Rainbow Research and Experiments

That moment when your teaching week is going along grand and life throws you a curve ball and almost nothing happens that you planned to happen by the end of the week?  …yep, that’s where I am…

Last Friday, we did our first of 3 *planned* weather experiments from our weather unit over the next week.  We caught rainbows!

I have done this with my preschool Sunday School babies at church for years when we learn about Noah’s Ark.  Those sweet 3 and 4 year olds get so stinkin’ excited about catching the rainbow on the floor with their paper! So, I knew my firsties would love it too.  And I was right!

We filled our glasses with water and used a flashlight to shine a rainbow on our recording sheets.  The angle is a little difficult and not for the faint of heart, but my little sweeties learned perseverance and each successfully “caught” a rainbow on their paper with the help of their group. And my intern. And me… {It’s times like these that I love having the extra hands of a full-time intern!}

Have you ever noticed that everything is better more engaging with the lights off?

After we caught rainbows, we inferred the cause of the rainbow together and made connections to what the flashlight and glass of water might represent in nature {sun and rain}.  I purposefully didn’t read anything on rainbows.  I wanted to do the experiment first so they could “discover” some of the information on their own. And, man, that was powerful!

Then, we read a book from our school library on rainbows.  It’s called Rainbows and Me.  I cannot seem to find it anywhere on the web though… We skipped around and only read about half of the book because some of the information goes into things we weren’t focused on, but it’s a great read for first graders!  We charted our new learning…

Students wrote their own informative writing paragraphs about rainbows on their cloud and made a rainbow too! {this little project came about as one of those after school, “what could we do to spice up rainbow writing?” casual planning sessions with my teammates.  You know, those ones you don’t plan to have? I love my creative teammates! They are seriously my second family!!}

We needed something to cheer us up during these cold frigid winter days, so we filled our hallway with rainbows!  You can’t walk down our hallway frowning now….they are just so happy looking!!

Man, we were on a R*O*L*L with these science experiments and integrating them into our writing.

Next up in the plans was this “making a cloud” experiment while learning about the water cycle this week.


And then I had two all day meetings that snuck up on me, so my intern had to do it without me…{insert sad face here.}

I saved this “Cloud in a Jar” experiment for Friday because my intern wanted to see it and they have University classes on Thursdays. {{EDIT: read about this experiment from the next year HERE}}

And then Thursday night at 7:50 we took my 15 month old to the doctor and found out he has croup.  So I stayed home Friday.  My poor firsties are missing this one altogether because it was not one I left for my intern to do since it is an “all hands on deck” experiment…{wink}  The next two weeks are my intern’s solo weeks. So, this poor little experiment is going to have to be shelved until next year.  Boo!

I traded Friday’s planned science experiment in for this…

Some times messed up plans, foregoing experiments, and surprise meetings are frustrating.  But sometimes they’re okay.  When my week ends with day long snuggles with my normally busy 15 month old baby boy, everything else can wait.  I hate that I didn’t get through all of our plans and didn’t get to capture what I know would have been some awesome learning moments for my firsties.  But….some things are just more important…

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