A Cool Investigation Station

My students are going to think this is the "coolest" thing ever!!

Today was our first day back from winter break, but it was a teacher work day.  Our students come back tomorrow.

One of the things I prepped today was an investigation station.  I have an area set aside in my classroom where students can do a little inquiry based learning.  This week, we will kick off some project based learning around solids and liquids.  I decided this year to focus primarily on snow, ice, rain, etc. while investigating solids and liquids.  I'll post more about this PBL unit as we progress through it.

For now, this investigation station will allow students to explore books this week.  We will be doing some research once we come up with our inquiry questions about snow.  I also plan to put some items to investigate here as we progress. 

To entice them over to this station, I used chart paper to create some icicles on the shelf.  They are going to notice it straight away as soon as they enter the room - kids notice everything, don't they?  I know my kids will line up to choose this station to work at.

In my room, investigation station is one of my Daily 5 choices.  I usually put something there to explore having to do with concepts we're working on.  This has really worked for me in my classroom because students can explore independently while others are reading, doing word work, etc.  I allow 4-6 students at this station at one time.  And, I love to listen in on their conversations as they explore.

In addition to the books you see on the shelf, I have some items in a basket for them to sort into solids or liquids.  Gonna put some more items in there tomorrow...

They will use post-it notes to explain their thinking about why an item is a solid or liquid.

All of this is just for my students to explore and to get their feet "wet" (sorry for the cheesy puns) before we jump in to our PBL project later this week.  Can't wait to see where it leads us!

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