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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Planning Science/Math Explorations/Performance Assessments


In the next ten weeks of the school year, students will engage in a large number of hands-on science and math explorations. As I prep the classroom for these explorations, I want to tease out the focus and materials prep that has to be done in the days ahead.

Plant Packets
Students will embark on this study with some explicit experiences with planting seeds in a number of ways, later they'll have the chance to design their own plant packets or health, productive plant environments.

Water Bottles
Students will re-engineer water bottles to meet the needs of needing a bottle that both holds and filters water for healthy hydration.

Heterogeneous Mixtures vs. Homogeneous Mixtures or Solutions
Students will have the opportunity to practice this in multiple fun ways. They'll also have the chance to take apart a mixture to see what it is made up of using a number of science tools.

Chemical vs Physical Reaction
Students have already been studying this in a variety of ways and we'll continue to review this concept.

Conservation of Mass and Energy
I'll mostly model this and then students will observe this through hands-on work.

Energy
Students will continue to build contraptions that demonstrate both kinetic and potential energy.

Life Cycles
Students will have the opportunity to watch tadpoles develop into frogs. They've studied and will continue to study life cycles of plants and other animals too.

River Habitats and Wetlands
Thanks to a SUASCO grant students will be able to study the animals, plants, and ecosystem of rivers and wetlands via hands-on explorations, field studies, visiting experts, and raising tadpoles.

Volume
Students will study volume through a number of hands-on math and science explorations.

Mass
Students will compare the mass of many objects and study mass in conjunction with learning about the conservation of mass too.

Fractions and Measurement
Students will apply the knowledge of fractions and measurement to real-life situations via scaffolded, collaborative project/problem based learning.

Geometry
Students will review geometry via a number of hands-on exploration with tangrams, origami, and project/problem based learning.

Global Cardboard Challenge
We'll devote the large part of week at the end of the year to this amazing hands-on engineering project that will allow students to synthesize their learning throughout the year with a creative application.

Now that I've brainstormed the big ideas, it's time to add all the details project-by-project. . . to be continued.