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Bounce, Scatter, and Bend Light

Can you see above the table when you are hiding below? Brie’s group began the week making adjustments to their periscopes with more reflective mirrors. They played a game where they hid and used their periscopes to identify colored magnet tiles above the table! Wonder what they will use their periscopes for at home…

Through their inquiries with mirrors, lenses, and CDs, students are learning that sometimes light bounces, sometimes it bends, and sometimes it scatters into a rainbow.

Students explored shining flashlights on CDs to made rainbows! In another investigation, they cut a circle from the rounded top part of a water bottle and added some water to make a magnifying glass!

Students also made observations of a flower stem in a jar of water. They illustrated the way the light refracts in the jar, making the stem appear magnified or twisted and began a discussion of light bending through water.

To explore water refraction further, they taped a piece of paper with two right facing arrows about 6 inches behind an empty glass jar. As water filled the jar, they watched as the arrows seemed to reverse direction! “Whoa…is it magic water?”

Using magnifying glasses students explored how to make things bigger in lego room. “Look, I made his head look so huge!!” - K.A.

Students made spectroscopes to capture a tiny, brilliant rainbow! They learned that the light scatters into the colors of the rainbow!

Explore at home:

  1. Design an experiment where you can change the direction of light! Can you bounce it? Can you bend it? What do you observe?

  2. Why does light bouncing off a mirror look white, while light bouncing off a CD looks like a rainbow? Families, do you know?!

  3. What can you find at home that magnifies?

  4. If you make observations about light at your house, make a drawing or take a picture to share next week!


This Week at a Glance

Communication Literacy


  • continuing to read folktales

  • decomposing folktales into story elements

  • discussing the big idea of a story - what is it all about?

  • silent reading and read aloud

Word study

  • continuing to add new ending sounds to short a words

  • continuing to explore digraphs

  • continuing to explore beginning blends


  • journal writing

  • using a story planning organizer to begin writing a story

  • continuing to document light experiments with writing

  • writing letters to friends in Sierra Leone

Patterns and Modeling

  • exploring the linear representation of numbers through a new game

  • learning strategies to use to move on a game board

  • exploring the many ways to represent numbers with puzzles

  • having an open mind about the possibilities that others see numbers differently


  • making a second iteration to their periscopes with more reflective mirrors

  • scattering light off a CD into the colors of the rainbow

  • exploring refraction in water

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