How does water shape our world? This is the title and subject of our current science unit. The students and I have been discovering how water moves in our world and how water shapes the land and landforms around us.
We’ve used national parks – specifically Grand Canyon National Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to begin the study of landforms and how water moves through these two national parks and has shaped landforms. In the coming weeks, we’ll be using three additional national parks to look for patterns, similarities, and differences: Shenandoah, Rocky Mountain, and Isle Royale.
When we returned from winter break, we used the Vernier Labquest2 hand-held technology and relative humidity sensors to measure the water vapor in the air. We were fortunate to have a cold dry day followed by an unseasonable warmer (10°C / 50°F) January day with relative humidity readings well above 50% in the building and outside. It was an excellent experience for the students to work on their science data collection and analysis skills. The groups used the data to continue to develop their science presentation skills by whiteboarding their group’s results.
Continue reading “Science Newsletter – February ’18”
First quarter and parent-teacher conferences have come and gone. It’s always good to meet the parents and share how their child is doing in science. One of the most common questions during conferences is about homework and that their child rarely seems to have science homework.
As a result of conversations about homework and how parents can help their child in science, I’ve changed how I will announce homework in science. Each homework assignment will be an assignment on Google Classroom and it will be visible in the calendar of Google Classroom. In fact, all of your student’s homework assignments will appear in the Google Classroom calendar.
I will continue my practice of checking homework for completion. It’s a five-point grade and half credit if it is not completed in time for class. I will also continue to provide five to ten minutes of class to begin the assignment. Most of the homework I assign should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes and the purpose is to prepare for the next day’s class when we will review and correct the assignment. Students are encouraged, and expected, to correct their original work in the science workbooks using a different colored pen or pencil – mark their misconceptions and write the correct answer.
Lately, I’ve been helping students overcome a couple of misconceptions. The first is the difference between mass and weight. Continue reading “Science newsletter – November ’17”