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Magic School Bus

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Have any of you tried these materials for science ?
post #2 of 24
We don't use materials per se, but we have the entire tv series which my 6 year old watches frequently - loves them - and will random spout off things like, "MOM DID YOU KNOW OUR HEART PUMP BLOOD!" lol. Its cute and it triggers little mini-lessons if she's interested in learning more. I can definitely see it being used as a teaching tool.
post #3 of 24
Not for our official science curriculum.

But my kids love them and have learned a lot from them. They are really good for reinforcing specific information that the kids have learned in their science lessons. Gives them a good visual image and a story-line to help them remember the information, in a fun way.
post #4 of 24
We haven't seen the show but my kids take the books out of the library and w own a few also.
A word of caution though, I find some of the books to be great and others to be really poorly written and not clear at all. sometimes I think the writer gets lost in the magic part and loses sight of the science part.
the worst one in my opinion is the book about rainbows. The kids are inside a giant pin ball machine and the story gets very confusing. Rainbows should not be that hard. There are others like that but that one really stands out.
post #5 of 24
DS loved them when he was 'little' probably from 2-5 or so. The PP who didnt like the rainbow book, my DS loved the rainbow movie, he really grapsed the prism concept. MSB also has beginning chapter books for older kids, DS was just starting to loose interest when they were coming out (or I discovered them).

Now that DS is 9 he will watch them or read MSB from time to time. For schooling purposes I never did any of the experiments in the books.

I think MSB is a great starting point, we also have used 'EYEWITNESS' books, (and lots more that I cant remember at midnight)
post #6 of 24
we tivo all of the episodes and love them. at our co-op, my dd takes magic school bus science as one of her classes though. i also teach the K/1 class Magic School Bus science. for the class, we simply read a book & follow up with an experiment that corresponds. sometimes we throw a craft in too. we get the books from the library, and some of the experiment ideas come from here: http://www.scholastic.com/magicschoo...heme/index.htm

if you enjoy the episodes, you can also use books from "let's read and find out" science series, or we like gail gibbons a lot too. we prefer thse over the MSB books & they cover the same topics.
post #7 of 24
Both my boys have always loved MSB! They used to watch the episodes...back when we had a tv, and now they love the books and sometimes grab a DVD at the library.

IMHO the picture books are much more useful than the chapter books. Much of the magic of the series is in the visual appeal and the chapter books lose that.
post #8 of 24
no one has concerned about MSB and the school aspect? I have flat avoided them for that reason. thougths?
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
no one has concerned about MSB and the school aspect? I have flat avoided them for that reason. thougths?
Someone mentioned that to me years ago and I was surprised. It had never occurred to me to avoid it on that basis because this is the least school-y environment I could imagine.

I think one of the best aspects of the show/series is that they almost never stay at the school. Heck, if there really were a Ms. Frizzle I might be convinced to send my boys to school so that they could have so many neat, hands on (and yes, utterly impossible) learning experiences.
post #10 of 24
My kids play with enough school kids to know that those books are fantasy and not really what school is about.
Also my kids just found them at the library one day so I wasn't planning on not letting them read it b/c of the school thing.
Most kids near me don't even ride a bus much less go on cool field trips. The whole thing is all pretend.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
no one has concerned about MSB and the school aspect? I have flat avoided them for that reason. thougths?
I think they are a great resource and actually support a life learning approach. From what I remember none of the learning actually takes place in school - it is all done out in the real world and by taking advantage of learning opportunities as they come up.

THe only time school comes up is in the title. For a long time the kids called our van the magic school van.

We've used the science kits, the videos and the books and my kids have enjoyed them all.

Karen
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
no one has concerned about MSB and the school aspect? I have flat avoided them for that reason. thougths?
I have also avoided them. Yes, it's not what school is really like - but my dc haven't been in school, so they don't know that. They're already interested enough in school buses (we see the drive by our house all the time), I don't need to make school buses seem even cooler.

There are lots of other science books.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
no one has concerned about MSB and the school aspect? I have flat avoided them for that reason. thougths?
Not really. My kids know that "school busses take kids to school and back home again" and that lots of kids learn in large classrooms.

It's not made them want to go to school, if that's the concern.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipumpkins View Post
A word of caution though, I find some of the books to be great and others to be really poorly written and not clear at all.
There's a big difference between the original books (written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen) and the ones based on the TV show (written and illustrated by various random people.) The original books are much, much better.
post #15 of 24
We love the MSB books I've actually used them as the jumping point in our science for the year for the solar system, the earth and the human body. The 'school' bus issue doesn't really bother me much honestly. The kids know some kids go to school, but they don't really act as if the school part is important in these stories at all.
post #16 of 24
We ordered 3 of the science kits (I forget what they were exactly - I think one on Light, one on the Human Body, and one on Flight).

DD loved them - as toys. Some of the activities did not work quite right (can't get the prism to show the spectum, spinning the color wheel did not work at all, the balloon did not stay taped to the tube).

Some of the activities seemed not related enough to the lesson. DD loved putting the colorant into the milk and adding soap to watch the spreading effect - but had no idea what she was observing.

The poster of the human body and organs was pretty cool. Its still up on the wall.

I don't think I will buy any more of the kits as I was disappointed in the lesson and quality of the materials, but DD enjoyed herself, so in that sense, it was worth it.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 

What do you use for science ?

We do the basic outdoor science stuff like plants and animals , life cycles, weather talk. My kids are only 3 and 4. Any resource suggestions ?
Philia
post #18 of 24
I don't use them as curriculum but ds and I both love science and he just eats the books right up. When he's interested in a science concept I can often find an accompanying MSB book about it and he gets so excited. I didn't even know there was a TV show - what channel does it come on?

As for the school issue, ds went to public kindy for half the year and at some point he'll prob go back into public school (when we move away from these terrible schools) so that's not really an issue for us.
post #19 of 24
the boys love MSB and so I've bought several of the dvd's of the shows and hope to at least get several more. We have a few of their books (favorates) but our library has an awesome MSB selection that we check out mainly.

Im not too concerned with the whole *school* aspect but my children have attended school before and may in the future. They know (by experience) that children learn in several ways in brick/mortar schools, at home in, in ps or private.

I do think some of the books are more well wrtitten than others. I dont care so much for the chapter books but may get some for later reading.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
There's a big difference between the original books (written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen) and the ones based on the TV show (written and illustrated by various random people.) The original books are much, much better.
Yes, very much so. You can tell you've got one of the original books because they're bigger and rectangular, and the TV novelizations are smaller and closer to square. The original books also have MUCH more going on in the pictures.

Cole & Degen have also written some fantastic history books under the "Ms. Frizzle's Adventures" series title. There are three so far: Imperial China, Ancient Egypt, and Medieval Castle.
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