We began our Cells and Microorganisms Unit of Study today. The children took cheek cells and attempted to view them under a microscope. Success was not achieved. The skies clouded over and the rainstorm blocked out the needed sunlight. We will attempt this experiment again tomorrow in hopes of seeing what animal cells look like.
Study Guides Coming Soon: The copy machine has finally been fixed and I will be able to scan study guides and notes to the website. Please be sure to check that page over the next week as I am able to get the various items scanned to digital copy.
Important information to place on your calendar at home:
Friday, August 26th
Monday, August 29th
Monday, September 5th
Labor Day - No School
Thursday, September 22nd to Friday, September 23rd
5th Grade Field Trip: Blue Ridge Outdoor Adventure
Setting up our next project, Underground Railroad through Jackson Elementary, Ms. Preiss shared with both classes The Patchwork Quilt book. We created a list of the various designs used in the quilt, and where the patterns came from as told in the story. Students were then given an opportunity to simulate the journey of a fugitive slave. Each student was to work his/her way through the Underground Railroad Maze without communicating to others, and only receiving a 'yes' or 'no' response to indicate the correct position on the path to freedom. Definitely a repeat activity as the students felt the pressure of making the right choice in order to get to the end and freedom.
Each Tuesday Challenge students get differentiated instruction to meet their learning needs. During the day, Ms. Preiss' class joins us for projects that enrich our learning. Today was part II of our Engineering Design Process Project. Groups of three began last week with researching various structures and architecture of the late 1800s. We were curious to know if any buildings, of any kind, were still standing today. Then the groups were given a task of building the tallest, freestanding structure using the Engineering Design Process. The initial designs were not successful. As in not one group was able to erect a structure to stand on its own. Their homework, for today's session, was to research various designs and geometric patterns found in structures. Today's session, Rebuild 2.0, was reflection and regroup time. The reflection was useful as the groups discussed what they saw as strength in the original building. The regroup was the time, 30 minutes, the competitors had to create the tallest structure. Collaboration and Out-of-the-Box thinking flowed throughout the room. Engineers were hard at work. My most memorable moment was sharing with a 5th grader how a marshmallow can become a great adhesive when you use a little thermal energy to change the marshmallow's texture. Reflection Note: We hadn't provided any information except that their supplies were spaghetti noodles and mini-marshmallows on the first session. Today's session was more about helping them get outside the box, so clues (such as the adhesive marshmallow) were provided as needed.