The focus on routines and procedures, the first two weeks of the school year, paid off. Week three was about content. We started science and a focus on the Earth and the Sun. Using Microsoft Teams and the ability to upload our social studies textbook to the platform, we read about indigenous groups of North and South America. We added and subtracted decimals and continued to expand sentences, this time using subordinating conjunctions. We read about Antartica and water, from our adopted ELA materials, and we completed our first art project. Great week.
We continued to explore motion through a series of experiments. Students built wheel-and-axel systems, slopes, and twirly birds. As students did this, they refined their understanding of different forces, developed and tested predictions, and manipulated variables. These important core ideas will be further developed with additional experiences.
This week we began our investigation into motion and matter. During the launch we explored two forces, magnetism and gravity, with a specific emphasis on the terms attract and repel.
Among the investigations was understanding how a magnetic field works. Students manipulated this phenomena with studies around magnets and paperclips. In the coming days, we will participate in an engineer design challenge.
Students completed an engineer design challenge over two days. In day one, they created a cart that could move from “here to there.” On day two, students added a ramp to see how gravity and start position affected the distance traveled. A lot of successes over the two days including several creations that traveled over three meters.
We have spent several hours this week looking at patterns in motion. Students are learning that motion exhibits regular patterns and future motions can be predicted. They are learning about wheel-and-axel systems and how the sizes of the wheels can lead to curved paths of motion.
Today we started our investigation of Mixtures and Solutions. The 5th grade chemistry we are doing is about learning that matter has structure and change can take place within that structure. The work we started will build a strong foundation for students when they move to middle school and high school.
Our investigation of the Earth and the Sun began today with this focus question: How and why does your shadow change during the day. This is the launch for our studies that include a survey of the solar system, a look at our atmosphere, a focus on the Earth’s surface and defining characteristics of the Earth.
Below are images from our first investigation in which we traced our shadows at 11:20 and again at 2:40.