Category Archives: Inquiry Based Science

Ponds Available for Purchase

Nothing like waiting until the final hours of Spring Break to get all my projects finished!!!  I just completed work on my newest unit that is available for purchase: Ponds!!

The unit includes:

– An Inquiry Based Pond Unit based around the 5E model

-A Literacy Work Stations Grid so you can incorporate your pond theme into your LWS

-A Pond Mind Map

-5 green and speckled frogs math mat and frogs (made for use inside a sheet protector with a dry erase marker)

-Pond Journal (for assessment purposes)

-Pond/Frog booklist with ideas for other search topics

-5 green and speckled frogs mini book

-reproducible word family dice game sheets, writing station folder cover,  and several other games and activities!

The cost will be $30.00 and will only be delivered by e-mail (PDF files).  Files will be e-mailed within 24 hours of purchase through Pay-Pal.

You can purchase it by clicking here and visiting my Kristen’s Kindergarten Store.

Questions?? 🙂

Kristen 😉

More Ponds

Hi Everyone!

I am sorry that I have not posted in what seems to be forever…but duty called and I had to attend NSTA in Philadelphia and I was busy getting ready for that, so everything else seemed to fall by the wayside! 🙂  Never fear!! I have some more pond ideas to share with you and then I will post a gallery of NSTA photos if you are interested in looking at those.

Just a few notes about the pictures:

In three of them you see where the students sorted various pond pictures into groups that they considered acceptable.  I think the two groupings that are pictured show Pond Animals/Not Pond Animals and Reptiles/Not Reptiles.

You will also see us acting out the book “Splash!” by Ann Jonas.  Several years ago, I created “masks” for each character in the story and we act it out using our pond rug!

The last picture you see is a sheet I made so that we could physically act out “Five Green and Speckled Frogs”.  The children begin with all the frogs on the log and as we say the rhyme, they write numbers below and move their frogs above.


I’m working on a Pond Unit that I will have available for sale shortly (not today, but probably next week sometime).  It will include a book list, Five Green and Speckled Frog math mats, 5E model plans, Literacy Work Station plans, a word search, a sheet of resources/materials and alternate activities.  I’ll let you know when it is posted!

Kristen 🙂

IB Ponds

Our district continues to move forward with our IB units.  My team chose to do the Transdisciplinary Theme called “Sharing the Planet”.  We incorporated ponds into it and below are pictures so far from the 7 days of our unit. Our total unit is 4 weeks long, so we’ll be done at the end of March.  I’m going to post these gallery style so they load faster and you can click on them for a larger picture.

You will see the question mark in several photos.  If you are unfamiliar with IB, the idea of the question mark is to have a place where you can put questions that your kids have and wonder about.  Lots of ideas go along with what I already know about Inquiry and we’ve decided to tie it in with Science, right up my alley!

HASTI participants

If you are looking for the information from our HASTI presentation, you’ve come to the right place!

General Science Sites:


Animal Tracks:

LWS Animal tracks

Fir Trees:

LWS Fir Trees

math/science fir trees

5 Senses

LWS Planning Sheet

Click to find the LWS Planning Sheet you received in our workshop

You can e-mail me (Kristen Poindexter) at if you have any questions or can’t find something! 🙂

Kristen 😉

Ice, Ice, Baby!

For the past two weeks, we’ve been experimenting with ice. This is the first unit this year that has been truly all inquiry. Usually, I have to provide some leading questions (ok, MANY leading questions!) to get us around to where we need to be, but this time, it took only three.

What do you know about ice?
What are your experiences with ice?
When do we usually see ice?

We only got the first one answered and went in a completely different direction than what I had planned (at least that’s what I wanted them to think!!). I was expecting to use the other two questions and after 2 weeks now, we still haven’t gotten around to answering them!! Did I mention I LOVE INQUIRY??

