Thursday, February 04, 2016

Harry Potter - Chapter 8 - Potions Class

SOOOO much fun today!

Today Professor Wilfred Waldicott made an appearance as the Potions Teacher.

I followed Amelia's (Where the Wild Things Learn) instructions to a T as I gathered the materials for my four potions lessons. If you are interested there is a freebie from Amelia's blog where you can download the very Potions book that I used! It was kinda fun sticking labels onto ordinary objects to turn them into Potions Ingredients. With names like Powdered Unicorn Horn, Gillyweed, and Flubberworm Mucus how could you NOT feel like you are entering the dungeons of Hogwarts to partake in a class with Professor Snape?


I was able to purchase two large cauldrons for each of four houses and several little bottles to put things like dish soap, borax, and vinegar in for the lessons. The students had to come up and find all the ingredients they'd need to complete each experiment.

The first one was Exploding Filibusters which came with a lovely aroma that permeated the classroom. You can tell as these kids were holding their noses as they mix up the Dandelion Root (dry yeast) with vinegar.

I wasn't sure how well my class would behave with all of this fun going on. But this first experiment went really well. They were listening and working together and talking quietly. So we went into experiment number 2: Snape Slime.

Here's where I made my biggest mistake. I listened to Amelia and bough some table covers at the dollar store. This one was going to be messy. However, I managed to leave them in the car. I wouldn't recommend this!

Snape slime was really gross Awesome! I was afraid to let the kids stick their hands in the cauldrons with borax floating around in there, but the directions said to do just that. In we go. The stuff resembled snot but firmed up after a bit. I had to make the kids put their take home bags of slime away after listening to them slap and pat their bags like overzealous bongo players.

There was a lot of clean up involved with these two - just so you know.

We ran out of time and only got to these two. I'm planning on finishing up the other two closer to the end of our read aloud. It's taken us five weeks to reach chapter 9, so all 17 should be done in 10 weeks, right? I don't know how Amelia go through all this in five weeks. Oof!

On another note our owl research is complete. For the writing I only had them focus on one topic since the area to write on the owl body was small. They could write about what the owls looked like, ate, lived,  or their predators. Also it was a great lesson on narrowing down your topic. Some kids had trouble sticking on the topic. Definitely made it easier to know who to involve in a small group on narrowing topics!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Harry Potter - Chapter 7 : Hogwarts Express

I've been totally waiting for the chapter when Harry gets dumped at King's Cross by his horrible Uncle. But then it is all made better when he in shown through the wall between Platforms 9 and 10 by maternally helpful Molly Weasley.

I still remember sitting in the theaters when the first movie came out. That moment when Harry turns the corner and sees the Hogwarts Express wreathed in steam made my heart leap. I wanted to be part of that world.

Today I brought my class on my adventure. I shared some of the sights and sounds associated with this particular train ride.

I shared this ppt with them.

They got a huge kick out of that! Bonus points for when the principal walks in to observe me. (YAY!)
We nibbled on Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans as well. If you look really closely you can see I hand painted the bowl to say, "I Solemly Swear I am Up to No Good."
 I bought a candy mold and it was super easy to create those chocolate frogs. Also I downloaded the actual packaging online and printed them out in color so we could take the fun a step further.