age bones that still were bone and had not yet fossilized.  
In this career of mine, I've also taught teachers-to-be and was so delighted that one of favorite college students guided us with great enthusiasm and much knowledge through the cave.
Gardner E. shared a lesson on cave paintings and a student's dad, whose business is creating bones to replace the ones of yours that no longer work, shared about how bones are formed.

 Next week, they will recreate Stonehenge with stone, paper towel rolls and string.
If that weren't enough excitement in the classroom, we had two additional visitor right outside our door.

A little village girl I happened on during playdate.
Tramping through the creek with Giddy-up and his net, following orders.  "Here (thrusts the net in my direction), catch me a "hish" in this "hang."  And I did.

Spending the morning at the school creek with my school kids.

The weekend!
Wishing you some joy!


  1. That little village girl is so very cute!

    I am thrilled for YOUR students that they have such a small class. I am very frustrated that Amara doesn't! Last year her school had 6 third grade classes -- each with about 30 students. Rumor has it that all of those students will now be squeezed into 4 classes. School doesn't start here for 10 more days. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. There are going to be a lot of very unhappy parents!

    1. Oh dear, that's awful. Surely that is just a rumor. More than 40 kids? 30 is bad enough. You know, Amara is a bright cookie, with all kinds of extra, loving support, but there are many who aren't. How can you possibly reach all of them. I wouldn't even be able to speak to each one of them in the course of the day.
      I'm not saying they might not learn to read, write and do enough math to go on, but there is no way that the most is being made of their time.