The students are starting the investigations of the Unit 2: Properties of Matter. The essential question for this unit is: How do we describe the properties of matter?
Basically, in this unit, students expand their awareness of the properties of solids and liquids.
The first investigation represents the study of properties of solids. These properties include: color, texture, shape, hardness, ability to roll or stack, magnetic attraction, float or sink. The students will be sorting solids into groups on the basis of their properties. Also, they will be comparing objects – heavier than, lighter than, equal to (using binary symbols <, >, =) and putting objects in the serial order from the lightest to the heaviest by using a balance. Above described investigation will be an ongoing experimentation through April 2018.
During the month of January, the students will be only sorting objects into groups based on the color, texture, shape, hardness, flexibility and their ability to roll or stack. They will be comparing similarities and differences among a variety of common solids expressed by using Venn Diagrams.
The students will continue the Investigation 3: Using Rocks. The investigation was described in the science blog for December.
The Investigation 3 will be followed by the Investigation 4: Soil Observations. The students will find out through experimentation that soil contains particles of different sizes and that sand, clay and humus (organic matter) are three of the basic components in soil. They will gain an understanding of differences between soil and dirt as well as ability to describe and define different soil profiles. Phenomena such as settling, water content, and soil consistency will be also explored.
Within this investigation, the students will learn about composting with earthworms (red wigglers). They will observe and describe the structures and functions of ref wigglers.
The students started Investigation 3: Take Me to Your Liter before the holidays brake. Meantime, they will continue with the investigation. They will learn how to find the volume of an irregular object (for example: a rock) by using displacement of the water by an object.
They will try to solve a real word problem related to soda-can capacity. They will need to figure out if the amount of soda listed on the can (355 mL) represents the volume of soda in the can or the capacity of the can.
They will write a plan of testing the soda- can capacity, collect and record data, and write conclusion.
The students will also analyze few articles related to the measuring volume and capacity of different containers in the metric system.
The students will continue with the exploration of the meadow ecosystem. They will be putting together different food chains and a food web. They will discuss (argumentation in science) what happens when a link is removed from a food chain or a food web (for example: a producer is removed, or a primary, secondary consumer is removed), how this action affects the rest of the food chain or a food web, what are the consequences of the missing link.
There will be a lesson done in cooperation with the Art Farm Program. This lesson is scheduled for Wednesday, January 3rd. The animals that will be observed and discussed represent different ecosystems (dove- forest, chuckwalla- desert, chinchilla- mountains, walking stick- rain forest, box turtle- pond).
Towards the end of January, the students will start the Unit 2: Electricity and Magnetism. The essential question for this unit is: How does the use of electricity and magnetism affect our world?
The Investigation 1: Electricity introduces the students to the basic properties of electricity as they learn about electric circuits. At first, they will try to build a simple circuit by using a D- cell battery, bulb and a wire. They will discover through direct experience how many ways they can light a bulb by using only one battery, one bulb, and one wire.