The Times
  • Fourth graders at Harry Hoag Elementary experience chemistry during first day of school

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  • The first day of school for the fourth grade students in Jade Van Gorder and Amy Bartholomew’s class at Harry Hoag Elementary was anything but dull. In fact, it started off with a little eruption.
    The teachers wanted to introduce their students to some basic scientific principles by dropping Menthos mints into a bottle of soda and analyzing the results. At the beginning of the lesson, Bartholomew asked the students to predict what would happen and then write down what they observed. She then led them outside for the experiment.
    So, what happened? Students witnessed a small explosion of a small fountain of foam each time. During the last test, the foam jumped about eight feet high.
    “That was great. I really liked how it erupted,” said Tyrell Martin. “It made the lesson fun.”
    The lesson is an example of co-teaching in the district, where Van Gorder and Bartholomew share teaching responsibilities. Bartholomew said she wanted to find some fun ways for the students to get excited about science.
    “Today, they learned about the scientific method and scientific inquiry. I think we’re going to do a different experiment each month,” she said. “During these lessons, the students ask questions so they can form a hypothesis.”
    Bartholomew said the lesson also ties into the Common Core Learning Standards because they are conducting research and reading to find information.
    “When we do a project like this, they read to find out why the result happened and that makes it fun,” she added.
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