- Students are introduced to the three main branches of Science: Earth, Physical, and Life.
- Standard safety procedures and symbols are discussed.
- Metric units of measurement
- Types of Scientific Models (Mathematical, Conceptual, and Physical)
- The Scientific Method (Make Observations, Ask a Question, Form a Hypothesis, Test it, Analyze Results, Draw Conclusions, and Communicate Results)
Projects/Activities: A main highlight of this part of the curriculum involves students running through the scientific method. They pick something they are curious about, form a hypothesis, test it, analyze their own data, draw conclusions and share it with the class! It's always neat to see what kids are interested in finding out.
Introduction to Physical Science
- States of Matter - Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma
- Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures
- The Periodic Table
- Atomic Theory and Atomic Models
Projects/Activities: Investigation of solids and liquids down to the molecular level. Kids pick their items and do their own research. Findings are presented to the class. Students pick an element to research, create a PowerPoint on, and a physical model of.
Inside the Restless Earth
- Minerals of the Earth's Crust
- Rocks: Mineral Mixtures
- The Rock and Fossil Record
- Plate Tectonics
Projects/Activities: We learn about how many resources the average American consumes. We watch The 11th Hour and discuss issues such as global warming and relate it to our behavior. Students take part in "cookie mining" to learn about the costs involved in mining. In addition, students have the option of purchasing a geode and cracking it open as well. The geologic timescale is discussed and each student chooses a fossil to research and place in our "hallway geoligic column". A major highlight of this book is when students are challenged with building their own earthquake resistant structures out of whatever materials they want!
Microorganisms, Fungi, and Plants
- It's Alive! Or is it?!
- Bacteria and Viruses
- Protists and Fungi
- Introduction to Plants
- Plant Processes
Projects/Activities: Students take part in a lot of fun filled and diverse activities during this unit. First, students swab and area of the school and grow their own bacterial cultures in Petri dishes. The areas that do not have many bacteria may surprise you!! Second students do a mini research activity on common pathogenic bacteria and play "doctor" act diagnosing students who are "sick". Other activities may include: making (and eating) our own pretzels, planting and dissecting seeds and flowers, taking a trip to the arboretum, and throwing a class banquet at the end of the year where we eat foods made from or with our areas of study!
Students will use many online resources as supplemental and primary resources throughout the year in Science. Here are some of my favorite sites for students to visit just for the fun of it!
Please utilize Skyward family access to see how your student is progressing in class. I do my best to update grades at least once per week. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call or email me! In addition, at certain times throughout the year we do projects that involve students bringing in their own supplies. They are usually simple baking ingredients or craft supplies. If you are financially unable to bring in an item please just send a note with your child and I will bring extras in myself.
I want to THANK YOU upfront, for all the time, money, and assistance you give to your child to support their education. If you show interest in your child's work they will show interest too!
I try very hard to give homework no more than 1-2 times per week and some weeks none at all. That said, when I do give an assignment outside of class it is so that students have some practice working on skills autonomously (on their own). Students are expected to turn in their work on time, unless other arrangements have been made, and all late work is subject to a pink slip and the highest percentage score of 70. Be aware that some homework is rather informal and may simply require a signed note from a parent stating that the student discussed a lesson from class with a family member.