Back in the science swing of things

by Mrs. Nilsen on January 27th, 2013

Weekly Science News 1/21 - 1/25

Now that we've settled back into school after the winter break, I'm happy be sharing again what exciting things we're learning about in the Senior Science classes!  It' been an awesome week of exploration and study.  As I mentioned before, I'll be doing periodic Science Fair updates (see below) in my newsletters to help every stay up-to-date on the expectations of the fair.  First though, let's check in with our class explorations and studies!

6th Grade Science

We began our new unit this week - the Solar System!  After a pre-assessment we looked ancient models of the solar system and how different cultures used to think the stars, moon, and sun traveled across the sky.  From the ancient Egyptians to the Greeks, we discussed how science is a dynamic area of study that has changed over time.  After looking at ancient models, students let their imaginations run wild to design their "own" model of the solar system.  Their images and ideas were priceless!  It was fun to use our creativity to further explore science.  Those two are too often separated in scientific studies.  Check out some of their colorful imaginings below!

7th Grade Science

The 7th grade class is diving into a mixture of a genetics/cellular processes unit.  The cell biology unit we did last year was truly a seventh grade standard, so we are reviewing a few of the concepts. (Very briefly I'm super happy to say!  They're remembering SO MUCH OF IT!  Proud teacher moment of the week!)  Next we looked deeper into our cells all the way to our DNA.  We're learning terminology (chromosomes, genes, Adenine, Thymine, etc.)  It's a fun topic and students are pretty fascinated with things that happen that we can't even see with our eyes.  I'm hoping to have some things to view in the microscopes in the upcoming weeks!  We'll see!

8th Grade Science

The 8th grade class is tackling a feisty topic - climate change.  Students are looking at the arguments for and against climate change over the coming weeks and will be debating some of the points themselves in class.  This week we looked at the science behind the argument and created a model to look at how the greenhouse effect could be affecting our global environment.  They were very diligent in taking notes and records as we began collecting data to base some of our discussion points on or against.  

Science Fair Update

Every Wednesday from here until the Science Fair is going to be a check-in day.

This past Wednesday (1/23) students needed to have one more source (for a total of two sources) and a paragraph evaluating each of them.


Students also needed to have the following pages of notes in their Logbook:


6th - 1 more page for a total of 2 pages
7th - 2 more pages for a total of 4 pages
8th - 3 more pages for a total of 6 pages


"Notes" can be in any format in their Logbook (listing, concept webs, venn diagrams, illustrated outlines, etc).  If a student is doing the experimental project, it can be steps that they are taking, records, measurements, or any other "notes" that are in line with their project.

......


This coming Wednesday (1/30) students need to have one more source (for a total of three sources) and a paragraph evaluating each of them.


Students will also need to have the following pages of notes in their Logbook:


6th - 1 more page for a total of 3 pages
7th - 2 more pages for a total of 6 pages
8th - 3 more pages for a total of 9 pages


This pattern will continue for the next few weeks.  During class on Wednesdays, students need to have all of their Science Fair materials with them in class.  They have the class as an independent work period (and must be working the entire time) while I take time to meet with each and every student about how their project is going.  It takes time, but it's important that I know how their project is progressing and how I can help them if they are struggling.  As each project is different, that individual meeting time is greatly beneficial.  It also gives students a little class time in which to work on their projects.  Students can plan ahead as the expectations will be the same for the next few weeks.  

If you have more questions or are confused about expectations for the Science Fair, please see my past post (Science Fair...here we come!) as it goes into great detail about the different parts of the project.  

It's going to be an awesome fair!  Still a ways away, and I'm already giddy!  Keep up the good work students!  I appreciate how seriously you are taking this task.  It is a sign of your growing up and taking responsibility for your own learning.  I'm proud of you already for trying your best.  

Upcoming

Monday, January 28th

Tuesday, January 29th
  • Subway Lunch orders due no later thatn 3:00 pm (late orders will not be accepted) - please pay separate from your pizza order and only 1 week at a time.
  • Room parent meeting for the auction @ 2:30 pm (RSVP to Alyson Ensrud - ensrud@molalla.net)
  • Homework Club: 3 - 4 pm in Mr. Oldham's room

Wednesday, January 30th
  • Pizza orders and money due no later than 1:30 pm (late orders will not be accepted) - please pay separate from you Subway order and only 1 week at a time.
  • All School Assembly @ 12:15 pm
  • Early Release @ 1 pm

Thursday, January 31st

Friday, February 1st
  • Pizza Lunch
  • Dress Down Friday
  • Homework Club: 3-4pm in Mrs. Nilsen's room

Future Dates:

  • Feb. 4th - 3:15 pm Battle of the Books, Ms. Righter's Room
  • Feb. 5th - Time TBA, 8th grade student/parent Forecasting Information Night at Molla High School
  • Feb. 11th - 3:15 pm Battle of the Books, Ms. Righter's Room
  • Feb. 13th - 8:20 am Booster Meeting in the Teacher Lounge!
  • Feb. 15th - Senior Dance 6 - 8 pm in the Gym
  • Feb. 21st - 6 to 7 pm MRA Open House for new families
  • Mar. 15th - Deadline for new applications
  • Apr. 2nd - Public Lottery 



Posted in Science Updates    Tagged with Science fair


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