The focus of our second trimester science unit is chemistry. Today we defined chemistry as “the study of matter and the changes that take place with that matter”. We discussed the question, “What is matter?”. We looked at the website, CHEM4KIDS. We then explored the physical properties of six household substances.
In this unit, we will study chemistry through the lense of a unit titled Mysterious Powders. During the next 5-6 weeks, our class will be experiencing how scientist investigate and learn about various substances. A simulated environmental problem is the focus for exploring the properties of certain substances and for practicing the steps of the scientific process. The problem is the mysterious appearance of a white substance in a neighboring playground...what is it?...where did it come from?...is it safe for students to go out on the playground???
Students will begin by defining the problem and speculating on possible causes. They then initiate an exploration of six household white powders. They will be using everyday products such as vinegar and rubbing alcohol, and other substances such as iodine, phenol red solution, citric acid, and phenolphthalein solution.Throughout this investigation, the data are collected, compared, organized on a class chart, and analyzed. Using their knowledge of the properties of the powders they have been studying along with their analytical skills, the class will solve the mystery of the substance in the playground.
This unit emphasizes problem solving and the use of the scientific process. Students collect data using their senses, conduct simple tests, and make comparisons. They will use systematic data-gathering skills, organizing skills, and analyzing skills, and then apply what they learned to form a working explanation or hypothesis of the event.
We are very careful about teaching safe working habits. Children should never investigate an unknown substance. This will be addressed and continually reinforced in school. Today we went over the list of basic safety rules that we will emphasize in class during the unit. The students each have a copy.
If you have any question or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Here are a few of the Spider Bots that the students have been creating. We worked on this project with our other 5th grade Lighthouse teammates. It was great to see everyone fully engaged in engineering practices such as designing, identifying problems, coming up with solutions, and redesigning. I was very impressed with all the creativity, problem solving and cooperating going on during this fun activity!
Wow! We finished Unit 2 in math last week. We spent today reflecting on our mastery of the skill in the unit and reviewing. Our assessment will be either tomorrow or Thursday. The following skills will be assessed.
Identify values of digits in a multi digit number.
Write numbers in expanded form. MJ
Represent powers of 10 in exponential notation.MJ1
Explain patterns when multiplying by a power of 10.
During the last two weeks of our science unit on cells we learned about osmosis. We did this using eggs. We soaked our eggs in vinegar overnight in order to dissolve the shells. The eggs then had only a thin membrane holding them together. They were rubbery and translucent and lots of fun to hold! In order to see osmosis in action, we observed what happened to the shell-free eggs when they were placed in substances like molasses, light corn syrup, and dark corn syrup. We discovered that the eggs lost water and shriveled up. We learned that this is because water passes through the membrane from an area of higher water concentration (egg) to an area of lower water concentration (molasses and corn syrup) in a process called osmosis. We then placed the shriveled eggs in water with food coloring. Ask your child what happened. It was very cool! Check out the pictures below.
We began our science unit on cells a few weeks ago. In one activity, students carefully removed thin sheets from an onion, created their own slides, and viewed them under microscopes. The cells of the onion were visible and students sketched their observations.
We have also been reading about cells and using a website called Cells Alive! to learn more about cells.
We did a school and cell analogy activity where we compared the school to a cell. For example, the nucleus could be compared to the main office, and the cell wall to the outer brick wall. Ask your child what the endoplasmic reticulum or the vacuole would be analogous to! This week we are beginning a very cool hands on activity with eggs to learn about osmosis. Stay tuned!
This Friday students will take the Unit 1 summative math assessment. The test will cover the topics listed below. The students have been working hard since the beginning of the year and are ready to show all they've learned!
1. Evaluate expressions with grouping symbols.
2. Write expressions to model situations.
3. Find the area of a rectangle with one fractional side length.J1
4. Identify objects with volume.J1
5. Use cubes to find volume.1
6. Use formulas to find volume.1
7. Find the volume of a figure made of rectangular prisms.
It's time for Open House! 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21st Malletts Bay School
Open House is an informal opportunity to meet your child's teacher, see your child's learning environment and get an idea about some of the topics and projects the class will be working on this year. Your child's teacher will be happy to meet with you at another time in a private setting for updates on your child's progress or to discuss any concerns you may have. Unified Arts teachers will be in their classrooms. Stop in to see what they've got planned this year.
The students are working on creating a Google Slide Show about themselves. I have asked them to choose a few pictures that represent who they are and email them to their google email address (first email@example.com) or just put them in their Drive. Many of you have already done this. Thank you! I'm asking them to send no more than five pictures. They will be presenting their slide show to the class next week. They will also be showing them to you at Open House on Thursday night.
Homework will be assigned Monday through Thursday. However weekend homework may include finishing up unfinished class work.
Reading: Students will be expected to read a minimum of four nights per week for 30 minutes per night (or two hour per week). They will be given a Reading Log each Friday. Each evening they read, they should record the book title, how many pages they read, and how many minutes they read. The Reading Logs are due on Fridays.
A variety of genres is encouraged.
Quality books make it possible to practice strategies used in school.
Reading goal: six books per 12 week trimester (average book=150 pages)
Math will be given individually each day. It is meant to practice and reinforce the day’s lesson. If you find your child is struggling with it, he or she should stop and jot me a quick note on the sheet to let me know. Incomplete is fine if it is not understood. We will spend time on it together the next day. I don’t want there to be struggles at home! Math computation and fact practice will also be a part of a student’s homework if necessary.
Spelling will be done in class, however extra practice is available on Spelling City.
Social Studies, Science, and Writing homework will be assigned occasionally, and may include unfinished class work.
Homework should take about 50 minutes per night. Students missing class work will have more.
If your child is struggling with an assignment, they should stop before getting too frustrated, and jot me a quick note. I will provide help the next day.