Last week we wrapped up the first and second objectives of matter: only one left! Students had the option to submit corrections for both the pop quiz that we took on Monday and the group project (RSA Video) from last week. Both were due to me on Friday. There is no late option for this, as it was an extra credit opportunity. Many students did not choose to complete the corrections, resulting in a low quiz grade. Please encourage your child to take advantage of any extra credit opportunities in the future--they can drastically change their scores for the better!
This week, we are wrapping up the unit on matter. We Flipped our classroom again today to learn about the different physical properties of matter. (See the Resources tab to view this video!) Tomorrow we will be doing a lab to investigate the calculations of volume and density. We will finish this week with a lesson about solubility.
Our unit test, covering everything we have learned about matter so far, will be Wednesday or Thursday of next week, depending on how the rest of this week goes. Please review notes, articles, and videos in preparation for this test.
Today we took the all-dreaded pop quiz on matter. I simply wanted to check what each child did or did not learn over the past two weeks while working in groups. Have no fear, students have the option to make up anything they missed by completing test corrections in their Science Notebooks before the check on Friday. To get credit for any questions they missed, they must simply write the question and correct answer in a complete sentence with an explanation. I will post the quiz under the resources/assignments tab as soon as all students who were absent today have had a chance to take the quiz. :)
Well, our RSA projects are finally finished! The grades for these projects should be up this evening. This was their first major assessment. Overall, we did a great job creating these videos with the help of Mr. West and Mrs. Dextre. If your child does not have a score for this project tomorrow, it is either because they were absent for the majority of the project or their group did not submit a project, and they are required to submit their alternate assignment by Friday. Please e-mail or call me if you have any questions about that alternate assignment. Also, all grades that will be on interims are going up tonight. If your child is missing something from before this past week, they have been given at least one missing work reminder to get the work completed, and yet it still has not been turned in. For the purpose of interims, these grades have been recorded as a zero (they are still denoted with the *Missing symbol in my gradebook). They have until the end of this week to make up/turn in any missing work, so don't fret if they have a low grade in science right now. They can absolutely turn in those assignments to receive credit. If it is not turned in by Friday (the two-week reminder mark), they may still turn it in for credit, but it will be subject to a late penalty. Please help to make sure your child is turning in work on time. They get Missing Work Reminders in their Agenda or Science Notebook when they are missing work. Thank you!
**If your child has a zero/missing grade for ALL OF the last few NoteBook Checks and Mini-Lab Homework, it is likely that they just did not have their name on their NoteBook for checks this past Friday (9/19). The check before that, where they would have gotten the Missing Work Reminder, was in-class, with the students bringing their NBs to me individually, which is why it took so long for me to grade. This past Friday, students simply dropped off their NoteBooks at the beginning of class. Therefore, without a name on the NoteBook, I was unable to record their grade.
This week, we have Mr. West and Mrs. Dextre helping us to put together RSA Videos to demonstrate our understanding of the first two objectives of matter! Here is a little sneak-peek of what we're doing. Mr. West put together a demonstration video to show our students how the video worked. Later this week, I will hopefully have the videos that your children made added to our site. :)
Another successful week! For this entire week, your child has been working in a group to conduct research about states of matter and phase change. Next week, students will be working in their groups to create RSA Videos to present to the class with the information they have found. We will have the help of Mrs. Dextre and Mr. West from the media center in the making of these videos. On Wednesday next week, I will be out for professional development. Have no fear- we have an excellent sub coming to help and Mr. West will still be assisting my classes in the completion of their videos. On Thursday and Friday of next week, each group will be presenting their videos as their first MAJOR grade (The rubric will be uploaded some time this weekend, I just have to get it finalized with the Media Center Team.)
