Science happens all the time in the classroom and outside. When we go for walks and observe and talk about nature, or collect plants, or make butter, or bake some bread - we are doing science. So it always surprises me a little bit when children ask, "So when are we having science?" This year, I'm answering that question with, "Throughout the day - and specifically on Wednesday mornings!"
This morning I passed out special expandable file folders and science stickers. Children could decorate their folder however they liked. I used the stickers as a way to talk about the Scientific Method, and students quickly came to the consensus that experiments often start with a question - and, through doing research, making guesses, testing out theories, looking at what happens and explaining the results to others - we can come up with additional questions or possible answers.
I brought in three hermit crabs and our morning began by simple observation. We watched as they hid in their shells, poked their eye stalks out, and began moving in their lopsided way. I taught the children how to safely hold a hermit crab, and what to do if one pinches. Later, we will learn WHY hermit crabs pinch hands that hold them (hint: they are not being "mean").
Then, for a first written science assignment - each child had to write questions they had about hermit crabs. We will use these questions as the basis for our explorations, and (hopefully) come up with even more great questions to answer. Some of these questions we can explore by doing an experiment, and some we will answer by reading books together.