I have been taking many pictures of all the PBLs that the students have been working on the past few weeks, so there will be new pictures up on the picture page very shortly!
In math, we have finished up our unit on statistics. We are going to use the data we gather from the results of the gingerbread house voting to round out how to make a pie graph on Friday. When we return from Winter Break, we will be starting with algebra concepts. Your child will need to know how to write open sentences and how to solve one step equations when we are finished with the unit. I have Hand On Equations ready to roll to help them understand the sometimes difficult concept.
In science, the students will be taking a Unit Test on Geology tomorrow. They have had a lot of fun the last few weeks working on design challenges and thinking about how the earth moves. The graham cracker plate activity is always a big hit. They have also built earthquake proof buildings and tested their stability on a pan of jello. Our last simulation was of the rock cycle. The students shaved a crayon down to make sediments, and then layered them with the other shavings on a piece of aluminum foil. Then they applied pressure to the foil, opened the packet and saw some of the characteristics of sedimentary rocks. Next, they refolded the packet and brought it to the heat and pressure station where I pressed the packet with an iron. They went back to their seats, opened the packet and saw the characteristics of metamorphic rock. Finally, they took the piece of metamorphic rock and put it in a pot which I then heated with the rock pieces with a hairdryer until the the crayons melted into magma. When it cooled, we passed the newly created igneous rock around the classroom. When we return from Winter Break we will begin our study of Living Systems. This will encompass cells and the kingdoms.
We have been focusing on Executive Functions during writing. After our lesson on active listening, we moved on to a lesson on the importance of following directions. The students were able to do a quick inventory to see how well they followed written directions. There was a lot of valuable discussion about the importance of following directions after the activity. They also had a little practice with an organizational tool that will help them organize and prioritize important pieces of a project. If you would like to see any of the lessons that we have been working on in class, ask to see the Executive Functions notebook that is kept in your child's binder.
I hope to see many of you tomorrow for the Henrico History Museum PBL that Mrs. Bernheart is putting on in the dining hall. Our gingerbread houses will also be on display during this time. I would love it if you would take the time to vote for your favorite creation. We are going to be graphing the results during math class on Friday so every vote counts! The students are also excited since the winning house will earn 1000 beans!