And.....this makes two whole months that school has been in session. On this last school day of October, we continued with our study of rocks and the rock cycle. At this point, we have already learned everything and now it is a simple matter of review and reinforcement to achieve mastery.
The focus today was reinforcement of literacy and science. We had two activities and one of them was a reading passage. The rest of the period was devoted to social studies by finishing up page 12 in their books and completing the All About Me page for their projects.
Lastly, I sent out another email today that was shorter in length since I had sent out one on Wednesday.
The science homework is due tomorrow. I will assign another on-line version of the homework tomorrow but it will be shorter in duration. It will also be covering all of the material in the unit Matter: Properties and Change (physical properties, minerals, rocks and the rock cycle).
I emailed all of the parents yesterday and attached a copy of the unit study guide. As I had mentioned in the email, the test has been moved back to Tuesday the 17th of November rather the 20th. The calendar on my Weebly has been changed to reflect it.
I then showed another video (not as fun as Bill Nye the Science Guy but it still had a lot of information that reinforced what was taught. It is only about 20 minutes......
The class discussed the following questions once the video had been watched.
The final task for science was to allow the students an opportunity to correct any mistakes on their quizzes. Since this is a re-do (in a sense) the best score they can get is an 80 which is still considered mastery. All I can say about this is: MUCH BETTER!!!
The rest of the period was devoted to working on their social studies project All About Me page, which is the beginning of it all and then finish page 12 in the book. I am aiming for them to be finished tomorrow.
Lastly, the project page has been updated and the guide is now available for downloading. I will be sending home another copy of the guide with each student too just to be certain that everyone has been given the information.
Today was a day of reviewing for the quiz and taking the quiz. The review first consisted of the warm-up.
We then watched a Bill Nye the Science Guy video on rocks (and soil) to reinforce the content. The video isn't 100% on the standards but close enough.
After that, the ten-question quiz was administered. While it had only ten questions, I still emphasized the need to take their time and be careful on how they bubble in answers.
Now we go to social studies. Today we are beginning the year long project. It will be broken into parts where each part will have a due date far enough in advance to allow for completion in both the classroom and at home.
Each student was given a copy of the guidelines to take home and for parents to sign. Please sign it and have your child bring it back to school where I will verify it. Your child will then keep it.
This was quite a busy day so that, I'm sure, is what made it seem to go by in the blink of an eye so-to-speak. Today's science lesson consisted of three parts:
3) Hands-on activity
As you can see, the warm-up was focused on the previous part of the unit that covered minerals. There are two reasons for it. The first reason is that I wanted to keep this content fresh in their minds and second, the whole hands-on focus was on rocks as well as the review.
The review consisted of going over the vocabulary and then the review quiz. This quiz was not for a grade but just for the students to see for themselves what they know and what they need to review. There were ten multiple choice questions, one at a time, followed by the answers. Below is the review quiz in document form along with the answer key.
The main activity was to use the crayons and pencil sharpeners for the rock cycle simulation activity. Each student got 10 crayons of varying colors, a sheet of wax paper, a zip lock bag, and a sharpener.
The first step was to sharpen the crayons to make a small pile of wax shavings. This represented the process of weathering in which rocks are broken down into smaller pieces due to water and other factors. The wax shavings represented sediment.
The second step was to pick up a handful of the shavings and hold them above the wax paper. This represents erosion. Dropping the shavings back onto the wax paper represents deposition.
The third step was to collect the shavings into one area of the wax paper, fold the other side over and press down firmly. This represents the process of cementation that forms sedimentary rock.
The fourth step was to fold over the more solid mass of wax shavings and press down even harder. This changes what it looks like to represent metamorphic rock.
The fifth and final step was to gather all of the wax and pour it into an inexpensive nonstick skillet to melt. I added a scented wax cube to make the room smell better. I then poured the melted wax onto wax paper. As it hardened, it represented igneous rock forming from lava. For my last class I changed it up by pouring the melted wax into cool water.
I also made one more change. The pencil sharpeners started getting too gunked up so I had the students use plastic knives to shave the crayons and remove the paper. That worked much better. Now I have a lot of work to do cleaning up.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of the parents who have sent in crayons and sharpeners. I could not have done it without you!
Below is a slideshow of the activity.......
The homework is still due on Friday. I did set it up so that students can take this multiple times to achieve mastery so I encourage your child to take advantage of this.
We will continue with social studies tomorrow after the quiz. The project is going to be assigned tomorrow as well and the information will be sent home with the student. I will be posting information in the social studies part of the Weebly as it becomes available.
This week is the last week of October and the prelude to the holidays that are rapidly coming up. This will be a normal week with only one exception and that is Picture Day on Wednesday. Students will not need to be in uniform that day. Below is a copy of the flyer that went home (front and back):
Also, there are no fall parties for this year and this is school-wide. Parents may have their child bring in cookies (or something like that) to share at lunch.
In science, we went back and did a focused lesson on Moh's Scale of Hardness. Today's warm-up was a little different but I like to change things up and try different ways to have them apply what they know.
As I had mentioned above, today's focus was on Moh's Scale of Hardness and it was an opportunity for students to use the scale to answer questions such as identifying an unknown mineral based on given clues. We did one together as a group for practice.
Then, the class was given the option of working independently, in pairs, or in small groups to do the main activity. This one was a little more challenging but they managed to succeed as they always do.