Our Science Learning:
4/10/17 - Today we investigated the testable question, "What is the effect of different surfaces on the bounce height of a golf ball?" We made our predictions of how the six different surfaces would affect the bounce. Students even made a prediction chart showing the order of the materials that we think would produce the highest bounce to the material that would produce the lowest bounce. Then we set our procedures. We stated that we would bounce a golf ball on tile, wood, cardboard, styrofoam, egg crate foam, and a classroom rug. Then each table tested the material and reported back to the whole class. We found as predicted, that the tile floor would have the highest bounce along with the wood and styrofoam. There were some surprises. In one class, the wood produced the lowest bounce. We concluded that the make-up of the board may have a differing effect on bounce since it was a pressed board wood product. We also said this could lead us to another investigation on different types of wood and how they affect the bounce of a golf ball.
4/6/17 - As we continued our study of scientific investigations, we planned an investigation to study the effect of drop height on the bounce height of a golf ball. We dropped the golf ball from 100 cm, 80 cm, 60 cm, 40 cm, and 20 cm. We concluded that as drop height decreases, the bounce height decreases as well, which was many students had predicted. Next we used our data to predict the approximate bounce height from 120 cm. The students were very accurate in their predictions and they were quite excited they were able to use their information to predict the bounce height.
4/4/17 - Today we continued our unit on scientific procedures. Students wrote a testable question about the bounce of sports balls. We asked, "Which sports ball will bounce the highest?" Students then looked at the five sports balls we would use in our test to predict which sports ball they thought would have the highest bounce. Then we made decisions about how to conduct fair tests and talked about the importance of multiple trials. Students then dropped each ball from 100 cm onto the floor, recording the height of each bounce. They took three measurements of each type ball to increase reliability. After the test they drew a conclusion about the ball that has the highest bounce and reviewed their predictions. Be sure to ask your child about our results!
3/30/17 - Today we learned about testable and non-testable questions. Students first sorted questions into two groups according to which ones they thought could be tested and which ones they thought could not be tested. We then learned about what makes a questions truly testable. Students then made any changes to their sorts. Next we checked our groups, looking at how each question fits the criteria for being a testable question. After that we played a relay game where students used their new knowledge to quickly sort another group of questions.
3/20/2017 - This week we are working on our measurement skills in both US Customary units and Metric units. Students are learning not only the units but how to use benchmarks to remember the relative sizes of units. They are making conversion charts to change larger units into smaller units and they are learning how to choose the appropriate unit to measure objects. They are also using various tools to measure length, weight, capacity, and time. We will be using these skills to help us solve some science and math related tasks.
3/9/17 - Today Mr. Curry Bennett from Alabama Power visited us and presented the Safe T Opolis program. The students learned more about the power of electricity and some very important safety rules to follow. Thanks you, Mr. Bennett and Alabama Power!
2/28/17 - Today we explored the different energy resources. Students read and explored with solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, nuclear energy, hydroelectric energy, and energy from fossil fuels. Students generated electricity with a water wheel and a windmill. They also looked at samples of different types of coal and read about how coal is formed. They charted their information they were learning so we can share with each other.
2/27/17 - Today our students worked with renewable and non-renewable resources. First, they were given cards with the names of eight energy sources, and then they were asked to sort them into two groups of their own choice. After they shared their reasoning for their groups, Ms. Stadler introduced them to the terms "renewable" and non-renewable." Then they were given the chance to change their groupings to fit the new headings. After students understood which ones were renewable and non-renewable, they learned more about each source and did some role-playing about each energy source. Tomorrow we will learn how each source is used to produce electricity and how they affect the environment.
2/21/17 - Today our classes investigated what happens when objects collide and what effect speed has on the amount of energy in an object. They use nickels, marbles, and rulers to set up their investigations.
2/14/17 - Today students used their knowledge of circuits and some creativity to make flashlights! They took some everyday day objects and put their circuits inside, while attaching the switch in a location on the outside so it would be easy to turn on and off. They also had to make a decision about using series or parallel circuits.
2/8/17 - Switches were the focus for today! Students added a switch to some circuits they previously built. They noted how much easier it was to turn on and off the circuit with the flip of a switch instead of having to unhook a wire every time.
2/7/17 - Today we learned about series and parallel circuits. Students built each circuit and then charted the characteristics of each.
2/6/17 - Today we discovered hidden circuits using circuit testers. Students had to work systematically to find out which brass fasteners were connected by wires inside the box. They struggled a little finding a system, but when they realized it, they found the connected wires very quickly!
1/24/17 - Conductors and Insulators! We tested several items with our circuit testers. On a chart we predicted if we thought the item would complete the circuit and light the bulb or if it would not complete the circuit. Then we listed the items that did complete the circuit and the ones that did not complete the circuit. Then the groups looked for similarities between the groups. They noticed that the group of items that completed the circuit and allowed the bulb to light were all types of metals. The other group was made up of plastics, wood, and glass. We then learned about the terms conductors and insulators. We found that conductors are mostly metals, They allow electricity to flow easily. Materials such as wood, plastic, ribber, and glass are insulators. Insulators do not allow electricity to flow or not flow easily through them.
