Thank you all, especially my room mom, for the wonderful birthday gifts! This was totally unexpected :-)
Today was the second (and last) day of the fall MAP test session. It takes about 24 hours for a report to be generated at the NWEA (The organization that created it) website. Tomorrow I should have the goals for both math and reading ready.
Since we did the reading portion of the test, there was little literacy instruction other than going over more of the Caesar's English curriculum and the read-aloud.
In math, we moved away from place value and into the operations (adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing) with a focus this week on adding and subtracting. Since my class is more advanced, I had to use 6-7 digit numbers and decimals to keep them challenged. I also allocated class time to get caught up on IXL assignments since they are graded.
Math was not as long as normal due to MAP testing but we still covered a lot.
In science, we moved into static electrical energy. The only new content was that while electrical and magnetic energies both have two poles, with electricity the poles are positive and negative rather than north and south. Despite the different names, the concepts are the same in terms of like poles repel while like poles attract.
Today's experiment involved trying to separate salt from pepper using only a plastic spoon. Each student was given equal amounts of salt and pepper, a plate, a plastic spoon, a sheet of felt, and a toothpick. The task: carefully mix the salt and pepper together then vigorously rub the spoon against the felt (or their hair) for 30 seconds. After giving the spoon a static electrical charge, they slowly moved the spoon over the pile of salt and pepper at a height of about a centimeter or half inch. If done right, the statically charged spoon will attract a significant amount of the pepper, which has an opposite charge while the salt remains.
I also demonstrated static electricity and attract/repel by going to the sink and slowly running a stream of water. The trick is to keep the stream as minimal as possible without it dripping.
After a student volunteer combed his/her hair for 30 seconds, I took the comb and, holding it vertically, moved it close to the running water. Due to the static charge the water will slightly bend towards the comb due to having opposite charges.