12/7, 12/8, & 12/9

This week has gone quickly, tomorrow is already Thursday!

6th Grade
This week, students made scale models of the solar system and the size of the planets using adding machine tape. Today, they finished their models, wrote definitions about some objects in the solar system, and began reading about our sun.

7th Grade
Students used Movie Maker to edit their commercials. We will view them in class on Thursday.

8th Grade
Students have been practicing balancing equations all week. They will take a quiz on Thursday.

12/4

6th Grade
Students continued yesterday's activity where they identified planets from descriptions written on postcards. Students then imagined they visited a planet and wrote a postcard describing the planet but not naming it.

7th Grade
After a short discussion, we resumed video taping. Editing videos will begin on Monday.

8th Grade
Today, students learned how to balance chemical equations. We will continue practicing next week with a quiz scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday.

12/3

6th Grade
Today, we talked about Pluto and why Astronomers stopped classifying it as a planet and started classifying it as a dwarf planet. Students then wrote whether they agreed with the decision to reclassify Pluto. Next, we began talking about characteristics of the other planets and students began identifying planets from postcards written by fictional people.

7th Grade
We were to begin video taping commercials today, unfortunately, the students were not able to handle the responsibility and we will not finish this project.

8th Grade
Students were NWEA testing for most of the period. We did take some notes about the Law of Conservation on Mass and balancing chemical equations.

12/2

6th Grade
Students finished classifying space objects and shared their classification systems with the rest of the class. Then we discussed why each group's system was a little different and why it is important that scientists agree on a system of classification. Next, students looked at the actual classification system and compared it to their own.

7th Grade
Students continued writing scripts and storyboards for their commercials.

8th Grade
Students discussed the difference between open and closed systems. Next, students conducted to different chemical reactions in closed systems and compared the mass of the reactants to the mass of the products. We compiled class results and determined that the mass really doesn't change. This sets the groundwork for the Law of Conservation of mass and balancing chemical reactions.

12/1

6th Grade
Students who missed class yesterday due to NWEA testing, had class today and did the classification activity from yesterday. The second class went to Reconciliation during class time.

7th Grade
Seventh graders chose a location they felt was the best to store nuclear waste. Students were then grouped based on the locations they chose and began working on a commercial for the location. Students are required to have a written script and a completed storyboard before the can begin video taping.

8th Grade
We continued discussing using dilution as a method of wasted disposal. Based on the results of yesterday's serial dilution, students determined that our waste etching solution has a concentration of 100,000 ppm. We then determined that to safely pour one liter of waste solution down the drain, we would need to dilute it with 99,999 L of water. We also discussed the pros and cons of using dilution.

11/30

I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving. I got to see some out of town cousins and celebrate a new nephew.

6th Grade
NWEA testing affected our schedule today. The first period class only met for about 10 minutes during which we reviewed some space objects we looked at last week. Second period met for the full time. Students were given several space objects and they had to classify them into groups based on the characteristics of each object. Students will share their classification systems either tomorrow or Wednesday. (We're scheduled for Reconciliation during class tomorrow.

7th Grade
Students examined 3 different sites that nuclear waste could be stored. They needed to come up with a list of pros and cons for each site. Students then voted where they felt the waste should be stored.

8th Grade
We discussed possible ways we could dispose of last week's used etching solution. One possibility was to pour it down the drain. We discussed concentration using parts per million and that to be safe, our concentration of copper needed to be about 1PPM to pour it down the drain. Students conducted a serial dilution in order to determine the concentration of our used solution. We will discuss the results tomorrow.

11/23 & 11/24

I missed school on Monday to take Patrick to an Orthodontist appointment. Mrs. Bixler was my substitute and she said all the kids were good for her. 

Here's a summary of the last 2 days.

6th Grade
On Monday, students constructed a timeline about the history of space exploration. Students were given events and tired to place them in order. 

Today, students presented their planet posters.

7th Grade
Monday, students completed a study guide for Wednesday's test over plate tectonics. Today, we reviewed the study guide and played a review game.

8th Grade
Monday, each student was given 2 elements to research and to complete an information sheet about the element. Today, we etched circuit boards and talked a little bit about the waste produced.

11/20/15

6th Grade
Students finished working on their planets. They will present them on Tuesday.

7th Grade
Students watched Nova about the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan in 2011. We will have a test over plate tectonics next Wednesday.

8th Grade
Student tests were returned. Retests will be offered next week on Tuesday and Wednesday during lunch.

We are beginning to talk about the waste that is created when electronics are produced. Today, we took a desktop computer apart and looked at the components. Students were strongly advised that they should not take apart their home computers.

11/19/15

6th Grade
Students took their tests and continued working on their planet posters.

7th Grade
7th graders worked with the computer simulator again. Today, they looked at convergent boundaries with both continental and oceanic crust, transform boundaries, and boundaries where the fault lines are crooked. Students recorded the changes that took place at each type of boundary over time and the types of geologic features that occur.

Students will have a test covering plate tectonics next Wednesday.

8th Grade
Students completed the test they began yesterday.

11/17/15 & 11/18/15

6th Grade
Students spent Tuesday and Wednesday preparing posters describing the seasons, length of year, and tides of their fictional planets.

7th Grade
Tuesday, 7th graders modeled convection currents that occur in Earth's mantle. Student's were able to see why geologists believe the movement of Earth's plates is caused by convection.

Wednesday, students use laptops to simulate the effects of divergent plate boundaries over time.

8th Grade
Tuesday, students played a review game in preparation for Wednesday's test. Wednesday, they took the test.

11/12/15

6th  Grade
We continued to examine the strengths and weaknesses of three different calendars. Next, we looked at 3 fictional places and determined if they would be more concerned with the seasonal cycle, lunar cycle, or both. We then determined which calendar would work best for each location and justified our choices. Students are looking at a test over the Earth, Moon, and Sun late next week.

7th Grade
We talked about how scientists determined the location of earth's tectonics plates by using the locations of earthquakes and volcanoes. Students were given a list of earthquake and volcano locations and identified the eastern and western boundaries of the South American plate. Students labeled some plates and their direction of movement.

8th Grade
Today, students read about monomers, polymers, and cross-linked polymers. We will have a test next Wednesday covering polymers, the periodic table, and chemical bonding.

11/11/15

6th Grade
We began class by watching a Bill Nye video about the moon. Next, we talked about out calendar and determined that our calendar is a solar calendar because it is based on Earth's revolution around the sun and not a lunar calendar. We began examining 3 alternative calendars and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

7th Grade
We used a seismograph model to exam how scientists can measure the strength of earthquakes. We also discussed that earthquakes typically occur near plate boundaries. Students made their own seismograms and examined the differences between them.

8th Grade
We used paperclips to model the slime reaction yesterday. Single paperclips represented a monomer, linked paperclips were the polymer, and colored paperclips added to the chain represented cross-linking with sodium borate. Students compared properties of the 3 models.

11/10/15

6th Grade
We used calendars to discover the relationship between phases of the moon and extreme tides and determined the length of the lunar cycle. Students compared the dates of new and full moon phases to the dates of extreme tides.

7th Grade
Students watched 2 short videos. One about Alfred Wegener and continental drift and a second video about evidence that supports the theory of plate tectonics. Students compared both ideas and looked for similarities and differences.

8th Grade
Students looked at monomers and polymers. We then conducted a chemical reaction that cross-linked a polymer and the product was slime. Students were allowed to take some home.