water cycle simulation in grades 2&3

Posted on: March 9th, 2014 by jnovakowski

The McNeely grades 2 & 3 teachers continue to explore ways of using iPad technology to capture students’ learning in science. On Monday in Anna Nachbar’s class, we discussed the water cycle – precipitation, collection, evaporation, condensation. We had lots of recent examples of precipitation to refer to – rain, sleet and snow.

We simulated the water cycle using the classic boiling kettle and cold cookie sheet demonstration. We poured the water into the kettle (collection), turned the kettle on and boiled the water, watching the steam come out (evaporation) and then watched as water droplets formed on the bottom of the cold cookie sheets (condensation) to the point that the poured down the cookie sheet and onto the desktop (precipitation).

The students worked in pairs and took photographs of each stage of the demonstration. Some students also took photographs outside as it was a very rainy day and there were good examples of collection (puddles), precipitation (rain) and condensation (clouds).

 The grades 2 and 3 students then were introduced to the app PicCollage and the students included four photographs, one for each stage of the water cycle. They added text to label or explain the stages.

With PicCollage it is easy for students to email their project as a jpg file and the following are some examples of the students’ work:

Two students did some “app smashing” and used the image they had created in the PicCollage app and used it in the ShowMe app to further explain the stages of the water cycle:

 In Deanna Mayotte’s class, we did the same simulation but this time, the students used the screencasting app ShowMe to document and explain the four stages of the water cycle.

And I liked how these two students connected each stage of the water cycle to what was happening in the real world outside!

During this professional inquiry, the teachers and I have talked a lot about the value of having the students develop a repertoire of apps that they can use to represent and share their science learning. After spring break, we intend to introduce another app or two and then maybe decide on a science task we can do and have the students choose the app they would like to use to share their learning.

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