Friday, August 08, 2008

Organizing Science...

If you're anything like me, you've kind of dropped the ball on teaching Science consistently. Don't get me wrong, I totally believe that kids can learn plenty about Science simply by helping out in the kitchen, the garden, even cleaning the bathroom. I don't think that there necessarily needs to be a lot of formal study of science in the early years. But this year I will have a Sixth Grader. And I'm feeling like it's time to tighten up our act a little in that regard.

So we're going to use Jeannie Fulbright's Botany book. I think that it'll be an interesting and fun study, and while all of the kids will be involved, I'll expect the most from Tall Boy.

Again, if you're anything like me you've bought other Science books/curricula and you've trotted along nicely until it was time to do an experiment. And then you go tearing through the house like MacGyver searching for a plastic funnel, a box of Epsom salts, and the lid to a quart sized container of yogurt so that you can build your own car battery. You finally give up because alas, the recycling went out yesterday and there isn't any more yogurt in the fridge and you tell the kids to just skip it. "Don't worry, we'll do it next week." Umm, yeah.

So it makes total sense to collect all of the supplies in advance. There are vendors on the internet (of course!) who will happily sell you all of the things you need to succeed at Science experiments, but if you're cheap frugal like me, you're thinking "I'm supposed to pay $50 for a bunch of stuff that I can easily collect on my own for about $12?" Besides, those kits don't contain every-single-thing that you'll need anyway.

So my solution (and the thing I've spent most of today working on) is to buy 13 extra large zippered storage bags. Each bag gets labeled by chapter, and I'll insert a list of items needed for that experiment. I've also collected many of the "ingredients" and I will put (nearly) everything needed in that bag. There are a few things (live flowers, a melon, water) that obviously won't go into the bag, but those items will be listed on the front of the bag so that the week before I can easily glance at the bag and know what I need to pick up from the store.

All of the bags will go into a milk crate, and voila!
Okay, that's my Big Idea For The Day!! :)


Tara said...

Dude, you rock! What an awesome idea. I am sooo stealing it. ;)
I'm organizationally challenged, you see. But you made this simple for me, so doable. Yeah, I've had waaaay too may moments of 'oh shoot, we needed THAT this week...well nevermind, failed project #232, maybe next time huh guys? guys? Guys!?! Don't give up me, please *sniff*'

Anonymous said...

That's an awesome idea! I would need a crate or something to put those in though. . .but I can just create a "science crate" I suppose.

By the way, I have a schedule for that book on my blog. (I will actually be changing that schedule a bit, as I'm going to re-do it adding Live and Learn Press's Folders to it; however, for now, it's up and free for use.)

Katy said...

I joke that my kids are going to know half of everything really well due to all of the curriculum we've abandoned. Crates rock.

Tracy's corner said...

what a great idea!! I think I'll try to do the baggie thing.

Nora said...

That's a great idea! I love it when I see some organization going on!