Third Grade Teacher Kristen Minster’s students sat attentively at their desks, gingerly turning the lenses of the microscopes in front of them until beautiful, mysterious images came into view.
“Cool!” exclaimed a student who was peering at a close-up of a butterfly wing. “Can we see another slide, please?”
Upper School Science Teacher Kristen Householder, who was leading the lesson, was sharing with students the power of magnification and the wonder that it can bring to the classroom and beyond. The third graders examined a variety of specimens, including a cow hair; butterfly leg; cat hair; dragonfly abdomen; locust antenna; plankton egg; honeybee wing; and sheep hair. Switching between low and high magnification, they learned how to operate the microscopes as they examined a fascinating new world. The lesson was organized by Ms. Householder and Third Grade Teacher Ashley Lenhart, both of whom serve as science chairs for their divisions.
The lesson meshed well with the third-grade curriculum. “Our students were studying animals’ life cycles, body parts, and classification,” explained Ms. Lenhart, who added that working with Ms. Householder was a wonderful way to partner with a colleague. “We are always seeking opportunities to work collaboratively with the other divisions,” she said.
Ms. Householder said, “I had such a great time working with the students. Their excitement and awe as the specimens came into focus was so much fun to watch. As a science teacher, I’m always looking for ways to encourage a student’s interest in the subject. Based on their responses, I’m hoping we have some budding scientists in our midst!”
Ms. Householder also explained the function of chloroplasts (“They make plants green and it’s where they make their food!”) as students examined chloroplast slides. As the cells came into view, she told students, “They look like bricks on a wall,” prompting lots of enthusiastic nods.
Earlier in the week, Third Grade Teachers Marsh Hayes and Ms. Lenhart also welcomed Ms. Householder into their classrooms.
“My students loved getting a sneak peek into the secret world of tiny organisms,” said Ms. Hayes.