A Couple of Good Puzzles

Puzzle: Do you dream of having a classroom Valentine’s Day party that isn’t all sugar-induced chaos and actually includes a little bit of learning?

I managed to do just that on Thursday and even snuck in a little bit of science assessment.  Even though science is a very difficult concept for my students, they love the instant gratification of a simple experiment, especially when it leads to decorating Valentine cookies.

Puzzle: What is something you would like to eat that I could make with these 4 things?

milk sugarvanillared food coloring

My students were amazed to watch the milk and the sugar turn into a creamy mixture.  They guessed the vanilla would turn the mixture brown and were surprised when it didn’t, but they were not surprised when the food coloring turned the mixture red.  The best part of the experiment, however, was solving the puzzle: the thing you like to eat that is made with milk, powdered sugar, vanilla, and red food coloring is FROSTING for your Valentine cookies!  

The rest of the party was spent getting the cookies frosted and sprinkled to perfection.  The kids were organized and calm, while still getting to consume copious amounts of sugar.  It was a great success!

How do you make learning fun?  What is your favorite science experiment for kids?  I’m always looking for new ideas!

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About krummme

I have been working with children with special needs in some capacity or other for the last 9 years. I am currently in my third year teaching in a self-contained classroom for students with Intellectual Disabilities. In addition to my classroom responsibilities, I am also a wife and mother. While the jobs of wife and mother bring me the most joy, I get so much out of my work with my students. This blog is the musings of my life.
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2 Responses to A Couple of Good Puzzles

  1. Tutti says:

    Oobleck is a non-newtonian liquid and quite fun to play with. http://www.sciencebob.com/blog/?p=608

  2. Tina Csukker says:

    I love making flubber with my kids. They are amazed at how the glue and borax stick together. They really like forming it into a ball and bouncing it off the table. The recipe can be found at:
    http://www.makingfriends.com/r_flubber.htm

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