1/23/17 - We continued our study of electrical circuits. Today the students were able to make a circuit using battery holders, bulb holders, and Fahnestock clips. They found how much easier it was to make the circuit with these holders than just using the wire, battery, and bulb as we did last week. We reinforced the concept that a circuit is a continuous path for electricity to flow. A circuit is made up of a power source (battery), a device that uses electricity (bulb), and wires to form a pathway for electricity to flow. We also added another wire to our circuit and set it up as a circuit tester. Tomorrow we will use our circuit testers to find materials that are conductors and materials that are insulators.
1/17/17 - Today we started our AMSTI unit on electrical circuits. Students wrote about what they know about electricity and what they want to know. Then I challenged them to light a bulb using only a battery, a wire, and a bulb. There was quite a bit of frustration at first...but as soon as the first students lit their bulbs, excitement quickly spread around the classroom! We learned that electricity must have a circuit through which to travel.
1/11/17 - Today we learned about the parts and functions of flowers. Students took apart a lily and mounted the parts on cardstock. Then they labeled the parts. They learned that the petals attract insects like bees. The stamens produce pollen that bees get on their bodies. The pistil in the center of the flower is the part that needs to get the pollen. The pollen sticks to the top of the pistil. A tube grows from the pollen down through the pistil and genetic material is passed through the tube so that seeds can be formed at the base of the pistil.
1/9/17 - Today we learned about external and internal structures of plants and what functions they do for the plant. Students explored all the parts of a plant and their jobs. They learned about xylem and phloem. They also drew life cycles of seed plants and then they learned how to grow plants without using seeds. They also watched a video about photosynthesis, which is the process by which plants make their own food.
12/16/16 - Today the classes concluded a study of animals native to Alabama by designing and buidling a habitat for their animals. They spent a great deal of time researching, taking notes, planning, designing, and building these habitats. We also took a walk to the other 4th grade classrooms to see the habitats built by other students. Didn't they do an awesome job?
12/5/16 - Today we learned about the nervous system. We started out with a game in which students identified objects in a bag without looking at them. The students had 30 seconds to feel of the objects and then they could write down a list of objects. We talked about why they were able to do this. This activity led us to the nervous system. We learned that the brain, spinal cord, and nerves help relay messages throughout the body. The nervous system helps us take in and understand information about the world around us. It also keeps other body systems working even we are not thinking about it. The nervous system is amazing!
12/1/16 - Our goal today was to learn all about the skeletal and muscular systems. We read about each system and then charted their functions. After we read for information, students used some supplies to make a design for a skeletal system. The design was their choice. It had to fit within a plastic bag and give structure and support to the bag.
11/30/16 - Today our UA interns taught our students about the digestive system. They participated in several activities that helped them explore how it works. At one station they put a piece of cracker in their mouths without chewing. This allowed them to see how saliva helps start softening the food they eat. In another station, they squeezed an orange through hose to simulate how food is squeezed down the esophagus to the stomach. In yet another station, students added water to a bag of crackers and squeezed the bag with their hands to show how the stomach adds acid to food and churns the food into a liquid. They also got to put a model of the diegestive system together. The interns and students did a wonderful job teaching and learning about digestion.
11/29/16 - Today we learned about the respiratory system and how it works with the circulatory system. We found that the function of the respiratory system is to help get oxygen into the body. Once oxygen is in the lungs, it is absorbed into the blood so that it can be transported throughout the body by the circulatory system. We also learned about our respiration rate, aerobic exercise, and anaerobic exercise. Below is a picture of one class working out with an exercise video to understand aerobic exercise. They had a blast! Thanks to our UA interns for teaching great lessons on the body systems.
11/28/16 - Today our UA interns taught our classes about the circulatory system. Students timed their resting and active heart rates. They acted out the path of the circulatory system and made a model of a circulatory system. They learned that the same blood circulates through the body carrying oxygen to all cells in all parts of the body. Over the next few days we will learn about other body systems and how they work together to help us grow and survive.
11/18/16 - Just a quick post to show a crab's burrowing activity in a habitat.
11/17/16 - After several days of charting animal structures and behaviors that support survival of our crabs, frogs, and millipedes, we took a break and looked at some familiar animals. The students took a deeper look at structures and behaviors of several well-known animals. Then they were able to construct a statement of how these structures and behaviors helped the animals survive.
11/16/16 - Today we explored how our school environment meets our needs. The students came to the conclusion that while our school provides food, water, shelter, and space, it cannot supply these needs all day. Our homes also provide these needs as well.
10/31/16 - Today we made a KWL chart about frogs, crabs, and millipedes in anticipation of our animals arriving on Wednesday.
10/26/16 - 10/27/16 - Hurricane Resistant Buildings
10/24/16 - Drop, Cover, and Hold On!! Today we explored earthquake drills and earthquake resistant buildings. Students actively participated in an earthquake simulation story, and at the right time they crawled under their tables to practice how to Drop, over, and Hold On. Afterwards, they tried their hand at building a structure that could withstand an "earthquake". We then tested the structures on a Jello tray to see how they could handle the shaking. We concluded that shorter buildings with large bases tended to hold up better to the shaking and swaying.