Today was the day that the students took the first set of notes. Since it is necessary to devote about half the class period to both social studies and/or literacy, I had to break this up into two parts. What the students copied into their science notebooks today was a series of key words and definitions. Tomorrow, concepts that students will need to know will be written down but it won't take as long.
The warm-up for the students was shorter in duration but gave me an idea of their knowledge of matter and mass.
I also talked about a closed system being something that does not exchange matter with anything else. The Earth is a closed system because we are surrounded by space. Very little is added to the Earth (meteorites and comets crashing on the surface would be examples) and very little leaves (gasses, space craft sent out, etc.).
Here are the notes:
Mass - a measure of the number of atoms in something. How much “stuff” is in something.
Density - how tightly packed something is.
Volume - how much physical space something takes up.
Matter - something that occupies space and has mass.
Solid - has a definite shape where atoms and molecules are slow moving and tightly packed.
Liquid - molecules and atoms are moving more freely but don’t separate, spread out more, will take on any shape it fills.
Gas - molecules and atoms are faster moving and tend to separate, no definite shape or size.
Strength - the ability to withstand force.
Hardness - the ability to withstand deformation and puncturing.
Flexibility - the ability to bend without deforming and breaking.
Conduction - the ability of a material to allow energy to pass through it.
After the notes were taken, we quickly moved on the JA Biztown. Today was important since two things needed to be accomplished:
When we get to JA Biztown, each student will have a job so I divided up the various jobs and had the students apply for them by filling out an application. I did stress to the students that merely applying for a job does not in any way guarantee being chosen for it. I will do my best to match students with a job that is best for them but I will not assign anything to a student whom I feel isn't the best candidate.
For mayor, I opened the floor to nominations and then allowed the class to vote on ONE person. Since there are five classes in the 4th grade, there will be five candidates who will have to come up with a speech to convince the rest of the 4th grade that he/she is the person to vote for.
Note: I did have to reserve the right to block nominations of students whom I felt were not qualified based on academics and/or behavior.