Below are some pictures of the things we have been doing. Most of the charts you can probably figure out, but we did two experiments and I wanted to explain them at bit.
Yesterday, after talking about ice and how to get rid of it, we determined that we wanted to test different types of salt. I happened to have (wink, wink) rock salt and table salt in the room along with some ice and cups. We had 5 different types of things to test to determine how best to get rid of ice; the sun (a flashlight), our hands, rock salt, table salt, and a base (the control group). We waited 5 minutes and then measured to see how much water was in each one.
Today, we used dirt, gravel, hot water, and sea salt to try the experiment again. This time we used an ice journal to record our findings. I am presenting at NSTA in Philadelphia in March and this is part of what I will be sharing.

Okay, now on the to the pictures:

Kristen 🙂

Snowflakes #2

Here are some pictures that show how we have been learning about snowflakes this week:

They should be pretty self-explanatory, but if you have any questions, let me know!

More pictures of this week’s ideas coming on Friday!

Also, good news… I was able to get my Farmer’s Market Snowflakes paperwork rescued off my crashed computer so I can now offer the e-mail option in my Kristen’s Kindergarten store.

Kristen 🙂


Have you ever done a lesson on snowflakes with your students?  A hands-on, inquiry based lesson?  At our last district Kindergarten meeting, I shared some ideas I read about in the December 2009 issue of Science & Children magazine and added some of my own!

My students will be learning about snowflakes for at least 2 weeks beginning when we return to school on Monday!  I have lots of ideas planned and have typed them all up into a document that includes a LWS planning sheet, the 5E model grid, and a list of other ideas for using snowflakes in your classroom.  I have it posted for sale on my Kristen’s Kindergarten Store blog.  At this point I am only able to send paper copies (my desktop computer crashed…bummer) and the cost is $10.00 plus $2.00 shipping.  For more information, you can click the link above! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

I’m still here! :)

Merry Christmas everyone!  I promise to update in the next few days during vacation.  My hubby had knee surgery, so I’ll catch up between taking care of him…which should be sooner rather than later because he’s healing quickly and learning how to function with crutches and one good foot for a little while!  We go to the doctor for a follow up next week and then his bandages can come off and he can start putting weight on his leg again.

I also got this great idea for a grant while looking at one of my son’s presents from Steve Spangler Science…I’m going to ask for the materials that are in the kit:

-Insta Snow

-Ultraviolet beads

-plastic test tubes

-grow creatures

– books about composting, recycling, monarchs, snowflakes, leaves/trees

-jelly crystals


-plastic spiders/insects

-color mixing tools

-picture cards of life cycles

-outdoor thermometer for our classroom window

-window birdfeeders

I’ll let you know once it’s posted so that you can check it out! 🙂

Kristen 😉

Leaves 2009

This week, we are learning about leaves and trees:


I copied several pages from the back of Leaves!, Leaves!, Leaves! and Leaf Man and the children compared the leaves they found on our leaf walk to them and tried to identify what kinds of trees we have on our school campus.


The Alphabet Chart that you see in one of the pictures is something I learned at a workshop I attended today.  I’ll share more about that and several other things in a few days–need to review it and process it a little more! 🙂


Kristen 🙂

Pumpkins Day #1-#3

We’ve been learning and reading all about Pumpkins this week…even though I was out 2 days this week (my son was sick).  We started off the week by taking a picture walk through the Big Book Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington.  Then the children heard the story read aloud.  On the second day, the children re-read the story and then re-told the story using their own words.  Today, we looked at the pictures to help us re-tell the story and then we played Guess The Covered Word. I covered the words pumpkin, seeds, pulp, flower, and sprouts.  We would read the sentence and when we got to a covered word, we would try to guess what the word was.  If the first letter was correct, we sounded out the word we thought it might be and would figure out if it fit.  If not, we needed a new word.

Then later in the afternoon, we cut open our pumpkin and checked out the insides.  I scooped out the pulp, we observed it and I put it in a plastic baggie to take home and roast the seeds.  We also have a few smaller pumpkins in our room that were donated by parents (THANK YOU!!!) so we could observe them.  And observe them we did and wrote our findings down on our KOWL chart.  





Kristen 🙂

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