Monday, October 4, 2010

FOSS Kits for Science Classes

Some parents asked what type of science kits do the students at P.S./I.S. 217 use during their science period.  Mrs.Z (Class 103 teacher) clarified:

"We use the FOSS kits at 217. We stagger them so 1 month (or so) it is Social Studies and the next it's Science. We will be starting a science unit on animals/insects around 10/17. We had to order the bugs and that takes at least 3 weeks. Other units include properties of matter and weather and seasons. All include observations and experiments that are hands on. So we are just waiting for the bugs to be sent."

FOSS website has a useful section, which parents can use to study with their child at home. Click on "Teacher/Parent Info" and then "Home/School Connection":

Letter to Parents

Each FOSS module includes a letter to parents to tell you what your child will be doing in the investigations at school and to share ways that you can develop their scientific interests at home.
Home/School Connections
There are many ways to extend your child's science experiences at home and have fun together. We have developed a Home/School Connection for each of the five investigations in the Insects Module. These require little or no materials from home. Young children will need a parent, grandparent, or a big brother or sister to help read the directions and play along. Check them out!
Investigation 1: Mealworms—Write a news flash to tell about your new insect!
Investigation 2: Waxworms—Write a news flash to describe your insect changes!
Investigation 3: Milkweed Bugs—How to collect and release insects.
Investigation 4: Silkworms—Look for evidence of insects and other animals.
Investigation 5: Butterflies—Create an imaginary insect!
Investigation 4: Other Insects—Make a homemade ant farm!
The ideas in these Home/School Connections are just a start-follow your curiosity and the possibilities for discovery are never ending!
Math Extensions
Math and science go hand in hand. Each Insects investigation comes with two math extensions for use at home or school. These give students an important opportunity to connect their new scientific vocabulary and concepts to their developing math skills. Math Extension A is developed with first grade math standards in mind, while Extension B is more suitable for second grade levels.
Math Extension A is developed with first grade math standards in mind, while Extension B is more suitable for second grade levels.
Investigation 1: Mealworms
  1. Count the body parts of insects and people at your table.
  2. Interpret a graph of the life stages of one group's mealworms.
Investigation 2: Waxworms
Make a Venn diagram to compare waxworms and mealworms.
Investigation 3: Milkweed Bugs
  1. Count the holes, sticks, vials and cotton needed for six habitats.
  2. Interpret and compare graphs of al the insects of two student groups.
Investigation 4: Silkworms
  1. What coin combinations will pay for different insects at the store?
  2. How many insects can you buy with your bag of coins?
Investigation 5: Butterflies
  1. Work with a partner to draw symmetrical butterfly patterns.
  2. Work with a partner to design and draw symmetrical butterfly patterns.
Investigation 6: Other Insects
  1. Do ant math. (2 pages)

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