On the subject of grades, they were updated on PowerSchools yesterday. I have checked my list over and now have all grades into the grade-book online. Please assist your child in turning in their work on time, and save their returned work until you see that the grade has been posted. This helps our classroom run so much more smoothly. When students are consistently turning in late work, it is much harder to keep track of everything and make sure that it gets into the grade book. Today I am going around and checking NoteBooks for Bell Ringers and last week's lab questions. I am still working out the best possible way to grade the NoteBooks each week. I tried to keep them over the weekend last week, but since I only received half of the notebooks in any given class, I decided to check them in class this week. Unfortunately, I was unable to get to each of my students, but luckily I will have time while they work on their videos next week. In summary, if your child does not have a grade for their NoteBooks and lab questions, it is because I did not get to them today and will check theirs on Monday. If I was able to get to your child, I also put a Missing Work Reminder in their agenda. PLEASE make sure they get any work missing back to me within the next two weeks, or it will be recorded as a zero. I have graded and returned all work that was turned in. If there is no grade, check to make sure that it was returned. If it was, I apologize; send the work to me and I will make sure to get it recorded. If the missing work cannot be found, it must be completed again to receive credit. This is a policy that we have worked out as a team. If you have any questions about missing work, please contact me. Thank you, and have a great weekend! :)
All grades have been updated in PowerSchools today. Tomorrow I will be returning any and all work that was turned in late to me, along with Missing Work reminders. If your child gets a reminder, they have two weeks to make up the assignment to me. After that, it will be a zero in my grade-book. Please make sure to keep all work sent home until you see the grades for them posted in PowerSchools as a safety net-- it is fairly easy for me to miss one and hand it back without entering it into the grade-book. If I have missed a grade, I apologize. Please just send the assignment back to school with your child so that I can get the grade recorded. We are currently working on our first Major assessment, and have three more formative assignments in the works. :)
FLIP videos are now LIVE! :) Check them out under the Assignments and Resources tab! Please encourage students to use these as a review if necessary, along with any other resources posted in that tab.
Another great week under our belt! This week, we were getting into the study of matter. On Tuesday, students were introduced to matter through the use of articles and a literacy strategy called "Dump and Clump," which helps students to make meaningful associations between new or unfamiliar words. We learned a little bit about matter, mass, volume, particles, atoms, and much more! The article we covered was your student's to keep if you are interested in learning along with us! :)
On Wednesday, we watched our second FLIP video (I am still trying to figure out how to get them on here-urgh) and took guided notes. Then, we put our new knowledge to the test with a challenge activity. We used our new vocabulary words to create concept maps using vocabulary cards, yarn, push pins, cardboard, and blank index cards. They not only had to show the associations between their words, but also had to explain the association between each. It was tough, but everyone did a great job. It was also great practice for our lab on Thursday.
The lab went better than I ever could have imagined! We were testing the Law of Conservation of Matter by creating and comparing an open and closed system. Sounds complicated, but we enjoyed it! Everyone worked really well together and we all followed all of the safety procedures--even wearing those goofy goggles. :)
Because Friday was short, we opened with a review of the first objective (to understand that all matter is made up of atoms, and that atoms of the same element are alike, but different elements contain different atoms) then moved into a discussion of our conclusion from the lab Thursday. Almost every class was able to participate in a debate over our lab question "can matter be created or destroyed?". The only reason that one class did not get to participate in the debate was simply because we only had two students on one side and I didn't want them to have to go "against" the rest of the class. Overall, we learned that the amount of matter in our universe is a constant; matter cannot be created or destroyed. It simply changes phases.
I really think our first week went well! We started off with an introduction to safety and the Scientific Method. If you have not yet done so, please return the signed Safety Contract and all other Brown Packet forms as soon as possible so that your child is able to participate in any labs that we do. The grades for the Safety Quiz were posted to PowerSchools on Friday. The "About Me" brochures were also due Friday. I am still missing quite a few; please make sure these are turned in ASAP. It is an easy grade to start out the year that helps me get to know your child better. :)
This coming week is short, with the holiday weekend and an Early Release on Friday. We will be starting our first unit on Matter tomorrow. We have some fun tech-based lessons coming up in the next few weeks. I am very excited to get started! I am also trying a method called Flipping my Classroom for the next month or so. We Flipped for the first time last week and I think it was a success. I have asked your children to try it out with me for at least a month, and if we don't like it we can stop in October. This just means that I will be creating short videos to replace lecture that will be played at the beginning of class. Eliminating longer lectures gives us more time for in-class work so I am better able to help each of my students. I will be posting the videos that I create to this website very soon so that you and your child can review them at home for extra practice as needed. If you have any other questions about Flipping, please feel free to e-mail me. :)
For some of our projects this year, I will be asking for parent volunteers. If you already know that you would like to volunteer in the future, please contact me. Otherwise, the need for parent volunteers will be included in the weekly update. Thank you! :)