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  • warmara88

Virtual 4-6th Grade Book Club

I am running my second virtual 4-6th grade book club via Zoom. I’ve run one other book discussion with this crew but for a book that we had already picked out and read.

One of the things I’ve struggled with, in continuing these book discussions digitally, is getting enough digital copies of the same book. I think I’ve finally worked this out, but for this month I decided to do things a little differently to keep our momentum going. So, for this month, I asked my crew to come prepared with their reading recommendations.

I thought we could each share what we have been reading and talk a little bit about what we enjoyed about the books. This will give everyone a great reading list to go off of and will give me a good feel for what the kids are enjoying over this stay at home period. I, of course, have some recommendations of my own that I will share.

And because we always do a STEM activity after our discussion, we are going to make ice cream in a bag. There are so many different recipes for this but they are all pretty similar. Here is the one I used:


1/2 cup whole milk; 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1 tablespoon sugar; 1/3 cup salt/rock salt; ice; 1 gallon bag; 1-2 sandwich bags; a dishtowel.

How To:

  1. Combine whole milk, vanilla and sugar in a sandwich bag and seal it, pressing out the air. Double bag it so it doesn’t leak.

  2. Fill the gallon bag halfway with ice and pour in the salt.

  3. Nestle the milk mixture bag inside the gallon bag with the ice and seal the gallon bag.

  4. Wrap it in a towel and start shaking. Shake, shake, shake for ten minutes.

  5. Your milk mixture sure freeze into a slush/ice cream consistency.

If you use regular salt over rock salt, you may have a slightly thinner consistency with your ice cream. Add syrup or other toppings before shaking to give your ice cream some flavor.

The Science:

Why does this work?

“The salt added to the ice lowers the melting point of the ice, just like it does when we add salt to roads in the winter. In order for the ice to melt, however, it has to absorb heat from it’s surroundings like the ice cream in the bag. The ice pulls the heat away from the ice cream to melt which allows the ice cream to freeze. “Ice cream is also a compound. Once all the ingredients of the ice cream are mixed together they are bound together. The ingredients are chemically combined and cannot be separated by physical means like a mixture. To separate the ingredients in a compound there would have to be another chemical reaction.” Source

How’d it go:

Another small group, but still very manageable and engaged. We each shared what we’ve been reading and I made some recommendations of my own. They we discussed what book we would be reading next month and made our ice cream. And FINALLY, I had a STEM program where every successfully made something and it was DELICIOUS! All in all a success.

That’s all for now!


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