A Sixth Grade Window

"The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." ~Sydney J. Harris

The “Eyes” Have It…

Today was one of my favorite science lessons!  We dissected cow eyes.  During our “Light and Sound” unit we discuss the parts of the eye, how light enters the eye, reflects, refracts, etc.  Prior to the dissection, students studied a great website where they explore and learn about the dissection of a cow’s eye.

We performed a variety of activities about light and the eye before doing the dissection…students were very eager for the eyes to arrive today!

For our measurement unit, we predicted how many grams a cow’s eye may weigh and how many centimeters in diameter a cow’s eye would measure.  They were very excited to see the real thing after talking about it for so many days.

I love watching the looks on the students’ faces when I watch the videos that were taken.  I can’t wait to debrief the experience tomorrow!

Video Disclaimer:  1.  No cows were injured for this experiment.  2.  All students could opt out if they did not feel comfortable with the dissection.  3.  I am so not an expert scientist. ;)

Cow’s Eye Video Clips

“Love is in the Air”

Valentine’s Day is a day to be collaborative, right!  :)  In math, we used an app called Groupboard.  This app is a blank whiteboard, but the catch is that it allows a group of people to chat and draw together anywhere on the internet in real time.  The free version allows up to 5 users to draw simultaneously in one group.  The students were working on what we call “math squares review” problems.  I assigned each student to a group on the board, they did not know who was in their group at first and they had to silently solve the problem together on the white board.  At first it was difficult because students were writing and erasing at the same time, but as we worked through the problems, it became great collaboration.

I think this may work even better with more difficult multi-step problems.  When we reviewed the answers as a whole group, all students had a great grasp of each step of the solution.  They really had to think while watching what was being written on their board, to know what was incorrect, to know when to write a particular step, etc.  It was also a very “safe” way to make a mistake versus going to the front of the room on the board when students may not feel very confident yet.  All students participated, it was a very productive introduction.  We could even write on the board with students from other classrooms, schools, states!  Nice job, guys…my favorite part of this video is when I hear you congratulating each other. :)


…AND even sixth graders love a “SWEET” day every once in awhile!