Getting Ready to Teach
The Ramps curriculum supplement is designed for 3 weeks of hands-on and digital (iPad) learning experiences. Let's get ready! Familiarize yourself with the relevant content under Get Ready to Teach Science, review the unit's Learning Objectives and lesson plans. Then, gather the materials listed below and on each activity page, and review the steps for preparing for the unit.
The activities in each lesson can be completed in the time frame that works best for your classroom and schedule, whether all in one day or spread over several days. Each lesson organizes the activities by different times in the daily schedule.
Before the Unit Begins…
Try Out the Activities
Roll up your sleeves! In addition to familiarizing yourself with the apps and videos, we strongly recommend that you spend time "messing around" with the hands-on materials the children will be using in this Ramps unit. In the real, physical world, objects do not behave as predictably as in digital simulations. Playing around with the materials and activities yourself before you introduce them to the children is the best way to discover the quirks that may occur in your classroom and to figure out ways to troubleshoot.
For example, as you send toy cars and other objects down steep and gentle ramps to see how far they roll, you may find that some objects roll really far. You may need to rethink the space you will be using for this experiment or use ramps that are slightly less steep in order to have enough roll-out room. You may want to experiment with covering roll-out areas - especially carpet - with chart paper or poster board and see if a different floor surface improves the experience. You may also discover that your toy cars do not all roll equally well, and you will want to pre-select pairs of cars that are as equal as possible in terms of their rolling.
Guided Small Group iPads
Each of the 4 Guided Small Groups will work together for the duration of the Ramps unit and document their activities using a digital Ramps Journal on an iPad. You may want to use a different iPad for each group. This will ensure that there are videos of children's experiments on all iPads for children to revisit and enjoy at the Digital Learning Center.
Download these Early Science apps onto your iPad. Familiarize yourself with each digital game and journal app. Before each use, make sure the iPads are charged and that the volume is adjusted appropriately. If you prefer NOT to use the in-app character audio, turn the iPad volume off.
- And Everyone Shouted, 'Pull!': A First Look at Forces and Motion, by Claire Llewellyn
- 4 iPads
- Projector and speakers (if available)
- Optional: Photos of elaborate water park and playground slides
- Optional: Video of elaborate water park
- Flat panels of sturdy cardboard, different lengths and widths, to serve as ramps, including at least 4 panels of identical size, 18-24" long (for durability, "heavy duty double wall" corrugated cardboard sheets are recommended)
- Large cardboard blocks to prop up steep ramps
- Wooden blocks to prop up less steep ramps and to wrap with different textures and slide down ramps
- Toilet paper tubes to roll down ramps
- Cardboard mailing tubes and/or paper towel tubes to serve as ramps; cut some lengthwise to form troughs
- Optional: Wrapping paper tubes to serve as ramps
- Foam pipe insulation tubes, cut lengthwise to form troughs
- Pine cove molding with 1.75" groove and a flat bottom surface, cut into lengths of 12", 18", 24" (optional — paper towel, mailing, and wrapping paper tubes, cut lengthwise, can be substituted)
- Sump pump discharge hose, 1.25-1.5" diameter (or other wide flexible hose or tubing with ridges)
- Large "shooter" marbles
- Extra-large "boulder" marbles
- Empty boxes (medium to large; to use as supports for Giant Marble Runs in Lesson 9)
- Small free-rolling toy cars and trucks, including 3 pairs of identical cars or trucks to use in experiments with ramps of different steepness
- Collections of small items that roll or slide when placed on a ramp, for example: toilet paper tube, crayon, ping pong ball, whiffle ball, craft stick, pencil, plastic fork or spoon, CD case, small note pad, large paper clip; ruler, spool, plastic clothespin, roll of tape, plastic bottle top, marker or pen, wooden bead, Unifix® cubes (try 2 or 3 stuck together), small book, wooden block, smooth pen, a cylindrical block
- Ruler or unsharpened pencil, to serve as "starting gate"
- Yardstick, to serve as a finish line
- Objects to slide down a cookie sheet or bread board: an ice cube, a stick, a small stone, an eraser
- 3-4 small plush toy animals
- Materials that can serve as "sleds" for small toy animals: plastic lids and containers, index cards, CD cases, small cardboard box, small pieces of slippery fabric, etc.
- A cushion or floor pillow
- A blanket or large towel
- Large pieces of poster board or foam core, to create a smooth floor surface and for making a tabletop "shuffleboard" game
- Plastic lids, such as those from a peanut butter jar or a small food storage container, to use with the "shuffleboard" game
- A pull toy with a string or handle attached (optional; can use a piece of string instead)
- A wooden mallet (a real or toy croquet mallet) or similar tool (optional)
- A soft toy or object for each child (stuffed animal, bean bag, foam block, sponge, doll blanket, etc.)
- 5-8 objects or pieces of materials with different textures to pass around and describe: for example, a wash cloth, baby blanket, plush toy animals, satin ribbon, a piece of corduroy, burlap, sandpaper, felt, bubble wrap, non-slip rug pad, crumpled aluminum foil
- Pieces of textured materials large enough to wrap around a block, such as a washcloth, rough sandpaper, art foam, felt, bubble wrap, non-slip rug pad or shelf liner, aluminum foil or plastic wrap
- 2-3 different textured materials to tape to ramps, for example: felt, coarse sandpaper, large bubble wrap, a towel, non-slip liner for shelves or rugs, carpeting
- Items with which to construct bowling game obstacles: plastic cups, lids, cardboard tubes, toy car, ball, small block tower, towel, toy animals, etc.
- A small binder clip (or a large paper clip or button) for each child
- A collection of objects to send down a playground slide: a stick, a leaf, a pebble, an acorn, a pine cone, etc.
- Balls and other fairly large rolling objects (tubes, cans, spools, etc.) for outdoor experiments; including 3 playground balls of the same size and weight
- Chart paper — to record class observations and to provide a smooth roll-out area for ramps
- Markers — for use with chart paper
- Clipboard, paper and pen for jotting down children's predictions and responses
- Small sticky note pads, 3 colors
- Masking tape
- Optional: box cutter or similar cutting tool for teacher to use during Lesson 9 Preparation, cutting holes in boxes
- Paint (2-3 colors)
- Disposable cups and shallow containers to hold the paint
- Plastic spoons
- Plastic drinking straws
- Paper and drawing supplies
- Adult and child scissors, tape, glue, and glue stick
- Large box tops as bases for "Tilt It" texture experiments with rolling marbles and texture collages, and for use in rolling marble painting project
- Collage materials with interesting textures, for example: craft sticks, pipe cleaners, aluminum foil, Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, cotton balls, coarse sand paper, netting, felt, ribbon, corrugated paper, art foam with adhesive backing, thick yarn or string
- Washable toy vehicles with free-turning wheels
- Play dough