So we began the final school week of December and I know everyone is excited. Our class party is on Friday and will end at 2:55 so the class (the ones remaining) can go to specials. If you are planning on taking your child home, I will have a sign-out sheet in my room on a clipboard so we can have a record of it.
Tomorrow is the quiz in science and as I mentioned last week, I am pretty confident that most (if not all) will at least get mastery (>80%). Since there are twelve questions on it, the students need to get at least ten correct (83%) to show mastery. Below is the warm-up which serves as a good review.
The main task in science for today was to read a relevant passage on energy (How Do Light and Sound Behave?) and answer questions pertaining to the text. This is a part of the literacy tie-in that I incorporate in my class.
Afterwards, the students got their hands on Chrome Books and continued with the project. The brochure is due on Thursday and I did tell the students to just do the best that they can. There have been issues with trying to insert images into the template so if it can't be resolved then the students will not be penalized for it.
As we end the week, the schedule on this day was a bit different but the amount of instructional time was still the same for all. This was due to visitors in the building and my homeroom stayed with me for the first period, had lunch with Mr. Thompson, and had third period with Ms. Fletcher. They still went to specials with me (music) and were still dismissed with me at the end of the day.
The big focus for today was the literacy common assessment. I did allow class time in here for students who needed to finish since this is something that is very important. Those who finished were given the opportunity to work on the social studies project.
I was planning on doing a science quiz but with all that has been going on I decided to move it to Tuesday. This will allow us some more time to prepare and will work better with the schedule. The quiz will have 12 multiple choice questions and will cover only the first part of the energy unit.
The weekly parent email went out today. The class party is in a week and then after that.....we are on break!
Lastly, I was saddened to learn today that the magazine My School Rocks! will cease publication after this month's issue. As far as I know, I will get to be "Dr. STEM" one last time so it is nice to be a part of that. Now I am going to have to look for a new publisher. The quest begins!
Today's focus (and tomorrow's) will be on allowing the students as much time as possible to work on their brochures that are due a week from today. I still had them do a warm-up along with one experiment.
On this day we did a second experiment on light and heat and it again involved the use of a flashlight. What it did not use was a thermometer but instead we used something called a radiometer. We also used the Chrome Books for the brochure project in social studies. But first, we did the warm-up. There is a typo that I did not catch until after it was printed (there are two number eights).
A radiometer looks like a weather-vane with four panels inside a near-vacuum. Each panel has a white side and a black side. When a light shines on the white side of the panel, the panel either doesn't move or it will move slightly towards the light source.
When light energy is focused on the black side, they spin. If the light source is consistent the panels will start slowly and pick up momentum until they are spinning rapidly. I will bring this back up in January since it involves light absorption.
As a finale, I shined a powerful halogen spotlight on mine and it immediately spun fast. More on this next month.
We also used the Chrome Books to work on the brochure, which is due next Thursday. I am going to allow plenty of time in class. While we will have a science quiz on Friday, it only consists of 12 questions and I am very confident that the students will do quite well.
Below is a slideshow of the students in action.
This was the second day of hands-on science with our energy unit. While light will be covered in depth in January upon returning from the break, I am still tying it all in since there is a relationship, or correlation, between light and heat. This is what we did today and will also do tomorrow. With light, it involves absorption though I didn't mention it yet.
Then we did the experiment involving a correlation between light and heat. The class was split up into pairs of students. Each pair got a flashlight and a blank sheet of paper. I went around with my IR non-contact thermometer and took an initial temperature reading. The students recorded the number (to the tenths place....for example if the temperature was 71.3° then 71.3° was recorded rather than rounded to the nearest one).
Then, I went to an online countdown timer and set it for five minutes. When it was time, the students turned on their flashlights and held them about a fist's length above the paper, shining the light. The light had to be continuous and consistent with the distance. Partners switched off when needed.
After five minutes, I went around the room and took the temperature where the light is shining. They again recorded the exact number as a decimal and compared the results. Except for a few cases, almost every group saw an increase in the temperature. They then wrote a brief reflection on it.
This activity will be brought up in January when we go over the property of absorption. Below is a slideshow of the activity.
In social studies I had the students work on their brochures. Tomorrow we will get the use of the Chrome Books so that will help. I also set up a Google Classroom account. The url is classroom.google.com and my code is 8muc37t.