what we do on the daily
Testing Update for this week
Fifth graders will be testing on Thursday. They will take a 5th grade Science SOL test as baseline data. This will not be graded. They will also take a cumulative test on Nature of Science and what we have learned about cells so far (SOL 5.5 a The student will investigate and understand that organisms are made of one or more cells and have distinguishing characteristics that play a vital role in the organism’s ability to survive and thrive in its environment. a) basic cell structures and functions), which will be for a test grade. They can study from Science Fusion, vocabulary cards, and their Science Notebooks.
Fourth graders will be testing on Friday. They will take a cumulative test on Nature of Science and what we have learned about plants so far (SOL 4.4 a, c The student will investigate and understand basic plant anatomy and life processes. Key concepts include a) the structures of typical plants and the function of each structure; c) photosynthesis), which will be for a test grade. They can study from Science Fusion, vocabulary cards, and their Science Notebooks (but Science Notebooks must return by Monday!).
Enjoy this light week of homework and use your extra time to study!
October 1st's after school Notebook Clinic will be cancelled due to conflict with the Fourth Grade Informational Session which will be held at the same time in the Library. There will not be another Science Notebook Check for a grade before the end of the marking period because of this cancellation.
See you at the Informational Session!
New Units of Study for both grades
Fourth Graders are beginning a unit of study on plants. Fifth Graders are beginning a unit of study on cells.
Please print out this sheet of learning goals to help your child keep track of their studies. They should circle a "Know It" number for each item and track their progress over time. If they are having a particularly hard time with a concept, work with them with the aid of the Science Fusion text and the other resources available on this website and then have them let me know what they are struggling with at the bottom of the next reading summary they turn in, starred and circled, etc. so I notice it.
Here is a short article written for the NSTA a number of years ago on the rationale behind the use of Interactive Science Notebooks. As fourth and fifth graders we aspire to the quality of thought and work this teacher's eighth grade students produce, but we are on our way.
Using Interactive Notebooks for Inquiry-Based Science
The interactive science notebook (ISN) is a perfect opportunity for science educators to encapsulate and promote the most cutting-edge constructivist teaching strategies while simultaneously addressing standards, differentiation of instruction, literacy development, and maintenance of an organized notebook as laboratory and field scientists do. Students then have a packaged notebook representing all of their learning throughout the year...[it is an extremely effective] innovation in enhancing general learning through the encouragement of writing across the curriculum, personalization, and metacognition strategies, while simultaneously serving to promote more specific inquiry-based science instruction by which students focus, experiment, reflect, and apply based on their personal connections to learning.
See how Bethany Brookshire applied the Scientific Method to bake a better cookie for her friend.
Many students may want to experiment with science. Unfortunately, some books can make it seem like you need a lab — or at least fancy equipment — to do real science. In fact, opportunities to form and test a scientific hypothesis are all around. A great starting place: your kitchen.
If you are interested in seeing what your child's grades are looking like before grades go out in October, please let me know and I'll email you. In your email please include your child’s name and a phone number with which I can reach you if your child is not in my homeroom.
I am sure you are tired of hearing this but please remember that I cannot take late Reading Summaries. I am willing to take other late work. It is better to get a late grade than no grade at all! Also, I cannot make any exceptions on the Reading Summary grading (except for absences), as it is unfair to those students who followed the policy. I would suggest that they still do them even if they don't get credit so they can use them to process what they have read and study for tests. I have dropped the lowest homework grade to help out those kids who have had a hard time with the homework policy transition. Don't forget to check their work and sign them at the bottom for full credit.
Another Science Notebook check (counting as a test grade) will be happening before the close of the marking period so it would be a good idea to get those in order asap. Days for Notebook Clinic can be found at the bottom of the Weekly Homework Sheet.
Also: I could definitely use some volunteer work. Classroom needs include copying, laminating, sorting papers, filing papers, etc. Please email me when you’d be able to come in and I’ll have work for you. THANK YOU!!!
A quick favor, please
Parents, would you do me a favor and shoot me a quick email to let me know who is using the website on a regular basis and how you are using it? I'd like to determine if it is a resource that is worth continuing as it does take a considerable amount of time to maintain. If it is not being used much I'll revert to handouts in class and emails to the parents who have submitted their emails to me.
Thanks so much,
Brianna brought me a tomato that she grew herself. It didn't quite make it to school safely but I really appreciate the gesture. Big thank you to all the thoughtful students out there. You know who you are!
A great week of exploration
...bringing you updates, reminders and a bunch of fun stuff for students and parents. Updated regularly.