The first week of the 2015-2016 school year is now coming to a close and the students are beginning to settle into a routine. While the first week is filled with beginnings, next week we truly return to normal. As I had mentioned in my weekly email to parents today, we will utilize ClassDojo and begin the first unit in science. We will also get social studies introduced.
I am now up to 18/22 or 82% of my parents who have at least initially logged in. Thank you! This is a very useful communication tool.
In science, we reviewed the expectations and procedures along with the scientific method. Then I had them copy down important dates from my calendar into their agendas, including dates where quizzes and tests will be administered. This way, the students will know in advance and take more responsibility for their education. It also means that there is no excuse for claiming to not know about a quiz or test, especially when I will have reviewed everything consistently as well as mentioning it.
Afterwards, we did the experiments. The first experiment was more open-ended since there is no one correct way to answer the question: how many drops of water does it take to completely cover the surface (heads or tails) of a penny without spilling over?
The students updated the table of contents in their notebooks and added two pages. Then, they wrote down the question, studied the penny, and made their hypotheses.
The second experiment was to answer the question: will a Gummi Bear® expand faster in hot water, cold water, or will temperature make no difference?
Each student was given two of the same color and studied their sizes and even measured them first. Upon my signal, they dropped one bear into a beaker with hot (warm actually) water and the other into a beaker with cold water. In each group, each student was given a different color in order to make it easier to observe.
After a few minutes, they used plastic spoons to retrieve their bears and compare the sizes. After eating them, they wrote in their notebooks.
On Monday, there will be a warm-up for the first graded assignment of the year so it is important that each student does his/her best on it to get off to a great start.
Below is a slideshow of the students from all three classes in action.