• December 9, 2016

Students drawn to magnetic lesson

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Posted: Friday, December 2, 2016 4:30 am

Williams/Ledger Elementary School kindergartner President Dowden could not believe his eyes.

Like the wizard, Harry Potter, Dowden raised objects buried in a bucket of sand high into the air without ever touching them with his hands. Was he the next Harry Potter?

None of the students in teacher Rosa Young’s class are wizards but were instead exploring how magnets work in various settings.

During a magnet race, the young scholars visited various stations and observed magnets that attracted objects to other magnets. Other students had magnets repel each other.

“Our scholars were engaged in each activity,” Young said. “They worked together to explore why their magnets attracted other objects and discussed why they repelled other objects.”

The stations for the magnets were created last year by fellow teacher Barbara Kelley.

Items at the stations included cupcake holders, small containers, and other items that can hold small objects.

Students used existing school supplies in the activity center including magnet wands, large U-shaped magnets and other magnets.

While the initial setup was a major undertaking, Young said teachers and students benefit by being able to use the items in the science lab year after year.

“The biggest challenge we face is not having activities for each scholar,” Young said. “As with most center activities, some scholars had to wait their turns and kindergarten students find this challenging. In reflection I would have duplicated the activities so most students would have more exploration time.”

Kindergartner Nathaniel Lewis didn’t realize he was learning different science properties while having fun. “I liked all the stations with our magnets,” Lewis said, grinning, before turning to the work of his magnet.

Young said the most rewarding part of the project was hearing the scholars dialogue as they worked in the center.

“Hearing them use vocabulary in their discussions allows us as their teachers to determine if our students truly understood what the exploration activity is set up to accomplish,” Young said.

For Dowden, he was clearly drawn to the project and was so excited he couldn’t contain his smile.

“I cannot believe that so many things are attracted to my magnet,” he said, before diving back in to see what else he could pull in his direction in the school science lab.

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