Investigation Station

Do you have a "Science spot" in your classroom?  I'm not talking about a place where you put your school science materials....I mean a spot for "sciencey" (not a word) stuff....well, I didn't until a few weeks ago and wow has it been a hit with my students.  I just set up a "station" on the side of one of my tables and call it our Investigation Station. 
Set up is super easy:)  What's in it?
- little magnifying glasses
- plastic tweezers
- trays
- magnifying boxes
That's it!  Then the fun part!  Fill it with all kinds of fun, science stuff!
We have been working on life science so this was a great tie in!  I've added flowers, seeds, seed pods, shells...I even have an old shark's tooth.
The kids have been so excited, they have been bringing in things that they find to add to our collection.

Each week I bring in one or two new things.  This week has been really fun because I just returned from a trip to Illinois and brought back a few leaves that are just starting to change and some holly branches.  No biggie you might say, but some of my little Florida kiddos haven't seen any of these things.  They were super excited!
Right now, this is just what it is called....and investigation station...they don't have to answer questions, fill out a worksheet, identify.....they are just free to explore and have fun and they are truly enjoying that!  I may or may not add an activity based on what's in the station later but for now it's just free, learning fun!
 

And when your koi pond fills up with tadpoles, you have to bring them in to the science spot!!

Boy did this stir up some excitement!  If you don't have a "science spot" or Investigation Station, you must add one!  It's so fun to listen to the chatter of the students as they explore.
If you are interested in the Investigation Station sign, it's a freebie at my store:)  Just click below!
If you have some ideas for additions to my Investigation Station, leave a comment:)  Would love to hear about it!!


6 comments

  1. Tara,
    I LOVE this idea. I have done some reading about sensory issues and one of the top suggestions is more nature time. Bringing nature and letting kids explore it will help our kids with sensory issues (diagnosed or not).
    Emily Kissner has several blog posts about her "genius hour" that includes a lot of investigation. If you are wanting some accountability without sacrificing the student-directed exploration, these may be helpful posts.

    My Bright Blue House

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  2. Love the investigation station! Students really love to just explore, don't they? I also like how you bring things in from your travels or allow them to bring stuff in as well. I bet they prefer exploring here to several other activities on rainy days, etc...

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  3. I have a little spot like this in my 4th grade classroom as well. I've seen kids make connections that I wasn't expecting. Today when we were learning how a native tribe gathered food, one of my kiddos yelled "We have that seed in our room". Thanks for the sign. Now, I'm going to officially name our table!

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  4. I LOVE this investigation station! What a fun idea!! I also love that you brought things that your Florida kiddos wouldn't normally see!

    You always have the best ideas!

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