Students are hard at work creating their paper molas for the 2017 Kids Kreations art fundraiser. You will soon have an opportunity to transform these beautiful pieces into t-shirts, mugs, shower curtains, and water bottles. Be on the lookout for how to order your child’s work sometime in October
In science this week, we asked the question, will a mountain last forever? After some experimenting with sugar cubes (ask your child about this), we discovered that the answer is NO, a mountain will not last forever. We learned that ice wedging and root wedging can cause rocks to break apart over time. Rocks can change shape after falling and dealing with moving water, making rocks at the top of a mountain significantly different from rocks at the bottom. The next time you’re at a rushing river full of rocks, take a look at their shape and notice how smooth the water has made them. In the meantime, check out the following video which provides excellent evidence of rockfall in Yosemite National Park.
To help us learn more about the world around us, we use a great program called Mystery Science. The narrator of the Mystery Science lessons is a man named Doug. This year Doug is releasing a video each week called “Mystery Doug” which answers a question submitted by a student. I will be posting as many of these videos as I can for those curious students who want to learn a little something extra. Here’s a recent video: “Where Does Metal Come From?”
The fourth graders met their first grade buddies this afternoon and got to spend some time together on the playground. A fun time was had by all as the children began bonding and preparing for a year of learning from each other. We look forward to many more Friday afternoons together this year.
We also spent time playing some math games this morning. Close to 1,000 is a game that challenges students’ number sense as they put digits into numbers and add them together in an attempt to get as close to 1,000 as possible.
Today we watched a 60 minutes segment about mindfulness. If you have a spare 13 minutes, please take a moment to watch and learn more about what it means to be mindful. We practice mindful habits in class each day and it makes a major difference in our ability to regulate our emotions, focus, and think critically.
The combination of hot weather and a classroom without air conditioning led us down to the cafeteria on Tuesday afternoon for a science lab to figure out some similarities and differences with volcanoes. Specifically, we tried to answer the question “Why do some volcanoes explode?” by experimenting with thin and thick “lava”. Ask your child why some volcanoes explode and others gently ooze. Challenge them to use vocabulary that we learned such as cone volcano and shield volcano.
Our class was lucky enough to reserve a garden bed in our school’s community garden this spring. After much deliberation and disagreement, we settled on planting German Johnson heirloom tomatoes (donated by the wonderful Inga). After researching these plants, we began making plans to build a support system for them. We researched trellis and cage ideas and settled on a simple tomato ladder structure to help the tomatoes climb. Together we measured, cut, glued, and nailed our tomato ladders. Today we finally finished them and placed them in our garden bed.
Please come by this summer to check on our plants and keep an eye out for ripe tomatoes. If you see one, feel free to pick it and take it home to put on a burger, sandwich, or salad.
Here are a few photos that offer a tiny glimpse into some of the learning we did this week. Included are pictures from our building of rubber band race cars during a science lesson about energy, an opportunity to learn about adding decimals and calculating a tip from Mrs. McMinn’s class, and our finished bulletin board which displays some of our reading analysis as well as some fish collage art work.