Sunday, 27 January 2013

what colour is snow?

Snow… so much of it lately – and now the rain has almost washed it all away…
Its been so beautiful, I adore the way it changes everything.  Shapes of natural and made things look so different covered in snow.  The snow can suddenly highlight things as it covers them… The colours held within the snow are so varied, depending upon the light.   Walking out in heavy snow has an amazing silence that is rare to find, there’s a mysterious quality to it.  And shadows in the snow can form amazing patterns.
Tracks in the snow are wonderful – they tell a story of who and what has passed that way before you…  And the story is never complete, you have to play detective and use your imagination.

Things take on a different look against the snow – I’ve been drawn to the shapes of birds, twigs, gateways, trees and people amidst the snow.
Snowy tree-lined pathways have looked like Narnia, heightened by the snowy silence…
It doesn’t last long and I think the opportunities it brings should be embraced.  Get your snow-boots, thermals, hat, scarf and gloves on and see what you can find out there…

Also - doesn’t it just make you think of all those 1970s Christmas card photos that were dusted with iridescent glitter?!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Saturday, 19 January 2013

how does the hot chocolate stay hot?


This week, with the year two (Oak) children at Dunkirk, we conducted an experiment in the ice and snow.  It was in response to the question asked by one of the children "how does the flask keep the hot chocolate hot?" 
So, we carried out a fair test, we put equal amounts of hot chocolate in the same types of water bottles, then we put each of these into the same paper bag... And then we packed different kinds of materials (or nothing) around each of the bottles.  We took the temperature of each bottle - and then, off we went out for an adventure...  We went to explore the allotment in the snow and we took the temperature of the hot chocolate every 10 minutes.  It was so interesting watching the children explore and learn, they made amazing discoveries.   


They were really interested in the temperature of the snow too.  It was –2 oC  in places but  0 oC in others and the children were really interested in why (“it’s because that part is in the shade” one boy suggested).   We did make sure we also had several flasks of hot chocolate ready to drink too!

Have a look here for the children's findings:


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

It's that time of year...  when ice, snow and frost sparkle in the low
winter sun, inviting you to touch and shape them... 
It's wonderful watching the discoveries children make as they explore ice and snow;  they are intrigued by the different properties of frozen water - it prompts really in-depth artistic and scientific experiments... 
We're busy investigating water with several year groups at Dunkirk Primary and are keen to use the possibilities offered by the freezing weather as much possible.  There's more information here:   and more will appear soon.  Amongst other things we are busy conducting experiments into ways of keeping hot chocolate hot - the children wanted to know how the flasks work.

We’re also busy sharing our thoughts and discoveries about water (in all it’s various forms) with our partner schools in the Small Actions, Big Change Comenius Project.   I’m incredibly excited to be part of a group from Dunkirk who are visiting Finland in February, to spend time with one of our link schools - Rastaala School in Helsinki.  More news to follow soon.