September 2018 Announcements

I can’t believe we are almost through the month of September! It’s been a little crazy around school and the lack of internet connectivity lately has put me behind in my posts.

The 4th years have finished their lessons on Earth and Space and I think they really enjoyed the last lesson on Florida and Space Exploration. The students completed a timeline and learned that there was a little competition going on between the United States and the Soviet Union in the space exploration race. We will begin moving into the study of Earth structures such as, rocks and minerals, their physical properties, and renewable and nonrenewable resources.

4th grade with RR
The 4th years after their lesson with Reef Relief Education Coordinator, Dora.

The 5th years have completed their lessons on Earth and Space as well. The students drew colorful drawings of the Solar System and learned that the planets travel on elliptical orbits around the Sun and they are, in fact, not in a straight line from the Sun. The have moved on to learning about the stages of the Water Cycle. In groups, the students made biomes out of bottoms of recycled soda bottles, pebbles, soil, seeds, water, and a gallon sized Ziploc bag. The students will be observing their biomes and how, because of the Water Cycle, the seeds do not need to be watered by us in order to grow. We will begin shifting our studies towards clouds, weather, and climate zones.

5th RR lesson
5th year students looking at a brain coral skeleton.

The 6th years had a fantastic and energetic brainstorming session with Elizabeth from Florida Bay Forever. In addition to their efforts towards our community education project, the students have been learning about Florida landforms and how they are affected by weathering, erosion and deposition. In the following weeks, the students will be studying the transfer of heat through Earth’s system and the cycling of water between the atmosphere and the hydrosphere.

Elizabeth (1)
Elizabeth, a Florida Bay Forever Board Member, leading a brainstorming session with the 6th year students.
6th grade science lab
6th year students working together on a physical and chemical weathering, erosion, and deposition lab activity.

The 7th and 8th years have been continuing their studies of evolution and adaptations. Within the last week, we have focused our lessons on bird feet and beak adaptations and even acted as birds for a hands-on activity! The students will begin to focus on the adaptations of fish and soon they will apply their knowledge of evolution to a lesson I have titled, “Evolution in the City”.

Bird Activity 1
A group of 7th and 8th years acting as birds trying to get M&Ms (insects) out of styrofoam (a tree log).
Bird Activity 2
A group of 7th and 8th years acting as birds trying to collect mixed, shelled nuts (seeds) off of a plate (the ground).

All grade levels were visited by Reef Relief this week. The Education Coordinator, Dora DeMaria, presented a lesson on coral reefs and an activity that was catered to each grade level. All of the students really enjoyed their guest speaker and are ready to share their knowledge about the ecosystem in their own backyard!

Please subscribe and look out for a post regarding the school STEM Fair within the next week! As always, feel free to email me with any questions and thank you for taking the time to read this Science update!

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