Monday, February 13, 2012

What's been going on in my classroom?

FOSS Magnetism and Electricity Kit

We have had a blast finding insulators and conductors, lighting light bulbs and powering motors through circuits, and lately learning the difference between parallel and series circuits.  Take peak into my classroom to see the many kinesthetic and visual components provided by FOSS...

 We have made electromagnets using the wonderful circuit board provided by FOSS.  Our challenge was to see how many washers we could pick up with the electromagnet.  We found that the more winds we used the more strength it had.  We also found out that if we used two batteries, we were able to pick up even more!
         This is part of a PowerPoint I made to help focus our thinking and show some examples to create the best electromagnet.  I also supplemented the power point with a video of electromagnets that I found on United Streaming.  This visual element helped them understand the process a little better.

 We determined that distance between magnets made the attraction weaker. We were able to measure the amount of force needed by counting how many washers we used.  Then we plotted the data on a line graph and were able to see a nice decreasing trend.

Here is the T chart of spacers vs. washers that we recorded in our science notebooks.  We recorded that data as we were doing the test so that we could have the data for later and notice the trend.

We have spent a lot of time building series and parallel circuits to light light bulbs as well as mini motors.  We have learned that light bulbs light up brighter on the parallel circuit than the series circuit.

We sorted conductors and insulators using the same bag of materials that we had used to determine magnetism.  We learned that there were some similarities - none of the conductors were magnetic.  We tested them and then made posters to show what we had discovered. 

1 comment:

  1. I have Foss too. I bought fresh D cells. I am disappointed my students can't pick up more of the tiny washers. Maybe 7 at the most. Do you have any suggestions?